Chris Sorrenti

A long time resident of Ottawa, Chris Sorrenti first started writing poetry at age 15, as a means of dealing with the pressures of adolescence, and has been hooked ever since. In his own words, “I find reading and writing poetry a spiritual experience, helping me to survive difficult times, and to celebrate the positives in my life.”

In 1992, Sorrenti joined the executive of the Tree Reading Series, finishing as Director before stepping down in 1994, and is currently web master for the Sasquatch Artists’ Performance Series in Ottawa.

His work has appeared locally in periodicals such as Bywords (1991), Alter Vox (2000). In 2000, his poem, Super Nova was published in the Australian (Canberra) arts newspaper, Muse. More recently, his poem, Less Cluck But More Meat For Your Buck, won honorable mention in the 2001 Ray Burrell Award for poetry, and subsequently published in Vol. 11 of the creative writing periodical, Grist Mill.



 Like the fabled El Dorado

 it beckoned ever stronger now

 just over the horizon

where all our relatives could be found

Early childhood visits in summers

past dreams fulfilled

 when to a small boy

wrapped in the innocence of the 60s

two weeks there

seemed too long in coming

 then gone so fast

 This air force family – no more

 transferring itself

 to small town Canada

now only 40 miles

from the poetry of a million lights

Peace Tower and Parliament

and leading to them

a ten mile strip called Bank Street

where anything could be bought

But for now

we were happy with main street

covered in a five minute walk

where one could comfortably

say hello to strangers

easily recognize fellow residents

from those out of town

and at home

leave doors unlocked

In summer

my brother and I

would ride our bikes

up to the highway Dairy Queen

and while eating our cones

smile at the ribbon of gold

eyes following to where

it disappeared on the horizon

and to a dream fulfilled

but a few years away


 the Environmental Advisory Council’s a fun place to be

 there’s Max McDonald with a pencil in his mouth

 running back and forth to the telex machine

a champion of bureaucratic power

you can hear his hearty laughter right down the hall

 as he greets colleague after necktied colleague

 his assistant Veena Pumernell always has a smile

 although buried knee deep in the paperwork

 funding’s down slightly but the public is concerned

so her contract will surely be renewed

 she may be Indonesian of origin and custom

but her heart’s in the Canadian shield

there are multinational conglomerates defecating on the countryside

but nothing gets past these guys

the Prime Minister’s got an ear hanging on the wall

though CEAC’s outside the main departmental organization

drop by for coffee on a Friday afternoon

they’ll be happy to discuss the latest ecological trends


 some of us, cotton

others, leather

still others

mere burlap

like or it not

all stitched together

the only certainty

who decides

the next design

we stretch across our backs

the untouchables

some of us, chrome

built only for show

others, steel

spoked for endurance

all endlessly turning

round that great big wheel

while still others

only the asphalt beneath

some of us, tin

permanently bent

others, titanium

absorbing high stress

in the foulest weather

quickly returned

to their original shape

once the storm clears

who will lose

and who will win

who will be fat

and who will be thin

who will live

and who will die

ours is not to question why

only realize who decides

the untouchables