Poetry

Festivities

PHIL HALL

From Conjugation. Published by BookThug in 2016. Phil Hall is a teacher and an award-winning author of over a dozen books. He lives near Perth, Ontario.

Oh I missed Fountain Pen Day!

~

For a while      a couple years ago

I was working on a series of poems about imaginary Special Days

somewhat in imitation of Calvino’s Invisible Cities

my favourite was Day Day

all of the festivities for this one      were transparencies

they fit      right over the day      & were unseen

~

Also      this line      no one remembered it was Balcony Day

seems so sad      that line      to me      even now

~

Once a year      there was a day      by which

anything you wanted to keep      had to be taken off your balcony

then      on that day      Balcony Day

whatever      items were still left out there      disappeared

all of the balconies      up all of the high-rises      in all of the target areas

suddenly empty

what a feeling of lightness      & a readiness      for fresh marketing

Cashier Co-operatives would send up flares from their roof-decks

as if ice has broken in a river    enthused the laureates

sales soared

~

But      if a person were standing on a balcony

at midnight      come Balcony Day

poof      gone

so      balcony      as in      she committed balcony      or      he balconied

became a common form of suicide annual group suicide

~

It was good to clear away the dead-profit junk every 12 months

but how could the State stop these suicides by its consumers?

so      all advertising for Balcony Day      was suppressed

& each year      Clearing Day

as it was now called      in internal reports

was scheduled for a different      undisclosed      day

~

That helped      but still there were many who      sick of shopping

stood on balconies every night      at the tick of midnight

hoping today      was the day

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