archives winter 2009



There Is a Room Reserved for the Hopeless

The bright yellow pain
t is chipping

The inmates do not share the time of day
or even the most casual of glances.

We’ve less to say than you can imagine.

the clock is the book most often referred to
The Reader’s Digest books

may well be rigged.  We swallow pills
and eight cups of water
three square meals
from clock shaped plates
with hour and minute hands for fork and knife
to clatter a little too loudly

We observe the trolley enter at nine, twelve and five.
Turns are taken at bemoaning the chill
the food caught on the journey from a kitchen we’ve never seen.

Within the reserved room is the room to which our smoking
is reserved.  Weeping is welcome everywhere.

I was told he was working on a book called E=9
the hopelessness of its completion
was grounds for his admission.

They’re hoping I’ll vacate soon.



Wall-less, windowless, blind and confined.
This reminder of where we get off
is necessary.  Tonite, let me be the knife
not the knifed.  All the times I wanted to destroy
and had only sarcasm, I pay for in terror, little frankensteins,
I cannot control.  Dreams are carved into
our DNA, wait to arrest us like disease.



Anger does not expire.
He looked at me like a receipt
for something rotting at the back of his fridge
or a map given to him as a menu.
As if I were a stain on his pants. 

I wanted the ocean to expand and swallow us.
I do not expand I do not swallow
like the stain on his pants
I’m excuse enough for replacement.
like the receipt I prove investment.
I’m a real keeper.


The Quick And Slow Lists

I made the painting quickly
I smoked the reward slowly.

I broke my heart quickly
I chewed my shadow slowly.

I ran slowly away
from my sick room.

Where I mourned you quickly
for five years and counting.

I composed thank yous slowly
and typed them quickly

my stiff little fingers
complied, complied.

I walked to your house quickly
prayed for my very own

genius to pounce on me
ravage and confuse me,

make me impatient and wiry
enough to keep you.  


Angela Hibbs’s first collection, Passport, was longlisted for the Relit Award. Her second collection, Wanton, from which these poems are drawn, is forthcoming.  She is a graduate of the MA in creative writing at Concordia University and a fan of cello music. Her work has appeared in Exile, Matrix, Room of One’s Own, Urban Graffiti X, and nthposition.com.