House of Targ
I wash my wrist with water lest
my blue stamp of approval be the death
of my bed’s high thread-count spread.
I wash the south out of my mouth with said water
and soon will hit the road home
how a circle saw hits a belt buckle:
there will be sparks. Just like the man behind the guitar,
I was raised by Irene and Edgar Ladouceur
only I didn’t wind up heterosexual, let alone the crux
of any would-be groupie’s short-term strategies.
I decline to give him my spare keys so he will not
come crash at some even ungodlier hour than this.
I need rest now, and an earwax vac.
Behind the wall his hype guy grazes with a chainsaw
there’s this lovely café-bookstore. Therein I, too,
share what I love most about myself
with crowds shy of fifty.
The punks here barb their melodies
with bass all night, despite the decorous pleas
the reading series administrator
has made to upper management.
At the mercy of the music, we poets
frontload our sets, saving for last
our failed villanelles and forays
into fiction. A night like this,
a cowbell alone would drown out the details
of my fascinating baggage.
Published online July 28 2018.
Ben Ladouceur is a writer living in Ottawa. His first collection of poems, Otter(Coach House Books), was selected as a best book of 2015 by the National Post, nominated for a 2016 Lambda Literary Award, and awarded the 2016 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best debut poetry collection in Canada. Ben is the prose editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and a monthly columnist for Open Book.