Salt and Pepper

there is a guilt to wanting out of
his life and a pleasure to watching
Oklahoma State College football and knowing
there are eighteen-year-old boys still
getting laid in the back seats of Chevrolet Cavaliers there is always guilt at seeing an actor
in a life you determined by falling from the sky
tall sailing ships beckon while pygmies bring rum to
the table at regular intervals
Bill loves Joyce
Joyce loves Bill
etched into hearts beneath the dribbles of
spilt beer there is guilt at knowing there is more
to life than salt and pepper in the cupboard
paralysis starts at the toes and spreads
north with every No. 20 bus ride downtown
did he have a dog named Sue he used to walk
in Stanley Park when he owned a pair of jeans? there is guilt in being less
than what he could be
unplugged from the toaster and the humanity
in a slice of whole wheat bread
disengaged from espresso and women with
midriff bulge
he pokes
iPod earphones in and dances
through the traffic jam on 5th Avenue there is guilt in writing poetry and in
not speaking his desire to be Marlon Brando
on a motorcycle at 100 hour per hour on
Highway 1 west to Golden she tilts her head at an acute angle and squints
as he attempts the Saturday morning crossword puzzle

~ Diane Guichon

Diane Guichon is a M.A. graduate (2006) from the University of Calgary’s Creative Writing Program. Her poetry manuscript, Vignettes, was adapted and performed on stage by the U of C’s Drama Department. Her first book of poetry Birch Split Bark was awarded the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell 2007 Book Prize. Diane served for two years as the first writer in a pilot project: University of Calgary’s Writer-in-the-Schools Program at Queen Elizabeth High School. She teaches English Literature and Academic Writing for the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus. Diane’s poetry, book reviews, and interviews with other poets are published in literary journals in Canada and the U.S. She has written several poetry manuscripts that interrogate and reflect our western identity and landscape. In 2012 Diane was short-listed for Calgary’s inaugural position of Poet Laureate.

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