From Career Limiting Moves. Published by Biblioasis in 2014.
Define Canada? You might say the home of McSorley Or Ron Hextall Who inspired innovative use of the hockey stick as lethal weapon But we’re more than just aggravated assault And salt-of-the earth goons In wheat-growing and steel-making towns Some say what defines us is our excessive consumption of over-proof beer And our friendly-to-a-fault willingness to give strangers directions Even if it’s just “Ya can’t get there from here” Or some other bum steer We are so friendly to strangers We greet them at the YVR airport—with Tasers! We are vegans and seal-clubbers We are seamen and land-lubbers We are loggers and tree-huggers We are dipsomaniacs and abstemious tea-chuggers We are a land of such equal opportunity That not only our politicians, but our serial killers too Can be hog farmers or Air Force brass (That they are drawn still from the ranks of white men Is a matter of some concern, but we’re working on that, let me assure you) We are constantly taking it up the ass From our neighbour, for which we say not only thank you But please sir, could I have some more? Because we are more We are the global economy’s friendliest whore We are vast tracts of pristine land We are pipelines, tailings and tar sand We are exporting asbestos to India Our number one motto’s “Buddy, get it inta ya!” We are raping our fish stocks and when we reap our forests We replace ’em with fast-growing stands of future bum paper We’re melting, we’re melting And all the while we’re belting out smug odes As we keep putting the rubber to the road We campaign from the left and govern from the right We turn off the light and take back the night We are getting tough on crime And we’re doing it on your dime Think art grants expensive, how ’bout hard time? We are universal healthcare—if you’re in the right province We are kernels of truth and nuggets of nonsense We are paying recompense in monthly installments We are a ragged patchwork of problematic diversity We are in debt to our eyeballs for going to university We just can’t decide We were perpetrators of genocide But we don’t call it that and we feel really bad about the whole thing We have interned innocent citizens and taken their belongings On a dérangé le peuple Acadien Comme tout le monde, on dit merci et de rien Mais une fois à la maison, on donne un coup de pied à notre chien We are one Jew too many We are not two solitudes, but as long as the knackered nag still knickers, might as well flog ’er We are a game of Don Valley Parkway frogger We are a pedophilic diocese We are increasingly obese We are plus-sized and disingenuously self-deprecating We are eating where we are defecating We are doing your dirty work, as long as it pays We are not the sum total of our feel-good clichés But you need more than an upbeat demeanour to sweep garbage away Saying “we are more” is just one more trite meme We are still trying to forge what we mean And what this means is We made our bed But we must change the sheets if we want to make it clean