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Thursday, March 23, 2006

casual poem: illness - Chris Gilpin

In love with illness,
you are,
my friend.

In love with your own tragedy,
which comes complete with
a piano soundtrack of variegated minor chords,
fresh cigarettes and dried roses.

In love with Humphrey Bogart.
In love with Cuba of the 1940s.
In love with Thomas Hardy.
In love with melancholy.

The lilting beat of
gradual decay,
the trembling stars,
the hideous day.

let me—
too bad—
here i—

A colonial garden of exotic blooms
surrounds your exquisite porcelain-top table,
next to which you recline in a wicker rocker
that, from the side, looks like an art nouveau snail.

I barge in
with eighteen Chinese New Year Parades
all lurid and screeching.
I sick the dragons on your snail.
the revelers trample your gladiolas.
I am smiling a Vincent Price Smile.

Welcome to Hong Kong, I say.

Chris Gilpin is a writer and performer, based in Vancouver, BC. His work has appeared in The Vancouver Review, Forget Magazine, and others. Look for him at a Fringe festival, or poetry slam near you. You can find out more at

"First Aeroplane Flight by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk" from the National Archives.