Reuben Canning Finkel

: house fire


leap from the flame
& into these big
bald vacant streets

you lick the air 
as if it were a salt-block, 
               each hoof 
clop a glint of sparks 
hot enough 
to kick the air unconscious 

so fuck the reins,
rain, soon enough

foam will build 
up like spit, 

the efforts of your sex
only smolder & husk

again, again, again

all spectacle
and ash
and embarrassment. 


: ocean

we do not cut water
by the rise 
of our strength 

instead, the route out
is raw
and chewing tide, 

and I don’t quite understand
how to hold both oars

but soon something 
like a rhythm 
coughs into pace

& we escape the cove
to see this earth’s face
all bruised red, 
               rock pikes 
spearing the sky’s palette
like wisdom teeth

the stubble of landslides
and hawk’s nests 
and brief pouts of moss
as bright as steamed broccoli

steep & belonging
to no one
to nothing.  


: taxi cab

we’re inside your belly now
& there’s gunk
all over these polyester seats
that sticks our skin like margarine 

99.1’s blaring fuss, seat-belts
tight as intestinal string,
the flat smell 
of barbequed ribs
smothering the air & hot

we do not take shortcuts,
                       the car
shrugs into every stop-sign
then stalls, coughs up 
engine bunk 

but a good song 
comes on, 


I tap my feet. 






Reuben Canning Finkel is a poet and musician living in St. John's, Newfoundland. His work has appeared in Frontier Poetry, Free Framed, Riddle Fence, Projector Magazine and Paragon. Reuben is a recent graduate from Memorial University with an B.A. (Hons) in English and Philosophy.