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Flux, Flash, Flood

Penn Kemp
From:   On Our Own Spoke. CD-ROM. Toronto: Pendas Productions, 2000.

The subject of hot flushes never arises
in our conversation. Are we ashamed
to admit the extraordinary, the poet

as heating system gone berserk in
the everyday climacteric, proclamation
of sweat the race is conditioned to?

A fever of estrogen deprivation confuses
my cooling system. Where else would the therm-
ometer measure a Hermes of despair, a message
of ruin, a riot of theorems that do not compute?

Moods overtake me and I become
most plaintive, aspirant at the gate
of reason, querent and respondent
indignant at the indignities my minds

stoop to. And is the I we, the multitude
of possible selves that congregate at
the starting gate, too late for legal entry,
over-exposed and ruled out as
arbitrary legislators of the world.

I wail a lament that was meant to
soothe and only blinds, but it drowns
the rage at the page that will neither
whiten nor dabble in ink, what used to be

called ink--but is now obsolete dot
matrix without a mother to mend her
weary ways. The maze of binary points
before the eyes, does not compute/does--

The dot blinks, the bindi between the brows
an acupressure point to stimulate clear
seeing. Oh press that third eye pituitary out
of the pit and pineal out of this odd
penitentiary of self aspiring.


I eat nut chocolate instead of carrots, I drink
caffeine straight from the bean, I don't care
if my senses rot, cavities root in my mouth,
gnaw at my brain. I nod a refrain to be
wicked, to be wild at the expense of ordinary

sanity. The expanse of external wisdom
mounts as paper wrappers, candy wrappers,
oh sweet sweet the caress of chocolate.

While I don't care if the sun turns
my uncoloured skin ultra-violet, the long
and the short of it is the spectrum
unannounced of the daily. In living we
are realized, we are being flushed out

of hiding our response by this reddening
cheek, the drenching of the brow in sudden
cartoon frenzies of sweat, the character is
worried, she is fretting, she is sunk.

Penn Kemp's works copyright © to the author.

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