Jamie Sharpe: five poems

Coinage of Emotional Exchange

My internal fax machine is in counsel
with your inner fax machine

but we’ve replaced the laser toner
with wine. Words become Rorschach tests
whose meaning is lost, beyond aims
to intoxicate. Penny for your thoughts?

Don’t tell me. Spit Pinot Grigio
in my face.


Once you spray it, it’s obvious.

The napkin, pressed to my brow,
now reads: Forget fax machines
until you understand charge-coupled
devices; refrain from dog homes
until we’ve deconstructed pyramids.


Classically conditioned to drink:

a 1300-Herz tone and you drool words;
at 800-Herz it’s delirium tremens.

A Frequently Occurring, 
Shared Condition We Know 
Little About

Everyone’s subjective existence,
like not having porridge
on your kitchen table

because you can’t afford a kitchen table.
The word-things are in skulls
and are not of this canteen.

It’s self-evident (if you’re the author
of Poetry and the Common Life).


Didn’t write the book
so much as dream it into
our syllabus.
Or you were the dreamer—
if so, where are my pants?

I thought I put them
in the breakfast nook.


Now you’ve done it,
you’ve gone and soiled
my trousers with Cream of Wheat.

Unsafe, Sincere Appreciation

Ten-thousand hours to be great
at anything. With a scarf, the hours
spent perfecting its ten-thousandth

stitch are manifest: knot-after-knot
laid bare.


The scarf had trouble finding
its audience so married a rapper
and leaked a sex tape.


Half your fans believed
hypothermia’s a hoax.

Slit throats. The wounded,
warm embrace.


A Red Carpet for the Sun
With One Review

Silent dress rehearsals. Soft
openings. Foreclosure signs
shadowing your door. Endless
queues of beautiful geniuses

coerced me to dine
on box-cutters and industrial
microwaves. It’s tasty.
I’m satisfied. Four stars.


Seventeenth in the thirty-four part,
Stellar Brigadoon series.


You won some
book award, Irving?

That’s adorable.


20/20 Prophesy

The day of the pink cross
pregnancy test I lugged our cat
into the alley and shot her

with a Supersoaker.
Removed the wireless option
on my pacemaker

to prevent terrorist attacks.
Excised empathy
for the same reason.

Took Chewable
Eucharist for Kids
it was laser eye surgery.


Awake and grope
after glasses on the nightstand.
Then see them clearly.

The carpet’s pile
quivers in the distance.


Jamie Sharpe is the author of two poetry collections, Animal Husbandry Today (ECW Press, 2012) and Cut-up Apologetic (ECW, 2015). He lives in Whitehorse.

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