“Secret Interference” – Aaron Boothby

A scene played out in the reflective confines of mirrors
their glass broken       pieced back together       the image
never again winning a unity       We torment each other
in suits with scripts       whisky and glitter       hide a face
behind a velvet curtain       luxuriating to exhaustion

Cascades of monotone thunder behind the walls
signals through hidden nerves       hands pressed down
palms to the floor       pounding of a vulgar piano       boulders
tumbling in lightless cathedrals       the whole earth only
a skin       mouths a cleft       opening on it with ice for breath

She turns on the recording: voices giving orders
voices receiving orders       historical whispers choking up
with false bravery       vomit       ferrous taste seeping out
from the past to us       bodies sweating with fear       soldiers
in basements playing at war       But the cost       at the end

A radio plays in the tape’s background: a jazz waltz
We rise to the dance       Someone asks what to do
with the body       She bites at my ear       Someone coughs
flicks a lighter       Someone suggests taking them up
on a little helicopter ride       Held close I begin to sob

Not deviation       but theatrics       Where did we find
these uniforms?       We play at someone else’s invention
not knowing where it comes from       What terror
of gesture and habit       orders       fear       stench of pain
ours a false heroism       a mimicry       playing the play



Aaron Boothby is a poet who lives and writes in Montréal where no one ever seems to know what language they should speak. This is a very good thing. Work has appeared recently in Whiskey Island and Lemon Hound while small things are tweeted @ellipticalnight.