From the July Issue
The shrink, like all the others, is a quack
who thinks he has me pegged and pigeonholed,
that early childhood deprivation, lack
of love, caused my compulsion to enfold,
decreed in adulthood I'd manifest
an infant need by what I'd seize and hold.
It's true each acquisition spurred my quest
for more, as every gain revealed a void,
but I hoped one day, sated, I would rest
with assets fixed and round about deployed,
take stock, indulge in pleasant reckoning
and revel in fulfilment, unemployed.
A prison has its own concentric rings,
though few of us present a risk of flight:
white-collar felons, po-faced, puttering
or watching amber fade away to night,
when I will shed what's left, return to birth,
in sleep reclaim as my remaining right
the idle plenitude I lost, my worth.
Brian Stanley was born in Madrid and educated in French until high school. His poems have been longlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize (2011) and published in the Literary Review of Canada and Encore. He lives in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.