Kirk R. Miles: "The Holiday Inn in the Suburbs" & Three Other Poems

We are honored to feature the poetry of Canadian poet and playwright, Kirk R. Miles.
These poems are premiering in this edition of Cultural Weekly.

Identity Theft

This new persona is not much better
than the old one. I shave in places
I never used to and none of my shoes fit.
I stole this self from the character bank.
Just handed a note to the teller demanding
a new life. She almost gave me her own
including a brand new husband, bigger house
and a cabin in the woods. I think the sex
might have been more interesting, but
it required inheriting her scars, which were
deeper than expected.
I settled on this one because it seemed
painless enough (although in the end
no one is immune). I have a new-found
ability to fix things and a craving for
sauerkraut, which I never liked before.
I am enthralled with the new balance
on my Visa bill, but now the word “poetry”
causes me anxiety, and not once have I
looked longingly into the shadows
made by clouds and found meaning.

The Holiday Inn in the Suburbs

Everything is shoddy grandeur:
fake plants and fake paneling.
The carpet– pristine yet tattered.
We are lined behind a family
that carries scented pillows,
and a teenage daughter, plugged
to earphones, and never looks up
from her cell. If zombies were
to come pulling their rotten bodies
from the grave through the lobby,
no one would notice. Nothing
could jar this sterile lethargy.
Our room could be in a hospital ward.
The wading pool in the water park
has a viridescent scum floating
on the surface. Everything smells
like a McDonalds’ restaurant. Night
vacuums the light out of the room,
leaving a rainbow flicker from
the television dancing on the wall.
We planned to have sex once the baby was asleep
but you are snoring next to me and she is coughing
in her dreams. A hotel zombie is chewing on my leg
and I am disconsolate because I cannot feel him
eating my flesh and I so much want to feel
something. Anything really.

Love is a Road Side Car Bomb

Everything happens in slow motion,
like a train wreck or a car accident.
Did I mention when flowers die
they come back as your eyes?
Lives have doors. Apertures open
and meaning spills out like a bag of
marbles, or nothing, and you enter
into a clean void with the glint of
hardware at the side of the road.
I positioned my alcoholism at your
feet and you stepped over it like a
slight inconvenience, brushed it
away like lint. How could this
adoration grow out of a crack
in the cement?
The initial blast– grinding
your hips against the blue sink in the
janitor closet while rocks from
the explosion are hot to the touch.
Since then: bicycling through swamps.
Neither could speak certain words:
Husband. Wife. After the detonation
the smell of burning rubber and
dust settled on us for years while
we slept. How many families are
made from a kiss? We carry the
ordeal with us like a prosthetic heart–
post traumatic sex syndrome.
A decade of cool mountain air and
at the breakfast of our relationship
we throw a piece of wood on the ashes
of a burned out fire and smoldering
like a smoke signal, it reignites as child.
Another Improvised Explosive Device
one of us will have to disarm.

Thinking in Waves

Window-seat planes on the runway:
There I stood human in a parkade.
Twilight lingers: I am contemplating
Moon is in a new phase not rotating.
Doors have rooms in the all-night café.
Airport lounge and you stated your case:
Ten more years in this cultural waste?
You wore a blue dress all that season–
Hard to caress when you need a reason.
The way your cheek bone cradled the phone.
Hi-def is broken, and so is the DVD.
Need a quote on a “reno,” rain leaking through.
You wore your heart like a fashion statement–
Every new man was Daddy’s replacement.
The way your knee bends with a moon curve.
Top image: Petals of Paula via Flickr Creative Commons

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