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The Tower


I wish the strongest ghost were here
to guard my Brooklyn baby
from whatever things are
until it’s all just easier thoughts
like breakfast. Make sure
my bodyguard guardian angel’s packing.
I don’t want to have to mourn on the internet.
If I were in the post-apocalypse,

I’d do a lot of worrying.
What else? I’d plant a tree.
I’d change my name to Merlin,
hunt wild game in an abandoned Target,
then die of something lame
like dehydration or death.
Everything’s an everyday thing
every day. Your favourite weapon

is also the katana. I don’t think
people want to see
a movie about my life,
but maybe a poem,
if that’s something you can look at
with whichever eyes look in language.
I missed my dog, so I wrote her.
Dear Laura Dern,

Dear deer in the way in the snow,
when I’m travelling through the dark
like a proper samurai, because of you
I don’t wear loud shoes anymore.
When dogs die I feel old.
People expect you to set an example.
Some people light roses on fire
in Photoshop. I don’t know any trees I want to be.

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The Response of Weeds

The Response of Weeds

A Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairies
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Response of Weeds, The

Response of Weeds, The

A Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairies
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Grown in Alberta
In Michigan
they will point to a spot
on the palm of their right
when you ask
where are you from?
For Michiganders
the hand is the simulacrum
for substitute belonging.
First came the hand
then the map
then the hand again
The map's handsome substitute.
But first-first came the cold
and then the mitten:
the map's handsome substitute.
On the Canadian prairies
the cold is your constant contender
the cold is always first-first.
Once I dreamed of an empty grain elevator
sheathed in brittle ice.
I wanted to get inside
but each time I chipped
at its door, I felt an enervating
pang in the hollow of my abdomen.
I wanted to get outside
but each time I chipped at its door, I saw a glinting
mirrored surface magnifying my actions.
Everything went cold
my breath
undusted diamonds suspended before me.
A landscape was hinted in its spaces.
I would have placed my hand up against it,
the curl of my fingers
settling along the foothills,
but at times like these you can't help thinking about
those prototype fools in stories
baring the substitute cold to their tongues,
the very wording of my verisimilitude belonging.
And, Canada, you would not believe
how often a Michigander
never asked me
where are you from?

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