Four Poems
by Suzannah Showler


Self-Portrait With iPhone

Touch a picture
of a waste basket
for forgetfulness.
A gear when you
want to change
your fate. This
isn’t mechanical,
but if the tooth
fits, there’s a bite.
I can drag boxes
from the centre, swipe
to bring on a quick
cascade of the new.
Each moment
arrives like a group
hug, a float in a parade.
My best dick pic
is a panorama,
frames feathered
across the screen.
Nothing to see. No
thing to see here.


Self Portrait As Note To Self

Don’t come back.


Hashtag No Filter

The sunset barfs all over
you, says you deserve

the gilding you get,
as if you were built

with a future longing
for this moment in mind.

The light will take back
what it says about you,

and you know it, but still
you stay here now, cash in

on the free, all-access
trial pass to beauty.

Birds gather in perfect
mall-swarm formation,

and clouds grind up
on the horizon, trying

to stoke one last boner
from the sun. Everything

is so crowded with distance.
And you’re there, you’re right

up in it, thick-covered
with the experience of being

here, dragging the saturation
dial, feeling for the limit.



The alleys wider than the houses they shadow
keep turning up colours charitably described
as muted. Meaning, they aren’t talking to you
anymore. It’s hard to stop thinking of yourself

as a fuck-up, wondering whether the plot may
turn more interesting with, say, a few sobbing
parties for a chorus. Or more nights you follow,
maybe even join, as they sneak into the new

day’s abandoned warehouse. You, too, could
be a part of some crowd of people swimming
through good lighting, looking for themselves
to turn into something new. Have you noticed

how it’s always the same, every city patterned
by shadows and colours you forget to look at
after a while? Turns out, you don’t ever get too
far from yourself, and once you’ve seen a thing,

the only real turn-on is remembering when you
hadn’t. I know this isn’t what you had in mind.
But don’t you find there’s an unexpected charm?
To feel for a centre and wind up in the middle.

—From CNQ 98 (Winter 2017)


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