August 2001

Chris Jennings


Chris Jennings writes, edits, and writes about poetry. He is a former poetry editor for Filling Station magazine. He currently lives in Toronto.
Sidewalk Marginalia     

An urban vandal’s
freehand in the wet tabla
invests Gord is a pussy
with all the power
of the irrefutable verb
to be in hard concrete.

Someone has painted
each perfectly regular
section of each perfectly
regular block from here
to home with a stencil:
Queer as Fuck
            ...sorry Dad

in bright colours against
the grey sidewalk background.

Sidewalk marginalia have the same
effect as waddling into jungle rivers
filled with slow-sucking eddies.
Like river-bottom mud, grey
matter begins to churn
with swimming teeth
and warm blood.

I have never spluttered
so foolishly as when I realized
I loved you—H. H.—
though the asymmetric
heart gives my initials
incorrectly as S. J.

How queer.
How Gordian.

How to move from frame to frame
unexposed, the image in emblem
awaiting the motto, the explicatio
I can do all that sidewalks can—
imprinted like them and their
referrent beside—urged by secluded light
to scribble my name on the ground.




Chris Jennings: Poetry
Copyright © 2001 The Cortland Review Issue 17The Cortland Review