Two Poems

by Paul Vermeersch

Paul Vermeersch is a poet, artist, editor, and teacher. His five collections of poems include the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010) and Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something (ECW, 2014). Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General's Gold Medal. His poems have been translated into Polish, German, and French and have appeared in international anthologies. He has taught creative writing at the University of Guelph, Sheridan College, and the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. He was, from 2001 to 2012, the Poetry Editor for Insomniac Press, and he is now Senior Editor for Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd. He lives in Toronto.

IMMORTALITY

1

Because the geniuses are so content,
the shoes that will make us faster
will never be invented,
nor will the bacterial reactors
that will power our colonies.

Because the prodigies are fed and loved,
the words that will save us
will never be spoken,
since no one will design the intelligent rats
who will speak them.

Tell the geniuses they are failures.
Tell them they are not loved—
they must work harder,
think better—and then
our shoes will make us faster,
and our colonies will glow with bioelectric joy,
and we will live forever, attending
to the words of our salvation on tiny, gifted lips.

 

2

Non-linear extra-terrestrial earthquake zone.
Linear balloons. Linear airplane.
Star birth. Animal birth. Insect birth.
Non-linear star abyss.
Animal abyss. Tonal abyss. Asexual drunken abyss, asshole.

Earthquake balloons. Earthquake menstruation oracles.
Drunk cupcakes. Linear star piss.
Earthquake birthing abyss.
Oracle birthing abyss.
Oracle star.

Aesthetic insect extra-terrestrials.
Aesthetic asshole animals, drunk.
Pissy aesthetic airplane zones.
Pissy insect birth, for once.
Asexual non-linear earthquake oracle animals
that live forever.

 

HIT ME, HIT ME, HIT ME, HIT ME, HIT ME WITH YOUR LASER BEAMS

The future will be old and used. It will leak
from weakening joints, and the steam
seeping from worn-out hosepipes
will refract the holographs of the dead.

The used future will not gleam. We will
have been there first to scuff its metals
and dent its white spheres. When Rome
was fresh in its marble and cement,

the old Republic was bound together
with complaints about the breaking points,
and New Rome will be no different. It will
suffer equally from the breakthroughs

in its walls. And we will return to it,
someday. This time as holographs
to praise the lasers that do not erode
the groove the way that needles did.

 


Paul Vermeersch is a poet, artist, editor, and teacher. His five collections of poems include the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010) and Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something (ECW, 2014). Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General's Gold Medal. His poems have been translated into Polish, German, and French and have appeared in international anthologies. He has taught creative writing at the University of Guelph, Sheridan College, and the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. He was, from 2001 to 2012, the Poetry Editor for Insomniac Press, and he is now Senior Editor for Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd. He lives in Toronto.

☝ BACK TO TOP