Near miss

 

It is no secret I know magic. Forbidden words

from my mouth trigger anger. We only hurt

the ones we love because we have a buffer

of expendable experience points. Otherwise

may we at least agree, when we meet

we have never met before?

 

                                                   Stranger,

I want to slur somebody. Life has been

so easy so far. For me, it’d be like

being dropped in a hard level

with just the one life.

It’s a total mess of blind spots

and potentials. According to the Sun,

now’s the day. Would you describe

the driver, their sex, their age,

their race? Could you pick them out

from a line?

 

~

The italicized line is from Stuart Ross.

For now

The shelter newsletter’s poetry corner contains poems no reputable journal will publish. I read poems for a reputable journal and regularly reinforce this, rejecting honest and unoriginal suffering as uninteresting. What’s less inspired than tomorrow’s promise? What could be more cliché than deciding to listen? Who concludes a lyric, “I love you,” and expects an honorarium?

~

This winter fire struck the Cornerstone Shelter in Ottawa. If you can afford it, please give a little. They maintain four residences in the city, providing support for more than 400 women every year.

For them

civilization2

In/Words Magazine founding editor & mentor Collett Tracy told me recently I oughta give voice to the voiceless. My contemporary contempt for the appropriation of suffering riled, but she & more recent events have swayed me that there’s a way to do this right. Right?

 

For them

Playing Civilization for the umpteenth, behind in happiness and faith

feel a little woke. Within those simulated states, virtual folk

virtually content and lockstep in their random creeds. IRL

I am a mosaic chip in someone else’s argument

about the West or Canada, or anyone

who isn’t them, anyone

who doesn’t know

how hard it is.

Canada’s Capital University

The last time I argued capital punishment was in 3rd year constitutional politics. I was fiercely for a convict’s right to vote. A classmate closed debate with the phrase, “My fiancée was murdered.”

I sought the professor for a reference some years later, but by then he’d suffered a spinal injury, had a child and lost his job because the school denies’ alumni tenure. The university encourages its students to go forth into the world.