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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Poet is Waiting at the Racetrack

The poet is waiting at the racetrack
has boxed the 3 longest shots in the final race
hopes for a long triactor payoff
The poet is waiting for 3 overdue losers
to prove that there is justice in the world
poetic justice

The poet is promising while he paces
others may pray
The poet is promising half the winnings
to the Nicaraguan Revolution
half the winnings
to publishing unknown Canadian poets
half the winnings to buy a house
to share with his girlfriend and fledgling press
half the winnings so they won't have to work
half the winnings to his racetrack buddies
The poet promises on
his math is terrible

He defies the odds and all logic
while smog rolls off Lake Ontario
One day the Marines will pull out of Grenada
one day all workers will organize
and on this fated day the Canada Council
and the Clique of Canadian Poets will honour him

Seagulls soar squawking above the finish line
hope springs eternal in the nasal voice
of the announcer
3 lame longshots are loping clear from the smog
of the far turn
heading for home in a dream of poetic justice
the racetrack poet knows is coming
as sure as Jesus Christ
the Governor General's Award
and the Marine invasion of Nicaragua

Chris Faiers

published in Foot Through the Ceiling 
Aya Press, Toronto, 1986

(Chris Faiers received the inaugural Milton Acorn People's
Poetry Award for this collection in 1987)


Anna Yin passed on the following call for submissions for poems, haiku and flash fiction on Toronto. I submitted the above poem, as well as my Ashbridge's Bay poem and a number of others.

Subject: [LCP] Fw: Diaspora Dialogues invites Torontonians to share their stories about the city
To: Listserv Google <>

Calling all writers! Toronto is a city of a million different stories – and we want to map them all. Give us your place-specific flash fiction or your haikus, and the best ones will win a prize. Contestants can enter multiple stories and poems, where each story should be 300 words or less. The contest will close on October 15, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. and there are prizes for both fiction and haiku entries. First prize includes professional feedback on a short piect of writing, as well as featured on the Diaspora Dialogues site.

Please visit to enter and for more information.

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