In Defense of the Canon ~ obsessions

I would have been interested in Henry Fielding
as a man, yes, as a man, regardless of his pretensions
and his marrying a chambermaid. I would have eaten
large poultry meals with him then licked his throat.

& Sidney I would have seduced out on the battlefield
in my naughty nurse outfit. I would have said, My Lord,
let me take your temperature
, & occasioned a sonnet
sequence premiered at court. What a tragedy he died
so young that I have only his portrait to covet.

& Donne, well, there is no doubt I would have swooned, panted,
crawled into his confessional for repentance, admitting
all kinds of horrific deeds and thoughts just to hear him emit a gasp.

& Stein, I could have been her flapper mistress trading Freudian slips
over cryptic crosswords and 2000 piece jigsaw puzzles.

I’d have curled up with Calvino too, on a night train to the ends
of the world, offering myself up like the happiest whore. & out the caboose
we’d shoot the history of thoughts of dead writers. Love tumbling
out like syllables. The two halves of brain closing like a book.

Priscila Uppal is a Toronto poet, fiction writer and York University professor. Among her publications are eight collections of poetry, and her work has been published internationally and translated into Croatian, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Korean and Latvian. She was the first-ever poet-in-residence for Canadian Athletes Now during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic games as well as the Roger’s Cup Tennis Tournament in 2011. Time Out London recently dubbed her “Canada’s coolest poet.” www.priscilauppal.ca