Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wreck of a Street Racer, Etobicoke, by Marcus McCann

Hardly a car. More a corrugated, ingrown bale of machine, a metal lasagna.
What the end credits of Carrie roll over. Tough and gnarled as Rizzo from Grease.
The lawn of Kipling Collegiate growing a skin tag. A goitre on a trailer hitch.

The driver's side — door, yes, but the car's whole left face peeled off, its boot
three-D anatomy sketched by a realistic hand pressed for space.

An x ray of a suitcase, a pinched nerve, a gut's worth of plumbing.

Whatever roaring, steaming road mess this wreck is a souvenir of, now it's ornament.
I stood and watched. It like a cell phone kiosk students streamed around.
None rose above baseline distaste. The staff who planned this —  earnest administrators?
Public funders of a police pilot? A charity for the advancement of scared straight?

don't need me to tell an audience primed for metaphor what it meant.
But what did what it meant mean? I'd like to set this wreck on the lawn
of the Board of Education, a banner reading pedagogy on the crumpled car.

Marcus McCann is the author of Soft Where (Chaudiere Books, 2009) and The Hard Return (Insomniac, 2012), as well as eight chapbooks. He's been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and the Robert Kroetsch Award and he won the John Newlove Award (2009) and the EJ Pratt medal (2012). Find him at and

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