page 52

by Steven McCabe

I saw a concealed camera. The building owner said, ‘Keep this to yourself. I can give you a better deal.’ They were trying to catch whoever pulled the fire alarms. I took a two-year lease on a bright, spacious studio. New owners took over. My lease expired. They showed me an abandoned studio containing a four-foot high plaster bust of John F. Kennedy. I wrote the artist a letter. His uncle took me to a basement apartment in Brampton. The artist had been living in his mother’s house. Dishes filled the drainer beside the sink. His thin leather coat hung, buttoned, on a wire hanger. Augustin Filipovic won the Mayor of Rome’s Award. His art embellished the cover of Canada’s Centennial Book. Augustin looked like a movie star, wearing a tuxedo & waltzing in the spotlight with a pretty girl in white.

from my book Meme-Noir (2019)