Letter to Canada
(pace Allen Ginsberg's "America")
Canada, when will we finally enforce a Pax Canadiana in America,
replacing all their automatic weapons with hockey sticks?
Canada, the dollar closed at .77 today, April 11, 2016,
for the first time since October 2015.
I'm feeling sunnier than ever.
Canada, once Saint-Pierre et Miquelon beg to join our union,
please invite the Turks and Caicos too—
It's only fair!
Canada, I'm very pleased with all the saints of Nouveau-Brunswick:
Andrew, John, Stephen, etc.
It's a real blessing to have such a plenitude.
When will we have that painting of the Fathers of Confederation redone,
showing each dandy grandee puffing a spliff?
When will we turn every legislature
into a Native Friendship Centre,
ordering dollar-a-day daycare spaces?
When will we celebrate again the glories of hydroelectric power?
There was once a time when Hydro was electrifying,
helping to spark humming-along revolutions
whispers of happiness as the lights turned down
Canada, the CANDU reactor was secretly Buddhist!
Canada, the supermarkets are full of dieters!
The donut and the donair, poutine and perogies,
are almost endangered menu items—
at least in the organic, fringe-movement communes.
Canada, I'm still missing the passion that erupted
at Expo 67, and again in 88, briefly,
that time we claimed The World's Fastest Man.
Canada, it's fetching how you made over Neil Armstrong into Neil Young,
thus bringing stardust down to earth.
Clearly, the best way to chill any overheated dispute is
to patriate a Constitution,
almost any one will do:
Andorra's looks promising.
It's quite agreeable to borrow monarchies too,
especially if they're photogenic
(so I hear).
As for Grey Owl, the Anglo impersonator,
he likely helped us sell a lot more William Henry Drummond
and a lot more John McCrae
in the souvenir shop at Vimy Ridge, Canada,
our terra firma in France.
Canada, the apple blossoms are arriving!
Canada, I was a fan of Bertie Einstein and of Bobby Stanfield:
I liked Einstein's quasi-Afro and Stanfield's serious long johns.
My psychologists pitch excellent tax advice.
I found bliss in reading Pierre Elliott Trudeau's
descriptions of McIntosh
and dancing madcap crazy in Beijing
in October 1960.
(J.F.K. couldn't top that!)
Pick up a copy of Deux innocents en Chine rouge.
See for yourself!
I'm addressing you as a poet.
We are going to study Cartier (the font) together
and occupy Cuba again next winter.
I enjoy that Latin phrase on our coins—
"Dei Gratia Regina":
It helps us stay on our linguistic toes—
in case we end up on Jeopardy!
I'm obsessed by Jeopardy!
But only because it almost matches Question Period
for elucidation, enlightenment, radical improvement!
There's non other way to have Peace, Order, Good Government.
There's no other way to have that headline,
that T-shirt slogan,
I want Peace, Order, and Good Government,
especially in nations that don't have it,
and then we'd have a planet
finally regulated by guilds—
vintners, printers, carpenters, brewers, glaziers, etc.
I think that that's what it'd look like.
Canada, I want to continue, but there's a word limit.
There's always a reason.
Canada, I'm finally forging my black-ink signature on the Constitution.
No HST due.
[“Dear Canada.” The Globe and Mail. [Toronto, ON] (Saturday, April 16, 2016): F4.]