Ultra Vires


Ode to Pho Hung


By Magnus Jerusalem

There is a cavern on Bloor
Gaping, wires and struts
Men crawl out of it
And into it.

Do you remember?
Trying to subtly
Check yourself out
In the mirrored stairway

Did you ever use?
The cashier’s scotch mint contraption
A spoon through a hole
Physical coordination required

Did you ever learn?
How to order more tea:
1. Turn the tea lid upside down
2. Place that lid on top the tea pot
3. Wait thirty-five minutes

I wonder how they got our ghosts out.
Because there is simply no way
That thousands of law students
Balled up stress and pity
Passed through that place
Without leaving some supernatural stain

And now it will be a condo
That seems like it would be important
If this poem were written by Naomi Klein

But I guess it is weird, that
A family will watch TV
In the same physical location
As you once cried into your Pho

We ought to pursue a temporal, emotional easement
And reserve the right forever and always
To barge into whatever domicile it becomes
And shout to the gods:
V6! V6! V6!

People tell me there are other Pho Hungs
I tell them go home, Cary, you’re drunk.
I may as well plan to dine in heaven, dine in hell
For they are as likely venues
As any more than two blocks away from school


This is the way the poem ends
This is the way the poem ends
This is the way the poem ends
Not with an insight, but with a reference.

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