ryan fitzpatrick

It’s Just The Way We Are Together

You ask, how do you hit a target that’s
everything? I plug my phone into the
USB port on my Macbook to charge it.

A bug in the OS collapses the battery. I
complain, but Apple has me in its ecosystem.
Those mosquito bites hard to account for.

Sometimes, it’s nice to talk like everybody,
to say the sun rises, even when everybody
knows it’s only a matter of speaking.

Redundancy scratches the kind of itch you
get between the knuckles. I rub my hand
raw against the edge of this reclaimed wood.

Maybe I’m not something enough? Back to
class and the natural cycles of information.
Water is constantly moving. Why aren’t you?

Oh, I Don’t Need A Hand In Mine To Feel

You ask, between toxic masculinity
and silly love song, what did Rosey Grier
sing? Whatever it was, was a laugh riot.

I answer with that ‘70s show of sensitivity.
I’m not talking ‘bout moving in, etc. Which
Season 4 episode made Hawkeye feminist?

What is “What’s your sign?” mounting?
A comeback? How do you slide into things?
DMs? Home base? Is any metaphor safe?

What resolves a dialectic exchange between
“Freedom from” and “freedom to”? It’s icy
and I pulled down my pants, but now what?

Maybe try crying it out: Every time a structure
of  feeling makes the words come out so
wrong, I have to say I’m anxious in a song.

Both The Value And Limits Of Such An Approach

You ask, how does gravity work on a flat
earth anyway? The pull of utilities and
logistics? It only works if the scale’s small.

I walk home uphill in the heat wave and
notice the cable threaded from the base
of the building up into a third story window.

If I stand somewhere, no one else can stand
there without movement or force. The city
relays the asphalt up and down Main Street.

Not outside but outsides. The city jerked
out of frame to where? When have I ever
scaled out intimacy like a toothpaste tube?

No, its relays. As in smoothing out frictions.
There’s a kind of urbanization, all over the
planet tonight. It’s the sound of lovers in love.

Let It Know The Burden Of Your Blues

You ask, how do you combat power when
it’s immanent to a structure? If you’re in the
pool and someone pees, you’re drinking pee.

So much relation just the smell of the city
right in your mouth. How classist is that
metaphor when there’s no public bathrooms?

Now I’m laughing about it. I’ve been circling
it over and over. I draw a circle around it.
I describe a path around it. I describe a path.

I tell you I’ve been going the long way around
it on foot. Whatever it is, it’s in the street. It’s
calling with it and I’m trying to deal with it.

Maybe just cut this poem because it’s not saying
it. It’s simple. It’s just a relation or a set of
relations. That’s easy, right? Just a relation?

ryan fitzpatrick is a poet and critic living in Toronto. He is the author of two books of poetry: Fortified Castles (Talon, 2014) and Fake Math (Snare, 2007). You can find him online at ryanfitzpatrick.ca.