The Dollar Store Poem



Safari suit clad fascist

with microscope and coolies

enters the Temple of Doom

At his shoulder, Harrison, in those 

Fordlike soundbytes

Urging urging him on

Amen Father Son and Holy Cow


General Motors stares back at me

From every shop-window

his silver dollar and medals swinging

to a marching oompah pah oompah pah

Military throbbing back at me

Expose skin Agent Orange every time I pass

Shoppers’ Drug Mart

Sirens scream redemption for the rich

While down in the concrete labour force

The lowest price is the law


Can’t go outside might die of cancer mugging rape random

Acts of racism, dyke-bashing police brutality their laws

on my body

But everyday I go bank at Canada Trust 

or practice financial acrobatics at First National

while I am neither 

in the eyes of Canada

Everyday I go to cut up a piece of the pie for my own

the dripping filling of carrots and sticks

Now our backs against the wall and they

call it art

Down on our knees and they

call it theatre


Monsterhomes monstermeals monsterchildren

surveilling and terrorizing

So well trained with 24 hour doses of violence and inanity 

in Netlandia

Where all the nice folks are white and rich and 

don’t you forget it


But look here-

a monsterchild in the home the nice suburb

the well trimmed lawn

neighbours cut down to size

Violence is the air we breathe

While jovial geneticists jive

during commercials for the next euphemism 

for connection


Meanwhile, millions of miles into the cosmos

probing penile missile rocket pinch and poke 

the skins of other planets

Yes, membership has its privileges and what Columbus began

He didn’t finish

Don’t forget, sisters and brothers, the white man came here

to do a job

of wholesale degradation/trepidation/annihilation

of all that glitters and is not gold

Having used up the ozone layer, the thermal layer, the waterproof layer

Wreaks havoc and hurricanes behind him  as he shoots

Up up and away


Dreaming digitally sequenced flashes of lightsound waves

Lasered into virtual reality by my own paranoia

The encroaching barbarous world

filling my head with goods and services I cannot afford 

to miss out 

at the 2/3rds off White sale at the Hudson’s Bay 

where the blankets are ready and the suspect is always

native or black in his early twenties


Out by the old neighbourhood, where crackheads use little kids

to do the dirty work and everyday the girls get younger

puppyfat dimpling their cheeks

Their hair has that sweet prepubescent scent

But not for long

Soon the quick moments between the fixes get quicker

ziponby and they are running to keep up

Goddamnit you better not be in their way


Summer brings out every creep 

from his nook like worms

from offal

Humid hatred and rabid rage boil


the commentsthewhistlesthelooksthehorns

“Why dont you shut the fuck up” feeling

Experienced by 52% of our megapopulation

this lovely season

And let’s hope you remember

this is the town of Muddy York

where Ken and Barbie disguised themselves

as Paul and Karla

and came tumbling down


I grew up here

watched the city shift 

white unwelcoming provincial town

to this simmering mirage

of colour, riot

of sound and sorrow, memory and hope

Cumin garlic ginger cilantro

Soursop persimmon tumeric

and soya sauce 

all smells of childhood

amid the sharp zing of mustard frying

with red chillies


I was always the other

no it was never quite like it is


so many of us smiles cracking

the stiff coloured masks of our faces

Keeping up with the many names they call us

is a full time job

Since I arrived I’ve gone from Paki to East Indian

to South Asian to curried goat

Claiming my smells like the Amazons their spears

One breasted and terrifying the third eye gleaming


So I’m not surprised when people of colour sit

next to people of colour on the bus

Or when the bus is empty and an Asian man is shot

I’m from the town

where the police are paid to serve and protect

strategies of the ruling class to contain/detain/retrain



Distract and redirect us

Take our money and run

I’m from the town where the police are

and we have enough to go around

ready to swerve and deflect

the rising tide of poverty

make way for condos and superstores

mini-malls and and solar herbariums

to get us used to life

After Earth


Back beyond the clouds 

Where i come from

the plane spitting me out


as minority

merely tolerated

I spend my money and keep my mouth



We spend our money 

and keep our mouths shut

while the forked tongue snake

twists us to snapping

Think locally buy globally die quietly

May your god be with you


Because now the world is swarming

with gods

Christ, everybody has one

Yehovah Shiva Allah Shango

All raking in the bucks

in discount neighbourhoods

where discount dealers deal

Money House, Seven African Powers

Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe, or San Antonio

patron saint of lost causes

beside dishtowels from El Salvador’s free trade zones

and those 100% aluminium  pots guaranteed

to give you Alzheimers

So your only memory is 

the act of forgetting

Trump at Play, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2017

copyright Kaushalya Bannerji, 1998-2019

One Comment Add yours

  1. Hey Remarkable! Its really awesome piece of writing, I have got much clear idea regarding from this paragraph. many thanks


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