Wednesday, 12 April 2017

12/30: Canadian Angst/Cascadian Rain

Dan Boeckner salutes the puddles collecting in the Central
District by the sidewalks by the 20th Century brownstone on

the corner, empty, mid-repaint, windows stickered with
construction logos. One still may not smoke near
the abandoned doorway. Synth tones and baritones soaring warped,
decades of lite socialism have not cured sadness, have not
bulwarked against nostalgia, nor have the neo-liberal reversals
restored good times glory to the Maple Leaf.

All the songs that make it south are sad ones;
dancing and crying translate internationally.
The rains of Vancouver don't hit different than the rains
of Tacoma or the rains, when they come, of Portland or
Everett; they flow to different bodies of water, but sound
the same in crosswalks.

Canadian citizenship became an active
interest that November day in North Carolina,
where rains were few and different
and my phone filled with texts, and
everyone’s Canadian friends
were suddenly Besties,
infinite couches and spare rooms
job leads and citizenship paperwork,
a different kind of city grid
but same kinds of mountains
seemed like not a sacrifice at all.

To hear the songs with ownership.  The washed out
melancholy of the Northern Cities of the

As the days passed, and the texts petered out, and Everyone
Suddenly Knew Why The Bad Thing Happened and Whose Fault It
Was, everyone stopped their moves to Canada, renewed their
Passport for travel purposes only. Some cautiously suggested
it’d be for the best, for the dissolution of borders, of the lines
that dictate the nationality of rivers, the citizenship of rain. Others
suggested it’d be for the worst, for the dissolution of
everything. Under it all I heard
“When I get back
When I get back
I won’t be the same
No more.”

And asked Jake if he was ever moving back. The answer wasn’t
No, he said, but the rivers up here are good, even if the bars are
expensive, and I can hear these songs just how I need to, sad
as they may be.


James Rosenzweig said...

I think the phrase "the citizenship of rain" is a gem, a great title for a Cascadian poetry anthology (single or multi-author, honestly). This has just slightly the quality of stone in the act of being sculpted -- the sense that you could pare a little more in places to refine it. But I wonder if that's also because you and I have talked about some of these things, and it only takes a phrase from you to resonate with some of those memories. A really good piece.

Shane Guthrie said...

I love the idea of it our shared mountains and rains. Its funny everybody gets up and arms and threatens to leave and then doesn't do anything of the kind. I'm proud that James, Graham, and myself, we have tried 'the other country'. I still miss mine sometimes.