Two Poems
by Alice Burdick

Touch a Truck Day 

Massive understatement,
over the Delaware and into a mall.
The first gasp at underwater breathing.
Loud bed through air – the flying question.

Someone retrieve the gallop
as it turns into a revolutionary song.
Become some clouds
over commerce.

The horror of lack of commerce.
Options are limited, but there’s still
Eternal Truth Tax Services.  Military
boards first, or their yearning families,
tattoos of loyalty and fear,
or just perpetual boredom.

A big discussion of very high ceilings.
Never stop working for intrigue.  It must be
strange to pull all that aggravation
into an aggregate.

Soothing recordings of calm fear|
and danger.  Dulcet and numbing,
all that painful closure.  Knoxville is full
and closed.  “You’re good,” repeated,
calm assurance in crowded aisles.

Three flags,
one lawn.


Annoyance chart

Well, how do you name a man
with a title, as a Father isn’t
my father, who I don’t call Father Steven
but Dad – yet this guy with the collar,
this guy I don’t even know,
has a third-party (God?) designation?

Not impressing the CFAs
with my lack of authentic NS cred,
but I have crud on my shoes
and the car got hit by enthusiastic
dive-bombing gulls, genuine
skyborne Atlantic shit,
so I’m good.

The things I don’t know exist
could fill books, and a magazine –
and they do, they do – it’s a mail-order
arrangement to buy eternal necessities.



Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Born and raised in Toronto, she has also lived in Halifax, Espanola, Vancouver, and on the Sechelt Peninsula. In the early 1990s, she was co-editor of The Eternal Network, and assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. Her work has appeared in magazines including Dig, What!, subTerrain, This Magazine, and Who Torched Rancho Diablo? She is the author of many chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, Simple Master (Pedlar Press), Flutter (Mansfield Press), and most recently, Holler (Mansfield Press). Her work has also appeared in Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press), Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence (The Mercury Press), Pissing Ice: An Anthology of ‘New’ Canadian Poets (BookThug), My Lump in the Bed: Love Poems for George W. Bush (Proper Tales Press), and Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansfield Press).