‘Hopewell Cape’ by Stevie Howell (from EVENT 43/1)
In order to whet your appetite for our current issue, we’ve decided to release one of two poems by poet/critic Stevie Howell. We hear she has a new book coming out. We hear the title of that book is just a series of repeated symbols. Curious? Check it out.
Enjoy the poem… and spread the word!
Imagine a man who polishes brass doorknobs.
Who places clear vinyl runners with cleats
over wall-to-wall carpets
to protect pile from family.
Imagine this man negotiating a Roger’s technician,
who claims he needs to drill through brick
to run the Internet cable
to my bedroom. Imagine it’s 2003.
Imagine that man lurking through the house as the tech
tricorders corners. Imagine a hiss from the hall,
‘What do you need
that goddamn thing for anyway?’
Then, once installed, it’s no longer interference he’s running,
but a curiosity so intense it becomes anxiety
and hijacks his scheduled
preoccupations, or naps.
You explain: ‘You can see anything on here, Pop.’
You ask: ‘What do you want to see?’
He shrugs, frowns,
and turns from the doorway.
Then returns with his wife, your grandmother,
and she’s giddy—you’ve kept them waiting.
‘Show me down east!
Show me Hopewell Cape!’
Hopewell Cape turns out to be hoodoos and grottos
on a shoreline. ‘Oh, Warren!’ she cries.
They cradle and sway, and tears pool beneath
their bifocals, and magnify.
Imagine you drove to Hopewell Cape on your honeymoon,
teenagers, expecting, camera-less,
60-odd years ago. And you have only since
seen this place if you closed your eyes and tried.
You can’t imagine that, can you?
‘Hopewell Cape’ appears in EVENT 43/1, which is available in our online shop now.
STEVIE HOWELL is a poet and critic from Toronto. In 2013, her work was shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize, and in 2012 she was a finalist for the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. She has been published in numerous Canadian periodicals. Her first book of poetry is ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ (Ice House, an imprint of Goose Lane Editions, Fall 2014).