Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday poem #317 : Alex Manley : Bombastic

Enact a controlled demolition of the self.                Then say: Adieu 

to the death. All these years, and the city still hasn't been bombed.

The churches all stand still,                  though some have converted 

into condominiums.                  On the sidewalk there’s the barcode 

of ash that a bush burnt to cinder leaves behind.                   We are 

cold packed, like river stones,                a few neighbourhoods over. 

The barest trees form the prettiest shadows.            We’re bedding

down together.                      There’s an eye downstairs, in the living 

room, watching the eleven o’clock news.               The anointed one

kneels, vacillating.               To be caught in flagrante, etc. To be un

covered,            like an archaeopteryx at the mercy of steel dowsing

rods.                    Questions follow.              How many hands does it

take to make light work    and     how many monarchs do you need

to topple a statue.             Later you realize: There is no downstairs 

and there is no living room. But there is always an eye.           Later 

still, someone says:               Wait. That was the couple your hopes 

were riding on?             Me, I put a bet on every single horse in the 

carousel.           The writing, the wall, even the Constantine dream.

Alex Manley [photo credit: Selina Vesely] is a Montreal-based writer and editor. A graduate of Concordia University's creative writing program, he won the Irving Layton Award for Fiction there in 2012. His work has appeared in, amongst others, Maisonneuve magazine, Carte Blanche, The Puritan, Lemon Hound and the Association of American Poets' Poem-a-Day feature. He supports a universal basic income and you can read more of his work at alexmanley.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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