subscriber-contentWhat the War Reporter Won’t Tell the Poet the Poet Won’t Tell the War Reporter

Tell me about your wife, is she the reason
you’re surviving? You never mention her
except to say she’s the strongest woman
you’ve ever known. Just like your mother is
marmoreal for weathering the untimely
passing of your father. I guess. Pausing
at Le Frolic in Yellowknife. Halfway
home to Rome the evergreens revive. Gas
-fire licking the hearth. Edmonton salesmen
wangling mud diamonds. Sawing through T-bone
steaks while a First Nations junkie swan dives
in a plowbank. Safety lights blinkering
Drug Mart with such lovely menace.
my medicine of choice, Paul slurps fondue
chinoise. She’s Chinese, right? I don’t talk about
my wife for a reason.
Years will slip by
before I’m haunting her kitchen listening
to her decry American destroyers
poisoning the South China Sea. The filament
of your son acing English, the mystery
of a father below threading pop songs
through the ether of this vernal reward
on a brilliant new device. Who could know
what would be waiting there for you? Clenching
through a pugilistic howl to the Hotel
Explorer, this strangely swank, faux-Soviet
high-rise for diplomats. I don’t know if
I’ll be married this time next year. I don’t
know if you’ll still be alive, or me. Love
beyond reason is the reason for what
none of us dares mention.
I’ll be going
up to Resolute soon, where the American
scientists migrate each summer. I can’t hear
you, Paul! I said I’m doing a story
about robot submarines! Maybe I’ll try
for a grant to go with you?

Dan O’Brien

What the War Reporter Won’t Tell the Poet the Poet Won’t Tell the War Reporter by Dan O’Brien was one of two poems that first appeared in Issue 1 of Bare Fiction Magazine, December 2013 and is part of a new series of poems based on Paul Watson’s reports from Syria. We’re delighted to have 5 poems from Dan O’Brien’s new collection, Scarsdale, in our Issue 4 of Bare Fiction Magazine, November 2014. Scarsdale is out now from CB editions.

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