joie de vivre

i am drinking cruddy coors because i live in cruddy quebec

i am sodomizing god with my taste buds

with every sip

because they ran out of moosehead at the dep

sacre bleu i drink labatt’s too

for those not in the know these are anglo beers

because the quebecois corner stores only stock malt beers

with tinfoil labels and imports to justify the markup

i guess

i’d rather buy 4 beers than a litre of orange juice

to wash down my osti from my câlisse in my tabarnak

and ask some questions for alex trebek

i am trying to hit on you in advance

double down in double jeopardy for double romance

you’re big in japan i’m big in france

some common myths about montreal

are that we are all in three-way relationships

where mistresses abound

everybody’s hot as hell and speaks english

the problem people have with myths

is sometimes they’re simply truths

i came to this city because i had lost my joy of living

and like a womb this crossroads welcomed me in

town of city lights voluptuous charm and vagabond luck

i have no qualms with pride i have something better though

i am irreverently happy

and the best part of montreal is that i met you in it

and schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich

carnal godless delights like the poems of michel garneau

and the novels of réjean ducharme

smoking cigarettes with leonard cohen

produce shops separate from the supermarket

no parking anywhere at any time

white collar crimes in blue collar industries

the kind of place where when you wake up

the morning after somebody important’s died

you can feel the whole town mourning

mourntreal wombtreal maudtreal

lockpicking your identity with two tongues

french kissing to prevent frostbite

under the aurora borealis of searchlights

in the back of a free ride to nowhere in particular

spiral staircases in wintertime in summertime funicular

the secular sins of vocabulary

the revolutionary silence of vernacular

the vulgarity of familiarity immaculately spectacular

if the rest of the country were this place

we’d be at least all a little sassier if not a bit happier

time perhaps for the rest of canada to become montrealer

quoibec quel bel bec à quoi bon rené lévesque est mon mec

ben bon gaston miron nicole brossard émile nelligan marie uguay

denise desautels jean-paul daoust hélène dorion marie-claire corbeil

a province that is a nation that is a custody battle that is a love affair

and a town that is a mother that is a lover that is a refuge that is a thoroughfare

you are already here if you are all ready there

come in come in the city she loves you

but for the love of all that is holy

bring me some goddamn beer

Jay Miller (@sootynemm) is a young working writer. Recovering blogger and polyglot, reviewer, copywriter, translator, technical writer, editor, poet. His poetry appears in CWHOBB, Versification, mineral lit, and giallo. He edits The Lit Quarterly (@LitQuarterly) and holds a BA in Linguistics. He currently resides with his partner in downtown Montreal.

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