Mosquito Coils

Posted: April 13, 2010 in Poetry

I am wiped… tired… exhausted… drained. I need some downtime. No idea when I will get it.

CONTEXT: February, 2009

So I went to Dusty Owl after being away for a while. Poetic Speed was the feature so I fought back my pneumonia to go down.

Great show, but that pretty much goes without saying when Komi is the feature.

So the Object of Desire competition object was a package of mosquito coils. I had no plans to compete, as I was still feeling pretty weak and tired.

Then inspiration hit.


When we moved to Ottawa
From the western wilds of
Rocky Mountains and Pacific whitecaps,
We were met at the airport
By a welcome wagon
Of smiling well-wishers
With a survival guide
And care package designed
To ready us for life along the
Rideau River.

They gave us winter coats.
They gave us a snow shovel.
And they gave us a package
Of mosquito coils.

“Why?”, I asked
We know about the winter
That freezes you through until
You can no longer feel your
Bones and toes and soul
Freezing as the celsius
Drops to ridiculous levels.

But a mosquito coil?

I guessed that mosquito season
Has little buzzing things flitting
Around your ears,
Biting and stinging,
Draining blood
One insect-sized breakfast at a time.

No, we were told. It is worse.

Oh, it must be black-fly season
Taking pieces of your flesh
Drawing red life-fluid
In ever-quickening drips
Like a reverse I.V.
Leaving you pale and dizzy,
Gasping for breath and
Grasping for release.

No, we were told. It is much worse.

“Then why do we need these coils?” we asked

“Well,” they said,
“Soon parliament will be in session.”


I won. 🙂

Next up is a piece I wrote in respect for the great poets who created the scene we now enjoy.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rusty Priske. Rusty Priske said: #rustythepoet Mosquito Coils […]

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