5. When the power of suggestion meets the desire for human contact.
4. This is just what our country needs. I am already in the movie theatre!
3. Believers, if this is the face of the enemy, then why are you worried?
2. The truly sad thing is, is that this is happening with the support of a good portion of America’s poor. I’m beginning to think that the American dream and the snake that eats itself is one and the same.
1. Speaking of the American dream, there is nothing like a little Bukowski on a hot Sunday afternoon.
How often we imagined something else
as an ending.
Now there are only hours left,
avalanches of pain past
plunged into pools
of morphine, and you are without
fear, your skin a geography
of purple continents, your eyes
I was there all morning
describing the clouds to you
from the song of the sky.
I shut up and followed
the tiny rill of your breath.
And I said, “Mom, can you see me?”
as I leaned over you. You
turned your head to me and
gave me a long, leisurely
blink, full of pleasure,
and then turned your head away.
As appeared in Sharawadji, published by Brick Books.
Brian Henderson is the author of nine volumes of poetry (including a deck of visual poem-cards, The Alphamiricon), the latest of which, Nerve Language, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His work, both critical and poetic, has appeared in a number of literary journals. He has a PhD in Canadian literature, is the Director of WLUPress and lives in Kitchener Ontario with his wife, Charlene Winger, who directs a mental health clinic in Halton.
A young peasant farmer in his father’s best.
His skin, the texture
of spring bark
brushes against a starched white
collar. His face beams, and his wife
stands next to him, the expression
on her separate wind-burnt face
saying she’s lost something. The borrowed
polyester dress she wears
stretches across her shoulder blades
as she poses with the baby boy
on her hip. He is travel-weary
and crying, and in her village dialect
she shushes him, then shakes him.
Over their shoulders, Mao awaits,
his gaze meeting the lens dead on.
The passer-by with their camera
is waiting as well and the boy
won’t stop crying, just
doesn’t understand why
they’ve come all this way.
As appeared in the chapbook collection Catching Dawn’s Breath, Lyricalmiracle Press, Toronto, 2008.