“An Acknowledgement” By Jake Clark

An Acknowledgement

Poem by Jake Clark

Art by Maya Parker

What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you

But what you won’t know always will


When Gassy Jack put up stakes, he said

“Drinks’re on the house,

if ya build it.”

I think he sold low on that one

A whole lot of people have given their lives for drink

And in a hard life, hard labour doesn’t make a hard bargain

They named the borough Gastown,

though the burg’s called Vancouver

I’m not sure why, I don’t remember George at the tap

‘Course, ‘named’ isn’t the verb

‘Renamed’ is

Because the original story, as I’m given to understand it, involves the ocean and a raven, the smartest seabird you’d ever see

And more people’ll tell you about the renaming, than can tell you the name

This is the New World, after all, so we made it new

As Ezra commanded

But what’s his word worth, he fucked off to Italy, a country with half its skeleton showing, haberdashery notwithstanding, and that’s about as Old World as you can get

New World cities are a lot like Old World money, and both are a lot like lunchmeat

They feed a lot of people, but you may lose your appetite

To find out how they’re made

              –   ‘An acknowledgement’