Sometimes you need to sit at home and read poetry and listen to clangy old blues songs. I have this book of Montreal English poetry of the seventies (eds. Farkas & Norris), which begins with a quote from Louis Dudek:

It is the destiny of Montreal to show the country from time to time what poetry is.

I love this, and every time I open this book I find something new in it. Today it was a poem by David Solway called Trolls, and it made me giggle—It’s so very before its time, for so many reasons! (In its commentary on trolls, for one, and in its commentary on Montreal’s questionable bridge infrastructure, for second). Here it is.

“Trolls live under bridges.
They are most at home there.
They love to eat billy-goats even big ones.
They confute the ending of fairy tales.

Trolls live under bridges
like navies anchored under rainbows.
They are waiting for enemy pilots
to clatter across the sky.

Trolls live under bridges
like the charge beneath your ribs
ready to blow at any time.
You never argue with a troll.

Trolls live under bridges
like homeless toll-collectors.
They are always broke and hungry.
Sometimes they even eat the bridge.

Trolls live under bridges.
You can feel them push and pull
at the pilings, irritable as children.
Engineers say it’s the wind.”