Saturday, October 10, 2015

Carolyn Marie Souaid: City of Everything

from This World We Invented, Brick Books, 2015

City of Everything

City of arrivals.

City of missed connections.

City of plate glass windows shouldered in fog.

City of terminals and interminable waits.

City of Beefeater.

City of laptops and mobile devices.

City of flux.

City of escalators.

City of crisscrossed time zones.

City of no time to lose.

City of left-hand turns down a staircase of shopping bags.

City of Gucci.

City of umbrellas.

City of luggage.

City of “Excuse me, can you tell me…?”

City of looping echo.

City of strollers.

City of wheelchairs.

City of carry on and carry off.

City of parabolic laughter, 7.5 on the Richter scale.

City of double-wear stay-in-place makeup.

City of blush.

City of Apple.

City of lithe women in arching doorways.

City of legs.

City of incubating disease.

City of extended naps and early risers.

City of day.

City of ordinary details, like the sun, repeating.

Flip-flops and hideous toes, flip-flops and hideous toes.

City of hangnails.

City of rot.

City of concrete.

City of stiff.

City of shine.

City of cufflinks.

City of shirts and business suits pressed into cardboard.

City of standby.

City of hurry up and wait.

City of beeping electric carts backing into the throng.

City of turbans and burkas and Biotherm.

City of parasites on toilet seats.

City of farts.

City of India, Poland, Spain, France, Turkey, Japan, but mainly India.

City of credit cards.

City of faulty wiring.

City of Christmas tchotchkes in October display cases.

City of grandmothers in turtle necks.

City of convergence.

City of fragrance.

City of chocolate.

City of paper.

City of glass, chrome, lead; city of nickel.

City of neon, marble, steel.

City of hard.

City of edge.

City of nerve.

City of trench coats.

City of emergency exits.

City of maps.

City of girls going to Idaho.

City of lost in the shuffle.

City of cloying loudspeaker distortion.

City of fat.

City of broom-pushers.

City of urinals.

City of Starbucks.

City of accelerating innovation.

City of hyper.

City of connections.

City of stop, go, move your ass.

City of billboards.

City of blinking.

City of cancelled reservations.

City of complainers.

City of lineups.

City of corduroy, denim, suede, leather and cotton.

City of canvas.

City of vinyl.

City of rubber.

City of stretch.

City of oversized watches.

City of made in China.

City of mustard stains.

City of buttonholes.

City of unraveling hems.

City of dharma.

City of drama.

City of who among us is dying of cancer?

City of c’mon now, which one of us?

City of weakened immunity.

City of abandon hope ye who enter here.

City of night.

City of cooled surfaces.

City of cobweb.

City of drift.

City of swirling green gas.

City of border patrols.

City of passports.

City of fog.

City of departures.


Carolyn Marie Souaid is a writer, editor and teacher. She has toured her work across Canada, Europe and the U.S., and has been shortlisted for a number of literary awards including the A.M. Klein Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her videopoem, Blood is Blood, was a winner at the 2012 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. Her most recent poetry collection, This World We Invented, was published by Brick Books in 2015. She has just completed a novel for which she was awarded a writing residency at the Banff Centre in 2013.     .... about This World We Invented


  1. Great poem! Really enjoyed "City of Everything"!

    1. Thank you, Stephen. It means a great deal when poets hear back on their work. You are the first to say anything about this poem. Merci!

  2. Thanks Stephen! It means a lot to me that you took the time to comment on this piece. It was fun to write...nothing like anything I have ever written before. I took notes on a 12-hour stopover at Heathrow Airport. It felt like being in a city!