j robert ferguson



Not everyone loves you.

Most social interactions between people fall
into one of these categories;
Friendly, Romantic, Mean,
Funny, or Special.

Once you are able to see this
harsh and violent world without attachment
and anxiety, you will have
the opportunity to fine-tune your skills.

Become friends with someone,
and they may allow you to take
certain items from their home.

For each mission, she’ll wish you well
providing you with light-hearted comments.

People you barter with like you
a little bit more each time
you make a large transaction with them.

Your heart pounds, adrenaline takes over,
tunnel vision sets in and time
comes to a near halt.

Buy a house so you always have
a place to sleep.

And as with all jobs, money is
rewarded to those who complete their task.

Most friends and hirelings
that are following you can be ordered to
interact with the world. They can unlock
doors, pick up objects, go to specific locations,
or attack enemies.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to have enough
cash on hand to pay
for the demolition.

Asking about rumours may lead you
to great treasure.

The stock market is another area where
you can pad your fortune, or
grind your rivals into dust.

People don’t like it
when you talk to them
with your weapon drawn.

If you are sent to jail,
you are able to hide
one of your lockpicks.

Are you a remorseless killer
or a tortured assassin
programmed to kill?

The way others perceive you and the way
you perceive them will open and close
the doors of possibility.

Once you’ve helped someone,
they will like you. Some
people may even be willing
to follow you and carry out your orders.

Honest merchants are not interested
in stolen goods. Such items
do not even appear in the list of goods
you wish to sell.

But who would ever turn down the offer
to live for free in a fishing lodge
away from the choking
drudgery of urban sprawl?

It is assured that you will encounter
secret traps
meant to snuff out your life.

Look here to find out
what you’ve won.

The gun smoke dissipates and
the only man left standing


Ganked verbatim from a number of video game instruction manuals and loading screens.





In a way I didn’t quite understand, yet sensed
nonetheless, she was far more
sophisticated than I was. She
and her husband went up to
their room where water was sprinkled
to hold down the dust. She came back
with long scratch marks on her face. She had friends
among the elves. Could I watch her, last winter,
going about pining for home,
when she had struggled so for me?

She has a word for everyone who comes to her.
I mean, hadn’t anyone just asked her outright
to come home with them? Accustomed
to her moods, I said she should keep
her mouth shut and refrain
from making decisions like that when she was
in such a foul temper. I have
what I want now.

She stole quietly
to the door, sneaked out into the dark
passage, and in a few minutes was standing
outside in the light of the spring night,
in the deserted streets of the town. Her
face was still turned away
from the camera. She has
a profession now. She didn’t even grace it
with a glance. I lay sleeping inside
my hotel room; how can there be
union of a man and a woman? A few thoughts
drill despairingly. People who have devoted
Divine truths to their own loves and who have rendered them
false by so doing, love
things that have to do with urine, because
things that have to do with urine
correspond to the pleasure of this
kind of love.

But at the Norway Cup the previous
summer he had bought a porn magazine
from the kiosk outside the school the evening
we arrived. Who could not smother
the sobs in the gloom of the Norway pines, remembering
the Danes from the dawn, and the bright
steel slashing the dusk. How can there be
a union between woman and man?


Composed from appropiations of primarily Scandanavian & Icelandic writers.




j robert ferguson is a poet from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia. Currently residing in Manitoba, he works as a nightsoil man at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Aetherdrome.