Snarky

Too Negative

I was a kid other kids’ 

parents gossiped about.

 

They told their children

what I was: too negative.

 

I get it. Fair to fear

contagion of bad attitudes,

 

to think naming a thing

can be an inoculation.

 

Of course my friends

filled me in. Of course

 

I took my diagnosis

lying down on mostly

 

frozen sand. Loose

grains made their way

 

to my scalp. Stayed there

Wow! You've Changed

You’ve changed.

You used to be so

and now you’re all

like, you’ve transformed

I don’t know how to describe

it’s like

you don’t like canasta anymore

you text IN ALL CAPS

your selfies are so

animalistic

like, are you out to prove something

you’re a lion

you’re a bear

you’re a maggot

you’re a virus

I just don’t know

if we can be friends anymore.

Dick Pics

Two dicks, sitting in

my daughter’s inbox,

like men without hats,

waiting for any door

to open. 

 

*

Sighting a stranger’s penis

used to be rare. Remember raincoats?

Like a flash of lightning,

like a Scratch ‘N Win ticket –

sometimes glittering knock-off watches,

sometimes a flapping penis

shivering in the electric air.

 

*

Overcooked hotdog?

Aborted fetus?

Close up of a thumb?

Rolled baloney on a lonely deli plate?

Rejected Text for a Tourist Brochure

“I saw my land in the morning

and O but she was fair”

- M.G. Smith, “Jamaica” (1938)

 

I

 

Come see my land

 

Come see my land

before the particles of busy fires ascend;

before the rivers descend underground;

before coffee plantations

grind the mountains into dust; before

the coral dies; before the beaches

disappear

 

Come see my land

Come see my land

And know

That she was fair.

 

Community Garden

There, the bolting black kale,

taller than it has any right to be

and not the twitter troll who asked

if you were on your period.

 

In the corner, a pile of dead

zucchini leaves, spotted with rot

and not the neighbour who yelled

at you about a parking stall.

 

Lining the sidewalk, invasive

creeping charlie and not

your mother complimenting

your ex-husband’s new wife.

Internet Safety

My dad taught me to never give out my real name, age,

address, or photos. This seemed obvious to me. My fake

birthday entry was always my crush's birthday plus a

random year from the early 1900s. I spent hours making

my avatars look like everything, anything but myself. It

didn’t matter how people (mis)pronounced my name, how

young I was, how squinty my eyes were. I can't remember

my crush's birthday anymore. He was a Gemini, but that

doesn't help enough. According to my fake birthday, I'm

dead, anyway.

One fish, Two fish, Plastics, Dead fish

recycling Dr. Seuss

 

Some fish are sold for sashimi,

some are sold to canneries,

and some are caught by hungry slaves

to feed what wealthy tourists crave!

 

Farmed fish, Fish sticks, Frankenfish, Collapse

 

From the Pacific to the Atlantic,

from the Indian to the Arctic,

from here to there,

dead zones are everywhere!

 

Overfishing, Purse seine, Ghost fishing, Bycatch

 

This one has a little radiation.

Veronica?

What's it like at the centre of the AGO?

Hmm. Imagine being coloured, drawn, and placed

 

in a wooden frame, another hung woman, positioned

just so in the middle of a landscape surrounded by rocks,

 

lakes, mountains, and trees, MacDonald to your right,

Carmichael to your left.  Imagine being forced to look,

 

to spend every unblinking moment of an 8-day week

staring at a Lawren Harris landscape, a frozen wall

 

of whiteness, when you know, outside, the glaciers

Lima Limón :: Madurez

I wear a peineta & pin a mantilla to my hair

I want to be Conchita Piquer warning women

about becoming lemons. The goal: tener alguien

 

quien me quiera. I want to be my mother singing me

to sleep: A la lima y al limón, te vas quedar soltera.

My grandmother hated peinetas, mantillas & women

 

who wore too much gold. She'd say this pulling my hair

tight into a bun. She hated peinetas & mantillas:

Pero la necesidad obliga. I don't want to be the woman

You can't be an NDN person in today's world

You can't be an NDN person in today's world

 

and write a nature poem. I swore to myself I would never write a nature

poem. Let's be clear, I hate nature — hate its guts

 

I say to my audience. There is something smaller I say to myself:

 

I don't hate nature at all. Places have thoughts — hills have backs that love

being stroked by our eyes. The river gobbles down its tract as a metaphor

but also abt its day. The bluffs purr when we put down blankets at the

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