18 Dec 2006, 10:33am
General Poem Drafts

At Passport Canada

Passport Canada is the new official name not the Passport Office, apparently.

If you need to apply, you can get an e-pass online that fast-forwards you through the passport office in person, cutting the post-screening wait from about 1 hour to about 15 minutes. Live and learn.

Since the doors open at 7:30 a.m. I thought being there then would put me somewhere near the start of the line, rather than say, the far end of the hall. It was a common line of thought. Apparently people who arrive before 6:30 a.m. are among the first dozen to go in.

As was, we were told by the spiffily uniformed official that we were looking at 1 hour before the doors and 1 hour after the doors.

Or one could mail it and it takes 20 business days to process plus mailing time on each end and the weekends (about 5 weeks) if there are no mistakes on it that halt the process. Since I missed 2 boxes, well, I’m glad I went in person.

Podcast: Hear the poem (well, an edited later draft of it) in Waiting Room in mp3 (2.4 MB)

waiting room

novel on lap
I am the stiff fold
on the seat
hard pressed
to keep in line
of page,
what, with cell phones about

who says you only get half a conversation?
she relates word for word for word,
phones person after person
explains to called#2 that she is not upset
it is sooooo over and she doesn’t
want to talk about it
just drop it

but who who
is the perv who is getting
official reprimand and may be fired
people coming forward
to get her back and say yes
he sexually harassed them too
giving his own personal touch,
his spin to performance review

she dealt with it 6 months ago
Nicole doesn’t agree and wants
to comfort, agree, is rebuffed
called#4 is told she is lecturing
patronizing because she (of the cell)
is not
do you hear me
not upset. at all.

when she huffs, presses the red button
I can make out the two farmers
and their stories of a peer of 68 years
who got himself a girlfriend
head shakes in half gumption-admiration
the younger generation man with
shock of grey hair that have an arrangement
like metal filings, has three cheek lines,
a second dimple like the yellow smiley has
just a shadow before his deep dimple
like a fold lines after origami opens

he counters with the scandal of the retirees
that called it quits at 84 and 87
to see if they can find someone else,
they speculate on a man of his age having one
on the side, embody conspiratorial and guffaw
the man a row ahead of them has his head tipped back,
his shiny face relaxed, tries to laugh silently
when he fails, fails is entirely the wrong word

when one farmer’s number is up
there is shoulder clap,
double-handed warm clasp
woman twiddles phone from purse again
man in row ahead has a relaxed neck
roundness of cheek not strapped tight to bone
his glossy page held and looked at lightly
man of two now seated alone still has the flush
of conversation about him, refolds, ankle over knee
arm along back of emptied chair.

Quote: “How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success?” — Elbert Hubbard

Blog Quote:

[The] book, Acts of Meaning, tells us in no uncertain terms that human beings are hardwired for story, that we – in fact – make meaning in our lives by storying ourselves. In such a world, ampersands become a friendship, glue sticks become a sign for who we are, lily pads become signals for deeper meaning and a deeper calling, a brownstone front cake becomes love. — 37 Days

Stat Link: When females get 30% of airtime, they seem to dominate. And other interesting gender communication ratios [via PoetryHut]

Poetry Link: Vallum magazine has an online auction at their site for writerly things, including a 1958 out of print copy of Heather Spears’ Asylum Poems and a painting by bill bisset.

Blog Link: Lost on familiar ground, getting turned around that way, sounds really like a really familiar experience.

graffiti you are beautiful
Walking home again past the graffiti one stands out.

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