Jeramy Dodds rewrites the Canadian national anthem to encompass a wider facet of the Canadian identity, including various Canadian celebrities, politicians, controversies, stereotypes, histories, and of course, hockey.
Canada you must sew shut the gaff-pole holes in the seal pups’ heads before the rich can be clothed. Canada I know you’re not as bad as Germany once was. I’ll never fly Air India with a carton of geese eggs again. Canada don’t you know the beaver is a pussy. Canada I refuse to take medication for this depression when we could just talk about it. Canada I’m the bastard born of a Fille du Roi and a Coureur de Bois. Canada je me souviens aussi, but when will we let Quebec out of its oubliette. I can’t be the way you want me to be every time Clifford Olson dangles some summer schooler over Niagara Falls, or scientists have cloned Robert Pickton to man our missing persons’ helplines, or Bernardo and Homolka have Tupperwared the all-you-can-eat buffet, or Russell Williams becomes the Colonel of Truth, his flak jacket packed with panties and IUDs. I can’t sail out of a Bell booth with a six-pack and pecks. Canada I can’t follow your national food guide to save my life. Canada—where the only difference between hockey and heroin is that with hockey you shoot before you score. Canada when will you take the kryptonite off Pierre Trudeau’s chest. Canada this is me being careless in my summer swimwear. Canada what’ll happen to my Muslim mother’s back if her airliner won’t step back on the tarmac. Canada how can I explain this to the geese. Canada this is me in a burkini grinding down Wreck Beach. Canada your house of commons is like watching cats doing it doggy-style. Canada no one should hero-worship Wolfe and Montcalm, but aren’t First Nations really just second runners-up, and we the winners. This is what your right believes. Canada the crow’s feet off your eyes are trap-lines for our tears, Canada, I know you sell their skins to America. America is tearless. Canada can’t you see she’s a lot like us, and we like her, too much sometimes. Canada I’d like to tarsand and feather you for not freeing Robert Latimer sooner. When will you raise Tommy Douglas from the dead. You’re so sorry all the time, you with all the geological time in the world and me already rotting. Buffy Sainte-Marie replaced my wounded knee with raven’s sinew and virgin’s dew but Canada I’ll never outrun you. Canada this is Terry Fox putting his wa-wa pedal to the metal. Canada there is a choir of residential schoolchildren back-up singing everything I say, the Dionne quintuplets are kicking a can-can, but it only makes me want to party more. A mess of counterfeit Canadian Tire cash on my closet floor. Neil “chaas” his Caracas as our anthem pleads, Celine puckers at her kazoo while Joni finger-licks her banjo’s high-tensile pots and pans, Brian sits at his drum kit and gets on with it, but who knew that Pamela would be such a shoo-in, pounding her beautiful face on the organ. Canada this musical intermission does not mean my hatred is in remission. What happens in Canada strays from Canada, our over the counter culture. Canada the Tamil Tigers aren’t a softball team. Canada inside each Canadian is another Canadian, inside whom is a Canadian, in which is an alien. Canada when will your Indian princess greet me at the lakeshore in her cornhusk crop- top and ask me down her rabbit’s hole. Canada you’re the land god gave to Cain. Canada I feel like another weather. Canada all my mistakes I make for you. Canada hold still. Yes, Canada, this my Refus Global. What me what war. Keep playing dead Afghanada. Afghanada when I was deployed to my high school prom I brought my wood-stocked Kalashnikov along. I am the bullet that carries the gun on its back. My bloodstream rolls along like a psalm. Canada slaughter is the best medicine. America is still getting a few bugs out of the latest version of the iRak. What happens in Canada strays from Canada. You know we wash our cars with drinking water. Canada did you kill Frank Cole. Dallaire’s not coming back from Rwanda it’s sinister. Serve and get served Canada. After what you’ve done, no wonder Newfoundland is overfishing for compliments. Canada are you that quiet neighbour with a queue of corpses in the deep-freeze. Do you plan to tap that or is it sovereignty or a conservative white identity, or your hyper mediocrity that insists on keeping the arctic ours. Canada I’m the bullet that carries the gun on its back. Canada you’re not as bad as America is. No one is, not even North Korea. Canada this hyperbole is like ordering a hurricane to hoist a fainted bird to its nest again. Canada I feel like another weather. Canada all my mistakes I make for you. I keep my fingers as crossed as Laura Secord’s legs that despite being human, Canada, I will be Optimus Prime of this country. Canada this is a teleprompted love song. Despite the bongos and bagpipes this is a serene scene Canada. Like you, I’m too old to die young. The tabula rasa of your Precambrian shield’s overwritten with capitalism. There, there Canada. I’m pulling off the chloroform gag that is your flag and begging you to part your swamp-reeds for me, the standard-bearer of this jubilee. Your boreal banners waving to my leave. Canada oftimes the obvious is oblivious to us. Canada oftimes no matter how stunning they are, stars sodomize our eyes.