2014 Marvyne Jenoff
Marvyne Jenoff’s books of poetry and experimental fiction have been published by Canadian literary presses and more recently by her own small company, Twoffish Press. Her writing has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines. She is also a visual artist working in watermedia and photography.
This spring Twoffish Press brought out her chapbook of humorous personal essays, Embracing Minutiae. Her watermedia collage, “Winter Song,” is currently on exhibit in the Society of Canadian Artists Members’ Show, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Toronto, until August 27. Details at www.marvynejenoff.com.
This poem was published in Crackerjack Umbrella,
a collection of Marvyne's poems, (Twoffish Press, 2008).
Summer Story, Yonge and Eglinton (Toronto)
If I didn’t have to bite this bullet
I’d live a hundred years.
If I didn’t have to live a hundred years
I’d eat lots of ice-cream right now.
If I didn’t have to read this book
I’d get another book, not bullet, from the library.
The eager check-out queue would wind
upstairs, down, around the block,
so many readers waiting I’d become a novelist,
there’s still time.
If I didn’t have to stand in this queue
I’d crouch down to shoe level and surmise who hikes,
who strolls in shopping malls and eats ice-cream,
who anchors, with which foot, their reading-writing-rocking chair.
If I didn’t have to sit in this chair and rock I’d walk
down to the lake and out onto the water,
And toward the Island I’d espy a prince on a white sailboat,
who has to recue an innocent princess but encounters me.
I’d consider being rescued, for we all,
even the rescued,
still want rescuing.
We’d find he has an anchor and we’d talk,
and I’d be Lucy Relaxo, Joan of Arts, Ethel the Read,
And if I weren’t so busy living a hundred years
we’d stroll on the Island of no bullets ever,
mock duck calls,
sail into the endless summer sunset.
If it didn’t have to be summer there would be
no prince, no queue, no story.