it is late. the sky is still lit the northwest
Mrs. Blue House sings in the shower
the full repertoire. Fred’s dog tries to sleep
luckily the birds haven’t forgotten their throats
dreams of cherries
the trees regain composure
they shake squirrels and fir-cones and last year’s leaves
pleats and ruffles
Greg heads back to his woodshop
cuts dresser-drawers out of his day
lunches on plans. trims minutes with his Exacto knife
While none of the characters portrayed in this book are based on or represent any real persons living or dead, they are archetypes we can find in any sub-division. People living one moment at a time. Their small goals and their large dreams could be an anthropological nod at modern community. Their brief thoughts and half sentences the pieces of a dig, a puzzle to be collected and fit together to create a theory.
But Al Rempel’s poem is too playful to pose as a thesis. His poem celebrates the fragments of knowledge we are all capable of collecting as we observe and imagine one another in our multi-coloured houses. Moments of boredom and despair are woven with conceits fenced within the privacy of our thoughts and our living rooms. And the beauty of these pieces are that they are free of judgment.
Al Rempel’s first book of poetry is called understories, published by Caitlin Press (April 2010). His poems have also appeared -- or are forthcoming -- in The Malahat Review, GRAIN, CV2, and Event. Al’s poetry has been published in various on-line publications and anthologies, including 4 Poets, Rocksalt, Half in the Sun, and The Forestry Diversification Project. Al is currently an alternate teacher in Prince George.
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