Every street was Italian
the inks on my map blotched and ran
the motorways rose and fell like roller coasters
singing choruses from I Pagliacci.
German and English signs
had been broken and tossed aside.
Gargoyles on buildings dressed in suits
money managers amok
commandeered red double-deck buses from
their streetcar tracks.
I was driving a taxi full of hit-men
who were expecting me to get them quickly to
and to avoid the carabinieri.
Chris Pannell’s latest poetry book is A Nervous City (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013). This title recently won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year.
From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop and published two anthologies of work by that group.
He has a book of poetry forthcoming in 2016 called How We Came to Pass. He is a former board member of the gritLIT Writers Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He hosts and helps organize the monthly Hamilton reading series Lit Live.