James Thurgood – 2 poems

Hurt again


My back this time


not saving a child from a rushing train

     not street-fighting a pimp

     not even wrestling a grizzly


          no:  making the bed

when all of a sudden


     what I fear re: age

– not bent with pain

     supping on poorhouse gruel

     – but gruel, pain

     and no story to tell.



There’s got to be a reason


Home alone when the phone rings:

guy asks if I’m me and I am

and he’s him, do I know him

– no, he doesn’t know me either

but found a piece of paper

with my name and phone number

in his wallet


he pauses pregnant

and I can’t leave him hanging

like that so I say oh


yeah so I was wondering

how come I got this piece of paper

with your name and number in my wallet




I don’t know (see above)       


well there must be some reason –

I mean it’s your name and number

in my wallet


yeah I don’t know


like were we somewhere

at some place and you gave me

your name and number


I can’t recall


’cause it’s your name and number

so what’s it doing in my wallet


that’s a tough one

well like what are you into

what am I into

yeah well like what are you into y’know like

well I play music

oh!  I play banjo and guitar, Bluegrass –

what do you play

some guitar some harp

well are you any good

nothing special

l mean do you do gigs and stuff


oh – we should get together

and jam

yeah sure

maybe next week some time


I write his name and number

on a scrap of paper for some reason

and stick it in my wallet.



James Thurgood was born in Nova Scotia, grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and now lives in Calgary, Alberta.  He has been a labourer, musician, and teacher – not necessarily in that order. His poems have appeared in various journals (most recently, Broadkill Review, Umbrella Factory, Quatrain Fish), anthologies, and in a collection (Icemen/Stoneghosts, Penumbra Press).  He is also the author of His Own Misfortune, a work-in-progress. (

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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