Note: Construction is well-advanced on massive new buildings for CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), and on the much larger facility (176,500 sq m) for CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada). My less intelligent home is nearby.
I don’t know what to use for consolation. The probes
of starlight are barely visible and the new illumination just
does what it’s told. When you get closer it drains through your ion channels
and off your fingertips. Like ghosts, except there are no such things
as ghosts, sweetie. Not back there anyway.
I don’t know when the emergency power runs out. The feed
comes from northern Quebec across the Gatineau River just east
of town. Enough villages were flooded to keep us
happy. And if we’re not happy
at least we’re talking.
I don’t know if they can see me, but I have to assume
they can see something. So I have to appear as nothing.
To be so resolutely visible that I can disappear.
All the ghost filaments, those covert fetishes
vanish like rebar in all that poured-in-place concrete.
I don’t know what you do with counter-intelligence then.
Eat it? I mean, seriously, since when does what is not known
require so much space? In the deep tunnels
all the possibilities are accelerated
and they glow, briefly, when they fall apart.
I don’t know when the resolution gap becomes a problem.
On either side of it is clarity like never before.
The strange death of a british spy, zipped into a duffel bag.
And on the other, spine dynamics in a living animal.
Try kissing it. In the middle I mean.
I don’t know where the missing pages went – the ones
from Mackenzie King’s diary that talk about Fred Rose, the only MP
convicted of spying in Canada. Fred Rose, when they let him out
went back to Warsaw. Never be seduced by purity.
Just like completion, it’s always missing something.
I don’t know what that is in the high atmospheres, drones
maybe. Wayward drones. A winkle in the high
light. Or sometimes there are biplanes from the hobby field
down by the river. It seems like
they just keep getting closer, don’t they.
I don’t know her.
It was a honey trap, but I could see it coming a mile away.
It came like decay, like efflorescence on the concrete, like
alkalis adrift on the surfaces. Yes, I am this wall.
But who the hell are you?
I don’t know what caused the sinkhole
but it came at a convenient time for the intelligence community.
Like all infrastructure failures, the abstract self falls into a hole
and the budget goes up. And the city sinks
into its words.
I don’t know who sent the de-watering units in
but it’s a good thing they did. All imaginative space
needs a clean-up eventually, after the pipes break and seepage
clogs the bypass pumps. There are still hoses folded in the ditches.
They look like they’ve been wet for a long time.
I don’t know if we can agree upon what is real
but the real agrees upon us. Out in the ditches
and settling ponds, out past the walls, out among
the inescapeable lineages, out where the watchers
accumulate, sometimes it never dries up.
I don’t know how long you can transmit
before they lock on. The practical meditations
are better than the impractical ones but sometimes
they give you away. And once you’re given away
well, you’re given away. You of all people should know.
I don’t know why I bother. It’s the end of September
and the last tower crane is gone and I missed its departure too.
It couldn’t have survived another winter anyway.
We gave it everything we could, every limb
and every voice. It just did its job
I don’t know what comes next. It could be anywhere
but it’s not, it’s right here. You can barely move, the air
is so dense with wavelengths, the strings, the filaments
fingers in the mouth. Ah, she says
I can guess what comes next.
Monty Reid lives in Ottawa. His work can be found online at Dusie, elimae, ottawater, and in print in Arc, CV2, Grain, and other magazines. His most recent full-length collection is The Luskville Reductions (Brick). Chapbooks from his Garden series have appeared from above/ground, LaurelReed Books, grey borders, red ceilings, Corrupt, obvious epiphanies and other small publishers. So is the Madness of Humans, a collaboration with photographer Rob MacInnis, was recently on display at the Society for Photographic Arts of Ottawa.