There’s No Peace in My Campfire

I’m white, male, middle-aged and alone.
Instead of thinking I’m a serial killer,
as I’d hoped, my neighbours are convinced
I’m a widower, and keep inviting me over
for hot dogs.

Teenage employers are patrolling the area
in starched khakis, hating the world.
Right now, they would kill to be hanging out at
the Mr. Sub and I’m nervous. I hear them
plotting in the dark, prattling on their devices like
North Korean spies.

Even the stars are busy, a sky-full of chic Ikea lamps,
illuminating my dusty corners. Once inspiring, they are now
annoyingly successful friends who just can’t take
the hint; showing up when you haven’t cleaned.
I, too, am a scattering of particles born in the big bang,
I want to tell them. So don’t be so smug.

There’s no peace at my campfire tonight.
I envy the teens; the simplicity of their hatreds:
the brand of one’s shoes, the music
one listens to. I am jealous of the families,
their sprawling episodes: there is air to breathe
behind childproof locks, the crises that
contain them.

In limbo, where I come from,
ask the question where do I belong?
and you risk drowning.

Rocco de Giacomo is a widely published poet whose work has appeared in literary journals in Canada, Australia, England, Hong Kong and the US. His work has recently been accepted for publication in Arc Poetry and Event, and has most recently been published in Existere. Rocco’s poetry has also been featured on the CBC. He is the author of numerous chapbooks including, in 2008, Catching Dawn’s Breath. In 2009, his first full-length poetry collection, Ten Thousand Miles Between Us, was launched through Quattro Books. His forthcoming collection, Every Night of Our Lives, will be published with Guernica Editions. In 2010, Ten Thousand Miles was longlisted for the ReLit Poetry Award. In 2011, it was selected for Poetry NOW’s 3rd Annual Battle of the Bards. From 2008 to 2014, Rocco volunteered on the committee for the Art Bar Poetry Series, Canada’s longest running weekly series. Rocco lives in Toronto with his wife, Lisa Keophila, a fabric artist, and his daughters, Ava and Matilda. He is currently working on his third poetry manuscript.

Also, check out Rocco’s poetry book Every Night of Our Lives, available here.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

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