Mandate Good. Short. Writing. The Anti-Languorous Project is an online open-access creative writing hub that publishes antilang., a magazine of literary brevity, the On Editing blog series, and Good Short Reviews. Show, don’t tell; imply and implicate. Antithesize languorous language. antilang., no. 9 Labour Published by The Anti-Languorous Project Victoria, BC, Unceded Territory of the Lekwungen People, Spring 2021 Edited by Allie McFarland & Jordan Bolay with Special Issue Guest Editor Anahita Jamali Rad Layout & Design by Jordan Bolay & Lissa McFarland Cover by Sven Logos & Art Direction by Lissa McFarland ISSN 2561-5610, key title: antilang. (online) All rights revert to the original artists upon publication. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the artists. The ALP is a non-profit organisation. We invite you to support us on Patreon, Issuu, or by donation.
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antilang. no. 9 Labour
Danielle LaFrance 1 MANAGERIAL MATERIAL Erin Wilson 3 At the Trading Post 5 The Wild 6 Tradition Rachel Small 7 The Sirens Work Today and Tomorrow
Russell Carisse 8 Brick Wall 9 Unearned Away Ashkan Maleki 10 Counting the Days Joel Robert Ferguson 12 December's Dishwater 14 Martyred Hours Sara McGuire 16 Five drinks into a networking event
Amanda Proctor 18 Delivery Notice Emma Rhodes 21 John Lock in Practice 24 november today tomorrow or yesterday
Zachary Keesey 25 Coal Dust Steffanie Ling 27 Conflict Poem Z. L. Raymond 29 Room Interlude Liselle Yorke 36 Weary 37 Quiet Work TR Grand 38 Smile Shauna Checkley 42 ten minute mother Lisa Mizan 43 I HATE YOU DON'T LEAVE ME Scott Inniss 52 Hope the coding... 54 (To) Real Abstraction 56 Bowl Dress David Bradford 58 ace of triggers Polly Orr 61 Input/Output Reyhaneh Yazdani 63 Over and Over, My Beloved Dictator
Contributors 65 antilang. no. 9
MANAGERIAL MATERIAL After hours You + I saw work in half. Another half power naps in arms with managerial material. Usually sleep should happen after wee-wee fall asleep-sleep but wee-wee work for hidden selves + sick budgets. For diffused concerns BEHOLD! After hours a troupe of prawns replace an evolved plate of shrimp’s runoff splatter airdropping management’s future lingua franca. You always thought shrimp were so cute for struggling so hard to swim only to go nowhere. Like a pop of milk on oatmeal You + I drafts proposals for death dying + beyond. You + I are prawns antilang. no. 9
managerialising a politics inseparable from moulting. As inside so outside management reflexively droop their chins shrimping mouthfuls of psychic liberation. When You + I round out “stolen territories” vociferous tongues roll out a city’s legalies. Truth should matter after truth acknowledged. When You + I place a request for safety they take away our pillows + leaning posts. Replace them with stress rooms to jack off during a day. First comes love then comes capitalism then comes bleeds on bleeds. OF COURSE! BEHOLD! After hours full course to normalcy! BEHOLD! Heaping spoonfuls of management’s cascading cessation! LEAN INTO DISCOMFORT! SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER FOR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE! SELF-REFLECTION REQUIRES VIGILANCE! You think a party of prawns is better. I think it's getting butter all a time. Or it was until You + I stopped double-time fisting after hours recapitulating new platters for old prawn songs. After hours skies are worth dreaming for. 2|
At the Trading Post This is how it is. I startle to step back to see it was made like this, the form still holds true. It works. I am paid to smile up at you and nod my head, make you comfortable with what you have, which is what I don't, which is the tension that keeps everything in its place. Casually, you mention your investments, your boats, or your summer cottages. I'm on my knees
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lifting your bunions, your carbuncles, your listless canaries from your stinking shoes and laying them delicately into handmade moccasins. I'm smiling up at you.
At the Trading Post
The Wild Thirty-six empty bodies like windless flags, wildness rung out of them, silver fox, red fox, cross fox, arctic fox, raccoon, opossum, beaver, badger, coyote, skunk. A cascade of lynx, an effulgence on the hands, one luxurious clubbed foot screaming, Don't ya just wanna own me!, where once it made other things scream. One plastic bag of one hundred lucky rabbits' feet reeking of formaldehyde; one hundred divided by four does not equal one bag. One bag can not hold four rabbit feet leaps and so one bag of one hundred rabbits' feet is less than one whole rabbit. One silver loop holds sixteen coyote tails and I can handle three loops at once, but one night, man to rogue, I could not handle two glaring eyes. Thoreau says, "Nature remains an otherness which incorporates man, but which man instinctively feels contains secrets denied to him." We work hard to deny ourselves nothing.
Tradition He walks by her in the shop, his eyes running her body. He's shorter than she is but his gaze asserts he can overpower her. You're listening to this crap? he asks. It's Billie Holiday. Decidedly not crap. Does he hate it because it's deceptively soft, because it's dated, because Holiday's a woman, or black? Yes, it's empowering. I'm listening to this music. She walks by him keeping a wide berth. But he comes at her, asking for her help. She assesses the corner he's trying to get her into. She keeps an escape route open. Those eyes again—electric fence to cattle. She unfolds and holds t-shirt after t-shirt up for him to appraise, hiding her body behind them. He comes north annually for the spring bear-hunt. Mmm hmmm.
The Sirens Work Today and Tomorrow Sirens sit up and behind the bar. Earning ten dollars per hour, taxed into fragments. Sirens pulled from water, expiring in fields. Someone left a shot out. Savour the bitterness. Sirens laugh and make song from empty jars. Pulling their faces wide, humming lottery ticket numbers. Love letters. Sirens say damn I am just trying to live here when they take out the garbage. When they stare across a cash register. When they find their fins slit into halves. Sirens love the other sirens. Hold golden hours in hands, submerged under light. Sirens drive across the country in snowfall. Work the only priority. Money over safety. Death escapes loan. Sirens fight to be plastered overhead. Coloured green; shades of money. All of it goes somewhere else. Like the shells of seven dollar lattes. Off in some ditch, where dead sirens go. Sirens show up to work coated in plastic. Sirens go on and on. antilang. no. 9
Running Bond.1.Brickwall Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head Stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher Head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher heads
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English Bond.7.Unearned Away One conceived wholeness under weighted for Fin’nced plots in the works and not with play’ng Time instead processed fainting collapse timed Stray’ng tip towed piece for the cut off tee’ing Bills tendered credits owing pushpinned cork Sto’ing slips stuck to pics with that list re’inds Past journeyed layfolk hometime hustles cashed Fo’ard at the shop pawned ticks placed to ‘tems In holdings largesse outworn portents doomed Son’nced blue in the wist for the bit piss’ng Drunk blustered slinking sidewalks twisting and Bro’en down with those ends tied due to’ard Rent payments wresting unearned away from Spo’en writs the class tossed to the wind ‘leased
Counting the Days As an essential worker and an artist, I have been counting the days in my paintings as part of my creative practice for more than a year. The labour that is on the shoulders of essential workers is hidden and often missed. By bringing it on the paper I try to raise awareness and to critique the capitalist world we live in.
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Counting the Days
Joel Robert Ferguson
December's Dishwater I've friends in low places or coworkers at any rate– the former St. Pats running back with the busted knee born to lead manager of the dish pit the hardcore kid homophobe with a taste for hard Rs the guy who worked mornings who I never met with family in Ottawa he goes to see for December the older guy in nursing scrubs wife and two kids always slamming the washer doors fast-moving like he's on a mortar crew in an old newsreel the very virtue that sees him put his thumb through a fry press
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the last two put us in a vice-fuck over the holidays double shifts no provision given for the bus out here only running til ten walking eight K back to Halifax after one winter wind a’yammer on the MacKay Bridge more tolerable than the million dollar owner literal mansion on literal hill out back plus the mini-mall that the grill occupies plus a few apartment buildings down in Dartmouth St. Pats and other staff among his tenants St. Pats in admiration of him hauling slop to the dumpster temporarily embarrassed parasite proud in the fiefdom of 21st century company-store bastardry no staff meals or breaks visions of chucking a molly thru the window triple shifts water main breaks pushing two and still not free of cilantro-smelling dishwater local institution tinsel tracked from dining room to tile the math of getting home sleeping two hours coming back to do it again without tips nothing to brag about five star reviews from the ballcap set well I’ll find new work in the New Year eat shit fuck you I’m through. But go on, tell us what you really think.
Martyred Hours I thought about the terms “dignity”, “primitive accumulation” in the industrial sink backed up by the debris from the day’s five hundred surf’n’turfs. I steal back time in back of the physical plant to read about the heroism of labour at a T-34 factory in primeval taiga or a coal mine in the Donbass (same diff). I walk to the boss’s condo to chat amicably about bad cheques and wages he no doubt shoved up his idiot man-child nose. I shut down the elevator between floors and take a nap on the floor. I dream about my dream job but forget what it is upon waking (menial at Xanadu?) I bring Zip-Loc baggies to smuggle out those awful Subway meatballs on the nights I close.
Joel Robert Ferguson
I trade chicken recipes with coworkers on break. Still want to try Palawan-style BBQ. A drunk Jets fan grabs the shovel from my hands after the win and sets to work on snowdrifts. I let him.
Five drinks into a networking event Yeah I look like that person you know the one you haven’t seen in a while that celebrity the one with the red hair before her cocaine addiction that sweet round face polished like a glass bowl reflecting your own face back at you with the edges all stretched out wrapping around my head and around this hotel ballroom where shiny people bounce and reflect off each other and my shallow laughter laps up against their exposed ankles and rolled up slacks I have a drink to take the edge off
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edge my way into their conversation a circle smiling with spit bubbling at the corners of my mouth and not a minute to breathe I’ve got them now don’t I perhaps they don’t know that this is a stolen face one hastily thrown on to slip in under door cracks and lap up grains of diamond dust that fall out of the mouths of experts don’t be nervous come go ahead grab my jaws and crack my head open at the corners of my mouth reach in down to your elbow and see what you can snag maybe something of value maybe some worthless junk the fact is I always was full of nothing and I’m surprised it’s taking everyone this long to figure it out, soon I’ll be pulled back like a dusty quilt on a bed and underneath the bed are all the monsters that I’ve slept with all the scraggly artistic cryptids who held my head in their bony fingers and whispered rancid manifestos into my open mouth I guess I made it because when the opportunity arose I took it in like syrupy smoke and didn’t choke Five drinks...
Delivery Notice Cara’s been busy since she moved to Montréal, or at least that’s what our mom tells me. Even though she never has time to call anymore, I know for sure she’s not dead because she’s still using my Amazon Prime account. I stopped using the account ages ago: the guilt of clicking the golden yellow “Add to Cart” button knowing it meant someone in the warehouse wouldn’t get a bathroom break, their feet chafing in their runners with lightning strikes of back pain. But I guess Cara can ignore all that. The emails always come in French, all caps and orange, AVIS DE LIVRAISON. Yesterday she ordered 12 Pack Artificial Hanging Vine Ivy Leaves. I hope it’s because she knows that ivy is an invasive species, but it’s probably because in her glamorous city life she has no time to water plants. Sometimes I picture her apartment—the AmazonBasics Foldable Cube Storage Bins and the 2 Pack Fairy Lights (Batteries Included). She ordered those a few months ago. I 18 |
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bet her apartment is beautiful. I bet she never has to spend a Saturday deep cleaning her kitchen because she has nothing better to do. She probably always has hip stuff to do, like making macramé plant holders for her friends with her Macramé Cotton Cord, Not Dyed, Natural. When she orders Vintage Steampunk Sunglasses in the summer, I think of her fair skin burning into blisters and consider ordering some Hawaiian Tropic Weightless Sunscreen, sent to her address. I think of calling her and remembering the times we went to our Aunt Sherry’s pool as kids. All-dressed chips that tasted like chlorine and that little gnome that had his fishing rod cast into the garden. We never waited long enough before swimming for our sunscreen to soak in, and our skin burned bright lollipop red by the end of the afternoon. We used to play with diving rings, jewels gently sinking to the aquamarine plastic floor. I could never make it to the bottom, even though I was older. My ears always clogged and my chest tightened under the heavy water. I tried to swim fast and get to the orange, pink, and yellow rings before they hit the bottom, but my legs flailed me back to the surface for air. Cara always dived elegantly to the bottom after waiting for me to flounder up, choking. I would pull myself to sit on the edge of the pool and watch as she grazed the bottom with her knuckles. She stayed down there longer than she needed to collect the rings, letting the pressure of the water hold her sitting at the bottom. When I saw her from above she was sliced into rippling half-moons, flecked with reflected sun.
I think about sending her some Pool Time Dive Rings —6 Pack as a joke, but I picture her tearing the smooth brown parcel paper expecting her sunglasses, then, puzzled, letting the box slide out of her hand into the trash. Knowing the algorithms will push the sunscreen to her attention, I search up Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 and write a four-star review.
John Locke in Practice John Locke told me that anything I put work into is mine. Western democracies are largely founded on Locke’s ideas— my country told me anything I put work into is mine. I do my job, pay to go to school and learn about John Locke, pay my taxes. This country is mine; it serves me. Okay. Cool. Good to know. Get home from class, clean the kitchen after my partner, again, ask him to be more mindful next time and find myself apologizing for not respecting his time. Go to bed exhausted. Fuck despite the fatigue, without a condom. No energy to fight.
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Wake up next morning, exhausted. Cry. Sob. Cry sob up to my friend’s apartment, she says Plan B is a good idea. Okay. Okay. Good to know. And he buys it for me. Goes on about how expensive one pill is and I’m def not pregnant because I’m on birth control and he can’t believe I asked him to do that But he did it anyway. Because he loves me. And doesn’t like seeing me anxious. Cool. Good to know. Thank him. Heck my period this month is a monster. And the only out-of-hospital surgical abortion clinic in my province was forced to close, We screamed—begged— white men in suits to give us accessible healthcare, and now we’re not allowed to read poetry at City Council meetings. 22 |
Blonde men are still telling us that we’re asking for too much. Costing them too much money. I read that birth control can affect the people you’re attracted to, I wonder if I actually chose him. We get bundled up in kitty toques and cardboard signs and walk the streets in hoards. Every year. Locke told me this country belongs to me, but, out here in the Maritime cold, I belong to it. Okay. Cool. Good to know. At home my shoulders double their weight, I apologize again to the blonde man I think I love. I have a paper to write on Locke. I don’t have time for this.
John Locke in Practice
november today tomorrow or yesterday Last night I dreamt of an evil pig eating all of my things and puking everywhere. I believe it was an omen. Woke up at 1pm and wasn’t hungry. Sat on the floor of my shower. Watched as the water formed into balls and struggled to slide from my knee down my leg. But when the little balls successfully escape my sticky skin the only place they fall is back into the shower and down the drain. Water takes the shape of its container but without a container water is monstrous. I can be a glass of crisp cold water hydrating and getting rid of migraines left and right or I can be a river—white caps—don’t dare step in or I’ll wipe the ground from under you, rush you away. Drown you. But I am one ball of water struggling to escape my tight and sticky skin. Not drowned or drowning but small and everywhere. I am also the everywhere and I am the evil pig eating all of my things and drinking my only droplets of water so now I am also the one with a migraine. I sabotage and am sabotaged and I only want my head to stop throbbing. I only want to feel what it would be like outside of this skin for one moment. But when I do finally escape my skin—maybe puke myself out—if I do slip off my skin—where can I go? Where do I go? The shower. But I’m too big to fit down the drain. I’m too big to fit down the drain because I gained weight. Sabotage sabotaged big pig energy I wanted to text my ex so I took my brightest red lipstick and rubbed it all over my thighs. Better than a knife. Thought that would open me up or give me something new to look at at least but it only led me back to the shower. 24 |
Coal Dust I hoped to follow in my father’s footsteps, lungs painted black with hardwork, spending time in mines, breaking back, rock turned to fuel. Every day, he came home smiling, lifting me in the air, twirling, marking me with coal dust traces, and I knew I wanted this too. But now, mines are shuttering,
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and my boy smiles at me, eyes bright, and I can’t bare to mark him too.
conflict poem Within this summer of tiny little conflicts and frail but stacked days of brokering everyone’s massive and isolated truths, we simmer in the foam that creeps up the pot before that defiant boiling wave protests our cruel and dirty habits of trying to do more than one thing at a time. We were grant writing in exchange for friend couture, baking goods in response to tears, and doing our shifts at the folk factory where value eludes the market floating in a wound barely dressed by smuggling in minutes horizontal, a mesh of steam blown off, and flakey acceptance.
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When I asked my boss if he’d ever heard of mutual aid before, he frisked my words for Little Red Books upon arrival at the gates of his proudly self-sufficient but largely confused paradigm. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when I said, Everyone should just have whatever they need, without having to work all the time.
Z. L. Raymond
Room Interlude The parlor was in an old stone building on Dorchester Boulevard that also housed a photocopy store and a medical clinic. There were no signs out front, no advertising. When I rang the bell, a buzzer went off and I walked into a mahogany paneled room with a thin tall man standing behind a desk where a dark-haired woman was sitting. “Hello, I’m Alex,” the man said in a thick Russian accent. “Hello, I am also Alex,” the woman said in a more subtle Russian accent. I wanted to say I was also Alex, but instead made as if I was going to shake their hands. “Turn around please.” I looked at him. His nose was thin and long, bisecting a pale face that was all angles and smooth skin. I pivoted on my left foot. Alex and Alex looked at each other, antilang. no. 9
muttered a few ‘da’s’ and nodded. “Very good. And you’re how old?” I replied. “Okay, we’ll say 18. Better for customers. You look young. You look fit. You do gymnastics?” “I was a figure skater,” I replied numbly. I felt outside of my body. “Beautiful. You know what we do here?” man Alex asked. I was silent. I nodded. “Yes well, you’ll fit in very well. We are a very upscale agency. No one off the street, all recommendations. We have hockey players, politicians, business men, all very good people. You can work long hours?” I said I could. “Beautiful. Alex, here, will take the phone calls. She schedules. Come back tomorrow, 10 am. Wear street clothes; you change here in the room with the girls. Bring cute dresses. Sexy. Do something with your hair, more volume, less like a mouse. Bring condoms. Never linger around the door. We have cameras everywhere, we will know when you come.” “Okay.” It was the easiest job interview I had ever had. When I came back the next day I had a backpack full of dresses 30 |
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and had straightened my hair. Man Alex was not there, but woman Alex shooed me into a room with five other girls. When I opened the door they all looked at me from where they had been either lounging or applying makeup. “Girls. This is Anastasia, she’s new,” Alex said, and with a light shove, she went back to her desk. Anick was the first to get up and hug me. She was in a sequined mini-dress and wore six-inch stilettos heels and moved with the assuredness of a go-go dancer. The other girls were kind, saying hello before going back to getting ready for the day. “Tu parles français?” she asked. “Oui,” I replied, holding onto my backpack like a baby. “Parfait ça! Ben, prépares-toi, tout le temps des grosses journées et il faut être prêt si non Alex va nous battre,” she laughed, but the two girls sitting at the table next to the boarded-up window whispered something in Russian. “Ben non, il ne nous bats pas, il est juste un peu cave, c’est tout. Ne t’en fais pas avec lui, c’est sûr que ça va bien aller. Tu as déjà fait ce sorte de travail?” “Non.” “A child,” one of the girls at the table said before getting up. “I’m Tatijana.” She was easily six-foot-tall in her bare feet with golden hair and piercing blue eyes. “You will be fine. Don’t let them push you around. I’m going for a cigarette,” she said before opening the door exiting.
“Tati, save one for me!” shouted Anick in her thick Quebecoise accent. ‘‘Elle, je l’aime. Pis as-tu vu ses seins? Mon dieux, j’aurai du allez faire les miens au Russie, tabarnaque,’’ she said, squeezing her own tits and looking down at them. “Did you bring clothes?’ asked a girl who had been sitting on the far back couch. “I’m Sun. It’s a stupid name. Alex picks them,” she said with an eye roll. “Fucking idiot.” The other girls laughed. I took my dresses out of my backpack and they stared at me. “Well, put them on,” Sun said. For a split second I wondered if I should go to the bathroom to change but I realized this was a ridiculous idea. I stripped in front of them. “Mon dieux, beau p’tit corps, hein?’’ said Anick. The girls didn’t like any of the dresses I did and picked a plain black body-hugging dress and gave me a pair of heels from the shared box after insisting mine were too low. Anick helped me do my makeup, insisting on a blown-out smokey eye, while I sat on the couch and Sun brushed my hair. “Okay so, first things first. Never let them touch you with their penis if it doesn’t have a condom. They’ll say they’ll pay you more or whatever, but it just fucks with the rest of us because then they think they can do whatever they want.” “Pis ils pensent déjà ça!” replied Anick, stopping her laborious application of eyeshadow onto my right eye. 32 |
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“Also, it might be weird the first few times, but it’s not so bad. Don’t tell them personal stuff. Just lie. Always smile. Drag the massage part out for as long as you can. Never drink when they offer you something. Alex is so stupid, he lets them buy expensive bottles of champagne and vodka and some girls drink it but, personally, I don’t need to be drunk with these assholes. I’ve got friends for that.’’ I tried to nod but Anick immobilized my face in her hands. ‘‘Parlent leur beaucoup. Faut les flatter, faut les faires penser qu’on leur aiment, blah blah,’’ said Anick, and I felt her breath on my face. ‘‘Oh yes, oh god, oh yes yes yes yes,’’ Sun was screaming before bursting into laughter. ‘‘Scream, they think you’re having a great time and then they finish faster. But make sure they come near the end of the hour or else they want it again and it’s too much work.’’ “Tu frais attention à Nihlo, il prend des Viagra comme des bonbons pis sa queue est tout l’temps bandé, vieux sale,’’ added Anick. ‘’But, he pays well and he’s pretty slow. C’est un bonus.’’ When Anick was done she shuffled me into the corner that housed a large mirror and shelves full of makeup and an extra dresser. ‘‘Ben, t’es prête. Tu vas voir, c’est ben correcte.’’ Alex walked back into the room.
‘‘Anastasia, client downstairs. Second door.’’ ‘‘You’ll need to bring two towels and an extra bedsheet. Strip the table after you’re done and shower. They usually want to shower with you but get paid first and then decide if you want them touching you more,’’ said Sun, pointing to the shelves with rows of folded white material. —— When I came back from my first appointment, only Tatijana was in the room, reading a book at the table and eating her lunch. “How was it?” she asked, not looking up. “It was okay, I guess. He was weird.” Tatijana looked up. “Do you think regular men need to come into this building at 11 am on a Tuesday to have sex with women they keep in a backroom?” She looked down and flipped a page. I threw the dirty towels in the hamper and took off my heels. I could see myself in the mirror, wearing more makeup than I had at any gala show in all my years of skating, my hair straightened out to my lower back, tucked behind my ears, arms folded. “Do you know what you do when you get home this Friday?”
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“Get drunk?” “No. You take all the money you made this week. You lay it on your bed. Then you lie in it.”
weary i’ve made myself bite sized for you though i’ve seen your unhinged jaw swallow social dissonance without needing to chew make finer pieces or understand minute details I hope this comes up beside “never dim your light”
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quiet work is there space for stillness in me room for moments of acceptance where introspection is admired but benched it brings into question value to let myself be nothing in introductory conversations to know that in these label-less moments i am without ornament purely human beautiful, violent, vulnerable subject to time
Smile The sous chef held up two lemons. “Do your nipples look like this, or like this?” he asked, staring intently at my breasts. I glared at him as I grabbed the plates from the pick-up line. He rubbed his thumbs over the nubs on the end of each lemon and licked his lips. The other cooks laughed while the dishwasher grabbed his crotch and thrust in my direction. The manager leaned against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, leering. He winked as I walked past him through the swinging doors into the dining room to deliver my customers their meals; grass-fed aged porterhouse steak, medium-rare, with potatoes lyonnaise and garlic butter mushrooms for him, and a winter salad with three kinds of locally grown microgreens, fire roasted root vegetables, crumbled house-made goat cheese, and maple balsamic vinaigrette for her. I plastered on a smile, trying to appear like a welladjusted human who enjoyed her work and wasn’t at all sexually harassed every time she walked into the 38 |
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kitchen. I passed another waitress and we shared a knowing look—they were in a mood tonight. After the meals were delivered—happy smiles all around—I picked up the empty dishes and pocketed the tip from a table that had just left. Only $8 off a $96 meal, despite my busting my ass to make sure they had great service and a good time. I knew as soon as they’d sat down that they’d be cheap, I should have trusted my instincts. I certainly wasn’t working here for the ambience. I needed the cash in a bad way, and usually tips were much more rewarding for the shit we had to put up with. Taking the plates into the kitchen and dumping them at the dishwashing station, I kept my head down. The cooks were chattering amongst themselves, seemingly unaware of my presence. If I could just get out without them noticing me—“hey how come your skirt is so long tonight, mama? I wanna see those thighs!” the prep cook yelled as he clinked beer bottles with the fry cook and they each took a sloppy drag. They’d helped themselves to several bottles earlier from the bar, without paying. The bartender had complained about it, she’d had to comp them and was worried she’d be in trouble later at cash-out, knowing it would likely come out of her tips. I kept my head down, careful to avoid any exaggerated movements, and fled the kitchen to the relative safety of the dining room. The manager was at the hostess station. I noticed he had his hand very low on the back of the new hostess and was murmuring something in her ear. The poor girl couldn’t have been more than 16 years old and Smile
she looked terrified. I’d have to talk to her later, try to soften the blow of reality in the food service industry— or at the very least, warn her to the particular nuances of this seemingly “nice” restaurant. What things look like on the outside are very rarely, if ever, what they actually are behind the scenes. Better to tell her now than have her learn it the hard way later, the way some of us did. I grabbed the water pitcher from the hostess station, shooting the manager a dirty look as I did so, and made my way to the table that had just been sat. I found my big fake smile and made small talk about the evening and the weather, then told them about the specials. “Our specials tonight are an elk carpaccio with wild berry mustard, locally grown arugula, and housemade potato chips to start, and for the main a glazed pork belly with cumin and brown sugar glaze, roasted bok choy and scallion, crispy kale, and smashed baby potatoes. Although personally, I recommend the butternut squash ravioli, the chef has really outdone himself with this recipe and there are only 3 servings left. It has been a big hit this weekend.” I took their drink orders—prosecco to start, followed by a wine to be paired with their meal selections—and headed for the bar. As I punched in the drink order I made eye contact with the bartender, and I could see she was fighting back tears. I held her gaze, and she whispered that the manager had pushed her up against the wall in the storeroom a few minutes earlier, when she’d gone back to get more clamato juice. He’d grabbed her ass and tried to kiss her, and as she turned to get away she’d knocked a large jar of pickles over and it had 40 |
broken. Not only had he forced her onto her knees to clean it up, he’d yelled at her the entire time for being clumsy and wasteful. She had a red welt on her upper arm and sticky pickle juice on her tights and shoes. I gave her a reassuring smile—or the best I could come up with that resembled reassuring—then made quick rounds of my tables to make sure they didn’t have any immediate needs. I passed the manager and he grabbed my wrist, twisting it slightly. “What was that look for earlier, huh?” he hissed. “Don’t put any ideas into the new one’s head, she’s still a good girl." He let go, patted me on the shoulder, and gave a huge grin to the room. Boomed “great job tonight kiddo, one of our best servers!” The customers within earshot smiled, nodded, yes, they had heard this was one of the best restaurants in town, just look at how happy the employees were, yes, it must be true, validation.
Ten Minute Mother Ten minutes to the bus Ten minutes to rush past her crying Mother in rewind Mother out of her mind fast forward, counting
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I Hate You Don't Leave Me I cannot outrun my insanity. When I walk down the hallways of our century home, down to the basement where we store all our forgotten possessions, I can feel it creeping up behind me. I am a slow individual, always have been, and the grasp of my illness walks faster than I can run. It finds me wherever I go. It finds me and then it gets a hold of me. I know it has when I can feel the world numb all around me. The colours, all those magnificent shades, begin to falter. —— It was the summer of 1997 when my family and I moved to the Dalloway estate five kilometers outside of Winnipeg. My mother, my insane mother, needed solitude and to be away from the noise and uneasiness of city life. She sold our humble cottage in the St. Boniface neighbourhood, put my sister and I in a school north of the city that would be closer to our antilang. no. 9
new home, and in the midst of it also separated from our father when he didn’t support her very sudden and unusual change of mind. “The hustle and bustle makes me crazy,” she would say to us over family dinner. “Like you’re already not crazy,” I would think to myself. My mother was Type I Bipolar and we, her family, were more aware of that than she was. Her psychotic episodes were wiped off her memory once she came back to stable reality and thus, we were left to deal with the emotional residue of them. Her most recent one, that took place the first night in our new home. Shaken from our beds and still in our nightclothes, our mother, our insane mother, made us sit in our blue Honda Civic for three straight hours claiming our father was going to set our new house on fire. Afraid that we would trigger an exacerbated reaction, my sister and I put up with my mother’s whimpers by silently sitting at the back of the car and going to bed only when she allowed. It was 4 a.m. and I dug my face into the coolness of my pillows and let my mind jump onto a train of thought regarding my very own struggle with mental health in the past year. Hereditary. That was the word my psychiatrist Dr. Picoult had used when describing my behaviour in the last year. He explained to me how mental illness can have genetic roots, and that one related to an afflicted individual should take caution. The psychologist at the unit, a treatment center for children and adolescents, had made me fill out a pile of tests. Dr. Picoult had 44 |
already seen me twice but he wanted me to visit the psychologist, Dr. Narduzzi, for a more extensive examination of my case. I had found the whole process rather tiresome. I was admitted to the Child and Adolescent Treatment Center after I threatened to kill myself in front of my Biology teacher and was immediately regretting it by the time I was put into my hospital pyjamas. Honestly, I didn't mean it. Not really. When I said, “I will kill myself,” I was just wanting Ms. Patel to comply with my wishes of not wearing my lab coat in the laboratory. Afterall, my mother, my insane mother, always did it to my father. “You won’t bump up my life insurance?” “I will kill myself.” “You won’t leave behind your whole life and move with me to the middle of nowhere so I can spend the rest of my life haunting the house with my hallucinations and catatonia?” “I will kill myself.” But she did not kill herself. And that is not exactly what she said. But I am imagining it that way in my head. In fact, the divorce seemed to have had a great impact on her. She won custody and most of the shared assets. She was soon dating a dashing man named Steve whom she referred to as “Pumpkin Spice” much too often. The doctors had asked me if the divorce had any effects on me. And I flatly said “No.” It did not. Didn’t bother me at all actually. The only hint of emotion I had felt throughout the whole ordeal was annoyance. I Hate You Don't Leave Me
Annoyance at the amount of times both our parents’ lawyers asked me questions regarding the nature of my relationship with them. Annoyance at having to spend time in two different houses. Annoyance when my father would break down in tears in front of family gatherings. Annoyance when I saw my friend Samantha and her perfectly whole and unbroken family cheer her up at volleyball tournaments. Then they asked me if I had a hard time feeling emotions at all. See, that was a hard one to answer. I racked my brain and told them no, that I felt emotions all right. Annoyance is, after all, an emotion. But I wasn’t sure if that was completely honest. When I was five, my best friend Cassandra and I went shell collecting by the Gimli Harbour. We came across a small baby blue bird that seemed to have fallen out of its nest and left crippled. I felt a strong urge to help that bird. Cassie suggested we call her mom to see what she can do, but the bird needed help then, not later. I took out one of my sharper shells and put it through the baby bird’s chest. Liquid rubies flooded out like a waterfall. I looked at Cassie’s face; white and full of disbelief at what I’d done. “Why would you do that?? Are you crazy?” she screamed at me, tears rolling down her chubby pink cheeks. “Now it doesn’t have to feel the pain anymore,” I replied. I took Cassie's hand and told her that I love her and that I love nature and that I also love birds. I told her that the baby bird is now in heaven with all the other 46 |
creatures of this world who didn’t make it. And asked her not to tell her mom. She seemed reassured and walked back with me to our beach mat. As we lay down basking in a rare sunny day like that in Manitoba, I thought about how it felt to do what I had done. The rush of an indescribable feeling that overwhelmed my otherwise numb being. So, when I looked into Dr. Lint’s eyes when he asked me if I had a hard time feeling emotions, I knew that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t hard to kill the bird nor was it hard to feel its aftermath. I spent a total of 225 hours in that unit. I, at 17, was the oldest you could be regarding admission, so I found myself surrounded by kids who were either too young for me or ones who were too sick for me to want to fraternize with. I left on a Tuesday morning and threw the “Gratitude Exercise” sheet one of the social workers had stuffed into my hands out the window of my mother’s car. My mother, my insane mother, wasn’t happy that she got called into the school counsellor’s office regarding my suicidal threats. She spent the car ride back home in complete silence, as if the confrontation of me having a possible mental illness was reminding her of her own inner demons. After that admission I found myself increasingly detached from the material world. I didn’t want to be friends with people who thought I was strange. I didn’t want to be around girls who weren’t as pretty and slim and as smart as me. That meant a goodbye to Cassandra. I met a boy too. Tyler was stocky and blonde and knew how to write poems. He also did a lot of drugs. Cocaine was his main thing. He worshipped I Hate You Don't Leave Me
it, breathed it, loved it more than he loved me. I wanted him to love me as much as he loved that white powder. One day I asked him to let me try some with him. He hesitated but complied after I offered him a blowjob. It also struck me then that Tyler was a slacker and not as attractive as me and that perhaps I should think of dating someone of my calibre. But, regardless, I wanted his validation. I don’t remember much after the first high except for a whirlwind of colours and noises. Substance-induced psychosis, that is what the doctor on call had said it was when I woke up in the emergency room of St. Boniface Hospital. I had apparently gone off into a frenzy of haptic and visual hallucinations that scared the living soul out of Tyler. Children on fire, my mother chasing me, some other nonsense. In the midst of it I threatened to kill myself and threw a knife at Tyler that, thankfully, missed. I was discharged in a few hours, but not without seeing the psychiatrist first. “Miss Helgason, your MRI came out and looks like there are no physical abnormalities that we need to be worried about. Neurologically, you are also fine. However, our blood work has shown some questionable chemicals and substances, and I am here to talk to you about that,” Dr. Shunmugam said as he pulled out a chair next to my hospital bed. “What do you want to know? There isn’t much to say other than I was just having fun, I am not addicted or anything,” I replied apprehensively. “Well, I can see that you are not dependent, yet, but what 48 |
you did was still dangerous. We found cocaethylene in your system, you were drinking while using drugs. That is incredibly dangerous and you are lucky you are alive considering how feeble your body is” I felt irritated when he said that my body was feeble. It was slim and tall - not weak. “What medications are you currently on, Miss Helgason?” “I am on Venlafaxine and Quetiapine.” “What were they prescribed for?” “Borderline Personality Disorder and Mania.” “When were you diagnosed?” "In the Spring at the Child and Adolescent Treatment Center by Dr. Lint.” “Are you suicidal? Have you thought of harming yourself?” “No, doctor. I just wanted to have fun; I have threatened suicide before without meaning it. I am just fine and dandy,” I lied. Dr. Shunmugam drilled me with some more questions and left me with a discharge note and a prescription for Lamotrigine. I put on my coat and stepped outside the gates of the emergency room. A beautiful autumn’s day. I pulled into a cab, closed my eyes, and thought about all the wonderful things in life. The smell of I Hate You Don't Leave Me
fresh parchment and mint toothpaste. The sound of my sister’s laughter. The touch of my cat Crookshanks’ ginger fur. The sight of my mother coming home with pizza because she is going through her depressive phase. The taste of Erik’s lips against mine. I thought of those sensations again as I brought myself back to the present inside the warmth and stability of my bedroom. I had made a habit of practising positive emotions when I felt negative ones overwhelming me. My mother and her erratic behaviour often triggered me and this psychotic episode of hers was putting me at my breaking point. It didn’t help learning that she may be one of the reasons why I am this ill. I had attempted to find meaning in my relationship with my mother - the vestiges of a once loving and fulfilling relationship. But it was fruitless. All I could find now was my resentfulness against her for how her unstable behaviour had affected the lives of her family members. Her illness had infected us all with its unpredictability and shaped our day to day lives where we had to walk on eggshells. I wondered if my disease were to one day grow into something that contagious. —— The way to Dr. Rumi’s office in the Psychiatric Ward of the Health Sciences is easy to remember. Enter the unit and then say hi to the receptionist. Go straight down the hallway and pass that permanent patient with Tourette’s after which you take a right. Walk down the staircase, 10 steps total in case you are hallucinating and can’t tell, and then walk straight towards the blue door. There sits the man who has put sense into my 50 |
life. As if he extracted all my emotions and put them into neatly labelled drawers. To tell him how much I appreciated him I painted his wrinkled and kind face onto one of my handmade canvases. Blue strokes around his grey hair to reflect the melancholy of the man. A sunflower inside his lapel. His hand is held out in benediction, for he has blessed me with a new beginning. —— I never stopped painting after that. My art became my solace. I could put intangible feelings into tangible realities. Two years later, I had stacked up to 1200 paintings in the basement of my house. All shades from the rainbow poured into my home, breathing in life and hope. My nightmares stopped too. I think it was because I started to dream my paintings and then paint my dreams too. I painted his face, my mother’s too. I painted that baby blue bird and that black cat. I painted Tyler and his cocaine and Cassandra when she was young and still my friend. I painted loss and change and the transition of my life like they were seasons. In the end, it all fell into place.
I Hate You Don't Leave Me
Hope the coding is going swimmingly. A different language — I want one. These poems involve me submitting indigestible language (words, particles, syntax markers) from pre-existing poetic texts to multiple search engines. The purpose is to see what they choke on, and what they spit out. The shape of the poems is mostly mine to the extent that I manipulate its automation. Semantics and their ordering are proprietary of the usual info-tech giants—but more properly the political unconscious of planetary computation. As the worker, what I manipulate here are variables of process, plus the familiar labour of hours of data entry. Of necessity, the typical search result is a “poem” of little value or interest, a skewering of PageRank logics. My source texts are analog analogues of class struggle and anti-stratification: Ogress Oblige by Dorothy Trujillo Lusk and Ambit by Gerald Creede. Of the underclasses, 52 |
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Marx claims, “they must be represented.” Lusk’s and Creede’s writing add a crucial twist to this imperative in that they at once adhere to and deterritorialize Marxist social realism. “Bowl Dress” and “(No) Real Abstraction” are “about” labour because they are the result of a particular assemblage of fleshly, machinic, and algorithmic labour time (still socially necessary). Uncannily, the content of these poems also appears to allude frequently enough to modes of affective, libidinal, and “immaterial” labour particular to the digital present: “Remove the components to trust join content.” “Pinned the post! End rant now.” What interests me are the virtual models of representation http forms of “automatic writing” offer subjectivity within social media network ontologies, as well as the questions they raise about value production in the age of search optimization (its visibility or invisibility).
Hope the coding is going swimmingly
“Bowl Dress” (for Dorothy Trujillo Lusk) Meg ordered the large bowel? Dressage not tougher? All dutch hacks are they removed his disguise. Seated nude with dark humor! Proper place to shoot? Best brew in the bowel. Dressage and sport white and whip up your sales target? To register or donate! Cover toilet paper tube. Alden looks great besides that. Posting refreshes the bowel. Dressage trainer and mom. Pile their bodies more flexible. Silence grows along the fence wanting in? Sheer guts got her flower. Stairs leading into the bowel. Dressage will be aids. Mass model in between? Believing their tales behind them. Improved by editing. Floors covered in rust. Must rest the bowel. Dressage blog coming this evening. Relevant options are so disengaged. United rivals in game. Faith nullifies the fast. While cleansing the bowel. Dressage blog coming soon! Child kicked out as men. Protect employees and families. Seashore with beach toys. Helps cleanse the bowel. Dressage pone in the tulips. Fight stats are evil. That pit of denial. Just repaint and install. Press welding the plugs.
Halfway into the bowel. Dressage books for hackers. Rocks writhe back to looks. Cant commute to home? Alfred email the prices? Pinned the post! End rant now. Various weapon stats work together? Maids in the bowel. Dressage not tougher? Comes flying up the shrubs. Medicaid waivers they administer. Released into the bowel. Dressage pony in a square! Shannon walking down a chick. Video featuring in the murk. No all powerful demonic skull.
(To) Real Abstraction To rebuild something as unlimited and then right click. Abate if defective in any class name the best! Choose which you would like or transcript by date. Weekend away and pretend not to click? Abate if in pieces work. Current ambition is made better off. Get fast results is a spirit? Outrage on. Metabolism is regulated by good luck before a contract will be serviceable. To endless reset. Skills training at the click. Abate if players are given an infinite number. Remove the components to trust join content. Thank your looking. Participation of a fully submerged before you click! Abate if in any script unfinished? Leading search engine does not agree on pretty quick believing. If found to reduce in amount, degree, intensity. Error should be celebrated at all. Give solely sovereign. Pure misrepresentation for no unclick? Its representation is not to overlook one simple click! Abate if nonetheless it is self discipline? Network data traffic is likely drunk and untrustworthy. Other labour keeps giving money to get hurt that is real? Tolerant and great click! Abate if my reaction as well. Someone definitely did make me spit water all the 56 |
software. Tapping line repair advice? More location help please! Bubble will soon reach for it? The surface is in operation. Install from recovery image is no room. Got hold of your click. Abate if pin detail. Periodic maintenance key to redemption. For hire for this rotation banner? Logic executed on button to click. Abate if the uphill progress to date mainly with vital access to potential reaction mechanism. The stiffness can creep on. Fabulous with one black box at home within a swipe. Found phone numbers the contract electronics manufactory parking lot.
(To) Real Abstraction
ace of triggers i The old ways abundance Tarot hop self Gluteus greek yogurt
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ace of triggers ii Slowness spells Riches but witchier
ace of triggers iii I been thinking lately Where did you get that Phrase, hashtag entrepreneur
Input/Output When I work hard my emotions are not welcome and they don't like to have you along in the world unless you are a constant muse and inspiration if you are willing to be a good fit for your business needs you can make it to the future. When I work hard my body does not have a lot of work to do within its environment but I am very busy and I am very busy and I am so excited to see all the great results and I am very busy. When I work hard the capital has a keen interest in making money forced meditation is a good idea for me to share and receive authentically from the public sphere and get over the fact that blood is on the menu.
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When I work hard the future is not the act of service that I am and I am not around for a long time I am not around.
Over and Over, My Beloved Dictator In this piece, I repeated the process of writing over and over again until the text became illegible. This over worked, labour intensive process of creation is in relation to my life as an immigrant, a woman and an artist of color in Canada.
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David Bradford is a poet and editor based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). His first book, Dream of No One but Myself, is forthcoming from Brick Books. Russell Carisse is preserving one hundred acres of wood and wetland in New Brunswick, Canada. Here they're homesteading off-grid with their family of people and animals, growing food, and building a stone house from local and found materials Shauna Checkley is a Cat Lady. She resides in Regina, Sk, Canada with her family and her cats. She is Disabled. She works at the local Public Library. She is a big fan of our website! Joel Robert Ferguson is poet of working-class settler origins. His first collection, The Lost Cafeteria, was published in 2020 by Signature Editions. He lives in Winnipeg, Treaty One Territory.
TR Grand (she/her) is an emerging writer based out of Calgary, Alberta. She knows she will have reached success when she can afford to buy blueberries out of season. Scott Inniss has published poetry with journals like West Coast Line and The Capilano Review but not for quite some time. He thanks everyone involved in this issue of antilang. Zachary Keesey is a teacher and writer with an MFA in Writing from the University of Saskatchewan. He writes fantasy and speculative fiction. Danielle LaFrance lives on occupied and stolen lands cared for by the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ peoples. LaFrance comes from Greek and Dutch ancestry, and is learning where her FrenchCanadian relatives came from. Following the would-be poetics mapped out in her new book JUST LIKE I LIKE IT (Talonbooks, 2019), LaFrance comes into reading and writing from a position knowing illusions are destroyed. Z. L. Raymond is a Montreal writer and collage artist. They hold a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Their writing has been featured in The Valley Below, Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, The Blasted Tree, Corpus, and Spectral Haunts. Steffanie Ling is a cultural worker and guest living on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səlílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. 66 |
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She is currently organizing study groups on Discord and researching New Work Poetry, Situationist comic strips, and Soviet-era animation Ashkan Maleki is an artist currently living and working in Vancouver, BC. His art practice explores themes of memory, trauma, and mental health through paintings, drawings, and illustrations. He is interested in using acrylic paint, marker, and ink creatively in his works among other materials. Sara McGuire was born in Toronto and has lived in and around it ever since. Her poetry has appeared in untethered and her music reviews have appeared in Exclaim! She writes to escape her day job and runs a writing group with similarly afflicted friends. Lisa Mizan is a writer, visual artist, and photographer. She holds a BA in History and has published across several newspapers as a former journalist. Mizan was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She now resides in the frozen landscape of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Treaty 1 Territory. Polly Orr is a non-binary creative from Mohkínstsis Treay 7 Territory (also known as Calgary). Their curiosities range from experimental poetry to performance art and spontaneous acts of kindness to rally against the machine. Amanda Proctor is a third year Writing student at the University of Victoria. Her poetry can be found in The Maynard and SAD Mag.
Emma Rhodes is a graduate from St. Thomas University in Fredericton NB, with honours in English Literature and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her work has been/will be published in places such as The /t3mz/ Review, Feels Zine, RiddleFence, #PoetryPause, The Miramichi Reader, The Ormsby Review, and elsewhere. Website: emmarhodes.net Rachel Small is based outside of Ottawa. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in magazines including Thorn Literary Magazine, blood orange, bywords, and other places. Sven (he/him) is a cartoonist and illustrator, living and working in Toronto. His comics work, which can be found at svencomics.ca, includes Starbound (2018), Dark Magic (2020, with Rachel Evangeline Chiong), and the forthcoming Words Plural #1 (expected 2021). He’s taller in person. Erin Wilson's poems have appeared in The Literary Review of Canada, The Prairie Journal, A Magazine of Canadian Literature, Juniper, A Poetry Journal, Minola Review, and elsewhere. Her first book is At Home with Disquiet. Reyhaneh Yazdani’s creative research-based practice revolves around identity, migration, and nomadism. Philosophical discourses related to the phenomenology of place, fragmentation, and rhizomatic structures exist in parallel with Yazdani’s personal narratives of being a nomad, being a person of color, of experiencing post-war circumstances in the Middle-East, living in the diaspora, and writing from right to left. Yazdani 68 |
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received an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2019, where she currently teaches. Liselle Yorke is a Trinidadian-Canadian artist based in Toronto, using poetry to express a desire to rid herself of assumptions and dig into people, herself, and society. With an untethered curiosity that does not seek neat conclusions, her writing strives to create windows that display a community who celebrates, protects, and respects individuality.
Editorial Jordan Bolay holds a PhD from the University of Calgary’s English Department on Treaty 7 territory, where he studied archival trace, Canadian literature, and new media. He has edited for filling Station, The Fieldstone Review, and The ALP. He is the author of two chapbooks, poems f(or/ro)m my father | poème a/à mon père (Loft on EIGHTH) and how to make an English exam interesting (The Blasted Tree). His poetry, fiction, and criticism have been published online and in periodicals across North America and Europe. He writes, edits, and teaches literature on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and Sc'ianew peoples of Vancouver Island. Anahita Jamali Rad is a text-forward artist born in Iran and currently based in Tiohtià꞉ke on the Traditional Territory of the Kanien’kehá꞉ka. Informed by anti-imperialist materialist theory, Jamali Rad’s work is founded on materialist histories, affect, ideology, Spring 2021
violence, class, collectivity, desire, place, displacement, and silence. Jamali Rad has exhibited and performed across Canada and the US, and in the UK and Turkey. They've written two books of poetry, for love and autonomy (Talonbooks 2016) and still (Talonbooks 2021), and co-run House House Press with David Bradford. Allie McFarland holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English, where her thesis—a concise, genre-blurring, womancentric narrative called a novel(la)—was nominated for the College of Arts & Sciences Thesis Award. Her debut novel(la), Disappearing in Reverse, was published fall 2020 by the University of Calgary Press as part of their Brave & Brilliant series. Her writing has most recently appeared in release any words stuck inside you II (Applebeard Editions), untethered (vol. 4.2), and The Fieldstone Review (no. 11). Her poetic suite “Lullaby” won the 2015 Dr. MacEwan Literary Arts Scholarship. She is bi, drinks martinis dry, and currently runs a notfor-profit used bookstore on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen peoples of Vancouver Island. Lissa McFarland is a (mostly) visual artist from Calgary on Treaty 7 territory. Her work has appeared in NōD, Hooligan Mag, and antilang. She has designed and illustrated the cover art for each of antilang.’s print anthologies as well as The ALP’s logos. She's a lesbian, intersectional feminist, sandwich connoisseur, and Naruto enthusiast. You can check out her artwork on Instagram (@lil.trshlrd) and contact her for commissions and custom designs at lissamcfarland.com. 70 |
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Contribute to antilang.
What we’re looking for: Good. Short. Writing. Previously-unpublished work by Canadians (broadly defined) in any form or genre, as long as it is brief and of exceptional quality. Poetry, short/flash fiction, creative essays, fictocriticism, 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). 12-point Times New Roman, one inch margins, maximum SIX (6) pages, regardless of form, genre, or number of pieces. ONE (1) piece per page, regardless of its length. Provide your entire submission in ONE (1) document and please only submit once per reading period (short stories and poems can be submitted together). Please double-space all prose. MS Word files (.doc or .docx) for textual pieces PDFs or image files for visual/hybrid work. Please send all submissions via Submittable and include a 30 word bio (we are all about concision, after all). @antilangmag / antilang.ca