These are not the potatoes of my youth
You let him channel his inner amphibian
up to his brainstem, a floating head of metamorphosis,
and dives to where the water is mostly leeches, yet he recovers
your shoes that you were sure had died, an old vacuum, a '64 dime.
He is your father for a day
at the river, who leaves when the flowers close, when bees go
back to their honeycombs. He drinks, gargles
in the bathroom, his practice of ranges, vocals and your father floats
out, he's laughing that he's actually touched bottom.
In this confessional debut collection, Matthew Walsh meanders through his childhood in rural Nova Scotia, later roaming across the prairies and through the railway cafés of Alberta to the love letters and graffiti of Vancouver. In this nomadic journey, he explores queer identity set against an ever-changing landscape of what we want, and who we are, were, and came to be.
Walsh is a storyteller in verse, his poems laced with catholic “sensibilities” and punctuated with Maritime vernacular. In These Are Not the Potatoes of my Youth, he illuminates the complex choreography of family, the anxiety of individuality, and the ambiguous histories of stories erased, forgotten, or suppressed. Readers will find moments of humour, surprise, and a queer realization that all is not what it seems.
Pub date: February 26, 2019