Elizabeth Bachinsky is the author of three collections of poetry, Curio (BookThug, 2005), Home of Sudden Service (Nightwood, 2006), and God of Missed Connections (Nightwood, 2009). Her work was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 2006 and the Bronwen Wallace Award in 2004 and has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and on film in Canada, the United States, France, Ireland, England, and China. She is an instructor of creative writing at Douglas College where she is Poetry Editor for Event magazine. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
from God of missed connections
God of chaos
What’s not to like she’s got time for this
is a picture of you had better run take a Tylenol
an Asperin an Advil or some other branded pain
killer please she’s pleased to be here thankyou
thankyou thankyou and now she’ll take a bow.
If you don’t mind over matter well nothing really
matters anyway she’s a freakish weather always gets
her downtown the lesbian community is eating itself
out of existence eventually everyone will have
an STD so what’s the difference anyway. Classic
interlocutory parenthetical aside, (I say whoa there,
friend, unless you’ve got your key I just can’t let
you in). Look, eventually, language became a get
over it under it couldn’t so deep she get around
she wall it so wide. I’m [frustrated], she replied
sardonically. Kindled a fire with the delicate
hairs of a coconut husk, learned to blow in such
a way as to ignite only what needed ignition.
god of panic
From where she was standing she could see
the boys were watching her and had been watching her
for most of the night it seemed as if there were a secret
between them which she attributed to the fact they were
boys she felt especially lovely in her polka-dotted
skirt and socks and had been sad for four days since
her father had left home to discover his personal financial
power with an even lovelier telemarketer from Winnipeg.
Such a Lonely!
One boy put a hand on her leg; one boy put his hand
in her hair; one boy kissed her mouth; one boy kissed
her neck; one boy put his hand inside her blouse;
one boy kissed her ear; one boy smoothed her sweater;
one boy pulled her ribbon; one boy rocked her
in his arms, one boy lifted her; one boy pulled her
mouth; one boy opened her. What a lark! Twenty
cocks shuttling under the white spot so white it was like
blinding white light as twenty tongues and two hundred
fingers found their pleasure at once she woke beneath the goal
posts. She could feel the close-clipped lawn was cool
beneath her cheek.
Happiness where are you? I haven’t got a clue.
– Eytan Mirsky
Gina—pretty, thirty-two, and who wears a lot of black, not
because she is in mourning but because she’s got nothing else
to wear—has started making love with a boy of nineteen on
a semi-regular basis, a practice she finds vastly rewarding
although occasionally problematic, which is not to say the boy
hasn’t demonstrated a remarkable learning curve.
Elephants, having been hunted into near extinction, paint!
Sometimes better than people!
This one time, Gina’s boy (trapped in an elevator) thought:
I’m trapped in an elevator. You hear stories like this and never believe them.
The elevator rose thirty-six floors at an astonishing speed before
he hit the emergency button which, to his surprise brought him
obediently, politely, to the ground floor. He walked right out.
GODDESS OF BLISSFUL IGNORANCE
And now all the neighbourhood students are drinking
expensive-ish beer on their balconies thinking of the javelin
toss love can be ( at any age, but especially) when you’re
young and wearing carefully purchased footwear and
accessories. One girl thinks one day I won’t remember this
balcony…like tomorrow, while another’s sure she’s met
her future husband, an MBA from San Francisco and, dear
god, what’s he doing in Canada what a boon for the dating
community (he’s straight I mean thank god…) while the next-
door neighbours lay in bed and wonder if it isn’t time
to move out to the suburbs, maybe get a chunk of property,
have a kid. Trade one noise for another.
It’s not that living in a city seems superfluous when you’re
in it, but only that it is superfluous when you are out of it
and conversation’s lacking everywhere in the end. Consider
this cluster of stargazer lilies. Seven blossoms for two dollars
at a Chinese grocery, but their perfume’s too heady for such
a small room. It’s four a.m. and the clubs are turning out
their young. Shame to put the blossoms on the balcony.