Home > Poetry > Kugluktuk
Published: Sun Jul 1 2007
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas

I thought I’d go to Alberta and it would hurt less,
And all I could think of was Calgary or Edmonton,
But a Canadian who happened to be in Los Angeles County
Said to me if it hurts why don’t you go to High Level because
Calgary or Edmonton, well it’ll hurt there like it does
In Pasadena but there’s no connect in High Level or wait
Go to Meander River where ho boy there’s no nothing,
It’s way up. If it hurts in Burbank which is not
Like the movies but like New Jersey, it won’t hurt
In Meander River for sure and probably not
In High Level either unless the hurt has
To do with something in which connect is not an
Issue if you know what I mean. Of course I
Knew what he meant. Who could I get to go
With me? I asked her and she said next
Thing you’ll want to go to Rae and Wha Ti and we’d be out
Far and in deep. Do you promise to stop forever
In High Level? No, I promise to try to go to
Rae at least or to Wha Ti. And/or to Wha Ti? she
Asked. Afraid so, I said. No, she said.

Was there a place beyond, yes farther, a little bit like New Jersey,
Burbank, Pasadena, Calgary, and Edmonton, AND
A little bit like Wha Ti? she
Asked. Somewhere in between as far as hurt no
Matter how far we’d go? after
All, the globe is round and you could come
Back to where you had been by going the same way
Long enough? she asked. She maintained. So she
Suggested a solution. If we were beasts and could fly
Without getting cold or falling it would be onerous but
Doable, for instance, she further suggested,
And even if we might die it might be worth a try,
Two huge irregular creatures in the sky above an occasional person.

Arthur Vogelsang is the author of four collections of poetry. He has received honors including the Juniper Prize, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and appearances in Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. He is the former editor of The American Poetry Review. (updated 6/2010)

Back to top