Poetry Archive



Shane Rhodes

Two thousand miles and you
and I are driving through the prairies,
driving to the east coast through these
small words and endless repetitions of space.
The pavement splayed through fields
as if feeling its limits.
Stations on the radio surface in and
out of static, the music
of this place-wheat baking
in summer thermals, barley
bending at the side of the road
in our wake. Now, in this bruised light,
you sleep and we could be nothing
but the chronicles of our escapes --
always surprised by what we loved,
by what chose to love us.
If we spoke, now,
what would we say?
Something full of longing
but empty of appetite?
An insight from the radio gospel hour
or bargain finder where someone
is getting closer to god while someone else
sells a tractor? There is something I want
and the more I enter it the more I need to enter.
At a laboratory in CERN (the radio
news now) they have discovered
a new type of matter - something
smaller than smallest -- while we,
on a road in Northern Nebraska,
have found the oldest type of space.
There is no end, now, to what we run away from
or to. Even together we were more
singular than alone. Praise
be to god
the scientists croon
as they chain-link the world.
Poplars by the side of the road
fall into their name.
We will disappear then, too,
like matter, into the history
of our complaints.


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Shane Rhodes has published poetry, essays and reviews in magazines, journals and newspapers across Canada. He has also had work broadcast on CBC Radio One's Definitely Not the Opera, Between the Covers and This Morning. He has been an editor with The Fiddlehead, filling Station and Qwerty.

Shane won the Alfred G. Bailey Award and the Alberta Book Award for Poetry for his first collection, The Wireless Room. His second book, Holding Pattern, was published in Spring 2002 by NeWest Press. Greenboathouse published Shane's chapbook tengo sed in 2004.


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