Canadian Sadness

It begins with a brown boy
carrying to the rink
a pair of used Cooperalls
in a Biway bag,

brown skates
tied to the end,
of a flat-bladed no-name
stick his parents didn’t know better
than to buy him at Canadian Tire,

and the rink is melting
because of global warming,

the subject of the boy’s science fair project
that didn’t advance to the city finals
as did the smug smiling girl’s
functioning weather station
clearly built by her
father, a celebrity meteorologist,
on TV and everything,

and when the boy skates
it is in a knock-kneed fashion,
and passes carom off his stick
and when he attempts a slapshot
he falls on his face,

the title of the poem
he writes about the experience,
later, as an adult,
which earns an honourable mention
in a national literary contest

won by a smug smiling man
whose poem about
Japanese internment camps
and growing up misunderstood
on the Prairies
is heralded by the judges as
“striking for its evocation of
growing up misunderstood
on the Prairies,”
not to mention
the internment camps,

which begets a literary feud;
the brown boy,
now a man—
a brown man—
seethes and fumes in an online missive,
inspiring rival editorials
in the backpages
of two national newspapers—

1) The death of poetry?
2) Is poetry dead?

—leaving the brown man sleepless at night,
so he takes to drinking

alone and in bars
with likeminded or at least
likespirited (viz., his deadened spirit)
people, such as a failed musician
who runs sound
at the convention centre,
and who has a daughter, Joni,
as in Mitchell,
whose photo he produces unprompted
from his wallet and wields like a talisman
to ward off his own misery,
every night,
though he hasn’t seen her in weeks
because stuff’s hard,
you know?
what with the recession and all?
and the zoo’s like fucking a hundred bucks
when you factor in parking and food,

to which the brown man
can only shake his head sadly
and lift his beer in a sad salute,

which is Canadian;
which is Canadian sadness.

Pasha Malla divides his time.

Published On: February 14, 2015
Permanent Location:

Volume 8, Issue 1
Valentine's Day, 2015

Forget @ 14


Canadian sadness
Pasha Malla

follow the fellow who follows the sea
Adam Lewis Schroeder


Feb 12, 2001 - Present

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7


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