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OMEGA | Damian Rogers
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Damian Rogers

27 Jul Damian Rogers



How many times must I learn the lesson of compression?
Let go of everything you know and start from scratch.
One friend performing backbends on a beach while another
snaps his tibia on an icy patch of Saskatchewan. I don’t think
I’m suffering, my days a series of unexpected gifts punctuated
by a blast of the family rage shot deep into my soft plexus.
It occurs to me I don’t have to be so many people. If you’re staying
alive spinning stories, it’s suddenly a skill that you talk too much.
I’m not sure it’s smart to unlock the portal. The reformed raver
claimed he saw my inner wheels spin. Red Cloud, are there wars
where you are? Your great-great-grandson appeared on Democracy
Now! with a plan. Will my generation be remembered for anything
I haven’t forgotten? They mine the hills for gold, they mine the hills
for uranium, and all around the world, columns are cracking.
I’ve watched you soar all day. Please teach me how you do that.





I was too timid to be Slime Queen, the beauty who communed
with the soft bubbling scum on someone’s lake after lunching
on lysergic acid with a gang of pranksters. The age of gilded
gurus continues on under corporate sponsorship, and still
the comfortable suffer in their well-cut pantsuits. Cruel California
calls out for fresh recruits; killer converts map the continent’s
most generative conference centres. Please accept this pamphlet
illustrated with mail-order aura enlargers. Are you illuminated?
At the bottom of the Pacific, microscopic monsters chase every
bioluminescent organism twinkling in the brink. In my youth,
I too was a magnet, and I did not dim for decades. Set adrift,
I learned to shuck my shell, oozing out into the Waters of Truth.
My head shall not be taken from me, my head shall not be taken.


Damian Rogers was born and raised in suburban Detroit and now lives in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Dear Leader(Coach House Books, 2015) and Paper Radio (ECW Press, 2009). She is the poetry editor at House of Anansi Press, the creative director of Poetry in Voice/Les voix de la poésie, the poetry editor at The Walrus and co-host with Jason Collett of the music and literary performance series the Basement Revue. These poems appear in the collection Dear Leader and were reproduced with permission.

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