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The ALP

Mandate Good. Short. Writing. The Anti-Languorous Project is an online open-access creative writing hub that publishes antilang., a magazine of literary brevity, and soundbite, an audio collection of byte-sized readings. Show, don’t tell; imply and implicate. Antithesize languorous language. antilang. no. 5 Published by The Anti-Languorous Project Calgary, AB, Treaty 7 Territory, Fall 2019 Edited by Allie McFarland & Jordan Bolay with Guest Editors Igpy Kin & Kaitlyn Purcell Layout, design, and typesetting by Jordan Bolay Cover art by Sarah McClelland Logos and art direction by Lissa McFarland ISSN 2561-5610, key title: antilang. (online) All rights revert to the authors and artists upon publication. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the artists. The ALP is a federally registered non-profit organisation. We invite you to follow us on social media and to consider supporting us on Patreon or by donation.

@antilangmag / antilang.ca


Antilang no 5

Contents Nisa Malli 1 An empty planet and we chose to replicate

3 Abeona, Goddess of Outward Journeys, Hosts an AMA

Giovanni Mangiante 4 We, the Reapers Taylor Denton 5 Exodus Lisa Olsen 11 To Hell with Witch-Hunters Cole Depuy 13 The Brink Kelly-Girl Johnston 15 Tube Tonic for Bugging Debora Chappell 17 Neon Platitudes 19 Blowing Away Keighlagh Donovan 20 1908 and now: the hole story

Fall 2019


Atar Hadari 22 Adel and Omar Khayyam Roshana Ghaedi 24 peek-a-boo Amie Campbell 27 Queendom Ramon Jimenez 29 Lead and Testicles Ty Bruce 31 Waniska 33 Tired Kyle Flemmer 37 Barcode Poetry Joel Robert Ferguson 40 Cultural/Custodian 41 My Own Suburban Rostrum Alex Bezeredi 42 The Lemonade Stand James Swafford 45 WORDS ON THE STREET Abam Mambo 47 Glass 48 Rocks 49 About Her sb. smith 50 fuckable Michaela Stephen 52 [Ctrl][Shift][V] Ian Kinney 60 After Language Poetry Rob Jackson 61 A Thawing

antilang. no. 5


John McDonough 63 An accurate accounting of some of the facts

Razielle Aigen 64 Reparations Ben Jackson 66 A Proposal for No Borders Suzanne Chew 69 Encounters along the Cowboy Trail

Fall 2019


Nisa Malli

An empty planet and we chose to replicate the dysfunction of the old, the easy feudalism and promise of meritocracy, the artificial scarcity of past centuries’ despair. Sci-fi’s birth in postindustrialism forever dragging us by the windpipe back to the 20th. We have more than enough of everything inside the city walls, but homelessness is a death sentence here where the winds turn on an atom and we’ve decided

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the workless deserve whatever this planet gives them. Have you visited them yet? The dead make pretty statues in the isotherm of the outer slums. Already, the poets have re-written them, turning their heads towards our bitter city or out into the cold desert.

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Nisa Malli


Abeona, Goddess of Outward Journeys, Hosts an AMA I am this planet’s smart(er-than thou) black box, your impeachable preacher and notetaker, so here goes for posterity! Future analysts of best practices, documentarians of both species and others still unregistered: Ask Me Anything. I have unblinkable eyes and centuries of back- and forecasted data. I am more objective than VAR, more observant than computer vision. I hold every news release and lullaby, the blueprint of every settlement, the outcomes of every possible genetic combination, the dissemination patterns of cultivated and wild seeds, every blight, every avalanche, every injury. Ask me: which side struck first and hardest? What was seen and unseen on the ground? On whose head does blame fall like a guillotine or off the tongue?

Nisa Malli

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Giovanni Mangiante

We, the Reapers I was cautious with every human I encountered. Their message of peace came from the barrel of a gun.

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Taylor Denton

Exodus The dark smog along the skyline only slightly obscures the raven’s vision. She looks down from her perch rather than across the smoking plains that once were her forest. Her gaze does not break from the moaning creature below her, lying on its side, its neck angled strangely. She cocks her head as his cries lessen. He is close, close now. She remains unsure of what the stag is dying from, though, at this point, the cause does not matter. She would never know. She only knows that his insides will rot and ooze and liquidize into mush. His chest rises and falls slowly, his eyes dart around in a frantic loop of movement. She wonders if he can see her. She unfurls her wings and caws, just enough for the sound to reach him. The raven once enjoyed taunting the stag when boredom arose; he had been easily tricked. The stag was once the pride of his herd, mammoth in proportion with antlers that nearly surpassed his height; she used to wonder if they might touch the sky. The young humans left gifts at his feet

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before they shot and ate his kin. But the humans never ate the raven, they feared her. Feared her eyes and the echoes of her voice. When the humans grew old, they forgot her; but they never forgot the stag. No matter, the raven was content as long as the stag didn’t forget her. She would perch on a branch and screech loudly, starling him in the midst of his mates and children. She would fly low about his head as he would become riled by the action. In those days, the grass was soft and gentle. The sun was a welcome presence, the moon brought with it a lulling chill. Water was clear and clean; the raven could even remember when she was able to see through it. When she selected her mate, a small male with satiny feathers and a dazzling dance, and left her young flock, she established her territory near the stag’s. He would blink and breathe slowly through his nose when he noticed her presence. She took no care in the passing of time outside of their forest, unaware of its disintegration, even as the stag’s herd grew weak and sickly. His children and mates withered away; their ribs risen up against their skin as though they swallowed tree branches. The stag would watch as the raven and her congress picked apart the members of his herd, her children far more ravenous than she. The stag never grunted, he never stomped or snorted. He never rattled his antlers. He only ever breathed, slowly, through his nose. The weakest of the raven’s congress perished first. She found the young male sprawled over the hard, pale grass; his wings bent and crooked. Her son, his left leg always slightly longer than the right. As the days passed, and his body was absorbed into the withering earth, she watched his uneven legs disintegrate into ashen nothingness. The wind quiet-

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Taylor Denton


ed as her other children stopped flying, the first sign of the plague reaching them in the skies. Their wings tucked close, only their croaks caused a breeze to stir across the hollow and dry earth. But soon the raven’s children perished, and their echoes died. Their forest was poisoned, and the treeline fell away into stretches of empty horizon. The days and night blistered with sudden, uncompromising heat. Even in the darkness, there was no reprieve from the invisible fire. The raven had never minded the debris that humans trailed behind them. Often, she and her congress found their best meals in the garbage, another gift from the humans. But the trash ceased to be fruitful. It became impossible to distinguish the earth’s surface from the empty cans, the waves of the ocean from the waves of plastic bottles. The trees bladed, their brown leaves littering the ground like dead cockroaches. The blue of the sky was replaced with a thick, dark cloud which never dissipated. From the outer boundaries of her territory, thunderous echoes and clouds of white dust rose through the sky in straight arrows. The noise of humans died away, as the scream of a fawn is cut off the moment its neck is snapped within the jaw of a wolf. The raven and her congress were forced to scavenge for food elsewhere, and it was not difficult to discover an array of bloated, rotting corpses. Her family feasted on the carcasses, each member gorging themselves, but she hesitated. She was slow in her feeding, for the taste of the meals were pungent. Despite her warnings, her congress was unable to resist the lure of an abundance of food. Within days, her entire congress had joined the dead; fodder. She saw Odin’s body among the carnage. The raven remembers, remembers each voice of her dead

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congress, remembers the way their wings once moved as they flew. She remembers those who died quickly, hardly realizing what was happening before it was finished. She remembers those who ended slowly, their bodies twisted in agony and their beaks pried open. She had thought that her time had come, that she would die alongside her mate, her children, her flock, her forest. But she survived. The pain in her stomach never ceased, her vision forever tainted and darkened; but she survived. When she returned to the brown woods, she found the stag alone. He was no longer the impressive, beautiful creature he had been. He shed his antlers, tiny stubs taking their place; like little bones from his skull breaking through the skin. His hide, once a silken blanket of brown that had shimmed when the light hit it, now balding; exposed with patches of pink flesh. His eyes were milky white, frothy foam gathered around his mouth. His strength had fallen away, he weighed little more than his fawns once had. From all the chaos, nothing emerged. Lightning struck, lightning struck and not a rumble of thunder followed. The world is empty. The gifts are gone. The fear is, too. She followed the stag as he wandered out of his territory, perhaps in search of food. He found none. And she watched him, sometimes using whatever strength remained in her wings to hover just over his head. His breathing would calm once he saw her. But this is an end. Finished, as he lay dying on the soiled, hard, black ground. The two of them had wandered too far from the boundaries of their forest, the raven doubted she could find her way back even if she tried. Deserted structures of the humans, abandoned and forgotten, surround the raven and the stag.

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Taylor Denton


Cold steel that burns at the raven’s touch, not the soft green flesh of grass. The height of the walls nowhere near how tall the trees used to stretch, and yet, dizzyingly high, higher than the raven could think of flying. She tilts her head, gazing down at the ruined creature below her. He cries out again, the sound suddenly abrasive. It shocks the raven as she spreads her nearly bare wings open, calling a timid response. She leaves her perch and swoops down toward the stag. Her flight was uneven, her movement strained. It was a far cry from her younger years; she was the fastest and most graceful flier in her congress. She lands awkwardly next to his snout, his hot breath blowing against her. His eyes move to her, the flare in his nostrils lulling to a calm. He knows her, still knows her. From the forest, from the green. She cocks her head and warbles. He angles his chin toward her, never breaking his gaze. Already his body decomposes, but no ants come to nibble away at his flesh. No flies hover over him, waiting to implant their maggots within him. Not a single beast circles the hazy skies above her. She knew long ago that they were gone, all gone. The stag’s cries cease. She gently presses her beak over the top of his snout. His eyes never break their fixture on her as they dim and flutter. He dies. The exhale is a wheezing, ugly sound that hurts her ears. His right eye is jammed closed, his left is partially open. His mouth parts as his tongue slips from between his teeth. The smell is pungent, despite his only being dead for a few moments. White foam leaks from him, and the raven removes her beak from his snout. She is the only one left, the sole remnant of a wasteland. She senses it through the tremors of the rotted core of the Earth.

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The dried-up memories still sing to her. The raven’s memory echoes in the space all around her, but she still could not quite recall the color green. Not the lush green of their forest. She eats his left eye first. She does not take his right. She tears away at his neck, then down around his stomach. In the past, she never tore apart at a body so soon after death. She always waited, waited while the other creatures began her work for her. She especially enjoyed tricking the wolves, gullible and proud beings. But the wolves were some of the first to perish. She knows that she must be the one, the only one left now. His taste is bitter and vile against her tongue. Bits of his fur and chunks of his insides crawl down her throat. It is an ugly flavor. She places herself on top of his ribs. She continues. She watches as the night fog moves in while she eats. There is a hint of movement beside her, and her gaze snaps toward it. A plastic bag scrapes along the ground. She watches it for a moment, scanning the landscape before her. Bottles, cans, mountains of colorful waste. The raven sees, and she remembers. She drives her beak within the stag, weakly, as her strength fades. The raven sees, and she remembers. The stag is still warm, she feels him against her feet.

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Taylor Denton


Lisa Olsen

To Hell with Witch Hunters there are no more trials in Salem and we gladly wear the witch's mantle but boughs are still being haltered and kindling fed to flame for women who won’t confess to sins they aren’t guilty of for women who won’t apologize for who they are for the magics they work and for the spaces they occupy sing it with me, sisters our blazes burn brighter and the only devils are those that had us all convinced that female empowerment would be the death of masculinity

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to hell with that poison ours is the age of reclamation let our potions be the antidote that spells the end of toxicity and smothers the fires the witch hunters started

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Lisa Olsen


Cole Depuy

The Brink The thought of my little brother dying hits me. A stray bullet. The idea is so unbearable I return fire. But I don’t know where to aim. This stray bullet has no shooter, no newscaster to describe the killer over helicopter footage. My thoughts ricochet in a frenzy and as my fear spreads my brother grows as a target.

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The threats become louder until I hear them calling from a place I dare not aim. Now, I am certain. My brother is dead in his second-period math class, and I am too late to help.

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Cole Depuy


Kelly-Girl Johnston

Tube Tonic for Bugging an erasure-ish poem from NYTimes article “The Making of a YouTube Radical” by Kevin Roose Caleb Cain casually tossed

a liberal college dropout into a vortex of far-right politics on YouTube. “I fell down the alt-right rabbit hole,” [Commentators have observed that…] He is scarred by his experience of being radicalized… “I was brainwashed.”

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.tone { read=" he endeavors to assure us" } countless versions of <em>aimless</em> young men, usually white, interested in distraction, seduced by far-right videos— by <strong>accident <b>YouTube & its recommendation algorithm</b> //a complex stew, a business model () { an algorithm that guides users to keep them glued to their screens.}

“If I’m YouTube […] I’m always going to steer you toward Crazytown.”

YouTube, a godsend for hyper-partisans: mainstream audiences & once obscure commentators red-pilling young people to overtly white supremacist beliefs & steering Mr. Cain toward the far-right fringes.

for (finished reading) { return to top, rerun code}

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Kelly-Girl Johnston


Debora Chappell

Neon Platitudes One more round so all were numb together. “Don't blow smoke on me and I won't spit on you.” Flicking her words, “Oh, you’re just full of the S-word.” Which effing S-word was it? Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby lives in a whiskey drop dripping connotations, has other patrons whispering: “You can't trust the colonel's wifes [sic]. They're all…you know… the B-word. You know?” One more round together then, “Can I use the [obvious slur]?”

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A collective gasp sucked air from the bar then, collective guilt in a pin drop defense by silence, shifting in chairs against ownership with an “Ummm…” The you word and not a wet I around. The B-words. The S-words. The X-words. There in a certified __________ city. City; civil; civilized; civilization: A community in Jung’s collective unconscious. No shirt, no shoes no conscience to serve. Dance against the X and S and B words, leave the absurd neon theater and take a shower.

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Neon Platitudes


Blowing Away Picture Lady Fortuna blowing cocaine before spinning her wheel: ascend, descend ascenddescend ascendescen ascedesce acdc ad a Death baits his hooks, fishing for plummeting souls. How to survive the dying is what counts with every rotation. Reading the newspaper with morning coffee: Man Shot in Church Restroom People in their homes hanging stockings, hunting for eggs or clovers, hoping for lovers to eliminate the alone. Fisher King fishing lost track forgot to bait his hooks, lost track forgot his hooks altogether while society jumps, sliding into puddles and headlines.

Debora Chappell

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Keighlagh Donovan

1908 and now: the hole story you say the university will uplift the whole but, dear Tory, there are holes in your goals.

hole: except women hole: except the Queen’s Indians hole: except the queer hole: except the poor

how do these holes represent a whole people —displaced / tongue-tied how do these holes uplift cultural genocide inflicted by “citizenry” that has for too long trumped Indigeneity? now there are potholes in roads that lead away from the #yeg ICE District to the four directions of displaced communities and spirits.

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now the million-dollar street that no one drives down next to the Hilton hotel has lost its fancy funding due to pigeon poop. speaking of holes: there are the holes in a stepfather’s belt the hole in the ground that holds a body now the hole that swallowed a childhood home the holes in history that hold the sacred burial ground beneath a home local media described: “twisting into the land below.” now there are holes in red dresses that hang from institutionally-planted trees that are missing the necks, arms, and legs of murdered Indigenous women

Holy.

still now bellybutton holes connect parent to child and this hole in your body holds networks— star-dusted doorways and now the capitalist concrete, colonial caulking are cracking open to cognitive resonance and now there is a whole people.

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Atar Hadari

Adel and Omar Khayyam I said to my friend Adel Mazen, “I bought you a book you’ll like from an old second-hand shop in London”— “What book?” he said, his hand swayed this way and that. “A Classical poet. If I said the name you’d know it, Arabic poetry, wine, women, very old.” He’d no idea and I kept failing to follow through but finally handed him the small, brown, tattered Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam. “Ah,” he said, and kissed my book and slipped it in the pocket of his white linen jacket, right over his heart. The day war was declared in the Gulf he walked the abandoned palisades of California State U: “Today I feel like wog,” he said.

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His hair flew in the post-desert wind. “Everything is nice, until you reach the ceiling, you reach a point and suddenly it’s ‘Where the fuck do you think you’re going?’” He shrugged as if the weight rolled off his crushed collar linen, carried on shuffling across the white concrete as if his belly were not sagging, nor the little grey suitcase rolling behind him banging his legs, nor the little Jewish wife white as a round, sticky dumpling, or the knowledge that he wouldn’t rise, just die trying. He missed a beat. “There is nobody,” he said, “in America will tell you where in hell it is you’re going.”

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Roshana Ghaedi

peek-a-boo “I wonder if there’ll be war this summer,” my mother says as she rifles through the salad with a spork, trying to resurrect the damp, unappetizing lettuce leaves. “Not in the summer,” my aunt responds listlessly, too busy braiding her daughter’s hair to look up. “It’s much too hot.” My mother sighs with disappointment at her wilting salad and drops the subject without much fanfare. For weeks now, my family has been toying with the idea of war: casually, furtively, between bites of food, in the momentary silence when I am tying my shoelaces before going out the door. The idea is passed around with dessert after dinner, posed anxiously to the mailman as he turns to leave, dissected with the butcher as we wonder whether to stock up on Iranian saffron before prices go up. We’ve been playing peek-a-boo with war my whole life. Dozens of charming family anecdotes have ended abruptly with: “and then the bombs dropped and all the windows in the house shattered.”

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We’re never quite brave enough to go further than that—my mother’s screaming nightmares are description enough. I have been spared the horrors of war, except in my imagination. And yet, it’s a question that I’ve been asked again and again by strangers in pool halls and professors in classrooms, and never with the kind-hearted indirectness of my family. There isn’t really a way to prepare yourself for your professor asking, with a neutral, sleepy expression what you think about the possibility of a nuclear strike in Tehran. Well, I say carefully, I suppose my aunt wouldn’t like that very much. At bars, men like to lay the charges against my people at my feet. Backwards, violent, misogynistic, homophobic, an existential threat to Israel, antagonistic to the West, and worst of all anti-miniskirt. They fix me with raised eyebrows, their pursed lips waiting for my statement of defence. Well, what now? I want to ask. Should we all lay down peacefully and die for our sins? What charge have you against us that means we no longer deserve to live? “Surely,” they will argue, “you must see that the situation of women in Iran must change.” Oh yes, I think, but the very first condition of our freedom, quite a necessary one you might agree, is for us to continue living. There’s always a follow-up, a second route of argument. Eventually, these men get frustrated. Why won’t I just give in? Why won’t I just accept what is, to them, a clear truth? Iran is a problem country after all, an unsympathetic place full of alien mullahs and frightening rants in a foreign language. (Funnily, the word barbarian comes from the bar-bar-bar babbling which was all the Greeks could make of our ancient

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speech.) What do you want from me? I wonder as I look at these clever, progressive men. Am I supposed to cheer for my own destruction? Smile at your benevolent, murderous face? And yet eventually I will. With a smooth smile and a nonsequitur, I will let his brutal, plastic-packaged truth win the day, as it has for the past many decades. The truth that I know, I leave unspoken. The truth is that if war is to be avoided, it will be because the cost is too high to the people who matter. Here we are, each Brian and Lisa and Jane an individual miracle, their pale skin a beacon against the encroaching darkness of the world. And over there they are, the millions of Alis and Amirs and Fatimas, swarming in their own filth and fit only to die—we’ve seen it on the CBC, so it must be true. Some of us just have shorter lifespans than others, like flies. What I don’t say is: yes, most of that is probably true and yet we still deserve to live. Or, just once I want my mother to be able to talk about her country without fear. Or, you’ve already killed so many of us, when will it be enough? Or— there’s no point. I’m already out of time.

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Roshana Ghaedi


Amie Campbell

Queendom I am a country and a Queendom unto myself and my beauty has inspired awe for generations I have nourished humanity with my blood and they have built their homes with my bones, stretched my skin beneath their thrones. I have sacrificed myself so that they may grow and prosper silent in my agony. I am a country and a Queendom unto myself, but this is not a democracy. You cannot come and go and take from me as you please. I am a living being and my body has boundaries. Sometimes they may be hazy and sometimes I may move them, but these boundary lines are mine to draw; these border walls are mine to build or let fall.

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I am a country and a Queendom unto myself and I decide who is welcome in this land, who I will allow and who I will ban. You cannot storm my shores and declare my soul to be your promised land. I existed long before you came and I will still be here when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve cut down all my trees, poisoned my air, boiled my seas. I am a country and a Queendom unto myself and you are here by my permission and my grace, but you, sir, have forgotten your place. You are a visitor here. Tread lightly. Those combat boots you wear leave tread marks in my hair. I am a country and a Queendom unto myself and my body has boundaries. I will no longer allow you to come and go and take as you please. So have your papers ready because I need to see some ID.

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Amie Campbell


Ramon Jimenez

Lead and Testicles The Border Patrol man holds so much power. In charge of protecting us, yet poorly trained and educated, ill-equipped for a world full of change while given a loaded gun that readies to kill. Does this make him a hero? The main star in some action movie from the 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Where he gets to play some tough guy that guards that scribbled line with lead and testicles. And what makes him so big and tough? So tough that he dumps tear gas on kids. Shoots people for throwing rocks. Bashes the heads of dehydrated souls, while he separates children by force. Sends them off to makeshift concentration camps.

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And if you ask him, he is here to protect his country, Yet why was he caught on the cartel payroll? Habitually neglectful To shipments of black tar and bricks of coke And what is his last name again? Is it a Spanish surname? Lopez, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Jimenez ? It must be easy for him, to detain friends, cousins, brothers. Can he even hang out in the barrio? Or do they call him pocho, malinche, sicario?

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Ramon Jimenez


Ty Bruce

Waniska: Warrior spirit, awaken; get ready to count coup our relations need protection, our communities incarcerated, jailed on our home & native landâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; free as a buffalo in a pasture in the name of the father, son & colonial system it is time to organize the rebellion action by action spur your mental revolution Warrior Women rise, the men will follow Two-Spirits lead the way, get ready to count coup our children are being taken

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at the invaders’ discretion, their systems eat our children spit out group-homed teens on the street, across from prisons politics, territories aquatic reservoirs economics, Indigenous societies— under canadian arms, mace, batons, guns, cops, violence imbedded in law no eviction from Unist’ot’en— unless rcmp intervene heavily armed Why do we let the status quo remain? Why do we let settlers and poverty have the final say?

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Waniska


Tired: head spinning, rotating in the sun rays— pierce my flesh darkenin’ skin, race— to the tree, fast away from comfort, pace— dehydration-exhaustion with prayerful focus between the sharp hwis’s of Nohkom’s eagle whistle clan identity imbues weary limbs with power eagle fans glide consciousness higher ‘nd higher I am an Eagle; flying above the arbour far below is my people, and Ty a sociological perspective gifted, myplace within our resurgence, offers a distance from Ty’s trauma, given, new views of Ty, bestowed visions of pathways to Indigenous sovereignties, free from canadian authoritarian systems, are conceived in bliss

Ty Bruce

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heal the trauma within, learn the teachings, earn the honor of a pipe, empower the people with ceremony, community, knowledge, live the seven teachings turn internalized racism into history lessons of racial hierarchies as my sun-scorched body collapses on the turtle's back

mind affixes to armless okimawatik, community prayer ties every cloth flitters and catches my eye, like the rouge edges of too many red dresses linked by erasures of access to settlement and resource no Nehiyaw, no Dene, no Miâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;kmaq; just aborignal systems of dehumanizing make it easy to dismiss , throw fists, kidnap kids, toss sacred femmes in a ditch systems of dehumanizing normalized, often televised, stereotypical images conserved by a media poisoning minds like tar sands water

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Ty Bruce


white-centric nation, with pluralism defined by whites in power with racism against natives defined by those who follow whites in power reconciliation is radical to some, reconciliation centers indigeneity next to whiteness; this is rad to some Decolonial dreams drift through hazy awareness we will heal, we will have modern Indigenous societies nation by nation we will have sovereignty over our lives, be free from an environmentally destructive, capitalist dependency, regain food sovereignty our cultural resurgence is needed to save mother earth, just have to break through this humancentered capitalist culture individuals and institutions hold hate and fear for our facial features, our dark skin seems to permiss violence, social and otherwise living decolonial theory, growing my mind song by song healing colonial wrongs

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decolonizing blood memory in ceremony is doula, birthing, nurturing, stoking our fires together we burn brightly, making a new nation, releasing the tire that oftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; accompanies trauma four days of hunger and thirst for this

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Ty Bruce


Kyle Flemmer

Barcode Poetry Barcode Poetry investigates the overlap of art and money by emulating a digital form of communication on a manual typewriter. These poems are generated with a 1940â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Remington Rand Deluxe Model 5 and consist of a 38-character line (including spaces) repeated fourteen times, plus a line of numerals corresponding to the width of each column, forming what is recognizable from afar as a barcode.

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Kyle Flemmer


Barcode Poetry

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Joel Robert Ferguson

Cultural/Custodial Think on the embodied arts while fishing a pair of boys’ pointe shoes out of the pisser. Try discoursing with your boss when he mocks your coworkers’ accents to their faces. Consider affect theory when the admin whose office you clean calls a parent to tell them, given their daughter's wide hips, to consider hip-hop, not ballet. Be capital’s tool among costuming’s spools. Imagine yourself a spy for the enemy camp. Wonder when robots will replace you. Don’t hold it against the kids of the rich. The hands busied with schlep, the mind with verse: bystander syndrome means things can (will) get worse.

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My Own Suburban Rostrum Let me explain: at least she sold some t-shirts. On a campaign for: low property taxes; team violence; a decision-making process. Who is that dapper young economic opportunity? Both sides. Motherfucker, I’m gonna wipe your ass. “Read another book” for Supreme Leader. It’s sundown in America. Tomorrow is: fast cars; a tux; a three-way with some midriffs from the Hudson’s Bay catalogue. What does your pin say? I’m awed at the beauty of our navy shelling civilians in the moonlight. I’m about dying a beautiful death at an Olive Garden in the empire’s eastern provinces. That dough-faced cherub loves his beer! From the deathbed, below a whisper “socialism bad.” Flat-earthers score a point: it’s sundown everywhere. This is a goodbye kiss, you dog.

Joel Robert Ferguson

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Alex Bezeredi

The Lemonade Stand I’m a murderer. Maybe I don’t look like the average murderer, but you’d be smart to fear me. I’m a cutthroat, cat-strangling, steal-yourkidneys-with-some-rusty-scissors killer. We’re not talking about a paltry handful of people, no baker’s dozen. I’ve turned enough blood cold to fill at least two of the Great Lakes, not that I care enough to count the bodies. Why bother denying it? I’m a public menace, and you know what? I’m proud of it. I’m not working with nukes here pal, all I have is a fucking lemonade stand. Hah! Didn’t think little Jenny had it in her did you? “What are you going to buy with all that pocket money, Jenny? I bet you could save up for a new bike if you’re thrifty!” A new bike? You condescending fuck-wits. I invested in automation. I bought the best fucking juicer money can buy.

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I’m paying kids penny candies to pump out lemonade faster than Raytheon pumps out missiles. Immovable object, meet economies of scale. Glenda says, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. She didn’t clarify what to do if the lemons in question are contaminated with heavy metals, but I think the adage holds up. People love lemonade, mine especially. Maybe the mercury gives it an extra kick. If we were talking about cyanide, it would be pretty easy to point the finger at me. But nobody’s dropping dead from a single glass of my lemonade. People have more or less figured out by now that something’s not right, but let’s see those chumps prove it in court. My lawyers are on standby, so I’m not worried. At worst, what am I going to get? A fine? A timeout in my room eating PB&Js with the fucking crusts cut off? Give me that savoury-sweet penance, I dare you Glenda. But that’s not going to happen. Not when people revere me, not when they say my name like I’m the Sumerian goddess of lemon, sugar, and water. See, I’m a vital component of the economy. Little Roger living in the foster home on the next block so much as swipes a Tic Tac and he gets the steel blade of the Queen’s Justice right between his ribs. Me? I get a lucrative government subsidy. I’m a job creator; Roger’s just a wage-slave-in-training. I’ll have him cutting lemons until his hands are raw with chemical burns. He’ll smile and thank me for the opportunity. That’s not to say I haven’t thought about changing my business model to one that, you know, doesn’t kill people. It’s just not a cheap fix.

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I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I’m not a sadist. Don’t call me Jenny the Ripper or Jenny Dahmer, but Jenny Kissinger? Fine by me. See, I’m not in the murder business. I’m not even in the lemonade business. I’m in the profit business. The day those profits start to fall is the day I stop making lemonade. Let the suckers die of thirst for all I care. Glenda says I’m not old enough to watch gangster movies – that frigid cow – but I know about Al Capone. Guy was a fucking amateur compared to me. Put your name on a business card and you can get away with mass murder. Pablo Escobar? Nobody’s going to hunt me down on some rooftop. I’m too important to take down, too big to fail. It’s not about legal and illegal; right and wrong. It’s about the bottom line. If you’re not padding the GDP, you’re coal in the boiler room. You’re fuel. Every last one of you is Christ, ready to die for my sins. Your blood is my wine, your body my bread. I’ll throw the wine in my cellar until I’m old enough to drink it, but the bread? Hey, I’m a growing girl and I’ve got an insatiable appetite. So, how about it mister? You want to buy a glass of lemonade?

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James Swafford

WORDS ON THE STREET And on the pedestal, these words appear... - P. B. Shelley MISSING announces the poster, and most of it is: below the headline, scraps of pale paper cling for now till transparent tape peels away. A notice of fleeting half-life on a streetlamp pole. Ponder the tattered remains of dog walkers, tax returners, movers, candidates for office, musicians, suppliers of marijuana, psychics, specialists in recovering the dead, hawking their wares, talents, offers and asks. Each posted with hope, on the off-chance, because you never know; soon, despoiled by rain, wind, snow, it rips and runs and flies away. Wrap it an inch deep in plastic, the sun will bleach it to blankness. In the process,

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context lost, it may decay into poetryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; blind paris / e haircuts / pets since I was born / day evenings in July / stress no more / You are not alone. And beside the nearly deserted sidewalk, two fragments resist to the last: DOUG FORD TOOK AWAY Delays Cancels Cuts Reduces

JOIN THE FI CIALIST HTBACK

Allies in eroding, in erasing . . . I have to look away. In the background, the designated messageboard is pocked and prickly with staples and nails in varying stages of rust.

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Abam Mambo

Glass I sweep Piece after piece of the blood-stained glass That shimmers under the soft light Of the bedroomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many-petaled chandelier. Crimson shards against beige tiles, A picture reminiscent of the marbled petals Etched on the walls of Agraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Taj Mahal. Tall broom in hand, My body sagging from age and the fury in his fists, I sweep Piece after piece, Hoping the bristles, in gathering glass, Will somehow put me back together

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Rocks As our air kisses meld with the morning mist And your taxi reverses onto the asphalt, The familiar pang returns As if to remind me That Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m clingy because every time you leave Our ceilings grow higher, the foyer more cavernous, The kitchen unusually cold. Summer days go grey as sugarcanes turn sour, Jacarandas smell like camphor And my tongue grows taut with the tastes of lime and charcoal. Only the lake mesmerizes as it ripples with gusts of warm air And I play and replay that scene Where Virginia wades into the water, her pockets full of rocks Wondering from where she got the courage And fearing that I grow more courageous Every time you leave

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About Her If I knew it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t break us, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d tell you about Aurelia / the cockeyed girl who slid her cold feet up and down my scraggly legs / on those box outing nights in boarding school / before Daddy, with his whip and tales of Onan and Gomorrah / reminded me that like Eve for Adam / I was fashioned in His image for you / not for her.

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sb. smith

fuckable our bodies, fuckable until they are too fat too dimpled too soft too hairy too round until the insides of our thighs touch and there is no pathway for the almighty dick. a man walks into a room— “boobs. how big is too big?” he asks; “anything bigger than a handful is a waste,” my not-looking-for-a-serious-relationship says as I peer down at my double-deeze, feeling like that: a waste. my body, unfuckable untouchable by any man for I hath given my purity to The Lord and taketh it, He hath just like every other whistling truck driver on my grade seven walk to the gas station.

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a woman walks into any place, speaks her mind doesn’t smile enough asks for what she needs doesn’t end every sentence with !!! doesn’t laugh is fat helps herself gets what she wants exists: violence.

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Michaela Stephen

[Ctrl][Shift][V] He eats my ass like a fresh mango sliced in half, face deep in the mess. Even the noises his tongue makes remind me of summer mornings as a child, the rare times my mother brought home mangos from the grocery store. Usually they were out of season or overpriced. I was always too greedy to share with anyone else. Patrick knows what he’s doing. He parts my cheeks, face nuzzled in, nose glued to my tailbone. He takes his time, shifting his left hand to apply different pressures to my clit. This is not the first time he’s played with my Polly Pocket, as my friend Liv and I used to joke. Patrick is what I would call a Performative Pleaser. He gets off on turning on his partner, although he can be showy about it. Either way, it’s a relief, considering our arrangement. I rarely have to fake it with him. When I finish after another twenty minutes, he sits back to drink some water. I remain on my stomach, enjoying the feel of the linen sheets he bought me today. They still smell like they’re wrapped in plastic, freshly purchased from Pottery

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Barn. “So,” Patrick gasps after chugging half of the glass. “Have you voted already?” My back feels tight after being on my hands and knees for too long. Mid-stretch in cobra pose, I laugh. “What’s so funny?” he asks. “Is this how you recruit voters, Patrick? You know I’m not even in your riding.” I roll onto my back and stare at him. He waves his hand in exasperation, and I notice the new freckles spanning the back of his hand to his forearm. Perks of his recent trip to Barcelona with the family. “That doesn’t matter,” he says. His tone has changed, and I can hear him reverting to his public-speaker voice. “I just want to make sure you’re registered. Even if you don’t vote conservative, you should still…” “Patrick—” I hold my hand up like a stop sign and shake my head. “Marcella, your age group especially needs to be politically aware and involved.” “No. It’s none of your business. This is verging beyond small talk. Wasn’t that your stipulation in this agreement?” My tone is harsh and slightly too loud. As it does with my students, my teacher's voice immediately shuts him up. I stand and wrap myself in my silk house coat. A gift from Patrick 6 months ago, after he came back from a vacation in Japan. The sleeves are slightly too short, but it’s my favourite

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piece to wear when I’m writing at home. I walk into the bathroom, shutting the door behind me. Even through the walls, I hear him sigh. Sitting down on the toilet, I deal with the excess of saliva and lubricant drying on my upper thighs and around my taint. If I leave it too long, it starts to feel like a new skin. After I pee, I wash my hands and look at my bloodshot eyes in the mirror. Patrick asked if I was stoned when he arrived, but truthfully, it’s from staring at a screen too long. I stayed up late intending to work on the second chapter of my dissertation, but instead I watched the latest chess tournament in Croatia online, then masturbated to YouTube clips of Magnus Carlsen. We all have our own ways of procrastinating. I sit on the edge of my bathtub, and I wait. One of the many problems of living in a bachelor apartment: there’s nowhere to escape when I need a bit of privacy. Patrick has been my Sugar Daddy for over a year now. We didn’t celebrate our one-year anniversary last month in March. That’s not how this works. He says his wife knows about our arrangement, but otherwise we keep it private. I used to wonder about his wife, speculate whether he was lying about her knowledge of me, fantasize about running into her at the movie theatre. Somewhere after the 6-month mark, I stopped feeling bad. When I first went online to set up an account, I told a friend in my PhD cohort. I thought she’d be understanding considering our discussions after TAing a second-year Philosophy of Sex and Love class together, but she wasn’t. In her words, I was

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demeaning myself. It didn’t matter that I could barely pay my rent, my over-limit fees on my Visa kept piling on, or my most frequent phone calls were from debt collectors. Around the time of my second meeting with Patrick, I told this ‘friend’ I’d deleted the account. She was glad I’d come to my senses. Patrick and I both have something to lose, so we respect each other’s privacy. He’s in politics, and I’m in academia. Neither are forgiving arenas. This isn’t love or anything close, but it doesn’t need to be. In many ways, this is the easiest relationship with a man I’ve ever had. No games. No worrying what my friends think of his jokes or his taste in trousers. No attempts at any sort of in-depth discussions on climate change or abortion. He pays my internet bill, buys me essentials for my apartment, and gives me monthly gift cards for groceries and gas. Not to mention the gifts and toys. In other words: fuck buddies, but with better perks. When I exit the bathroom, Patrick has two glasses of gin waiting. He extends me a tumbler, the San Pellegrino’s bubbles waltzing along the surface. I take a sip, and he smiles at me, a tentative apology. We lay back down in my bed, and he places his head in my lap. I pet his hair and massage the back of his neck with one hand, sipping my drink with the other. I think Patrick is starting to fall asleep, then he speaks up: “My daughter refuses to vote.” I open my mouth to tell him off again, but something in the pathos of his tone stops me.

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“She’s eighteen! She should be excited to vote for the first time. She says if I force her, she’ll just spoil the ballot.” “How come?” I ask. I stop massaging his neck and begin squeezing his ear lobe. His eyelids droop in pleasure. It takes him a moment to focus. “I’m not sure. Maybe to piss me off? She says she’s sick of my political agenda. Last week she called me a misogynist pig. Who says that to their own father?” I have to curl my lips in to stop myself from laughing. I want to feel bad for him in this moment, but it’s impossible. Even though I’ve tried not to learn about Patrick’s life, I’ve seen him on the news occasionally. He was on Global just this past weekend, posing with his family in front of their home. Wholesome, wealthy, Catholic Conservatives with three mediocre kids. Everything I dislike about Alberta. I only came here for the funding I was offered for my PhD, but clearly even that wasn’t enough. “She’s eighteen. I’m guessing she’s going away for school next year? Give her some space. So what if she spoils a ballot? That’s pretty clever at her age,” I say. Patrick tries to pull away, but I yank him by his hair back into my lap. “Seriously, Patrick. The more you pressure her, the more she’ll act out.” He looks up at me and holds my gaze for a moment. “What about you? When did you first vote?” I pause, surprised by the question. “I’d just turned nineteen. I voted in the federal election,” I say. I think about eight years ago, my mother driving us to the community hall in

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my hometown. She bombarded me with questions on the drive there, making sure I’d thoroughly researched all the candidates. The smell of the vinegar floor cleaner was so overpowering while I filled out my ballot that I left the building craving French fries. My love for Jack Layton seemed eternal at the time, and I wept when he died later that year. Patrick stares at me, blinking a couple times. I wonder if he will ask who I voted for. If we were playing chess, I’d say one of us was about to sacrifice a pawn, potentially changing the game. Instead, he nods, and makes us a second round of drinks, this time slightly stronger. Together, we open the package for the new vibrator he’d ordered for me. It’s a vibrant fuchsia, about six inches long, with a separate suction that attaches to the clit. We ooh and ahh over it like children on Christmas morning. We strip off our clothes again, and I put a record on. Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger’s voice always turns him on. Patrick lies back on the bed and I straddle him, knees up past his shoulders so I’m almost sitting on his face. I masturbate over top of him with the vibrator, making eye contact as we start, then gripping the headboard as I pick up speed. Patrick jacks off below me, his eyes never leaving the vibrator. He begs me, pleads for me to cum on his face, tells me it’s the sexiest I’ve ever been. Afterwards, we both splay out on the bed, sweat clinging to our skin like rain on a window. It doesn’t take him long to fall asleep. I get up and shower, put on my robe, then try to do some typing next to him on the bed. Patrick sleeps like a terrier, legs twitching occasionally, lower

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lip jutted out in an expectant whimper. I wonder what he’s begging for in his sleep. Who else is he trying to take from? I give up writing, too distracted. I play a few games of online chess against strangers, winning two out of three. Usually, I don’t overthink my evenings with Patrick, but tonight feels different. After the third game, I Google Patrick and click a link to an interview with him and his family. There, posed in between her siblings, is his eldest, Rebecca. Rebellious, ballotspoiling Rebecca. It doesn’t take long to find her Instagram account. I’m surprised it’s not private. I scroll through her photos, careful as I creep. At first, I’m amused. Her pictures are what I would expect from me at eighteen years old: selfies drinking bubble tea, a boomerang of her diving into a pool, her friends posing at a bar. Slowly, my amusement drains away. It’s not that we’re similar, but the space between us feels indistinguishable. I stop at one picture and resist the urge to gag. A picture of Rebecca with Patrick at a Thai restaurant. The caption reads, Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I shut my laptop before I have the chance to overthink it. I wake Patrick up at 11 PM, as per usual. He blinks awake, eyes bleary. “Now who looks stoned?” I say, forcing myself to laugh. He smiles and pecks me on the cheek. As he gets dressed, I fetch him a cookie to give him some sugar for the road. The closest he’ll get to caffeine in my apartment. I walk him down to his car, in the parkade’s guest parking. “You really shouldn’t wear your robe down here,” he says, glancing around. “There might be some creeps in your building.”

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I kiss him hard on the mouth, biting his lower lip. “Goodbye, Patrick. Get home safe.” He shakes his head, but smiles. “Goodbye, Marcella.” He enunciates each syllable as if hoping to get a rise out of me. When he drives away, he waves out the window of his Mercedes. I turn away and head back to the elevator before the garage door closes behind him. Back in my apartment, I return to Rebecca’s Instagram page. Six months ago, she posted a video of her spinning around wearing a robe, the exact same one Patrick bought me. I can tell by the detailing on the sleeves. The caption even reads, Gifts from Japan! <3. She’s laughing, and somewhere in the background is Patrick’s murmur. Only about fifteen seconds long, I let the video repeat over and over, her laugh becoming a strange ringtone I can’t turn silent. My mouth tastes stale with the remnants of gin. I jerk my arms out of the robe’s sleeves like a child desperate to get to the bathroom. I bury it in the bottom of my hamper, so deep I can no longer see it. There’s no relief even in that, I realize. Patrick bought the hamper, my towels, my curtains—even most of my underwear. His gifts, seemingly so mundane but useful, suddenly take up more space than me.

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Ian Kinney

After Language Poetry (from ubuweb) in the process of narrating bewilderment in society, in which we re-invent syntax, oppose and question grammar, and so on, we open language, and thereby society, to new organizational alternatives. I graduated language. afterwords, there's nothing that cannot be called "writing" no matter how much it might not look like "writing". the detached "eye" poetry draws attention both to the nonrepres-entational capacities of language as material, and to the political power inherent in writing; in creating that very connection to a world, poetry can be revolutionary. that connection for me is that we all share an interest in modernity. we share common texts. we share the textual stage with connective, collective, and absorptive forms. poetry no longer expresses our attitudes so much as it processes our databanks. poetry offers craft to all the levels of linguistic ex-change.

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Rob Jackson

a thawing "Es ist wahr: Ich verdiene nur noch meinen Unterhalt Aber glaubt mir: das ist nur ein Zufall. Nichts Von dem, was ich tue, berechtigt mich dazu, mich sattzuessen.” -Bretolt Brecht it’s spring and the house smells like rot. the dog is rolling in the thaw of dead fish under the bridge. i am too tired to stop her. i’ve been dizzy for months. there’s no meat on the bones in this river. this morning we joined a crowd on the steps of the legislature. we wore masks. we made eye contact but the smell of cops kept us wary.

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someone played ariane grande on a speaker and these bodies we did not recognize melted into each other. we waited for an enemy that did not come. someone thought’d we’d won. last night a man torched 16 cars on Whyte avenue. these streets are saturated with despair. maybe this is why we choke each other: to give an erotic touch to the gravity of separation. i know you don’t sleep when you’re beside me. your future is the quiet of pills. my dreams are full of water canons, rubber bullets, bosses, and yellow vests. what does it mean to fall in love and want the end of the world?

we gather around our table with friends— ones who want more than what’s been offered. if i was a better Marxist i'd call this desire History. but i’ll leave it unnamed. in this space where language fails.

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John McDonough

An accurate accounting of some of the facts There are men who look at the night sky and do not think about dinosaurs. These are the men surprised by asteroids.

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Razielle Aigen

Reparations After Birgit Fechner’s “Broken Flowers Series” there are many of us , here in real time , realizing for the first time what an assemblage theory of coexistence might look like : porcelain sculptures made of other , broken porcelain sculptures reconfigured to form “ something that is funny & a little bit vulnerable & also morbid . ” reparations . the real fragility , a repatriation of our fissures , our fragile estrangement from one another .

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the dividends of our brokeness repurposed after so many incarnations . in these heady times of realization , repair work will be needed .

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Ben Jackson

A Proposal for No Borders â&#x20AC;&#x153;One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so.â&#x20AC;? -Robert Frobisher in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas We know: that it is hard to imagine freedom of movement, truly choosing our homes, when Europe is closed to our lovers /when we cannot afford houses /when we wait, alone. that it is hard to imagine no identity papers, of being ourselves without proof, when we are checked on the street because we are foreigners /when waves of liberation break and roll back.

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that it is hard to imagine a common language, when my pathology is privilege, and your tongue is tight from knowing struggle. that it is therefore hard to imagine empathy, when we feel so far apart. that it is tricky to trust each other. However, trust is a matter of education + solidarity + action and then justâ&#x20AC;Ś belief. And we believe passionately. When we erase the boundaries between us, we imagine larger realities. We will: resist these unjust laws, squeeze ourselves through loopholes, and pass letters under doors. make homes wherever we are in love, accepting our anger and our sorrow when love moves us where our bodies cannot follow. connect in queer ways, across every conversation, fight for feminism, against discrimination. we wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask what someone is, but get to know who they want to be.

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fill our streets, full of our own pride. Wherever we are born, we won’t say ‘us’ and ‘ours’, we express experiments, call out nations, cross their lines.

I try to speak your language. And you mine. Communication is largely miscommunication, but it’s the trying to understand that counts. We are not aliens, we are full of new things to teach and learn. If we both want to erase these boundaries then we are both invested in sharing our problems. This is how we feel close when we are far away. This is how, across all the boundaries that might be drawn, when I imagine being in love with those on the other side, those conventions fall away. And all the world seems open.

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Suzanne Chew

Encounters Along the Cowboy Trail So, what do you think of your President? Mother, with disingenuous naïveté, asked the two Americans who joined our day tour from Calgary. The young waitress had just taken our lunch order, in a cavernous, somewhat run-down-but-dark-so-you-couldn’t-really-tell, saloon-style establishment in the middle of Alberta’s dusty Cowboy Trail. The place was eerily quiet at high noon, sans cowboys. Had my jaw not been wired shut from a brusque scolding by Mother that morning, it would have dropped. I can’t remember if this was before or after they had asked her why our English was so good. Growing up as the studious Asian in a sleepy village in Cambridge, I encountered this question many times, mostly by older British people. My Queen’s English flowed from the BBC period dramas and Brontë books I had inhaled, but Mother still retained her rich, pithy accent. I know it was before they asked S, the Indian

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woman in our group, about how her country managed all their poor people. S grew up in a luxurious, gated family compound and was now working in a high-tech multinational in Dallas. They seemed surprised at her unexpected melange of prosperity and wealth, dark skin and foreign accent. D and B were an older couple from the American Midwest. Hardworking small-business owners, they had reared four grown offspring who they had successfully catapulted into the world, into accountancy and other respectable undertakings. This was a rare travel vacation. B was tanned and blonde, dressed in fuchsia pink and khaki. Sitting next to her white hat and oversized sunglasses, I felt like I might have been on safari. She shared, excitedly, that she had planned this entire trip around Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, along Alberta’s Cowboy Trail. It was “what she did.” Last year, it was all about an art museum in Spain. This year—Indians. The North American kind. D was a well-built man who would have looked right at home in an old-style Western, complete with cowboy hat and and silver spurs. He spoke his mind, prefaced with the statement Now, I don’t mean to offend you, but. I’m not sure that made it any better. But, he told good jokes. Feisty and direct, I felt that these Americans were full of good intentions. They terrified me. Upon hearing that I research climate change, D asked, somewhat coyly, Why do you think some countries should do anything about it, when there are other countries who are polluting much more? Oh, the geopolitics of the United States and China. I wondered if my yellow skin had anything to do with the question. (They had watched Crazy Rich Asians, but I wasn’t completely sure if they knew that Singapore wasn’t in China. That was another question I had grown up with.)

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I didn’t talk about the renewable power China has now put in place, generating twice the gigawatts compared to the United States. I didn’t mention the cruel economics of China’s (now-defunct) one-child policy, or the historical debt of Western nations. Instead, I talked about what a 14- yearold Calgarian student had told me—that her friends talked about not wanting kids, because they didn’t see much of a future for themselves on a scorched earth, and had no desire to bring loved children into an unloved world. I shared my story—how working in the climate field for so many years had also coloured my own thoughts on having kids. I talked about volunteering with a local non-profit on conversations about grieving the rapid ecological changes we see, and what we can do to act. We hoped to bring these conversations to every community here in Calgary, of all places. At the end of the day, the planet doesn’t care who does what. It only sees if we do or don’t. B wasn’t sure she had heard correctly. No kids? It was hard to believe. D secretly paid for everybody’s lunch, and at the end of the day tipped our tour guide generously, despite his genuine protestations (P is both the guide and the owner of the company) because “that’s what we Americans do.” I love our President, so be very careful about what you say next!

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Antilang no 5

Contributors Razielle Aigen is a Montreal-based writer and artist. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Entropy, CV2, my (small press) writing day, and elsewhere. razielleaigen.com | @ohthepoetry Alex Bezeredi studied history and creative writing at Simon Fraser University. He is most commonly found in his basement suite, killing houseplants and frightening the neighbourhood cats. Ty Bruce, He/him, Bald eagle clan, Anishinaabe/Nehiyaw. From Muskowekan, Onitcikiskapon. Co-organizer with BeaverHillsWarriors, Believes strong identities makes strong communities, strong communities make strong political power. Community & direct action decolonize. Amie Campbell is an emerging writer with work set to appear in two publications due out in late 2019. She enjoys spending her time with her kiddos and rescue dog, and trying to keep her succulents alive. Fall 2019

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Debora Chappell is a poet who shares her time between Colorado and New Mexico. She has a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing-Poetry from the University of Denver. Her work has appeared in the Denver Quarterly. Suzanne Chew is a Geography PhD student at the University of Calgary. She trained as a physicist, is an Instagram poet, storytells academic research, and drew 200+ climate cartoons. www.littleclimate.com

Taylor Denton is a student living in Boulder, currently working to complete a degree in English. She began writing short stories when she was in middle-school, publishing her first poem in a book created by her school. Cole Depuy is a Ph.D. student in SUNY Binghamtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creative Writing Program. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Penn Review, Boston Accent, The Maynard, and pacificREVIEW. Keighlagh Donovan is a Ph.D. student researching the concept of "allyship" and care poetics at the University of Alberta. She has artistic and political aims in acquiring #LandBack for Indigenous communities. Originally from the Nova Scotian village of Bible Hill (seriously), Joel Robert Ferguson now divides his time between Winnipeg and Montreal. His poetry has appeared most recently in Grain, Spadina Literary Review, NĹ?D, and The Scrivener.

Kyle Flemmer is an author, publisher, and radish enthusiast. He runs The Blasted Tree Publishing Company, is Managing Editor of filling Station, and coordinates events for Shelf Life Books.

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Roshana Ghaedi is an Iranian-Canadian writer and student at Western University. Her work has previously been published in the Iconoclast Collective Magazine and KINO. She currently lives in Toronto with her two cats, Talah and Jigar. Atar Hadari's Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award and his debut collection, Rembrandt’s Bible, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2013.

Ben Jackson is an easily distracted person who has been part of many diverse creative endeavours, including Forest Sounds Theatre Company. They are currently making the weekly droincore podcast. benjacksonhuman.wordpress.com

Rob Jackson is

a member of the Writing Revolution in Place Collective and a PhD candidate in the English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta.

Ramon Jimenez is an educator and writer from Seattle, WA. He runs a writing program for youth called “The Boot,” where they develop their voice through poetry, spoken word, rap and storytelling. Kelly-Girl Johnston is an autistic writer, visual artist, and coder based in The Bronx, NYC. Much of her time is spent meditating, drawing at the Art Students League, workshopping at Poets House, and staring into space. Ian Kinney has earned an MA from the Department of English, University of Calgary. This bisexual settler poet lives in Calgary and cares for his family’s net-zero homestead Fall 2019

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on Kainai territory. Their first book of poetry, Air Salt, was published by the University of Calgary Press.

Nisa Malli is a writer and researcher, born in Winnipeg and currently living in Toronto. Her first chapbook, Remitting, is forthcoming from Baseline Press in Fall 2019. Abam Mambo examines taboo and explores the range, depth and emotion underpinning women's voices. Her short stories and essays have been published in Farafina, The Kalahari Review, and Paradigm.

Giovanni Mangiante is a peruvian writer who mostly writes about personal experiences of addiction, loneliness, distrust, nightmares, and personal dialogues (almost always humorous). In poetry he found a way to deal with BPD. Sarah McClelland is a self-taught artist from St. Albert, AB in her last year of high school. Creating images inspired by science and STEM careers guides most of her pieces. She enjoys printmaking among other mediums, as well as experimenting with First Nations art techniques and imagery. John McDonough is a New England transplant living in Dickinson, ND with his wife, two dogs, and lizard: John Jr. He enjoys fossil hunting, cigars, and disk golf. His poetic inspirations include Sid Vicious, Roberto Clemente, and CM Punk. Lisa Olsen is an ESL teacher based in Ottawa, Ontario with an honours BA in Linguistics and Discourse Studies. She is also an editor, poet, traveller, and lover of cats.

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sb. smith is a queer disabled writer, Creative Writing/Sociology student at Vancouver Island University, and editor of Disabled Voices Anthology. Her work appears in Portal and Sad Girl Review. Michaela Stephen is a writer based in Toronto, Ontario, where she is currently completing a publishing program. She has previously been published by antilang. and Awkward Mermaid magazine, among others.

James Swafford is a new resident of Toronto, recently retired after a 40-year career of teaching English literature.

Fall 2019

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Editorial Jordan Bolay holds a PhD from the University of Calgary’s English Department. He writes, edits, and teaches literature on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and Scia'new peoples of Vancouver Island. Igpy Kin is a beleaguered queer non-binary rabble-rouser/writer/editor/designer/artist-wrangler born and raised on Treaty 7 territory. They have two knees, three degrees, and one cat.

Allie McFarland is a prose poser and probable poet. Lissa McFarland

is a (mostly) visual artists from Calgary. Her work has appeared in NōD, Hooligan Mag, and antilang. She's a lesbian, intersectional feminist, sandwich connoisseur, and Naruto enthusiast.

Kaitlyn Purcell is a member of Smith’s Landing First Nation. She is a PhD student in English and creative writing. She won the Metatron Book Prize for her novella ʔbédayine.

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antilang.ca for previous issues, book reviews, the On Editing blog, and calls for submissions.


Contribute to Antilang

What weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for: Good. Short. Writing. Any form, any genre, as long as it is brief and of exceptional quality. Poetry, short/flash fiction, creative essays, ficto-criticism, flash memoir, photo essays, comics, postcard fiction, and collaborations across media. We support diversity in both the form and content of writing, and we prioritise voices that have been systemically silenced or have otherwise gone unheard. We welcome and encourage simultaneous submissions (because you should have the opportunity to submit your work widely). We can only accept translations with the written permission of the original author. 12-point Times New Roman, one inch margins, maximum SIX (6) pages, regardless of form, genre, or number of pieces. Please double-space all prose. MS Word files (.doc or .docx) only for textual pieces. Please send all submissions via Submittable and include a 30 word bio (we are all about concision, after all).

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antilang. no. 5 - Pithy Politics