I took a long train ride to relax
and it was Canadian like the sixties
seventies and eighties, greens
yellows browns blending sounds
moving like marble-building pinks
sheathing bank corridors cropped
up alongside roadside forest strips.
Its relaxing clacking ran long, and you know what?
It wasn’t even cheaper than flying.
I’d imagined animals and dining,
drinks, lapels, rabbit hats, cinematic cliffs,
sables scurrying in blood-spattered snow’s
major-key reds, yellows, official blues
put through that centrifuge only to
come out white just like the aisles inert
on that overlooked economy flight.
This is a transitional neighbourhood yawing
along rows of New Mexican soil parching
beneath backyard space stations of aluminum,
glass ziggurats scorching the already ungreen.
These cottage industry slums dot yards, dot calm
in a once solid landscape of junior chairs and trampolines.
Each of these Plexiglas longhouses springs up like
a brewpub in the former whatever factory,
fortifying estates against satellites orbiting nearer
or just divebombing, burning, screaming through the atmosphere,
swearing like pre-teens bounding across lawns
pushing their heathen stroller-thrones,
open-air shopping carts of Christmas Futures.
CARL WATTS is a PhD candidate at Queen's University, Canada, where he is finishing a dissertation on ethnicity and settler heritage in Canadian literature. His poetry has appeared in publications such as CV2, Grain, and The Best Canadian Poetry 2014; his most recent critical writing can be found in Partisan, The Bull Calf, and American Review of Canadian Studies.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 9 Playlist