Jake Kennedy: Two Poems
The Light Is Real (for Joanne Gailius)This is the standard blank. On it, the projected hot dogs are hot dogs and use their many legs to run into the doughy beds. Are we hungry? Call it a congregation of appetites. Only one massive wall awaits. Will we be what it wants? And, what is it when there's nothing yet not even dusk and the shadow-hands are doing rabbit-morphing-into-swan? I notice a diagram of stars, a frame of light that makes a house around the screen. There are no details within. Then it shows values, news, money, and the problem of waiting. It's no use intellectualizing fugitive desire. But let's try. There are a bunch of pronouns now, flashing. They live on a screen in the middle of the night. Sometimes they hate work and there is a leap into the adjacent landscape. There they are, running over our hot mountains. The faces' measurements are the greatest for being immeasurable. I say starlight, starlight into the armoured speaker and this is a form of counter-seduction. So, featured this evening: A loves B but B is preoccupied with C and C is indifferent to the entire alphabet. Plus a creature stirs in a world called the inevitable. Yep, it's a real doozy. What happens if dust shows up to symbolize all of these uncontainable anxieties? Well, we take a break: watch the motes glide in on their incandescent beam they drift between the spaces of the garbage drums. Then back to the restored reflections that go right into the holes called "very wide expectations": Alex and Bob, Bob and Carol, or Carol and company all have a series of receptive openings. They rarely blink. Here we are, ready to admit that there are bounties of pleasure for everyone, all the time. So, the lagoon is not real and the monster is real and the words are not real and the light is real and the hairdos are not real and the yearning is real. It's no use deciding. A reaches for B. Finally, the universe is simple.
"Boredom Is Counter-Revolutionary:" An Itemizationman with fists in cheeks, man with head on desk, woman with broom, man draped over fence, man with zzz's for head, man in clouds with fist in cheek, woman with head between legs, two men dressed in Red Sox shirts and hats on public transit, cartoon man giving speech, man with straw hat raising hand, two people each with crossed arms sitting up in bed, man exiting a plane door, man with face in keyboard, woman digging an escape hole in her kitchen floor, man in silhouette walking under tank gun, diagram showing flow of anxiety, man walking on ruin wall, group of people with multi-coloured balloons, business man holding coffee cup, girl holding soft blue dinosaur, photograph of the mountains of Cadore, Italy, woodcut with house and tree branch and noose, boy with head held in palms, beach scene with surf and emerald water, blurred figure in recliner, woman in dorm room wearing cat ears, man climbing tree, huge red flag saying no more boredom, man sleeping on couch, man and woman sitting on white steps, two people looking out at the sea at the stern of a boat, chart showing long periods of inactivity, two puppets peering around a door, three penguins underneath clouds, cartoon man in office looking out window, woman wearing apron drinking liquor in kitchen.
Author's note: I am not bored with Google Image Search not at all. Warily, and yet still too often, I type words into the search box and hope for art-magic. All the while, I suppose, I am adding dollars to the wallets of people I probably wouldn't like if I met them, and don't. Still, yesterday, I typed "b-o-r-e-d-o-m" and got some magic in return: four or five screens of tablet-images showing humans in various states of boredom. Is the desk that gives birth to the body which grows hands only there to catch the falling head? And who immured all these women in cells of gleaming tile? Then, after documenting them all, I wasn't sure whether helium-balloons meant tediousness or cubicles meant liberty. All the same, I hope you are active or sloth-like in your kitchen, office, or warehouse. I hope you are full of life or lethargy. I hope you have what you need to keep feeling full, or not. I hope you are okay.
Jake Kennedy is a professor of English
at Okanagan College, specialising in modernism and the avant-garde.
His poems, prose pieces, and visuals/videos have appeared in over twenty
Canadian, American and British journals. His chapbook, Hazard (BookThug, 2006)
won the bp Nichol award. He is also on the board of the Alternator Gallery.