Beta love

tweaks a brilliant tracking problem
with some scotch tape and brandy

consumed with talcum lips,
charmed in prickling cactus tears,

cures hunger with rich salad
strawberries and my special vinaigrette

drowns a sentimental rain forest
does stroke and your face glides

in regrettable forecasts; from the ghost
of the sun to the lotion the wind wears

panic lovingly then insane
over the price of soap


knot up anxious at the fear of gums
being massaged by human bristles

scalded by your callousness,
I am so afraid I run away

to the mountains and feed my body
to the famine mascot birds until I crawl back

into your cave streaked with cranberry tears
mouth tooled in wet sand

I should visit
I can always run away

if you try to chainsaw my limbs off
but you know I need it.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Beta Love”?

Romantic obsessions of the upper-middle class.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Beta Love”?

The Long Poem. Essentially a narcissistic mourning of my favourite fantasy year of life: 1988. The year was 1992 and the poem was called “The Celebration of the Mosquito”, and I filmed it on my video camera in some sort of Jim Morrison voice over funereal shadow and light video poem. The mosquito was used as some symbol, likely because someone in my yearbook had combined my name with the word mosquito (at least that is how I remember it) and so I became attached to the little winged menace as an emblem.

This poem “Beta love” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 191 (Winter 2006): 103-103.

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