Mine

This poem is a collaboration with Justin Million, poet-in-residence for Synapse Files. Follow Synapse on WordPress and Twitter for his own poem-a-day all month long.

~

Human on the end will replay the message if I like

 

a very god conversation

I am instructed and humbled

reminded by administration

I am on the healthy baby roster

 

Human at the end, maybe only

 

between, I am in conversation with gods who flush the toilet, make bad coffee, linger too long at parties, tell me

“I’ll get there”

 

reminded by the world

I am a healthy baby in need only of a god, and stairs that aren’t a devil’s

 

galaxy because they seem red-void

 

Let’s erase the pencil that’s unable to common

 

line my shelves with folk

 

I breathe the same air as the broken, but I am trying to laugh out

joy to repair

 

arm’s length to what isn’t close

 

less language, please

I mean, I am trying to mean something meaningful here

 

please understand I am happy to watch you

watching the skies with my words in mind, finding nothing

 

at least you’re looking where I’m looking, then

 

and I’ve already got down covered

 

More worries are erased in commonplace statistics

 

shells forked

 

Superman breathes the same air as well, but his jokes aren’t super-good.

 

Joy lingers in a text somewhere

but quick time’s a disorganized devil ever-pencilling galaxies

 

 

 

we’re only flush with aim for getting where’s water

less mystery, please

 

I mean, for all our meaning do we mean well

 

certainly rarely heed understanding

 

all our tries hook-shaped gestures, climbing motions

at last moving where’s we’re aiming, hell

we took aim already and been ailing for that steady, steady

 

power’s just

clothing, joy

 

a text from a super person

 

aiming at water, here, and missing 70% of the time

 

my ire hollers, quarrels with her telling me I’m lucky I’m so cute

 

what a hook that keeps the angry poet on stage, foaming at the mouth with oceanic ire

 

dissolve the text sifting for a metaphor their editor’s can’t but pretend to understand because the grants

 

to colloquialize the Swedish table and chairs into a quaint

 

family reduced to fools, the ones that follow you through storms, and your crown of flowers

 

your head needs watering

 

the amount of times I’ve licked my fingers to ready her

I am ready to accept you as the kind of lover you only poetry with

 

how many fingers you put in my mouth

There is a tradition of Canadian poets writing poems titled “Sex at 31” when they are 31 years of age. This poem is not titled Sex at 31 and contains a quote from the film 10 Things I Hate About You which I saw precisely half my life ago.

 

Accept it

when it’s almost over

 

Focus.

 

I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be

underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?

 

Again I’m asked if I feel I can express myself?

 

Again, a Russian jet is reckless.

 

Again I promise you a love poem.

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.

Reading in T.O., Wed Feb 24

Hello Toronto/Thornhill! I am back for a reading Wednesday February 24th thanks to the folks at the Pivot Readings at The Steady. Here’s the official link, and here’s the Facebook event. I’m humbled to be reading with Hoa Nguyen, Patrick Warner, and Zachariah Wells, all more accomplished poets than I. But I’m gonna bring it, chiefly in the way of poems about love and family, and cute animals. OH! I have a poem about just those things, 13 Adorable Pictures of the Animals of the Peterborough Zoo As The Learn Your Son Has Been Born (Not pictured, the camels Zahra and Gobi—your favourites), that will be published in Words(on)pages’ Parenthetical zine in May. Come hear me read that poem, and others (with shorter titles) Wednesday February 24th at Pivot. It’s apparently, like, the best reading series in town.