Notebooks Revisited Vol. 2: The Circulation of the Dead

Posted: April 3, 2015 in Humor, literary, literature, Writing
Tags: , ,

The experiment continues…

For new readers, I am going through old notebooks and posting old writings, some as old as 15 years.


I don’t recall…I am sure it seemed like a good reason at the time, and now I am just trying to follow through.

The piece below is a poem I wrote when I was 19 and in first year university.

Posting poetry is especially hard, since, like many I am not comfortable with it.

I spent a few years experimenting. Much more while I was in school, since I was reading a lot of it.

I continue to read poetry as I come across it, but haven’t written anything in over ten years. I never produced anything I was particularly proud of.

The poem below was inspired by a man I saw everyday on the Toronto subway. He was always there, no matter the day or time. I decided that, that was how he spent his day, just continually going around the loop, like a modern day hobo riding the rails.

Here it is, for better or worse in its original form, unedited.

Oh, and slightly unrelated, my favorite poem: T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I still believe the line “Do I dare to eat a peach?”. Is one of the best lines I have ever read, for its simple imagery and complex meaning.

Now speaking of inadequacy….On to my poem…

The Circulation of the Dead


The wanderer

drifting the streets,

never going forward,

hacking and smoking,

asking for more.


He scratches where the hair used to be.

Same jacket for eight years;

Shoes for twelve.

The yellow coat balances;

the shoes are the streets.


He is everywhere, looking.

For pity.

The pity they gave to the guy at 7/11.

Sorry, fresh out.

He’ll try again tomorrow.


He keeps circling by,

a never ending trip,

smoking his poisoned lungs.

There is no help,

he is already dead.


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