Every so often I pull down a book of poetry from the shelf.
Then, like stabbing a finger to a map to choose a chance destination I flip the book open to a random page. Without judgment or censorship, I share what I find there with you.
Today I pulled Ocean, Sue Goyette’s collection of linked poems, random poem at TWENTY. (This beautiful book was included in the The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2014.)
I’d love to hear what you think, your reactions, what feelings or memories the piece evokes:
Oh, little clouds over Halifax, if you must continually rain
on us, rain then your blessings. This is how most city meetings
would start. We’d discuss making new lanes
for the smooth-talkers because they’d often instigate parades.
We’d argue about the feral minute balanced between each day
and who gets to claim it. We’d debate the ownership of the wind
above a fence at a property line and who could harness it. We
were important and doing busy work. Often these meetings
would go on for many hours. Someone was selling cans
of fog and someone else was claiming the fog was fake.
Someone wondered which blade to use when carving
fog and how much funding the fog carvers should receive.
Understand, the city was bustling and though the harbour
was not yet bridged, our ideas were leaping across
its water. Dartmouth wasn’t just our sister city then
but an opportunity for more holidays and a new political
platform. If we were night, Dartmouth was a top hat.
If we were an apple, it was the à la mode. Poets wrote
comparisons without compensation until an anthology
was published under the guise of a public transportation map
and then even the poets were quiet. It felt like there was nothing
left to say. Some of us bought black market canned fog
and stayed up late drinking it. The clouds over Halifax
could no longer be addressed as little. The ocean was a dominatrix.
We tied up our boats and created a 24-hour hotline for those of us
it handcuffed into sleep. We couldn’t even trust our shadows,
that thing they did, always straining towards the water.
Publisher: Gasperau Press
ISBN: 9 781554 471225
Other “Off the Shelf” Selections.