Project Description

People Have Also Asked: Are Birds Birds?

—Screenshot posted to Twitter

You swore you’d end up in the psych ward tonight.
That’s your oedipal ending you knew was coming—
shelter or patio or detox or the museum of things
that never happened. Blessings that never occurred.
When you were 22 you spent a week in the ICU for
purple pills and the seizures made you feel reborn.
Now you don’t recognize your own name.

Is it me?
Is it me?
Are birds birds?

This poem is the opposite of a victim of its own
success. To be alive is a privilege, even if you’d
rather be dead. To die young is a privilege you
don’t have left. You’re a narcissist because you
write only about yourself. Or write about others
in not so kind ways then pretend it never happened
because that’s the privilege you’ve perfected.

Are suicide notes suicide notes?

You named your cat after somebody who hated
cats—Nietzsche—and pray for forgiveness for sins
never committed. Every sin has been done already,
and every sin is a sin of omission. For instance, you
left out the part where you want to live.

Jill Talbot

Jill Talbot’s writing has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM, Southword, and others. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.