Poetry Submission by Jamie Lupia

Brock University English student Jamie Lupia is a consistent submitter, and has given us two more poems to share with you. These pieces utilize a more conversational tone, especially “Who spilt something on the burner?”, along with slight metaphorical imagery that provides the reader with a perception both grounded in reality and a surreal sensorium. Lupia’s use of repetition creates both a rhythmic flow, yet has a draining quality to it: it exhausts, yet infuses a voice that is both didactic and chanting. This is most evident in “Wasting Paper” and the anaphoric “i,” which anchors the speaker until the last few lines. Unravelling the reader within the final words of her poems is just one of Lupia’s great talents as a writer, so make sure to read these poems all the way through; you won’t be disappointed.

Wasting Paper

if past lives exist
i was a tree
i have to be
i really truly think this because my fingers are littered with rings
some brass, some wooden, and one in the shape of a coffin
i feel guilty when i use disposable plates
when i cry i use the same damp tissue over and over again
i always use both sides of the paper and you should too
i love my bed so much my feet are like roots to the sheets
my toes seem a little longer than regular
i cannot take a joke

i am always thirsty
birds sing to me when i am outside like i am the second coming of nature
the only way to see if I’m dead is if you peel my bark back
it hurts me to waste this paper
but i do


Who spilt something on the burner?

Mama always told me to clean the burners. She also told me
to make sure there isn’t soup or residue of cinnamon roasted
cashews on the stove top. People tend to spill and people tend
to forget to clean up their messes. They always seem to drop
food between the cracks, and that is the worst – because when
you feed something, it will always come back.
Anyway, in extreme cases, Mama says, there will be skin on the
burners; the left over of times people have been seared. Whatever.
They always leave it for the next person to clean
up and scrub with blue SOS pads until they are red with blood
from bubbled skin. Mama always told me that sometimes we will
spill, and if we do to always clean it up.
She taught me a cool trick where you soak sponges in soap before
you scrub, and then when you do scrub, everything comes off easier.
It hurts less that way.
Always make sure to unplug the stove while you clean so it doesn’t
ignite you. One day I met a boy who smelt like grilled cheese, but not
so much the sandwich, but like the burns. He smelt like black
grit collecting on the rim of the spatula. My fingers blistered just
looking at him. I took a sponge and soaked it, and remembered
what Mama told me. Someone spilt something on his burner, and
my lungs deserve to inhale food – not fire.

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