The Present, Missing

by Garry Thomas Morse

Garry Thomas Morse is the author of four poetry titles and four fiction titles, notably Governor-General’s Award poetry finalist Discovery Passages about his ancestral Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations myth, history, and the fallout of the potlatch ban, and also his outlandish speculative fiction series The Chaos! Quincunx. His current novel is a time-travel romp called Minor Expectations, and Prairie Harbour, his forthcoming poetry title (Fall 2015), is obstinately set in Regina, Saskatchewan. Please visit www.dashesanddots.ca for more information.

 

a friend of mine, lovely to be-
hold for being decently real
reminding of my mother or her
sister who could not hold on
or that friend who could not ever
quite get Cree vowelling down
on the verge of making a few
changes when out of nowhere
the axe
fell.
No elder or pooh-
bah, therefore
MISSING
from political photo-
ops, even stock photo catalogues
and certainly never the protagonist
in novels or romantic comedies
celebrated as the “Strangler” for
not handling the Batoche Bell
with enough holy holy holy
reverence
landing in Regina
with her last few bucks, with
child without a father
and years
later when the young woman
went missing, the local sex
workers helped her search
but the police did not
though Native
folks go missing on snowy evenings
all the time
and sketchers modify
features to sell dying newspapers
because only the perception of a
victim can reach a demographic
but whether dead or vanishing
in the age of mechanical repo-
traction
the living are somehow
missing
from our syrupy hockey-
rioting six-packing cultural whoop
still not finding quite the right role
in our red-hot company romance.

 


Garry Thomas Morse is the author of four poetry titles and four fiction titles, notably Governor-General’s Award poetry finalist Discovery Passages about his ancestral Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations myth, history, and the fallout of the potlatch ban, and also his outlandish speculative fiction series The Chaos! Quincunx. His current novel is a time-travel romp called Minor Expectations, and Prairie Harbour, his forthcoming poetry title (Fall 2015), is obstinately set in Regina, Saskatchewan. Please visit www.dashesanddots.ca for more information.

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