Four Poems by Jon Paul Fiorentino

New Work

Salter Street Strike

for John K. Samson

One with the strength of many
alone in the distant North End
People before profit

It’s a seemingly endless descent
Marlyn’s streets do not resemble
one with the strength of many

morbid singularities
entirely unaware of
people before profit

motive or profit projection or
the very ones who long for
one with the strength of many

ways of both ways—Nichol’s heart
can be ours. H as a door to many
people before profit

Listen, it’s a healthy nostalgia if it owns you
or at least not the worst thing ever if you are
one with the strength of many
people before profit

Coagulated, See?

for Robert Kroetsch

Coagulated, see?
That’s what’s bound to happen
The greedier changes. Not fear-based
It’s perfect. Heartburns thrill
Not herd, scene

Come Back

No such thing as comebacks. Treacle

When that happens
you will know the reasons

Because the reasons are the things—
mistakes, sight-gags, people you’ve hurt

now on a loop ordered from least
to most malignant

A score. Let’s just
call it that when it begins again

Live Stream

Live stream

Nothing here
but anchors

Home never lasts, outlasts
there are windows walls ceilings
broken bottles respirator floors
dialysis terrace instant messaging
machines and mescaline fails

I’ve been alone and I like it—
collectivity of nouns running
vacant—city hall unencumbered
one dumb incumbent in the mix splitting
sides taking names for day surgery

It’s never felt more like
homing beacon dirge drop the shadows
on the porcelain orange surge the long
way make it stick pray to something smaller
than myself go to hell make it humour

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Jon Paul Fiorentino

Jon Paul Fiorentino's Indexical Elegies won the 2010 CBC Book Club “Bookie” Award for Best Book of Poetry. He's the author of the novel, Stripmalling, the poetry books The Theory of the Loser Class and Hello Serotonin and the humour book Asthmatica. He is the editor of twenty-four books including Career Suicide: Contemporary Literary Humour, and Post-Prairie – a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch. He's a professor of creative writing at Concordia University, and edits Matrix magazine, Snare Books, Joyland Poetry, and the Serotonin/Wayside imprint at Insomniac Press.