4 by jay winston ritchie
DOG EAT DOG
The mall has secret tunnels
that lead to other parts of the mall. Meet me
by the solar-powered trash compactor.
I get off on being young. I am older
Am I “Goin’ to Acapulco”?
White guilt is unhelpful. I traded In Utero
for 26 oz. of Bombay Sapphire.
I was young, I lived in a Doggy Dog world.
postmodern subjects are renovating
A band called Suuns and a band called
Sunn O))). Inside of me there is another me
asking for more money.
There’s a bottle of vodka
in the basement. The optometrist asked Monica
some very personal questions.
I would love some
Percocet. Nothing. Nothing. A pigeon.
Its foot. Nothing.
This is really intelligent
like “slutting it up” in my twenties. I watch
shafts of light slant through the trees.
I watch a fly struggle to escape from a spider’s web
and come up with a good analogy
for getting into an argument on Facebook.
How much money
do I need?
That fruit plate is stunning.
I did not go with the rest of the class
to see the meteor shower.
It happened anyway.
It’s difficult to be at the bar
and to be a lilac bush simultaneously.
I followed a rabbit
made of light along the train tracks.
I went there. Say hi
to the image for me. The sun is always
tea bagging me. It’s art
movie night at Guillaume’s.
The afterparty attendee thought my books
were a cake? Yes,
I would like a glitter gradient.
My friend Kaity is in a band called “Lungbutter.”
Do starfish dream of squares?
Do I overshare by holding back?
It’s my neighbour’s most languorous
If Henrika’s ankle were here
I’d suck on it.
We go together like water.
IN WATERMELON SUGAR
At the top of the hill is the Canadian Centre
Dental school was just around the corner.
The sheer possibility. I had a good time
hunting salamanders. When Allen Ginsberg
went to Prague the kids were excited!
Every tree is powered
by the nuclear power plant in the sky.
I cried in my dad’s SUV.
Home is a fishing rod
that catches the remaining trout in me. I am afraid
to know the bottom of a body
of water. Anybody. Ali
took me to a park that was a square.
I guess she wanted to ruin Montreal permanently.
Out here searching
for the ultimate Cho Chang. One thing
death and winning
the lottery have in common
I drank red wine and coped like an adult. My mom
was impressed that I walked?
The detective in cop clothes wants to know.
I put on my noise-canceling headphones.
Silence makes my bedroom bigger:
A planet where I am the core.
The city is a distant star.
I remember a word I do not know.
I look it up in my e-dictionary:
A literal quasar is my figurative lodestar.
The city is an asterisk (star, 2nd def.).
Funny that I can minimize a window.
JAY WINSTON RITCHIE is the author of the poetry chapbook How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside (Metatron, 2014) and the short story collection Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac, 2014). He is editor-in-chief of The Void magazine at Concordia University in Montreal. Visit him at jaywinstonritchie.tumblr.com.