Jay Ritchie



I remind myself to exist
in the everlasting present

drafting an email
to a potential employer in my head
subject line:

Every Brand Has a Story–
Here’s Mine.

I remind myself to say instead

The wind hitting my body cannot be
said to have a beginning or an end

or Guys in bright shoes are playing soccer
on the astroturf at Alma and St. Zotique

or Choose a job that you love
and you will never have to work a day in your life

hopeless though it is
like an inner tube at a pool party
nostalgic for asphalt.

I’m worried about it now
the fact that I expect something to go wrong
so often that when it does
it does not seem wrong at all

only another variation in the long event
that I react to calmly
and with detached humour

while I search for a more affordable service provider
wasting time being surprised
by the manipulative psychology
of my lemon ginger tea

Caution! The beverage you are about to enjoy– 

It’s never enough

to plan a route with Google Earth
I always end up
with a Street View of Chipotle Mexican Grill
in 3D-rendered Midtown

but a surge of love
comes while reading a recipe for Dragon Bowls

– Red cabbage
– Daikon
– Sunflower sprouts
– Carrot
– Beets

gone already
and I sit with the error
that is increasingly hard to recognize

like a rotating cast of symbols
or affects I can feel the borders of
pushing against the pelican wall





a young girl’s shirt said
when I was drinking alone at Jarry Park
being me

about night before electricity
if the soil spoke the truth

if in so doing
I am perpetuating colonial understandings
of authenticity.

I guess I confirmed a thing at the show
about now being better
than the idea of now

keeping in mind what is eternal cannot be named
a thing I knew better as a teenage Taoist
choosing not to smoke pot at lunch in high school
though I wasn’t having “fun” per se

stumbling heavy with direction and magnitude
into High Def spherical rooms

like when reading Rilke in translation
and by habit stumbling onto the verso
reißt durch beide Bereiche alle Alter

grasping the spectra without meaning
on the corner of Alma and St. Zotique.


You have in your head
a few notes of a tune
but you don’t know what it is.

If you hum it, it ends up becoming
a different song.

Jay Ritchie is the author of the poetry chapbook How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside (Metatron, 2014) and the short story collection Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac, 2014). His work has appeared in The Puritan, Spork, Vallum, Glittermob, Everyday Genius, Matrix, Joyland, and other places. He is Assistant Editor for Metatron in Montreal and tweets at @jaywritchie.