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Dear Telephone Booth

by Jason Heroux

Dear telephone booth
across the street, I’ll never forget the way you glowed
like a glass

of expired milk no one wanted to drink, how you rang

once late at night
asking to speak.

I remember you
as a wind chime,
some human voice was your gentle distant breeze.

Remind us when
you ring that no one is ever alone, remind us how

our only isn’t all there is, our only isn’t everything.

About this Poem

"Dear Telephone Booth"

image by Jason Polen from Gilmore Reproductions-Kingston, who facilitated the printing and installation of all the pieces included in Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project. Used here with permission.

“Dear Telephone Booth” was written specifically for the City of Kingston’s August 2019 Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project event.  The event focused on “the potential of creative placemaking in Kingston; leveraging arts and culture to re-imagine public spaces and foster community collaboration and shared enjoyment within them.” Five poems from local poets were installed at various locations along Ontario Street, and will remain in place indefinitely until they are eventually eroded by the weather.  For photos of the other installations visit the four most recent Poetry Blackboard posts, below.

Jason’s most recent collection of poetry at KFPL is his 2016 Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines. You can find more of his poetry and his fiction in the KFPL catalogue. 

About the Poetry Blackboard

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston. Started in 2015 by Helen Humphreys, the Poetry Blackboard will be continued as of 2019 by Jason Heroux.

News About the Poetry Blackboard

We wish to thank Helen Humphreys, Kingston's second Poet Laureate, for her generous support of emerging and established poets in Kingston through library programming and our Poetry Blackboard project. Throughout her four years as Poet Laureate, Helen curated a digital collection of poetry to showcase the talents of local creators of all ages, both historic and contemporary. Helen also offered several opportunities for emerging poets to develop their craft, offering group workshops and one-on-one mentorship. Her active engagement with the library and community has been greatly appreciated.

We welcome our incoming Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, and look forward to working together to continue the Poetry Blackboard and develop new community programming.

Previously Published Poems