“National Poetry Month” #4: Michael Boughn

The Mad Trapper of Rat River

Most people engaged in either extraordinary
chase associated with normal forms
of etiquette or some other enforcement
of regular outcomes will find the whole thing

impaled on assumptions of closure’s infinite
grace. The names have been eliminated
to perform evasions of severe paralysis
arising from expectations of a statutory

dénouement where Rose Marie rides
to the rescue claiming divine inspiration.
Failure to declare appropriate test results
issues in further objections. But when

distances return time to previous
infestations of untenable nicks,
regulatory horsemen enter ready
to shock the recognition of alien i.d.s

into writhing unknown figures on the floor
of cagey interruptions. Never
knowing his name is a state associated
with actual disorientation which often

resembles visual deregulation as it
emerges in landscapes notable
for white. Tracks lead into deep instance’
accumulated drifting and then just

as quickly are gone trailing nothing
in the most emphatic of gestures. Madness
then indicates a certain willingness
to walk into it. It’s not that walking into it

is not the same walking into it as this
morning, but knowing that returns
to another time. Last seen in Dufferin
Grove Park is another instance of it

the horsemen in doubt about the possibility
but always getting things being what
it has been known to require, they pursue
all known avenues of egress, commandeering

the great white north and Jimmy Stewart
from other poems to subdivide the arrival
lounge into trackable versions of otherwise
disparate evasions of fading renewal.

This is a great Canadian poem for the ages that has been taken from Great Canadian Poems for the Aged, a book all about “Michael Boughn’s Canada.”

MICHAEL BOUGHN is the author of numerous books, including three volumes of poetry published by BookThug: 22 Skidoo / SubTractions – Opus minus one; Cosmographia: a post-Lucretian faux micro-epic (short listed for the GG Award for poetry in 2011); and Great Canadian Poems for the Aged Vol. 1 Illus. Ed. City – Book One, Singular Assumptions is forthcoming from BookThug. With Victor Coleman, he edited Robert Duncan’s The H.D. Book which was published by the University of California Press. He was immortalized in the Globe and Mail as “an obscure, veteran poet with a history of being overlooked . . ..”

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