Sunday, March 2, 2014

Late Fragments by Jannie Edwards

  Late Fragments

1.       Nostalgia

Remember Old Lang Syne,
his spastic wooden leg, his catarrh?
How we’d get him going on train whistles and mothers
after the fourth or fifth pint?

Ah, Nostalgia. Just ain’t what it used to be.

2.       Grudge

Wind rehearses its rut,
grists its ledger of damage, worries
cracks,  hinges.

Unfair! Unfair! It cries
from its dry heart, starving
in its stubborn quarrel.

3.       Blame

The armed game of shame,
the fling and flung of do and done,
blind man’s bluff of squat and strut.

Oh, pidgin soul in the wallow
of whodunit,

4.       Feeding 

I am burning the library to cook nettle soup.
I call it staying alive.  You call it feeding the wrong wolf.

Words on the verge of becoming extinct 
hive my tongue: Pulchritude, Doxology.

Words that conjure pox
but mean Beauty, Praise.

5.       Meanwhile, Time . . .
Vladimir Nabokov, tireless lepidopterist, wrote:
“I have dissected and drawn the genitalia of 360 specimens.”

What can you, I, say of our work?

6.       Dare

Who was it who said  
Happiness writes white?

Bring on the blizzards!

Harness the sled dogs!

Jannie Edwards: If these late fragments have a literary lineage, they are begat from the aphorism, the joke, haiku, graffiti messaging and the soundbite. They aim to reach the word weary.  "Dare" was first published in  40  Below: Edmonton's Winter Anthology, ed. Jason Lee Norman, Wufniks Press, 2013. 
Photo: Cindy Gagnon.

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