20 March 2008

Troy Jollimore

[from Troy Jollimore's Tom Thomson in Purgatory, 2006]


The feelings you thought were genuine
were purchased at a discount
from a supplier
in a city with a name something like
Tobekobekon, Ohio.
A city where there are more caf├ęs
than people, and residents gather
under the eaves of the bridge which connects them
with their sister city
in New jersey.
In these small gropus they confess their sins,
passing cigarettes in circles.
My supplier was a kind man
who kept a large family
and whose irrational attraction
to large sea mammals
would lead to his untimely demise.
I am telling you this
so you will know what it is
that wakes me at four every morning,
wanting you
more than drugs, or sleep, or peace.

Roses Inverted

The roses that grow in that stony ground
send their roots straight up, and their blossoms down.

Their sun-seeking roots anchor them in the air,
but they find neither water nor nourishment there.

Their leaves stretch toward the planet's hot core.
But the earth's inner engine radiates more

heat than it does light, so that, to their surprise,
they find that they cannot photosynthesize.

They are white as milk. Up among the stones,
the pale roots linger like the half-buried bones

of abandoned camels licked clean by the sands.
Yet the underground flowers that open like hands

are brazen and bright. They unfurl like flags.
Among the miniature caverns and crags

just beneath the surface, these banners gather,
sheltered from sun, from stars, from weather —

sheltered, too, from admirers; hidden from any
appreciative eye. And there are so many!

They are thoughts we attempted to utter, but failed.
Or confessions of love: folded, stamped, never mailed.

Tom Thomson In Purgatory

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