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Catriona Wright

Party On

At all the parties now we party

stressed, plotting exit strategies


from that ick, ourselves,

the room with its sick bay


of succulents, this city

with its sadistic improvisations.


The landlord is moving his dandruff

back in, yes and, you have one week


to land on your feet or neck,

yes and, congratulations


on that sessional contract, yes and,

understand low demand means


no compensation this semester, yes and,

better luck next reincarnation,


yes and, it helps to think of debt

as radical financial vulnerability, yes


and, I hear these gigs are a

handy stop gap, yes and, some


of the men aren’t even that

bad, yes and, you are paid


in off-brand cryptocurrency

to feel them breathing


on your ears while you assemble a

bassinet with a brittle Allen key,

yes and, you had such grand plans,

didn’t you, yes and, aren’t you bitches


to blame for this impotent century

with your plots to unman us all,


to siphon testosterone

from our gonads, yes and, don’t kid

yourself, love has always been

transactional, yes and, surge pricing


is an inevitable innovation, and yes,

stress is a forced acceptance


of your position, a lesson, a

lessening, a lesion, a loan


your body is not yet authorized to forgive.




Corn field, reveal

contact coordinates.


Clouds, part.

Tractor beam, appear,


paralyze me gently

in your cold light.


I’m ready.

I’m so ready to reach


that radiant saucer,

to have my frail


hominid husk shucked

from my true form:


eyes reveling in

infrared, antennae


swishing ecstatically,

my exoskeleton humming


its birth song

as my mind logs on


to a restorative



that resolves glitches,

those old spluttering hurts,


debugs self-

sabotaging code,


holds me

until I fall asleep.


Corn field, leave

no trace of my exit.


Clouds, please part

me from residual fear.


Tractor beam, I’m here

whenever you’re ready.

Wright - Surrender
Catriona Wright.jpg

Catriona Wright is the author of the poetry collection Table Manners (Véhicule Press, 2017) and the short story collection Difficult People (Nightwood Editions, 2018). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Walrus, Fiddlehead and Lemon Hound, and they have been anthologized in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry and in The Best Canadian Poetry 2015 & 2018.

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