The Rusty Toque | Issue 13 | Poetry | November 30, 2017
It wasn’t the way we thought about things,
it was the way they thought about us.
The way they leaned,
the way they saw our leanings
long before the medium tones, long before
we tried to accomplish anything outside of
The sun is a warm light liquid:
one we see most brightly with our eyes
It hasn’t happened yet, but I swear it will.
I swear it will all come down to
actuality: firm objects,
where we place them in a room.
It will hinge on right angles,
where we stand in relation to the kettle.
The iron thinks we need pressed clothing.
Meanwhile, we think
it usually boils down to jam.
Five More Minutes
We never get to know
how often to change our attitudes.
It’s sometimes, it’s never.
It’s the expiry date on fresh cream.
We find toy-sized examples
on South Park, in each other's
But no one tells us for sure.
For sure it’s time
to stop wearing your bathrobe.
Loosely tying the belt, knowing you’re loosely
tying the belt.
It’s finally time
to take out the trash while fully dressed.
We linger on lampshades, colour shades
any kind of tonal interest.
It’s okay to delay, if it’s because
of cosmic thinking. Perceptions of the fitful man,
the blue woman
how they interact with forests.
It’s okay to slip consciousness into fruit bowls
if they’re handmade. If someone made them
to say thank you.
Thank you for your attitude.
For whoever is still.
Whoever is thinking
we’ve got time –
I’d like to show them the hourglass
I bought my dad.
It runs out
off his desk, into the hall
in my teacup.
I wonder what type of sand it is,
what ocean spat it out
if it was collected, or made
Of course it matters
what size our shoes are,
how much rubber they put in our soles.
It’s a different way to read a manual,
counting if all languages are represented, equally
refusing to assemble the bookshelf
if one has been left out.
The way to deal with it,
the way to deal out proportionate amounts
is to close your eyes
and tell everyone
theirs is different, special.
Theirs was made by hand.
If honeycomb is natural,
so are housing complexes
and our grandmother’s ugly words.
So is the lady on the news.
In her mind, in her closet
she’s fully dressed.
KERRIE MCNAIR is a writer living in Toronto. Her most recent publications include a poem in Cosmonauts Avenue and PRISM International.