Jim Feeney was born in Dublin and has lived in Vancouver since 1979. He has published previously in Cyphers (Ireland), The sHop (Ireland), In-Flight Literary Magazine, Oddball Magazine, the Galway Review, Anti Heroin Chic, The Basil O’Flaherty, Rat’s Ass Review and others. He also writes lyrics for The Mitchell Feeney Project (album “Crossing Lines” available on iTunes and cdbaby)
The Hornet in the Light Fixture
It began with squirrels in the attic
a decomposing rat in the basement wall
fat iridescent flies buzzing through the hall
like jet fighters through a canyon.
Myron bought a deodorant
the smell of which was worse than the smell
it was designed to mask.
Then his son left to become an adult
and his wife began to look at him
like he had a best before date
stamped on his forehead.
Out came the books about self-actualization,
finding one’s bliss,
Myron felt surplus, redundant.
Then the hornet flew out of the pot light in the master bedroom
-legs dangling, articulated fuselage-
and circled below the ceiling
like a stealth bomber in a holding pattern.
The next day they put the house on the market
and his wife left to find spiritual awakening
in the colour, and clamour of India.
Slim gets off the no.3 bus
at the corner of Hastings and Main
-the corner of Desperate and Lost-
having travelled east on the 99 express,
his nose stuck in the feral stink
of some guy’s armpit,
wishing, not for the first time,
that he was six inches taller.
A country lyric twangs in his head
something about “the losing side of town”.
He surveys the wreckage all around him:
a guy with a raw scabrous face
a bundle of rags twitches in a doorway;
people are scurrying back and forth
like they’ve received a message
from an alien dispatcher
that the mother ship has landed,
and they can’t find a toothbrush;
further on in a laneway that smells of piss
a man and a woman, both dressed in black
with sweating raddled faces
sway back and forth shouting:
Fuck you! No! Fuck you!
in a profane loop.
Repartee, Slim says,
to no one in particular,
what an unexpected bonus.