Transcona Fragments

Transcona Fragments



About the book

  • Shortlisted for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award

transcona fragments is Jon Paul Fiorentino's second collection of poems. The book's point of departure is the suburban community of Transcona, a railway town that has been stitched to the city of Winnipeg.

The poems move from vivid imagistic fragments that capture the essence of Transcona, to explorations of familial history, to sensitive, self-referential engagement of the "lyric I" – a voice made up of melancholy, anxiety and psychotropic experience. These are poems that offer the reader unique notions of home, memory, and self.

About the author

Fiorentino, Jon Paul

Jon Paul Fiorentino was the founder and head editor of the innovative dark leisure magazine. He was raised in Winnipeg, and currently resides in Montreal, where he is editor of Matrix magazine. He is the author of Transcona Fragments and Strip Malling.


transcona fragments

ah, good old ground tasting like invasive snow
salt reeling under exhaust (no matter the cost)
and don't forget to write from the east where
you will sit in a state of abandoned bliss stitched
to a street that hardly knows you

unpacking that metaphor the unkempt gravel
or tar of a transcona side street driving with your
third eye on the road splaying yourself out the side
window, with both eyes on what you know

that taste, that region: gravel, tar, spit leaves
of glass splinters on the dream road tin am radio
chevrolet and a block heater and an electric blanket
and a six pack for christmas

park on the frigid plain, dig a ditch round the city
plunge into floodway and dream headlong into traffic
as if you had the guts as if you ever had
the pleasure

under windows laced with the thickest frost
you ramble on about the weather and the family
and i'm almost lured into your language until i recoil
at the irrational flash of a police search light

we quickly clothe ourselves and turn down the heater
and turn up the radio and pretend to be innocents with
decorative smiles for the constable who was hoping
for something more cinematic


This is exciting new work, "adrenaline verse"– a poetics of place, of spray paint and precious words, a verse of wit and verve. There is music coming from these Manitoba streets! >>

— Mary di Michele

transcona fragments is a poetic disavowal, a landscape stripped of pretense. We are left wandering the streets of Transcona, terrified and strangely free. Fiorentino is 21st Century Beat, a Canadian Ginsberg ranting and restless. >>

— Robert Budde

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