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Alberta in late 2006 (poem)


Jurisdiction of the Self-Cleaning Oven

(Alberta in late 2006)

That booze-wise, two-stroke shill the party boss.
An assembly close to thirty years redundant.
Civic revulsion stillborn. PR gloss
the face of untried force: plain truth best blent
with ooze, like bitumen under a cap of moss.
More realtors by the day, His agents, sent
corkscrew to panic cork – for buyers want
into the exurbs. With subliming oil,
contractors aerate worm-eaten promises.
Teams of lone men, trucks idling at low boil,
in the dawn are off to rightful work. Down Lethe-
stream, a head, someone else’s, lolls by. Thyrsus
in shade. Crack, crystal meth, percs. FASD.
The magpies brawl. Time pings, forensically.


[first published in Vallum 11: 2 (2014)]