I am all that is wrong with the Old World,
and half of what troubles the New.
I have not seen Spain or the Philippines,
Holland or Indonesia. In the other room,
my grandfather nods off in front
of Wheel of Fortune. I have seen his Japan
in photos—the last good suit he wore,
grey, tailored in Kyushu. Believe
Pat Sajak is a saviour: he divines new riches
like water hidden from a dowser’s
willow switch, trembling through
unfamiliar territories, proffered
like a makeshift cross. The same faith
should be proof enough
of my current crisis. There was a game
we once played. I’m in it now.
The wheel turns, strobes its starlight
across another centrifuge, that spinning globe,
a kid’s finger skimming its surface,
waiting for it to stop. This is where I’ll live.
Published online July 25 2017.
Michael Prior is a Japanese Canadian writer whose poems have appeared in numerous magazines across North America and the UK, including Ambit, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, PRISM international and The Walrus. He is a past winner of The Walrus’s Poetry Prize, Magma Poetry’s Editors’ Prize, Vallum’s Poetry Prize, Grain’s Short Grain Contest and Matrix Magazine’s Lit POP Award. Michael’s first full-length poetry collection, Model Disciple (Véhicule Press), was selected as one of the CBC’s Best Books of 2016.