brand new second-hand

Poem of the used Chrysler.
Poem of recycled Costco air.

Poem of the rebound girlfriend,
poem of the free pile.

Poem of the food bank frozen waffle
(now with 20% more waffle taste!).

Poem of the contents of a funerary urn,
poem of those parts of movies
mis-taken for our own memories.

Here, take these shirts, please!
‘With me for miles,
since Ali Riley’s visit, anyway
–all in gingham,
resplendent in S. Alberta twilight,
clutching a soothing cocktail
of lychee wine & methyl hydrate
–yes, they’re plaid.

Poem of acid reflux, vomit,
poem of a horrible indigestion.

Poem of the re-gift,
of the hand-me-down;
poem of the foisted,
the dumpster dive,
(singing) the brand new second-hand*.

Want these?
Socks of dead businessmen,
long walked off, darn them,
and a few runs, to be certain.
I’m just gonna throw them out!

Poem of the garage sale,
the roadkill, taxidermied;
poem of the lay-over,
the left-hand-job,
the leftovers.

Poem of the re-run,
poem of the sampled loop,
the sampled loop,
sampled loop,
the proxy, the souvenir.

Poem of the foot-note,
the reference,
poem of the imitation,
poem of the cover band.

Here, I want you to have them:
my Randy pants,
after Randy/Manny Turner,
Bloor West,
Honest Ed’s,
Suspect Video Mandy Randy man,
bas couture,
cultivator of the pre-post-punk
before any of us
got a head around
early for the late show/
Please, I never wear them.

Poem of my mother’s eyes,
my father’s feet,
grandad’s hair-line
and a distant relative’s penury of spirit
–my legacy, after all.

‘Think you might want this coat?
Old Green Onion,
left behind
in the back seat
of my third-hand Firefly;
bequeathed, as it were,
by an aging method actor,
a court-ordered dad.
A sad story,
retold, of course
his head full of chemicals,
the baby seat,
a passing cop
–stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Poem of the stray dog,
poem of the adopted child.

Poem of the neoclassical,
poem of the renaissance.

poem of the understudy,
the police sketch,
the plagiarist,
poem of the counterfeit.

Poem of the borrower, the lender-be.
Poem of the Wide Sargasso Sea**.

Poem of copping a feel,
of a partitioned Berlin.

Poem of occupied France,
of all other possible futures,
of the mythic, unfamiliar past.

Poem of recycled Cuzco air,
of the vintage Ford.

_ __ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ ___ _ __ _ __ __ ___ __
* after Peter Tosh (;
** Jean Rhys based her book and central character on Bertha Mason, from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.


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