Our poetry section is a showcase of young Canadian poets. This month’s poet is Patrick Edwards-Daugherty.

Patrick Edwards-Daugherty was born in North Carolina in 1974 and
grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. He studied physics at McGill and at
Cambridge. He founded a software company, Pleiades, in 1999. He
writes fiction and poetry as well as a web comic, Secret Vespers. He
now lives in Montreal.

“Toast” is a film conceived and directed by Patrick
Edwards-Daugherty. It is to be released in 2010 under a public
source license and made available to other film-makers for
re-mixing. Along with a series of poems on the theme of toast, it is
part of a larger project that deals with repetition, variation, and
our times.


Her photographs are in a tidy album.
Where the village houses meet the ground
a stain some inches deep
marks the topsoil scraped away and sold.
She flips to a clay brick schoolhouse, its mortar
from one page to the next has thinned,
but these children in their uniforms look
so proud it will break your heart.
She sips, allows a moment of triumph to emerge
and explains the next project,
“like this village was made for us!”  She is delighted.
In the capital it is raining, it always is,
pouring into the gutters and pooling
out from her umbrella at brunch.
She orders bottled water, an aid worker’s habit,
and heaps the jam of an exotic fruit
onto her toast.  She cannot get enough.


The cat has somehow learned
how to flush the toilet, its swirl
dangerous and mesmerizing,
and how to load the toaster.

Under “cool science” I read:
“To a cat, each repetition is perfectly distinct
and surprising, even, in its tiny variations.”

The article compares the mind of a cat
to a meditative monk,
postulates that the films of Dali, Warhol,
and a thousand film students
might fascinate it.
I doubt any of that is true.

Yet all morning it is the same bell
at ninety second intervals, the same
slice of bread
burning to a char.



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