Born and raised in the town of Mont Royal, a
suburb just north of Montreal, Jason Camlot grew up in the Montreal
Anglo-Jewish community, where his father was a furrier manufacturer.
Jason started playing music when he was young. He received an MA from Boston
University, a PhD from Stanford, and is chair of English at Concordia
University in Montreal. He is the poetry editor of the Punchy Writers Series. -- Greg Santos
I live with mice inside a monument of mice.
They have lived here since before the First Crusade.
I have been here since I learned to talk.
The mice are proud
and one day I will be a mouse, too –
small, blind and unimportant.
I admire their irreverent creeping, timid squeaks, tiny
ebony nests where the young lie like peanuts.
I admire their precious breath
and fast-beating hearts.
The monument itself is in the fragile bones
of those mice who are still alive.
As human castles lose their walls,
as tinted towers rise and fall,
this scuttling monument endures below,
passed on from mouse parent to mouse child.
My big, awkward bones
are my impediment to being memorial.
Still, already I am unimportant, and I am blind.
Is it hubris to hope one day I will be small?
-- Jason Camlot [from The Debaucher, 2008]