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.




Surrender

 

 

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

consciousness

 

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.

 

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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