Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Words: Two Poems - James Sandham

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Ed Hardy and Armani Exchange, stripped of eunoia by garish graphics and systems of insidious ostentation manipulative of symbolic prestige. I’ve watched the minds of my generation’s young and ambitious, fertile to impression, laid to waste through gradual enculturation to sensory confusion, the migration of imagery from biceps to sweatshirts, to high-top sneakers and back to flesh again: a confusion of body and derangement of soul. I’ve watched Dov Charney orchestrate symbiotic concurrent operations, tactical variations of strategy pre-packaged to seem abrasively blasé – but image-obsessed all the same. And as equally insane. So I struggle to wake myself from this white hot fever, half-gripped with fear and drenched wet, anxious for anecdotes to tell myself about myself, but only to find a squandered history of symbolic warfare, esoteric hieroglyphics a hip fifteen minutes from mystery. That’s my history. And I have no dreams, save one: I dream that I’m dreaming I’ve lost my iPhone. And I never want to wake up. Never.

"Scowl" is a Pushcart-nominated poem that has previously appeared in The Toucan Magazine and the Candian Poetry Institute anthology Fire and Light.

Things I saw on the way to work

Old men in Little Portugal who looked like they had never been anything but old men and were born to be sixty. Their skin coloured terracotta but soft like worn leather, in undershirts they traded plants in the street while chewing the tips of unfiltered cigarettes.

A film crew on Shaw Street setting up gear. They were stationed out front of an old unused school, its walls and windows cracked and despairing, probably shooting something depressing.

A fat woman in Bellwoods park. She was feeding the pigeons from a pram full of bread, in the shadiest part, and her green eyes were green like the trees leaves around her, languid and moist, sagging and heavy. Though the sun had just risen, the hot humid air was wet like a river, and she was a lily pad, bloated and quivering.

Crazies on Queen Street shouting at ghosts, dressed in plaid flannel, their dusty tanned skin cracked and worn like the sidewalk.

People on bikes who wove through the traffic, like leaves in a stream, like flies in a forest. I rode behind them, the city rose before us.

"Things I Saw on the Way to Work" has previously appeared in The Toucan Magazine.