Garbage Detail by Kevin Irie

Poet name: Garbage Detail Poem name: Kevin Irie Poem: I’m picking up litter left at the pond where a west breeze   gathers paper plates like a waiter,  clearing away   what it never consumed.  There are squashed water bottles   flat as gelled insoles. Food takeout buckets  tossed and emptied, only desired  when they were untouched.  There’s a ridged plastic bottle cap  you’d grip in your teeth.  No booze, no beer. Just twisted red napkins  like ripped party favours.  Wood skewers thin as infant fibulas   stripped of meat. A Chef Master instruction booklet  alongside its cannister whose   weight I’d equate to  an unlaunched torpedo. Here’s   a shriveled balloon small as a testicle.  Red plastic cups the size of child party hats   stomped in a tantrum.  The brown fecal smear of dipping sauce   wiped over cardboard cartons  stapled with ants. Poetry  is the farthest thing from my mind as I find inspiration to collect the garbage  no one else does. I feel sweet as icing smeared on a knife  going through memories that aren’t  even mine. Bagging the litter   like evidence against me,  who’s still got the time in this world  to do this. To commit  another good deed. End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Kevin Irie  Previously published in The Tantramar Re-Vision (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2021).  Kevin Irie is a Japanese-Canadian poet. His poems have been published in Canada, the States, Australia, and England, been broadcast on CBC Radio and have been translated into Spanish, French, and Japanese. He has twice been long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize and also shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year. His book The Colour of Eden was a finalist for 1997 The Toronto Book Award. Angel Blood: The Tess Poems, was nominated for the 2005 ReLit Award. His book, Viewing Tom Tomson: A Minority Report was a finalist for the 2013 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award and the Toronto Book Award. His new book, The Tantramar Re-Vision (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021) was picked by the CBC as one of the Spring Poetry Books 2021 and by Quill and Quire Magazine as part of their 2021 Summer Reading Guide. He lives in Toronto.