Greyhound Depot, Cache Creek by Shaun Robinson
2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist
Shaun Robinson has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Greyhound Depot, Cache Creek.
The winner of the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.
The shortlist will be announced on Nov. 14, 2019. The winner will be announced on Nov. 21, 2019.
Shaun Robinson's first poetry collection, If You Discover a Fire, is forthcoming in 2020. His poems have appeared in The Puritan, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, Bad Nudes and Poetry Is Dead. He lives in Vancouver, where he is an editor for the chapbook press Rahila's Ghost.
Entry in five-ish words
All travel is time travel.
The poem's source of inspiration
"I've spent a lot of my life on Greyhound buses and a lot of time, in particular, at the station in Cache Creek, where north- or southbound buses always seemed to stop for a lunch break or to change drivers. It wouldn't have meant more to me than any of the dozens of other towns I've passed through on the bus, except that, according to family lore, it's the place my parents met, when my mother was working at the depot and my father was passing through as a passenger. I wouldn't exist if it weren't for that Greyhound depot, making this poem my origin story."
In the dry-mouthed intermission of a three-act journey
you stand in line and consider your choices:
chalkboard specials and blackening bananas,
hot dogs that bob like pool toys on rollers.
You settle for coffee, for five minutes alone
in the blank stare of a Cache Creek afternoon,
the smell of sage brush and Mama burgers.
You're not a smoker, but you feel down
to your last match. In ten years of changing
buses here you've never seen anything change.
The motel pool's still closed for repairs.