John Elizabeth Stintzi
Near Confusion Corner
Winnipeg was once a wide world. Now wider
than it seems, it is a cool spread thin. Now
it is a hill of small favours, of small livings
and hush nights and hard windows
we view through. A city of voyeuristic perches
perennial syncopations of what is seen and is.
Once a city of shadows, the chilled light is shy.
Darkness prevails and kills contrast. We wait.
We hope. We stand in the dimness and imagine
our own sunlight from our own sunsource:
a past, a tessellation we were once implicit
in, a place now snowsunk. A telltale tale
of syllogisms regaled. A long beautiful dress
transforming a short ugliness. A gun thrust
against inverted heads. Words and feelings
tacked to the skin. The bash. The first rule:
do not let me tell you anything. Learn nothing,
hear nothing, speak—sing—cry. Truth comes
from feeling. It just takes a few pumps.
John Elizabeth Stintzi is a Canadian-American writer, pisces, and ex-beef farmer. Their poetry, fiction, and book reviews can be found in Matrix Magazine, Lemon Hound, CV2, The Malahat Review, The Puritan, and the anthology The Shadow Over Portage & Main, among other publications. Nowadays, they live on the cliffs overlooking Hoboken, New Jersey, where they split their time between completing their first novel and combatting the ants that are invading their apartment. This poem is an excerpt from their long poem in progress Limp Wrists. Find them online @stintzi.