Garbage Day

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Garbage Day
(1789 AD)

all the dustbins
dancing down the street
trying no doubt to achieve
a spring time copulation
so they can give birth
to even more dustbins

you can’t have a revolution
without dustbins
dusty … dusty … filthy
dusty dustbins
a sadistic way to look at
dustbins full of sawdust
heading off down the street
between potholes
and blowing bins
a right Danse Macabre
conducted by
St. Vitus

me sitting there knitting
Montreal Canadians
this Red Cap
I keep flying high

even though I stand
upon Gibraltar’s Rock so fair
not to mention Paris
the Place de la Bastille
with tumbrils rattling

Old Moll in a Moll’s Cap
toothless fairy
at a Goblin Party
watch out
for toad s’tools
[sick this poem
this joke

and all that’s in it]

Comment: A wonderful drawing by my friend, line painter Geoff Slater. The poem, of course, represents the garbage in (and out of) the garbage can. 1789 is the date of the French Revolution. I found this poem in my discard file, so it was one of those that didn’t make it anywhere. Maybe it shouldn’t have made it here either. But it takes all sorts to make a world and Geoff’s red dustbin reminds me of the red caps knitted by the old women beneath the scaffold and the guillotine. Funny things, guillotines: invent them and they drop on you when you fall out of favor. There are so many allusions in this poem that I am ashamed to say I remember them all, and not all of them are pleasant. Mind you, few things are pleasant nowadays and remember: it is better to leave your dustbins out to roam the streets and be plundered by the crows and swept away by the high winds than to leave them festering and smelling bad and all cooped up in the locked down garage.

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