Jason Camlot

Another Poetry Occasion

I have been
writing poems
like this one
for a while now.

Poems that mark
temporally specific
occasions within
material objects
that constrain
the length of the

À la A. R. Amons
and his adding
tape. But different,
since I have not
yet extended my
occasions to such

I seem to prefer
little occasions,
that may have been
long in becoming
but short in

Like the occasion
of a death,
for example—
or a momentary
instance of shame.

At the Hilton Hotel
in Wilmington, NC,
Brandy and Bill
have gone missing.

A man is calling
loudly for them.

I hope they will be

The calling man
seems to be drunk
so perhaps the
sense of urgency
is not warranted.

I do not know
the specifics
of their circumstance.

But my intuition
tells me that Brandy
(maybe it’s Randy,
or Granny) will be

In any case, the occasion
of their disappearance
is not the occasion
of this poem.

Note the importance of
declaring the text’s
poetical nature for making
a poem of an occasion.

Increasingly, when I am
away from my son,
my daughter and
my wife, I feel
as if I must be dying
of cancer.

Oh you, and your quirky
little anxieties!

I know I’m no Woody Allen.
I’m no Lenny Bruce.
I’m no Quentin Tarantino.
I’m no Bruce Lee.
I’m no Julia Childs.
I’m no Juliette.
I’m not Childe Harold.
I’m no Romeo. No soap radio.

I remember that time
in grade one when
I told the joke
with the absurdist punch
line. It was the occasion
of my first self-conscious

Jason Camlot is the author of The Animal Library (2001, DC Books), Attention All Typewriters(2005, DC Books), The Debaucher (2008, Insomniac Press), and What the World Said (Mansfield, 2013). His recent research is about the history of literary sound recordings and the digitally recorded poetry (http://spokenweb.ca). He is Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Concordia University. @jcsped