Cameron Morse

Daylight Saving Time

We lose an hour in the ocean blue of early morning,
an hour we might have spent sitting together
at the varnished butcher’s block of the kitchen table,
eating scrambled eggs with hemp seeds.
Cutting an avocado
in half, you might have offered me the seedless, hassle-free
hemisphere and kept the trouble for yourself.
I might have urged
you to drink your water because you are always forgetting.
In our lost hour, we might have cuddled on the sofa
in my study, watching the first half of a movie.

Instead, you dream of losing me again.
You are in your dream when the clocks change.
You are in your dream when the sparrows awaken
in the dark heart of the yew.
The hour is not lost to them
for they know only the lightening sky. In the pallor,
I tell you not to cry. An hour cannot be lost,
not one minute of it, and I will not die so soon.


Description of a Typical Day for My Continuing Disability Report

If government is muted and muffled
    People are cool and refreshed.
    If government investigates and intrudes,
    People are worn down and hopeless.
        —Lao Tze

On a typical day, I wake up with cancer,
spoon coconut oil onto polymer.
Its iceberg of healthy natural fat pirouettes
above the spreading puddle.

If my cancer cells require glucose, I give them
ketones. I beat ketones into my eggs.
On a typical day I drink six cups of coffee,
pouring them out of my thermos, little
by little, into stoneware. I reserve
the morning of a typical day for psalms

of blastoma, the songs of my cells, an uncontrollable
division of angels on the head of a pin, the tip
of a needle. I fill Moleskine after Moleskine
with the concrete details of a typical day,
its dishes hot out of the washing machine,
the smell of laundry in the nostril
of the exhaust fan, a rusty spade left out in the rain.


Ketogenic Diet

In the end, I eat nothing.
I starve myself to kill my cancer.
Closing my eyes, I listen for the cheep
of baby sparrows, eager,
insisting on new life. I could sit here
for a thousand years and never see
beyond this moment, this sweet breeze
of heaven, sunlight glancing
among the amputated branches.

In the meantime, I live by faith,
faith in the ketones I lick off my fork
and spatula, faith in the omelet
it takes two hours to slurp and swallow.

I infuse spoonfuls of olive oil into my blood.
The omelet that floats atop my plate
like a pontoon boat in the healthy natural fat
its eggs cannot absorb is my rescue.

At Chinatown Food Market,
I throw up the yellow shell, clumps
of mushroom, the leafy slime of spinach.
I retch and up comes the coconut
oil you blend into my coffee. Dumpster flies
flurry on the loading dock.


In support of World Cancer Day, we are honoured to publish three poems from Cameron Morse from his yet unpublished collection, Sinophile.

Sinophile is a collection of poems on the subject of Cameron’s glioblastoma (GBM) diagnosis, the most aggressive and malignant form of brain cancer. Cameron is now in his fourth year on a 14.6 median life expectancy. As such, Sinophile deals with chemo, radiation, blood draws, medications, diets, a dire prognosis and the life of a cancer patient.