Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lady of the Lake














Lady of the Lake

Last summer, I sat by 
a lake in the Muskokas
at a friend’s cottage.
The Lady of the Lake
handed me a sword
for safe-keeping. 
pawned it for six
sadness-free months.
I stare at the sword
in the store’s windows
imagining me leading
an army to victory
against oppressors.
I ride a white horse
named Samson across
a field of dead soldiers.
The sword costs six
months of sadness
which I cannot afford
but already strangers
in the streets stop to 
pledge their allegiance 
to me. “I’m a tyrant,”
I caution. “We know,”
they say. “But at least
you're our tyrant."

By Chris Banks

Monday, May 22, 2017

Emergency Broadcast System












Emergency Broadcast System


The emergency is happening. Hide the Monets
and bottles of Lafite. Please exit the building
in an orderly fashion. We interrupt scheduled
programming to say public safety has been
breached. The emergency sits in our blind spot
so no changing lanes. Order the coq au vin
and crème brulee for it will be your last meal.
The conservatory is on fire. Please remain calm.
Authorities have been notified. They refuse
to go down with the ship. Write a letter to an old
university flame. Take a hatchet to your insecurities.
Start an argument with the night. This message
will repeat every sixty seconds. Think of it
as a ritual.  Make a circle in the middle of a room
linking arms, face outwards, with children
on the inside. The emergency goes unchallenged.
There will be no discounts. Stop torturing
yourself by appearing normal. Empty cash
registers and cages full of labratory animals.
Listen for foghorns. The emergency refuses
to be categorized as a natural disaster, a financial
meltdown, or spiritual bankruptcy. Put on a kimono.
Worry your forehead with fingertips. Tell yourself
you were not an accomplice to the current crisis.
I have a confession to make. This is not a recording.
The broadcast is inside you. What is your favourite
song? It will play next. The emergency is over 
the moment you understand spiders on ceilings
have nothing to do with Doomsday. Take a few
deep breaths. Your survival depends on it.


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By Chris Banks