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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

After Work on a Small Rock in Ashbridge's Bay

Small fish hover hoping to nibble
flakes of sunburn from my dangling legs
waves lap while the fish feed and the
fragrant weeds spread slowly among the

There are few gods left
I can only believe in the small perverse
god which is me -
and in the empty can of Henninger
which I'm about to crush
I was going to bring the Layton biography
but there is only room on this
tiny island for one ego

The rock is flat and fits me perfectly
like a tomb I think
At 6 the sailboats jostle out of harbour
owners hurrying to forget the ratrace
The wives of the bourgeoisie
lead perfect lives
The widows of the bourgeoisie
lead even better ones

Should have written this poem 2 weeks ago
when I had a whole island in Georgian Bay
and a full cooler of beer
On my rock the sailboats make me paranoid
it is a $56 fine for pubic drinking
on a small and private unpurchased rock

If Leary was right
and beer was the psychedelic of the 1970s
then property is the psychedelic
of the 1980s
sailboat wakes scatter
these stupid thoughts

It is the end of a perfect hour
even the Ashbridge's sewage stack
has withheld its yellow spume
As I prepare to leave my rock
there is a big smudge on the back
of one leg
which I have generously been dangling
for the fish

Chris Faiers

published in Instant Anthology '87
Meet the Presses
Toronto, 1987
selected by Christopher Dewdney, Maggie Helwig, Charlie Huisken

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