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JILL TALBOT

 

 

 

eJill Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology before pursing her passion for writing. Jill has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM and others . Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC, Canada.

 

 

 

 

Delirium Tremens

 

 

The ship crosses the Pacific

     into purgatory, from a distance

it looks like someone has taken

     a photograph with the DTs.

Up close—you don’t want to know,

     else you’d be sitting beside me.

Perhaps doing a crossword, perhaps

     writing letters of apology,

never to be sent or read. Perhaps asking,

     why not the Atlantic?

 

The Pacific is full of itself.

 

I had a teacher who said writing is like

     Vancouver, people don’t run to it

but away from everything else.

 

In here that’s true, true as running

     to the Pacific only to realize

you ought to be swimming instead.

 

Purgatory

 

is a long word and vowels are expensive,

     especially in Vancouver

where nobody can afford to live but those

     who belong in hell.

 

Nobody runs to Newfoundland.

 

From far away it looks like a nice trip,

     its dizziness making waves on the letters

you always meant to write.

 

But everyone writes letters to Vancouver

     and nobody—back to where they came from.

 

That land was found before you could write.

     Everywhere is Vancouver when your ship

has sailed without you.

 

But who needs another poem on Vancouver?

     When Vancouver was found it was lost.

Vancouver has been in the lost and found bin

     for a long time now.

 

You have been in the library discard pile,

    looking up maps from Columbus

and fighting off the shakes

          you promise me came

directly from hell.

 

So I tell you about the last sailing trip I took.

     And I think I may have been the one

who took the photograph.     And you

 

are actually sitting beside me, telling me—

     homelessness looked better in the movies.

Everything looks better from far away.

     Especially when it’s too blurry to tell

if it’s lost or found,

     heaven or hell.

 

Every movie filmed in Vancouver

     is pretending to be elsewhere.

 

But who needs another poem

     on Vancouver?

 

The Pacific

     should get over herself.

 

 

©2018 Jill Talbot

 

 

Author Links

 

A poem published in Rattle

Publication in Geist

More of her work in Rattle

 

 

 

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