Viewer Commiseration is Contrived is the Third Place Winner of Room’s 2022 Poetry Contest, as judged by Lillian Allen. You can find the full list of winners, and what judge Lillian Allen had to say about each winning piece, here.
Viewer Commiseration is Contrived
Last time on “The #War”…
I try to live my life,
drink my coffee slowly,
do what дедушка says:
remember my citizenship,
fall into the safety net,
watch explosion fallouts on IG reels,
taste gunpowder too tart for mainstream.
Coming up after the break:
A brewery named Pravda (truth)
pastes the naked dictator on its label,
adds Ukrainian cussing in English letters,
makes Molotov cocktails / exploding хуйло /
distributes them in Lviv.
We’ll be right back after these short messages.
Have you had your daily dose of tragedy today?
Come see my ribcage. It’s like the Soviet paraphernalia store
on Oakwood and Vaughan: no opening hours,
call (my real name) for a visit.
The first refugee I met from Donbas sang, guitar to chest,
perched on a painted metal sculpture at Dundas West Fest.
I met her on pavement, eyes wet. She told me two things:
her name and “тримайся.”
It means “hold on.”