Split Ends: A Poem by Jill Talbot
My hair is getting ridiculously
long but I can’t afford a haircut.
That makes you a true artist,
I was told, as if split ends
were a virtue, if they were
I would be so virtuous people
would be lining up to steal
my split ends and I would be left
with a proper haircut.
I may cut my hair myself, it needs
to be tamed. Celtic and Mexican
and every civilization in-between—
the Canadian dream—conquering
our wild instincts and driving artists
into a state of poverty and calling it
virtue. The virtue of expired milk
and fiberglass cigarettes is only
that we’re still alive and to others
that’s just a given. To me it isn’t
art or poverty or laziness—I just want
the dream before Vogue. I want the
Neanderthals but also a space heater
and a microwave.
I want to hold on
to whatever nation created
such hair that can’t be tamed.
To sail myself back
to where this started,
in soil. I want
the virtues of hypocrisy
and poetry. I want
to find their roots.
Jill Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology. Since then Jill has pursued her passion for writing appearing in various literary magazines. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia.