Dominik Parisien

OLD YOUNG MAN

Listen to the audio version.

Youth is not a shield
           but a spell:
the illusion that
      for a time
one should be
      immortal,
          untouched.

You are too young
          to be so ill.


Why tell me I am wrong
impossible
as I am
when I am
here.

* * *

DEGENERATION

Listen to the audio version.

When we speak in the abstract
of generations dissipating

          Soon, that way of thought will die
          with them


we so often hope
for the extinction only of an other.
Like grammar, exceptions are everywhere:
please, not our parent or pépère. Just the fading of the older.

*

When they speak in the abstract
  of generations degenerating

          Back in my day children werenít,
          well, whatever this is


they so seldom see anything
but themselves. In the absence
of their mother or mémère, the words
of old become their own.

*

When we speak in the abstract
  of generational dealings

     I would or we wonít,
     we were or we didnít


we all forget past and future
are not just times or tenses
but languages we think we speak
fluently.

 

Dominik Parisienís work can be found in The Fiddlehead, Plenitude, Train: a poetry journal, Uncanny Magazine, as well as other magazines and anthologies. His poetry chapbook, We, Old Young Ones is forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press. He is also the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood, which won the Shirley Jackson Award, and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual, French Canadian. He lives in Toronto.