Out from the shower

 

 

Downstairs, to my son, my partner sings

This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),

halting where the instruments will fill

finding the words in her hand.

I put on a pair of clean white briefs

three o’clock on my mind.

 

Last night I bowled alone.

Going home, spoke to the driver

about moving around Ottawa

again and again and again

and again and again. He has a child

and a child and a child and a child.

 

Today, someone’s going to say

the drivers deserve poverty.

 

Yesterday the bachelor

went too long for my tolerance.

The gun games, the liquor tasting,

the big steak I forked for myself.

Ready for the brewery tour

the one guy without a desk job

clapped his hands & said,

“Let’s go see people work.”

 

Looking presentable, I left the Best Western

struggling to close my wallet, the neon sign

reminding, “If you’re here, you’re home.”

Glean

 

More Prince clips. Saturn’s rings

appear to cross, but it’s only

our shitty million-dollar tech.

 

More Prince clips. Friends

shit on friends, look great.

 

More Prince clips. An interview in which

he attributes black violence to chemtrails.

 

More Prince clips. Somewhere

my second trashcan is full of beer bottles.

 

More Prince clips. Today the pain

is in my wrist. Goats is a thing.

 

~

While I have your attention, please head over to Synapse and read today’s poem from Justin Million.

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.

Only one in 10 eligible fathers was claiming parental leave benefits through Employment Insurance

 

The man and woman next to me are done picking at their fries.

The woman has an exposed knee and the man has long hair

(like me).

 

I order a burger and fries, excited by this rare chance to dine alone.

The sexy couple get up in their coats and go psst, psst, psst.

A weed breeze is let in.

 

I am entitled to all the ginger ale I want so long as I never leave

for any reason other than to smoke. All I have to do is ask for more.

The waiter has a cord.

 

My burger and fries come and both are good. A friend out west

texts to say I would be proud of him because he is pushing buttons

at the federal NDP convention in Edmonton.

 

As a white, Jewish, able-bodied, cis-gendered, middle-class man,

I often feel like the character bit by a zombie screaming

SHOOT ME.

 

I am picking at my fries, but my waiter will not ask, “Are you done,

or are you still picking?” I will have put everything on my plate

in a way I read you should.