Samuel Strathman



The has-been has always been
told they have a beautiful brain. 

“You’re gorgeous!”
his mother cries among mounds
of toenail clippings
and leftover fishbones
by the couch. 

His response
is to flip channels
and quote Ellen D
as a deflector –
“My dog died
seventeen years ago.” 

“You’ve never owned a pooch.”
the mother says.
“Too busy with your scholarship,
selling Scientology house-to-house. 

Boychik kicks her out
so he can eat the rest
of the penis-shaped chocolates
he ordered
with his broken sobriety. 

In the afternoon, the last
of his pension goes toward
a new iguana –
the last one
gave him bad advice
on the races,
which cost him
his ability to whistle. 

From the pet store
he’ll go home,
clean the living room,
and count the diseases
in a biome of unrest
before they can be expounded – 

In the war on himself,
released from abstraction
to reality, all is contra. 



Dream Team

For Kirby.

Competitive sports
are best paired
with court shorts
worn by Kirby’s
favourite team. 

She’s putting her minutes
in on the stationary bike
while eyeing the boys
passing the ball around. 


High Park Poem 

For Krystal, Saturday, September 19th, 2020.

I knock over
the sparkling water
and watch
as it cultivates a river
on the grass before settling – 

reveling in the wind’s
gentle interludes
and underwhelming gusts. 

The ant trawling
my arm stops,
cleaning its antennae
like a cat lapping
at its paws. 



Samuel Strathman is a poet, author, educator, and the founder/editor-in-chief of Floodlight Editions.  Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in White Wall Review, Nōd Magazine, The Poets’ Republic, and elsewhere.  His second chapbook, The Incubus was published by Roaring Junior Press, 2020. 









Food for Thought


Added excitement

is grocery shopping

with all the food unlabeled.


No one knows

whether the amalgam

they are buying

is going to kill them

or aid in their vitality.


The best part is

that the rich

pay top dollar

for uncertainty –

forced to put

their money everywhere, including

where their bills don’t shine.


After taking a bite

of their admixtures

at home, most are opting

for ordering Chinese

food instead.


The trust fund troupe

cabs it down the hall,  

aislings grumbling

in the abyss.




Boy Nobody


Cuts the crusts

Off his sandwiches,

Dividing them into triangles

In eleven swift steps.


Little is predicated

At the lunch table

Other than his uncles

Dress him.


Refined he shall remain.




Emails and sticky notes

Cross hands, manifesting

Into longer messages.


Bug-eyes pays compliments

in spades.


The only way

For this night shift

To pan out

Is if he has a proposition.




Seven a.m rolls in,

And he pulls through.




His VHS collection

Is a little sparse,

Spoiling the twelve plates

Of all-you-can-eat pizza

We finished at the restaurant

Thirty minutes ago.


Gaffes seal the deal.


Chance flees out

Of the basement

Like a clown

With a bad case

Of the shingles.





Bantering with him

Isn’t the same anymore,

But amorphous facts –

Jeopardy –

Class action lawsuits –

Illegitimate lovechildren.


The signifiers were always present

But lacked definition

Until they configured

into an edifice.


It’s all so clear.