“On Fainting in Tube Stations” by Carter Vance

I don’t want that smart bomb sort
of love, that painless thing all
beset with clang of rust knife,
mouse click, screen swipe, before you
meet to touch.

I wish us not to belong to modernity’s
gold-laced bars, that hedonist’s
psychology of the thing,
but rather in some futurist’s fashion,
reinventing risk in step.

To pass time with pine needling
observance, vain seduction
of pictures waiting in turn,
runs its course as long as rivers
flow, grass grows green.

Revealing stares of Platonic
shape, shoving awkwardly in
slumber party chatter, imagination
of wedding cake decorations
at fifteen and vine hanging solemn.

Can’t let the clock hands drop
mania of wording tongue;
buying books of Badiou
and Sartre to make sense
of name.

Like opening of lips to
accept chest breath, resigned
laying, light pollution obstruction
for North Stars on south-facing
youth spit-shine ball diamond.

There aren’t five couplets for that
stringing lamppost memory I’ll
write in old age about it, these
summery flings between accolade pages.

Or, then again, with bonfire we make
of address books, of phone records
like some desperate Polish secret police
archivist on the walls’ last day:

I’ll forget
but,
no, couldn’t
that clumsy kind of love.


Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. His work has appeared in such publications as A Swift Exit, (parenthetical) and the Scarlet Leaf Review. He received an Honourable Mention from Contemporary Verse 2’s Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2014. His work also appears on his personal blog Comment is Welcome (commentiswelcome.blogspot.com).

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/rubio2d/

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