the poetry that matters

Jon Paul Fiorentino

Jon Paul Fiorentino is a writer and editor. His first novel is Stripmalling (ECW, 2009). His most recent book of poetry is The Theory of the Loser Class (Coach House Books, 2006). He is the author of the poetry book Hello Serotonin (Coach House Books, 2004) and the humour book Asthmatica (Insomniac Press, 2005). His most recent editorial projects are the anthologies Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour (DC Books, 2003) and Post-Prairie - a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch, (Talonbooks, 2005). He lives in Montreal where he teaches writing at Concordia University and is the Editor of Matrix magazine.


We visit Elizabeth Conway on Sundays, select Mondays
and stumble, habitually untied
above Snowdon, Mile End

We take the long way on said days
release captivating missives
wake up later

Maybe croon names like Edith McCord,
Ellie Dowling, or maybe not but still
drive ourselves civic

One day, roadtripping ourselves
to l’Epiphanie, QC, we will
turn around just in time

Look for home firmly planted
on a Sunday, select Mondays, too easy to parse
and so still, so departed

There’s a Montreal I’m
beginning to see and
you’re everywhere in it, Conway.

/Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, Spring 2008/


And then she said
being despotic is almost
as rewarding as being enlightened

And then he said
I love everything about
you except your company

And then we all agreed
that power politics were

And then someone said
isn’t that a small press

And then someone else said
no, not





She slides out of a launderette
No, wait. She struts out of a café
Check that. She stumbles out of a bus

Or not. She steps out of a bank
Too dull. She stirs out of a dream
That sucks. She slips out of a clinic

The washer is old; the smoke is thick
The transit is slow; the credit is wrecked
The fear is real; the doctor is sick

Her clothes are stained; her coffee is cold
Her transfer is gone; her money is low
Her mind is made up; her pills do not work








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