the poetry that matters

Christian McPherson 

Christian McPherson's first collection of short stories, "Six Ways to Sunday" (Nightwood Editions) came out April 2007.  His poetry has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including "Misunderstandings Magazine," "Queen's Quarterly," "Jones AV.," and "On Spec."   He lives in Ottawa with his beautiful wife and two kids.



The pop culture factories

are pumping out

the latest

organic plastic injectable

and the fastest snortable underwear

and the most downloadable multimedia fascists


here come the sex dolls that scream political rhetoric

and shoot ice cream from their tits


here comes the day job that you can’t quit

because your wallet has been hooked

on violent bubblegum puke


here comes the foreign five minute

not-too-spicy cultural noodle experience


here comes the commemorative special anniversary

limited edition stainless steel shoehorn


the cream-pie wars have started

            (30 minutes at 350)

            and the terrorists target Mr. Microphone

                        and the Sound Byte Gang


and we are all going to feel the pinch of cholesterol

as the cowboy rides the disco-ball

into the sunset

            the clown falls into a diabetic coma

                        and the credits cinnamon-roll off the screen


that’s the puke

lick it up.






The Sundae Sunset


I have to tell you

about this sunset

I saw the other day


this was a fiery purple hell

that lit up the sky

like Satan’s soul

dissolving into

an iodine milkshake


this sunset was thick

and creamy

like cranberry butter

sliding down the sides

of a stack of peach waffles


this sunset was like

blueberry ice-cream

melting in a pan

of orange electrical cord

and yellow caution signs


and when it was over

I ran like an insane clown

like a drooling fish

into Dairy Queen

and demanded a sunset sundae


they told me they just had

what was on the board.






Summer in the City


a crazed man

with a fly-swatter

runs around

a shrinking


with sweat drops

the size of doughnuts

rolling off

his forehead


I watch him

in the building

next door


it’s summer

in the city

and the air

is heavy

like sourdough bread

and a crazy

7-11 woman

yells, “jerkass!”

outside my window

and her brain

sounds curdled

like the milk

in my







Oiling the Machine


So the greasy kid

sweating it out back

by the dishwasher

comes running out

to the front of the restaurant

and starts pulling all the big plastic rings

attached to strings

attached to each customer’s back

like he was Dorothy

oiling twenty Tin-Men

and the prosthetic people

awaken like mechanical dolls

and start to speak

sounding like an old film projector

sounding like they were under bottled water

and they get going on about

the TV show they watched

where sad sacks of humanity

compete to the death

for a milkshake ad contract

and a nude origami centerfold opportunity

and the chance to tell

their six sides of the story

and that’s when I pull out

a big pair of garden shears

and start cutting strings

some of them tough like piano wire

(and they don’t seem to notice

their wooden jaws

keep opening and closing

like fish out of water)

and when I’m done

and the strings slither back inside

like poisonous snakes

the chatter stops

and all that is left

is the stillness after gunfire

and the greasy kid staring at me

like I just robbed the place

and I tell him that sometimes

minimum wage

just isn’t worth it.






Little Circular Mirror


I went

to the dentist

the other day


read movie reviews

from last month’s



finally I was called



I lay back

in the chair

and looked up

at the ceiling


it was covered

with these cutesy

little posters

of sunsets

and rainbows


one read:

            “A happy memory

                        is a joy forever.”


I asked the dental

hygienist if the corollary

to this was:

            “A sad memory

                        is a torment forever.”


she didn’t seem amused

she said, “I certainly hope not.”

then she poked me

in the gums

with a sharp instrument

and made me bleed.





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