The Bombast Trap 

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series.

The Bombast Trap

I don’t visit my village often

now that I am settled here in the big city

I am happy   comfortable

with the bombast

the diversion of metropolitan events

the swirl

ever changing fabric of faces around me

brings me a sense of reality

that I never had in my village

here I have some escape from others

no one needs to know me

or anything about me

in my village there were no secrets

even the unspoken truths

were well known facts

or so it seemed to me when I moved here


it takes a great effort on my part

to visit my sisters

who still remain there

our parents passed away years ago

I visit so my nieces and nephews might know

there is a world outside of the jumble

of legends they are brought up with


these visits are filled with strange foreboding

as I travel there

the sky seems to darken   lighten

according to my moods

when the transport lands

I almost want to say


take me back to my condo

but I step off and quickly cross the tarmac

to the eager outstretched arms of my family


walking down the streets of the village

I am reminded of past events

my hip will ache

where the moose took me in my sleep

I shudder as I hear the choir practice

my knuckles red from being slapped

by the choir master

for not hitting the ela with the other boys


I keep these visits as short as possible

a quick walk around

to the unchanged schools and stores

a visit to the cathedral

to walk the 10001 steps to the altar

where the gilded moose at the foot of the cross

looks cheap and faded with the years

I wonder how anyone could put so much faith

in these trashy icons of belief

yet I feel a sense of cleansing

as I run back down the steps


I walk my niece to her shift at the strip joint

it wasn’t such a bad life that I led here

but I know there is


to hold me here


that could make me want to build a life here

the memories aren’t substantial enough

the trappings of the cathedral

aren’t as tight as the bombast trap

I have gotten myself into in the big city

This is the last of the Village Stories for this summer. There are more yet to come next year. I’ve enjoyed this look back at this old pieces, refreshing some of them & also being taken by the view of that world they presented. Some of them I had little memory of other than knowing I wrote them 🙂

As I got to the narrative end of them I found myself struggling to keep up the momentum. This is one of the last pieces in which my hero looks back on his past. Much like Doing Nothing there is a sense of disappointment as opposed to affection in looking back, inning back & at the same time a disappointment in what has replaced the security of village life.

The payoff of being adult isn’t what was promised but is better than remaining safe in the village. As I said last week I do visit Cape Breton & do enjoy my time there but I wouldn’t go back if I didn’t have family there. Unlikely hero I don’t go back as an example to them but as a long lost brother.

Life there is as difficult as it is anywhere. The struggles for work, fulfillment haven’t changed but life isn’t any cheaper there than it is say on Toronto. Houses may be less expensive but the costs of dainty life are the same – cable costs as much there as here – cell phones rates aren’t any less. I’ll take the trappings of big city life – I don’t feel them as tight or restricting as my narrator does. Maybe if I won lotto max I’d consider visiting more often but moving back isn’t in the cards. I’d rather bombast to no bast.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

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speakers of the house

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