The Rusty Toque | Issue 10 | Poetry | June 30, 2016
Bruh beat be like, content. Dude docs like a white man. They material defense. They all arresting image. Without jail colour. They bail on a sistah. Verbally he open carry. Metrically he waaay money. He collegial. He frat. He hide that. Fresh bling glint in his line. So women show interest. What sick hos cry for? Bruh Modest Mouse. Bruh Reddit. He all startup-illest wit. Bruh beat push teen liberals. He all downstay. White men brutha. Tom uncle creepin. Nice-view penthouse hints. Pimpin this thought. He do Slit Review authentic voice. They a sorry party. We-ain’t-those-conservatives cred. Mo fortunate. Mo totally humane. Cachet they can’t earn. Hood they can’t have. Big butt earnest. Bruh whip—cha! Institooshion his dude. Homey spirit dist-ill. He interest held back. Net interest pay smart. Negro formal up in here. Software hawker inta house. He badness. He stabness. Gut love his stunt. He doctor the register. Officer the reallife. Brother pretty can of worms. Memory body be indyin. Nigga deal dope theatre. Who coward? Who conquest? How offishall written? Scratch hip hop sonic knife too base for infrastructure. Who feed to be remembered? Brother worth short shrift. He attention seeking. Rhythm aint sway here. White choir master content. Aint said no damage. Brother aint stupid. Bruh wisegame this landscape. Bruh beat his unwhitewash. He hustle a hardcore. Core remain stone unsaid.
So the air I give in poetry, consciously, to my thoughts, is as a safe room dedicated to allowing. Strife disorders balance; verse is sweet syllabic therapy, a physio of mind; a stretch into swollen resistances. Percussive talk is tapotement to the grr ground by microaggressions’ tone-deafness into my rhythms. Maybe peace of mind is fantasy to my journalist’s apprehension, and lyric the destination utopic wishes strive for, move earnestly toward. The unwritten text, a promise, a realization still dreaming. The disavowed health of whistleblowers effloresces in the soundproofing. I didn’t know poetry could be a space so vulnerable; the joy of feral privacy; an inside anonymity more profound than doubt or knowing. The filed caches, the impressions of language, the witness silenced, live in this restorage facility, this short-term erasure of now to account the infinite. Managing best to be with my interlocutors by being alone, I still hope I can better our world. That the world may be bettered by seeing my pleasure, the somatic letting go into meter, heart all full with feasting on homonymy! Here endurance sits tight, and by and by the clench relaxes and the starving tenderness is fed. I would trade it all for a loving kiss, but for now poetry is foster home to my surviving sexiness. Growth and art’s productive urges require surroundings conducive to delight, a place saved for what is soft-hearted, or else making is just fear forming a new body. This room, this bubble of temporality and okay, is the disabused bodymind’s emptiness and disillusion transformed back to itself, day by day. A turn toward regular things—to my niece, to walking. To surrender that allows the strain to fall away.
That crazy inning’s rollercoaster thrills will be rehashed over brewskis for the rest of time. How the Jays broke a slump of over twenty bittersweet years to make the playoffs; the division series at 2-all; how twitchily we watched precious minutes seem to waste themselves on nervous plays. Score at two and two. The ball leaves the Jays’ catcher Martin’s hand—a simple throw to Sanchez, interrupted: the white ball hits the bat, held up like a spar in the left hand of the surprised batter, Choo. It flukes down the third-base line. A man runs in, ignoring home plate (gay, btw) ump Scott’s upthrown hands: time out; dead ball. Mistake, right? The run won’t count? Banister raises a stink; cites rules; weirdly the umpires confer: the run counts. Thrown tallboys, garbage and plastic cups wing from the fifth level. The unruly crowd shows off their badmouths, pissed. Gibbons raves. Only when little children get quivery, the horde remembers decorum. Play on. Three-two for the Texas club. Suddenly, they drop simple balls. Shortstop Andrus’ bad day becomes our team’s leg-up. There’s a man on every base. Toronto’s forced to know time’s playthingly, devilish progress to eternity. Look what the whimsy of the game summons: a frenzy the crowd can almost not contain, as Andrus commits another error on the base-crowded flare Donaldson tapped. Ball players on two sacks. Score three and three; two outs. Next at plate, that firebrand Bautista, who strikes at the first pitch. Midfielders fidget. Dyson next hurls one down and outside; ball. Jittery observers send mojo from their jumpy brains to Bautista. Dyson looks, throws—José cracks a new anecdote into our shared colloquial inheritance! Outfielders watch it fly mutely into the stands. The slugger flips off niceties with his wood: the flip that breaks the internet and Toronto’s bounds . . . Jays will take the lead and division. Sports hacks have a field day, waxing lyrical prose on the drama of it. The Shakespearean drama, they write, was such as men swear epic in those mythslinging poetry books.
SONNET L'ABBÉ is the author of A Strange Relief and Killarnoe and was the guest editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014. L'Abbé has taught poetry at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies and the University of British Columbia - Okanagan, and was the 2015 Edna Stabler Writer In Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. She currently teaches at Vancouver Island University, where she is at work on two collections of poems.