Page 66 - June 2021 Litterateur
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Pat Connors is from Toronto who is a poet as well as a story
                                                                   writer. His first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released
                                                                   by Lyrical myrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto
                                                                   Poetry  Map.  Other  publication  credits  include:  Spadina

                                                                   Literary Review; Tamaracks; and Tending the Fire, released
                                                                   last  spring  by  the  League  of  Canadian  Poets.  His  first  full
                                                                   collection,  The  Other  Life,  is  newly  released  from  Mosaic
                                                                   Press.



                                                                          Pat Connors







                                                              Burning Hunger



                   Andrew King has a burning hunger. It keeps him from falling asleep during the long Queen Streetcar
                  ride westward to work, and from tuning out the lady who sits beside him to tell her story.
                             “My daughter is a witch. Oh, oh migawsh, can you believe that’s really a thing? She wear a, what
                  you call, a pinta…penta-…”
                             “A pentagram,” Andrew says, conjuring up images of old heavy metal videos.
                             “Pentagram, that’s it, dear. She wear a pentagram around her neck, like gypsy. Like this, you
                  see? She says it means nothing, but I am not stupid woman, I know better!
                             “Anyways, she dating this boy, nice Christian boy, named Dolinsky.
                             “Dolinsky! Have you ever heard a Christian boy named Dolinsky?”
                             “No, I haven’t,” Andrew admits.

                             “Anyways, I think this boy thinks he can change my daughter. Or maybe he have something else
                  to hide, if you know what I mean.”
                             “I honestly don’t,” Andrew shrugs.
                             “Oh, such a nice young man like you doesn’t need to listen to…Here’s my stop, anyways! Thank
                  you putting up the ramblings of a lonely woman. I sure hope you not a writer. Have a nice day, now!”
                             “Thank you very much. You too.”
                             Andrew shakes his head, almost unsure if the conversation really happened, or if he perhaps
                  imagined it during his typical morning reverie.
                             He hopes it did happen, because he does like to listen. It keeps him from feeling like he is self-
                  absorbed, pre-occupied with his burning hunger.


                                                                             *

                  His burning hunger gets him through the morning greetings and other rituals, and the desire to turn
                  them into a Monty Python skit.It gets him through his constitutional in the bathroom he fears may be
                  rife with some malady. It keeps his hand from shaking too much as he gets his first coffee. It gets him
                  through the clotted cream – not English style, merely left out too long the previous day – and the open

                  sugar jar, granules clumped and dotted a dull brown.
                             It gets him through the tired one-one-one with the even more tired assistant manager, who has
                  been  having  the  same  day  for  many  years.  It  gets  him  through  his  first  contact  with  the  internal
                  customer  who  grunts  and  groans  and  moans  through  a  bad  hangover,  then  ends  the  conversation
                  proclaiming, “What a night I had last night!” It gets him through the second contact with the external
                  customer who wants to know why things didn’t go right the first time.







                   Litterateur                                                                                            66

                         REDEFINING WORLD
                       EDITED BY SHAJIL ANTHRU
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