Love Canal

Love Canal

Original Text

J. A Hamilton, Body Rain (Toronto: Brick Books, 1991): 12. For the poet reading this poem, see

2and the spawned babies
3of industrial parks
4are starting to talk back.
6it's adolescent urges with
7wet dreams and blood.
8We thought they would sink
9wrapped in flags forever
10-- Stars and Stripes --
11but they are moaning
12with headache, their
13mouths say it's the
14morning after.
15We are just people.
16            We are only people
17who didn't realize.
18So now they are hormonal
19-- want to fuck --
20want to hang out in poolhalls,
21drive souped-up cars
22and smoke crack.
23They roam the oceans and deserts
24like phosphorus knives,
25flammable with rage
26at our desertion,
27riding the waves and hillocks
29for a party of destruction.


1] Love Canal: a toxic-waste dump site for industrial and military chemicals and refuse until 1953, located in Niagara Falls, New York. Later, two schools and a housing development were built on the site. By 1976, the toxic effects of the dump site were producing many birth-defects, miscarriages, cancers, and other diseases in the families settled in this 36-square-block neighbourhood. After a federal health emergency was declared, residents were relocated, their houses demolished, and the whole area fenced off. Back to Line
5] the terrible two's: a period of temper tantrums androwdiness in infants. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
Special Copyright

© Jane Eaton Hamilton, from whom permission to republish must be obtained in writing.