eulogy for daniel (who is dead to me)

May 05, 2021

tonight i am imagining all the ways i can sneak back into your life:
write a eulogy on a bookmark because you hate when i dog-ear the pages

but i don’t believe in hegemonic power so i need to
make sure you know i’m not mad i just want to give your shit back.

i dreamed about kissing your lower lip
in houses with 6-foot windows overlooking nothing.
i wake up in my own sour sweat with two rashes racing each other up my cheeks.
when you said you’d punish me i didn’t know you meant your absence would be so violent.
that i’d be wringing your shirt like a rosary and gripping
the walls when it thunders and the rain streaks the window in the shape of your face.

you’ve become my imaginary friend. i imagined every way 
you could bend your head to say sorry. i imagined your open casket funeral where i
sulk outside the door. when you called me to break up i pictured you running in horror, your phone on
speaker in your hand. i’ll never see your eyes again so i thought of them falling out and rolling away. i’m
ruthless sometimes. my idea of you was better than what i got.
i buried both.
i’m the dirt and
you’re the body.


Alana Dunlop made out with you in your dream last night.

On watching a Tony Robbins special, with you, the morning after a federal election.

May 05, 2021

Your favourite guru takes the stage.
He’s a real Ken doll, American
Idol type of a man. All around him,
strobe lights pulse like blood

to the crotch or how lightning
throbs on a hot dark night. Jock
Jams spew through the speaker
stack as a sea of followers, well,
they pulse, too.

He holds open a masculine hand.
he’s asked for so much already,
and you have given so much
already, but you will again.
And you will again. I will
heal you, he says, and
you will again.


Jake Morrow is a current poet and former brunch chef from Toronto.

Prologue

May 05, 2021

Sorry I haven’t written you lately, winter is fast approaching, etc. Neither the emperor or the students have any clothes. Fortified behind their respective walls of the legislature and a campus, the police in between are prying at a resolution, trying to storm a burning bridge while students stand pat or slip into sewer grates. Beside it one of the city’s arterial tunnels, connecting the island to the mainland, suspended, day 3.

Molotovs blossom everywhere. Overseas diners debate behind a glass pane, staff jamming wet towels under the front door, about the merit of a reporter who ran past, disappeared into smoke.

The PLA made a guest appearance yesterday, parading down a local street to clear it of its bricks.

I’ve been scribbling for poems, plucked off the streets last night a used gas canister I use as a paper weight for luck, size of a cicada’s shell. What’s left inside don’t smell so bad but I won’t tempt the gods, ma.


Sam Cheuk (Vancouverite/Torontonian): try to pronounce my last name.

Ode to Lazy Afternoons with Mom

May 05, 2021

There it is; there it goes.
The water just boiled. You’re
At the table, brandishing mugs
For the both of us. There’s something
Warm about the room. Maybe it’s
You. Menopause! Or the hot, milky tea. Or
Maybe it’s the cats. They’re warm,
& perfectly round. Quite
Rotund, those little hedonists, I say.
Want a cookie? Yes, mama.

I haven’t seen you in a while
So,
Know this:
What you’ve given me, I’ll
Look for it in others.

&,
Know this:
There’s always warmth
& —you know this—so much
To eat. Food on the counters & in the cupboards.
Don’t even ask about the fridge; an
Avalanche might snow us in. But,
After all, as you like to remind me:
What’s the point of life without food,
& books, & cats? Not much, I agree.
Perhaps, this is the secret to the universe:
With luck, there will be tea, cookies,
& cakes. Don’t forget the fruit and

Vegetables! Yes.
& there will be onions, garlic, pasta
—more than enough. Too many books
To get through. Some walks. Hah!
A butterball, or two, or three:
The plush ones…the soft-footed ones.
Artless naps; Thyme at sundown;
Silk scarves; Buttered toast at breakfast.
Or maybe just happy quiet, mingled
With small acts of kindness.


Asa can often be found walking the streets of Montreal on her tiptoes while wearing paisley shawls.