Our home got stuck in a trash collector

Pull the spare mattress from under my parents’ bed
comforter under my arm. Leave it. Retrieve
my pillows and Can you try sleeping in your bed?

Could insist I have been, dreamt I died
everyone I love died, and I saw it all
from within the devourer’s maw.

Moments to convince them. Lie down.
Say nothing. They relent but I imagine
them and the trash collector dream of clear floors.

Our home got stuck in the head of a trash collector.
Dream-possible, we are ever up the road.
We march out with stuff and in and out again.

He raps on the truck to signal it forward.
We come with hardwood. We come with gift bags.
The cab necks ahead but the trailer extends as an angler’s jaw.

We shovel up from the cellar. Neighbours sneak more.
Junk mail carriers and paperboys are routed here.
Milkmen resurrect to soak it all.

Butcher pulls up and gestures, “Hey you
—I’m a kill you when you’re here.


This one was the product of two possible prompts: helplessness, and the coziest memory I have. Thanks as always to my parter Kate Maxfield for making me think.

I am not a black man.

I was at the Mike Brown vigil in Ottawa last night. There has been some controversy around the event as organizers had asked non-black people to stick to the edge of the crowd rather than up front where the cameras & megaphone were. This made complete sense. The event was very informal. Black people took turns at the mic sharing their own experiences with racism. I was there because I wanted to hear their stories and express solidarity with their struggles. Those brave people who bared their souls in the cold last night, they deserved a place up front. They deserved a chance to pass the mic from one hand to the next and be heard. Anyone who think that is discrimination needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror.