Original Text: 

Nyla Matuk. Sumptuary Laws. Montréal, Québec: Vehicule Press, 2012.

1I feel like a mad Roman emperor with a history of failures
2at miniature golf. I’ll play at being truly imperious,
3a Pimm’s-sipping sundowner
4in a striped sweater with the entitlement to be that individual,
5who can dismiss Torremolinos and
6cruise the radio dial for swing jazz.
7I celebrate Dominion Day, and say old bean.
8I’ll bend forward, a gauche hobby farmer,
9elphin green deviant bitchy lady,
10aiming for tiny stations of the cross as the
11Portuguese masquerade a masque
12of pascal ecstasies and triumphs somewhere else in the park.
13Street dust settles onto the terra cognita. A wino
14sleeps on a nearby bench
15while Pomeranians hunch and haw as bronco machines
16to please their four-foot mistresses.
17(Petit-four disciplinarians in pink and white,
18they squawk orders at dads who coo over teenaged tails
19strutting at the Strachan gates).
20The game obeys its ophidian creed, and my ball’s jilted overseas
21the way a woman rejects a player…
22And afternoon blooms with the flat oak tock between conversations,
23tock-ing of mallets, as dumb and smiling as flamingo beaks
24applied to obliging hedgehogs.
25Expect vindication from the colonial bourgeoisie
26while streetcars wax on in whale notes.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
2013
Special Copyright: 

Poem used with permission of the author.