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ditch,

anthology 4 (canadian) (innovative poets)


ditch, the poetry that matters ditch, : where you are when you are off the main road. ditch, is an online poetry magazine celebrating the innovative, the avant-garde, the experimental.

www.ditchpoetry.com

Š 2010, by the authors.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical or mechanical, including photocopying, scanning, recording, or posting on the internet without permission of the author, except for brief passages quoted in a review.

cover art chapter & verse by carlyle baker

Trainwreck Press St John’s NL Canada www.ditchpoetry.com 2


ditch, anthology 4 (canadian) (innovative poets) contents: Maxine Gadd Kane X. Faucher Chris Turnbull Jeff Casselman Amy Dennis Michael Woods J. Mae Barizo Robert Chrysler Christine McNair David Fujino Liz Worth M. Jay Smith Greg Evason Ingrid Ruthig MAC Farrant Chris Hutchinson Susie DeCoste Kemeny Babineau Pearl Pirie patti sinclair Robert Swereda Sandra Huber Eric Schmaltz Amanda Earl

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4 7 11 16 19 26 29 33 39 48 53 57 63 70 74 80 90 94 98 104 109 118 123 126


Maxine Gadd Maxine Gadd is the author of numerous books of poetry, among them Lost Language (Coach House, 1982), Fire in the Cove (m(O) ther Tongue, 2001), and most recently, Backup to Babylon (New Star, 2006), which is a poetry finalist in the 2007 BC Book Prizes.

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AND

For 2010

AND each word is my own AND the possession of others the old women came out of the November rain into the elevator in our home AND touched my bare arm amazed at the heat AND they spoke words I did not know but I knew what they were saying AND I wailed in the London subway in the Second World War I was three AND the Others smiled at me to defuse the long bomb of horror AND the blind alleys of Borge and Bowles opened their atoms in stoned Medinas AND the gods came and died in their words in the Xora, the empty spaces for the words of Di Prima AND Kristeva AND the Xora, the wombs in the arms of the handsome old men held their beautiful dread, emptiness AND it will die and be reborn the emptiness in the mind of the forgotten future AND it is all here in the empty streets of a city teeming rain anywhere AND on the bus hurling through black tunnel of night on the empty prairies the God came and told me to kill the stranger beside me AND take communion with his flesh and his blood AND the horror of the others as i held up his empty head the emptiness of mind of the beautiful old men laughing in horror in their endless movies smiling their claim for their future end

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Maxine Gadd AND here were are at the four illuminated corners of everything anywhere where we stand with the girls waiting and wandering anywhere smiling in the light of the night in the rain everywhere AND the dead heat of our words AND the disappearing girls found the ground floating away from their feet their bare heat unspoken in the empty womb of their lost future their fame and their pain shining in the dead light of a street anywhere AND the young men are dragged into the empty battles everywhere powder AND lead AND uranium their futures AND the handsome old men with their dead teeth eat the lush poverty of the boys on the street the fruit of the womb of old MAN pLATO'S gODLESS XORA, THE SPACE WHERE THE WORD WAITS UNSPEAKABLE UNBEARABLE AND

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Kane X. Faucher Dr. Kane X. Faucher teaches at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of 10 books and has placed over 1100 poems, articles, short fiction, and reviews internationally. He currently lives and works in London, Canada. He is a recent recipient of the &Now Award for Best Innovative Writing, and has recently released a collaborative poetry post-code experiment entitled [+!] with Matina Stamatakis and John Moore Williams. His next novel, The VIcious Circulation of Dr Catastrope, is coming out in 2010 with Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink. He is also a coeditor of the academic journal Autopsia, and associate editor of the journals The Poster and the Semiotic Review of Books. His other books include Udoxa (2004), Codex Obscura (2005), Fort & Da (2006), Tales Pinned on a Complete Ass: Journey to Romania, Jonkil Dies (2008), and [+!] (2009).

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Kane X. Faucher Action Items Sorry: I am just a pilgrim in my own memory. We could perform a salvage operation And rather than reconstruct what once was We can cast in bronze something new, A new agglomeration, A new social super weapon (perhaps). There may be no elegant solution because This line you uttered before our silence – You love but do not like me – Did indeed resonate in the ponderous state of Protracted incommunicado. Shall we reverse the order? Make a new machine? This time to feed it with grace rather than obsession? I have a few things for you to read, Where I clumsily try to set things aright in my mind without Going over the old terrain, since I am just A pilgrim after all in my own memory. No sense restaging stale conflicts, my dear. They can stand as warning markers, our sanitary cordon Against perilous repetition. Yours in the aftermath, The Wizened Heart.

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Syncategoremata Fools think the author decides. There is an ontological breach, of sorts, a broken egg from which vapours issue & this is the fundamental way of appropriating all thinking into stinking categories, the chop-shop mind, a black hole - like renting or a mortgage paid on interest alone (never to touch the tantalus’ principal). That wrinkled side of the patch of brain that folds inward in contiguous union of -unity manifold in sensu. red over red (on either side lunges blood) over red alone. Nothing decided, but the emptiness of the context delivers the way, defines the motive, makes us whole, all moving with meaningful aimlessness. So: ontology establishes no decent context, but makes eggs pale blue eggs breaking hatching nothing more than author.

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Kane X. Faucher Ergo, nomics I took aim at sun that day, 1980; in it, a globule. Exclaim once: “por-K, la pignorance? Putty-coloured hands smoothing out the striations on a quilt. If I am a shipwreck, then, yes, it means I navigate well (as all things navigable go). You made up a retort. You did. You matched my crotch-plug with “lever in the beaver”, to which I quickly appended, “clit-mitt”. (we always have been, always will be, an ergonomics unto ourselves.)

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Chris Turnbull Chris Turnbull lives in Kemptville, Ontario. This is a selection from continua, a book length series that interweaves voice and image as a combined visual text and multi-voice performance piece. Some of this current selection has been previously published in spud, and How2.

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Chris Turnbull

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Chris Turnbull

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Jeff Casselman Jeff Casselman was born in Montreal, Quebec Canada in 1971. He has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia and later spent some six years living and working in the Republic of Ireland. In 1989 he was shortlisted for the Lester B. Pearson Scholarship award for Literature where his works appeared in “Voices”, a Schoolboard Pubication. In 2008 he took first prize in a local short story contest sponsored by the Local Circulation newspaper “The Hudson Gazette”. He currently maintains a poetry Blog “Postcards from Purgatory”, and administrates a Local Social Networking Platform “The Village Voice” devoted to promotion of local business and talent as well as disussion of topics of concern to the community at large. He lives and Writes out of Hudson, Quebec Canada.

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1. Insomnia This is not real. None of this is real. All of this is a series of letters on the page. All of this is all it amounts to. Letters filed one after the other to create the illusion of coherence. On their own they mean nothing but constructs. Rearranged they are and always will be a different life. This is not real. Those shadows on the three a.m. dark bedroom ceiling are not real. The cracks and fissures in your bed are not real, the rumblings and quakes and shifts in tectonic skins. Those rampant thoughts of failure are not real, squashed flatly under cartoon sledgehammers they become even less real. Failure is not real. Sleeplessness is not real. Failure is an ending, sleeplessness a continuation of itself. Failures do not continue, failures just fail, and therefore they are a lie sleeplessness sells to maintain itself. The twilight between this dream and this not waking as minutes roll by is not real, it tells you so, it has no solid ground for you to slam into and no airy expanse for you to fly through. It is an embryo, placenta, a viscous regeneration where dead skins refuse to fall away and you float cradled in a sorrowful familiar jelly. Held aloft on your own words like a gull frozen over the hole ocean at one point in it’s sky, citing that you can never reach a horizon anyway so why fly? This question is not real. No question is real. It is not real, this thin fishing wire of suspension, or the meticulous lines of the waxwork face you wear, it is not real at all. Life is hurtling forward uncontrollably, reels are changed and changed again as the whirr of the projectors continue. It is this transition felt between different moments, where every mile has pulled a mountain down from the top and you walk uncomfortably over it’s jagged shards with nowhere in mind. It is the waiting at one bus stop for the rest of your life. It is the terminus where you must turn and walk backwards, knowing you missed your stop. That is not real. It is the pinpricks of light whipping by as the train rolls through the night. Light and darkness are not real. It is your reflection dimly lit in an empty shop front window as you walk stumble down some empty Monday night European street from your local. No, It is not real. Not this moment, not ever. It is the prisoner trapped behind these glazed over eyes watching and waiting for the next accident with no surprise at all. It is not real, those headlights bearing down on you. There is no wire tied to your arms or legs or eyelids. There is no puppet master. This is not real. Those dark circles under your eyes will fade. With a finger your chains will burst from the wall and crumble to dust. Sleep will come to you like a nurse to a wounded man on the battlefield, to close your eyes under her hand until you can live again.

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Jeff Casselman 2. The Maiestas The stage here has been set, there are flowers and candles in the corners, red velvet curtains covering mock back-lit windows. A ticking clock files at the silence in raw sequential strokes of a second hand. There is a chamber orchestra, half awl, half asleep at their instruments. There is a crowd of people looking the other way. One allegedly whispers that each seat is a nation, and each nation fills a mote, and each mote is the world drowning under the seat of another mote. There is a fearful symmetry in this This is not an opera, this is not a grand spectacle, the players will take to the stage largely unannounced and unnoticed. There is a stale scent of optimism in the air, there are numerous calls for barter, and an equaling amount of replies with nothing to offer but their act of incessant taking. This is called balance for those who swell. The troop begin their sequence as business goes on. Voices are raised and fall, scenes are played out in perpetual ignorance, the myth of a production is the quality of it’s complete ineffectiveness, mostly for those who can’t recall ever having seen it. Points are made and sharpened here, then there are punctures, and soon everyone is deflated or impaled on circumstance. The players take no notice, going on about their business of entertainment. When the production is over they do not bow and leave the stage exactly as they found it.

3. In One True Poverty Addressing of the park bench, the pigeons, the faded picture in yesterday’s newspapers, the snow that just keeps falling and falling, the vague statistic someone else fell into; the wind howling outside a window, that’s crying unformed, cold fingers and toes. The stray look along the sidewalk, that pointless searching. The fleeting warmth of the steaming grate, the rough shelter in every closed door, the eyes outside the fine China shop lingering but no longer proud enough to be jealous or even interested. The one with a child in a closed hand, a rigor mortis of the soul, which does not allow for peace holds the fingers shut tight. The one who has forgotten to speak out, who hold their words like their valueless currency. The one who once deserved more and still bargains for less. The reflection that doesn’t match the memory. The memory that doesn’t match the moment, the moment that never changes, the sameness worn like a veil across the face. A mask that cracks only to reveal another mask underneath. The steaming from a cup of tea that washes over a face, the frosted over winter windows, the silence of the kitchen where laughter once lingered comfortably, the feeling there should be something, but knowing that something else isn’t. The urge to go, with nowhere to go to. The wont to speak with no one to hear. The desire to hear answered by silence, or white noise addressing of the television, the radio, all the voices point in a direction that always leads right by to somewhere else where fairy tales of happiness hide their spoils like thieves. 18


Amy Dennis Amy Dennis' poetry has appeared in more than a dozen Canadian literary publications, such as CV2, Event, Queen's Quarterly, and Prairie Fire. Most recently, Amy's poetry was nominated for a National Magazine Award and a Random House Creative Writing Award. In the fall of 2009, she moved from Burlington, Ontario to Wales, U.K., where she is completing her Ph.D.

Notes: Water Quilt Joyce Wieland (Canadian, 1931-1998) The Water Quilt, 1970-1971 Fabric, embroidery thread, thread, metal grommets, braided rope, ink on fabric, 121.9 x 121.9 cm Art Gallery of Ontario, Acc. no. 66/23 OR Acc.#76/221

The poem ANATOMIES (CIRCA 1930) responds to Man Ray’s photograph Anatomies, c. 1930. The reference to solarization as “a rat scampering” is explained below. It is still debated whether Lee Miller or Man Ray deserve the credit for discovering solarization. In the various interviews she did many years later, Lee Miller claimed she was working in Man Ray’s darkroom developing some negatives when a rat ran over her foot. She screamed and turned on the light. Man Ray immediately turned it off, and in an attempt to save the negative, dumped them in the fixer. To their surprise they found that a clear line surrounded the figure of the nude on the negative. The effect delighted Man Ray who then had to set about learn all he could from this lucky accident so he could replicate it at will. Lee Miller, who worked very closely with Man Ray, also used the technique in her own work, which became a hallmark of their artistic association. -- Anthony Penrose, Lee Miller Archive (online) 19


(RESPONSE TO) JOYCE WEILAND’S WATER QUILT

Translucent pillow of tent caterpillars pulled

Snow Cinquefoil

Lousewort

Trumpet Lichen

from a bonedry tree equals a piece of Weiland’s sheer muslin

Jewel Lichen

Jacob’s Ladder

Blue Grass

Northern Primrose

Arctic Lupine

The webbed nest wriggles insect-dyslexic

Rock-Jasmine

Arctic Poppy

Horsetail

Seashore Chamomile

Purple Saxifrage

Marsh Felwort

and I can’t read Laxer’s warnings of squandered water

Arctic Thrift

Arctic Chickweed

Silvery Oxytrope

Cottongrass

Salix Willow

so with tea-cup poised fingers I rip a delicate square

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Crowberry

Sweet Coltsfoot

Chocolate Lily

Antler Lichen

window in to the embroidered scrim and then listened

Bluebells

Birdfoot Buttercup

Lagotis

Prickly Rose

Avalance Lily

Lungwort

Alpine Speedwell

This was months ago The nests gone Now worms are moths

Harebell

Pasque Flower

Scarlet Gilia

Forget-Me-Not

Triangular Leafed Fleebane

Alpine Arnica

Northern Shooting Star

Alpine Bearberry

Knotweed

Phlox

She knew the future: dust on every wing

Elegant Paintbrush

Wild Iris

Fernweed

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Amy Dennis On the Listening Hill

don’t even breathe she said swear to me keep secret what her hell-dad in her hell-house undid how his sweat skin bittered salt-thick don’t breathe any of this and I listened

her voice was trapped panic in a sharp bone house too small for a flying bird and when she couldn’t find words her shoulders curved inward in order to crush the wings

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her misted optic stones opal-blind shifting never lingering on one thing too long never locking on to even me

who’d seen her re-shape with shaking tanned hands how he moved in

the thin air she had to let in her pink lungs

i remember an orange sweater worn to her knees her teeth straight she smelled clean like grapefruit and chlorine she wasn’t me

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Amy Dennis ANATOMIES (CIRCA 1930) Man Ray (erect). Think of him with the tongue, with the unexpected eye. A photograph fragmented. An omnipotent dream. He is the thick swelled vein on the back of an amaryllis petal, a river frozen taut with current. His heart in a darkroom flashes white. Solarization – a rat scampering, overexposed. Light reverses light. Overexposed, a rat scampering. Solarization, white flashes her heart in a dark room taut with current, a river frozen. On the back of an amaryllis petal, she is the thick swelled vein. Dream a photograph, fragmented. An omnipotent eye. With the tongue, with the unexpected, think of her. Lee Miller (neck).

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We’re Almost Touching milk spilled white tea with milk

puddled

your skin sun burned a blank canvas wrist weakened again liquid drop liquid skin fixed casein arrests pigment shellfish seeping body’s

memory: safe bloody cave

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Michael Woods Michael Woods comes from a farm in southwestern Ontario. He operates a micropress, Battered Press, specializing in hand-crafted chapbooks. The World News Updates have been adapted into a book, World News Story, published by BookThug in early 2010.

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from World News Updates The agreement to pass the time exchanging words ended and when that time was over they resumed exchanging words about exchanging rockets and then they began to resume exchanging rockets themselves. Civilians in nearby cities remained their homes, becoming citizens without public places, and anonymous defense officials sent plans for retaliations. As the country prepared for an election to choose a government to continue having exchanges of words about exchanges of rockets, both possible governments announced they would end the barrages, and to keep exchanging words about ending exchanges of rockets they were willing to exchange rockets and were careful with their words about exchanging words but not rockets because it was also important to not be weak. Each possible government accepted the demands of an election environment. The country Meanwhile, anonymous defense officials readied an exchange of rockets and only the weather stopped major activity. The weather changed the sky and stopped them from sending things into it. Before Christmas in Canada, the weather rendered billions worth of sophisticated aviation equipment useless.

***

Being part of America meant taking part in a dream, and since the dream was expensive, many looked for a solution that was right for them themselves. They knew they could be part of the dream if they bought a home to put it in, and Frannie and Freddie discovered they could house many dreams by asking for long periods of servitude, which many willingly exchanged. Each day, one would venture out and perform the duties needed to maintain their dream at home. It was a perfect system of exchange that sometimes even meant preparing dreams for others, even to other parts of the world. It was all based on shared visions and order. Then servitude grew farther into the future than anyone could see and the dream of Frannie and Freddie grew too big to see and drama began to unfold towards mounting foreclosures. A deputy chief and former head of the monetary and economic department at the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, the central bank for central bankers, began rehearsing in the year two thousand three. He had warned for some time that dreams could not be so expendable and that the situation was reminiscent of Greek tragedy. Thus the Dionysian flesh tearing ritual of the Jurassic Park Avenue creations.

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Michael Woods ***

People are always looking for love and they look even harder for a mate when the times are tough economically, said a woman optimistic about her speed dating service. Yet beyond those longing for companionship, more settled souls settled into the evening in front of their television sets. Rather than the year’s end of nineteen twenty nine, when huge throngs of Montrealers reveled with joyous abandon in the face of seven years of darkness, the general mood recalled the restrained festivities of the previous year, when the King was gravely ill and a cloud of anxiety hung over the Empire.

***

Beijing’s national stadium, rendered by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as a giant bird’s nest, was an experience in the ecstasy of the human mind so awesome as to make us temporarily forget China’s human rights record.

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Two years after the election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, western leaders unanimously declared the result a takeover and violation of the democratic rights of the people of the territories. Thus Israeli spokespersons identified that the elected government of the Gaza Strip was to blame for the civilian deaths because it operated among the people. Among the Arab nations, Hamas and Hezbollah did not operate like states or governments. They were known in name but were invisible among crowds. Meanwhile in Canada, cuteness reigned supreme as an underdog beagle won the Westminster competition, a puppycam racked up thirteen million views and scientists showed that dogs feel empathy.

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J. Mae Barizo J. Mae Barizo was born in Toronto. Shortlisted for Canada's 2008 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and Ahsahta Press's Sawtooth Poetry Prize, she has received an International Publication Award from Atlanta Review, and was an Editor's Prize finalist for Spoon River Poetry Review. New work appears in Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Zoland Poetry and Another Chicago Magazine. She is the author of two chapbooks, "The Concert Review" and "The Marble Palace."

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J. Mae Barizo ANTHELION Answer me when I send text messages that make no sense but which Notate ever so delicately the names of things not said.

Beauty, above all,

Trickles in between the mnemonic spaces. O unmastered world. Yield Haltingly when it is grey, numbra of word across the Electric page. When I try to remember the documents Lilt back and forth like pendulums, lulling me Into a pleasure house.

Even the telephone

Oscillates into my perception of it, which ultimately blinks wearily, means Nothing that counts.

NOILEHTNA Nothing means that your are weary. Ultimately perception will Oscillate into the telephone. Even the house pleasures Into a lull, pendulum, forth and back like Lilting documents. Remember? Try to. I am Electric. Across the numbra a word greys Haltingly, yielding to the world. Unmastered space between us Trickles above beauty. Things are not said, names so delicately Notate but sense that text messages are sent. Answer me.

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NOMENCLATURE Nonlinear as an interface can be, we wound round and round the rainy Opening. No matter that the edibility of the food inside the container Mimicked something unpalatable. The abdomen swelled, Eyes flittered, the tricycles circled our Nirvana: pink-pedaled, honking, the harmonies Cloistered and unfathomable. When the tongue trilled in that Lustful manner the instrument could do nothing but Act as if it were a human body or an eye, not looking at her. The bones bent towards each other, visited a whiskey pub, Undressed the bar stools with attentive ears. Rama talked about Christian Bök and the sign said “You’re not in Kansas anymore”. Either way, she knew that the night would not soon end.

ERUTALCNEMOM End soon the night knew that she was not anymore in Kansas. Rama eared Christian Bök and the attentive bar stools, then Undressed the pub. Whiskey makes us visit each other with bending bones. The not-looking-at-her eye embodied something human. Acting, but nothing instrumental in the manner. Lustful in trilling with the tongue. Unfathomable. And Cloistered harmonies honked, pedaled pinkly, what a Nirvana! Our circles and tricycles flittered, Eyes swelled, the abdomen unpalatable. Something Mimicked a container inside the edible food, no matter that the Opening was rainy and round. We both can be interface, wound up in each other and Non-linear. 31


J. Mae Barizo TRIANGULAR The reasoning of the brain falters. Not to say that such plasticity can Return to its original shape, but the child, perhaps. Though not Inside the seed climbs slow, thumb prints on the skin And within a dream of. There was a river, I think, New green of eye and an unsteady violence— Grant me this, will you? A small wish, Unwarranted but sentimental, the rain so Lawless and untidy no one thinks of Death at all. A reply of sorts, please, the shape that does not waver but Reveals such a faultless austerity.

RALUGNAIRT Revealing but not wavering the shape was faultless and Austere. Sort of a reply Death thought you untidy, Lawless, so the sentiment of the rain was Unwarranted.

Wishing a small you, me,

Granting violence, unsteady I eyed your greenness. New thinking like a river or a dream within. And the print of the thumb climbed slow on the skin. The seed Inside though not the child, the original shape Returned. Can plasticity say something that falters? The brain reasons. Touch me.

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Robert Chrysler Robert Chrysler is an inspired subway-ranter from Toronto, Canada. He enjoys challenging capitalist property relations, trying to figure out what the post-structuralists are going on about, and dreams of someday living in a tree. His work has appeared in: Melancholia’s Tremulous Dreadlocks, Venereal Kittens, The Concelebratory ShoeHorn Review, The Guild of Outsider Writers, and The City Poetry. His latest chapbook is Every Exit Impossible to Imagine with Wings (Trainwreck Press).

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Robert Chrysler Whys From the Depths of Space ...of myriad small things/this time through the mirage of you (when hearsay becomes capable of dissipating blistered seconds rising from the road in blind idiot wisps of naivetÊ) quickened to savour/past the rhetoric of The West and nihilism’s corrosive ruins/to bomb loaded cadavers embedded in the center that justified falling from the half-way mark of grace to drink the boredom of gods forging the distance of revision/created to still blasphemy and a fair amount of pain curling its speckled wings to shield their precious whores from the net of tomorrow raining whys from the depths of space

Dadagram #14 The breath of beauty (repose)/banned in public coming as taped sieves to hardened stomachs (just below the religious in one big bicycle) crossed the book of avenues alive with bronzed, sweaty backs/knowing the cessation of desire fully (between the terror and the transcendental)

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Dadagram #15 blazed satisfaction powers what you want from me shot learning to delicately kill video to vagaries hiding an airstrike in empty pockets returned from legality reigns over socialist archaeology studying quote detainees from the dangerous widow screened for seventy-seven marrying an agenda weight between two men and hoping shadows climb sagacity to die paramount ends in themselves passed delirium more profoundly choking victory from blood-stained shoulders resolution blowing up meagre revenue lying about potential employment prospects had to be a flight from critical analysis because they were completely gay beside your leg ploughed deconstruction all my fault phenomenon churning the reunited radio love God’s flabby melting breasts discussing the back outside of something rattling me as the nexus of life bends volume times infinity preferring the ominous to the banal non-status staring at the stars communion closed drives after the next beer burial warps filial changes in the art of prostitution whistling at the enemies of the organic blowing diamond language shards behind the injection shaking your body high and low with the sickness dealt decided pronouncing the accordion lyrically soft interludes imagination directly through red samples clenched blood sheltering the hours addicted to imperialist blue beer light sharing diagrams meant to seduce the dragon at last running corporate warmth lost the pay-roll wavered doctoral gloom crying like a star-fish gladiator transcending the kingdom dripping the combined force of ashes dead as the empire’s empirical until tomorrow configured muses speak that thing dancing scripture captioning the real nothing without mayonnaise feeling shy at the source circuit prayed locusts glossed brief candles hearing the apple lost scholars forgave the tense washed expecting the nine dealer between underworld evolution repairs nourished and split a good man exhaling the gospel to sing excellent grey thanks booked at you forbidding fire jumped obsoletely outside the yawn vine business enjoying blood imposed upon amalgamated ice served proudly his beating the best twelve of twelve dots showing up a flaring world embraced divorce attorney files tampering with the GDP so hated my aesthetic choices tortured into winged effluvia draught the soap can’t be lean and hungry anymore than exciting hello reconnected in the middle of the itch applicators past the harpoon signifying satellites in your pants paying velcro amusement preparing to fly to work doubled-up in the corner crying a silver canoe rested the first century cramp leopard laughing horses thinking cellular review parts hours perfectly as a tub of fair opening already circumspect halo setting badness ready to order what is good sitting directly behind discriminations felt keenly at the window embarrassed before them all to pump pressure dizziness pimples ruptured flour -bags that butter-flavoured thistle still raining need ever to hit Babylon like facile quivering exactly as a storm thinking large back to the junk communicating with words learning to speak another language and smoking blue materialism 35


Robert Chrysler Queen of Hearts ...for him that the cherry bleeds: through the world sideways...typically hieroglyphic against the night’s fecund processing of the aching “I” in imagination...finally, monks with hairy fingers aperture the best in love...frozen damnation thoughts define our history...bestial from the depths...patriarchy glistens in your hair, offers its brine to the flag...wordless white once lived here and soothed the air with light, derelict kisses Filling the world with me now: rise and shine, chlorine, like these words...quiet days numbering brimstone...delicacy staying ebony shields upon we three hours staying strong...we need bouncing radium undulations, golden brown edges devising their own alien science...perfumed engines slowly plant divine orality gleanings in the web of woe...specifically, fire cranks numinous crowns of dew at the police station, reminding the feet of morning to rise for the wind’s prey Passing, sitting like colours in our mouths: during a visit, cloistered lines wrap themselves around vermin branches, foraging a sonnet a minute...burrowed through red and green...fingers stolen from a poster......ricocheting soot between the various tranquil laundromats of innovation...and the colonies blazed signals, gilding reality’s hands and heart with hypnosis...lapsed interiority eggs whichever way, peeling redemption spirals encoded in the beaches of systematized tatters A short squeeze: devouring forever lost orgasms left to rot on the backs of wonder…

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Stiletto Vertigo Images shoot through the air, reifying the terror we all breathe. Your most frail gesture carefully closing the stiletto somewhere I have never travelled in this dark city. Burrowing epochal transformations into the hindlegs of madness, we no longer care when the infinite finally escapes the family. Multiple serendipities grasped of a sudden, an aquatic reduction of data rendering nothing when the heart everywhere in this world compels me beyond silence. Immortality. The absolute. Draperies of forgetfulness breaking antique sonnets. Midnight surrenders a vague quiver of chimerical clarity. A screaming blue equinox swims across various laws of dimensionality, equal to forty ounces in five minutes. Aeolia: or we could just stay here forever, sweating smoke on the anniversary plunged into the shadow of her hips’ rounded softness bringing the gift of music to quench our heathen thirst. Strange, alien rumblings in which this returned act of night lit with mystery and an interval Iam forbidden to touch perceives death with each dream, as when this flower imagines, petal by petal, the voice of your eyes rendering everywhere too near.

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Robert Chrysler Satori Machine abolition...synaptic renegade...encoder magic engendering a return to...your own static perception promises near invisible, wavering programmes of temporality to wash away your tears...dreaming eyes perpetually beneath endless reinvention cascading trumpets and non-linear virus circuitry diseases...joining ovular carnage...immersion within bleeding mushroom sex...gifted the other half with the possibility of separation and thus autonomy...divine sensory catastrophe promises to star in my life with equal measure folded your past like recombinant cells draining all logic chained to scenes of infection we’ll start with the aliens and roll deep...beyond blood whorls of suicide data vibrate naked sleep...earthen ashes...semen hours thrown behind dealings painting a burn-mark...subtle exhumed ideas...grace steeling the microbes against way back when implosions mutant insanity lubricant for two, please

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Christine McNair Christine McNair's work has appeared in The Antigonish Review, ottawater, Misunderstandings magazine, The Bywords Quarterly Journal and a few other places including a recent above/ground press broadside. She won second prize (poetry) in the Atlantic Canadian Writing Competition and an honourable mention in the Eden Mills Literary competition. She tries to pay the bills working as a book conservator in Ottawa.

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Christine McNair termination shock to heliosheath this record is constructed of gold-plated

volcanoes, earthquake, thunder, mud pot copper. there is an ultra-pure sample of

footstep, heart beat, laughter, tame dog. isotope uranium-238 is electroplated on

ships, tractors, morse code sheep herding the cover. uranium-238 has a half-life

horse and cart, a chimpanzee, the first tools of 4.51 billion years. possibly, a civilization

saturn 5 lift-off, f111 flyby, or wild dog

could use the ratio of remaining uranium

life signs, pulsar kiss andor mother/child elements to determine this record’s age.

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41


Christine McNair the many waters aqua aurantiorum bezoar biconiae bryony capraporum cerasorum nigrorum cinamonis coelestis composita cordialis epidemica hordeata hysterica imperialis langue de bœuf limonis lumbricorum lunacum melissa mellis mirabilis

42


the keep ligaments strain against foot flex on floor imprints of heels and digits eyes focal, in glance names repeat: again our luckless drift from one shelf to the next the dementia of icebergs there’s a portion of me counting steps at the end of a wall is an ache is a strata is a paint chip layer demibold gestures across clock face, still if there’s nothing but elegy in it let me go

let me go

let me go

let me go

43


Christine McNair ; divides war words stuck-up statements unsystematic unsubstantial leapsoffaith so English narrates list and/or pause and Arabic nestles between and/or in but Slavic nictates question and/or question

44


the restoration of virtue and civic order I’ve forgiven driveways for their slant a sermon in my shinbones under bruises I fly and fly purple hematomas hermetic halfhearted sickle cell studies let every thread pass from silo to silo lateral scars parallel slough in crop circles four cardinals warble I’ve got just enough prairie to just about manage under boot kick my pretty mouth exanguinates stars

45


Christine McNair interlude: time machine part 1 Christine is a knuckle laced with ribbon growls puts petal to metal is giggling is sunlight on the lino and her lungs are not speaking to one another is two fortunes in one cookie oh dear is still a kind of blue but also in a sentimental mood is a kind of blue is a shipping company that operates the Moss–Horten Ferry, the most trafficked ferry route in Norway hits the road Jack is in love with an antiphonal is dance me to the end has archived away 2008 may have just eaten the world’s most perfect avocado destroys herself one cuticle at a time is too young to understand object permanence is brought to you by the letter W is my enemies only had sass and all I had was nerve glows in the dark had fun with her comrade in arms and came home to an acceptance letter whoo is a figment of your imagination is come armageddon, come everyday is like Sunday is shushy shush shush is they’re dreadfully fond of beheading people here must be shutting up like a telescope is stuck underground follows the rabbit is halfhearted craves lilacs thinks dead aviators should not have facebook profiles jumped the river in three good strides bites into a bittersweet heart is listening to Wild America very loudly embraces your paraskavedekatriaphobia is when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,/ there will be an answer,/ let it be is quickly running out of margin dances with a ghost across palais des papes tilework lux flux is very fragile it is fortunate that she has been digitised and that the library has a fascimile is high functioning is a long way to go without a map reads tonight at Cafe Nostalgica 8 pm and you want to be there oh yes you do don’t argue with her she knows that thing you did last summer is a stranger is sleep drunk Joe DiMaggio and Tom Stoppard got into a fight Singapore Airlines flight crew cheering what is glad Degan came to visit O-wa he feeds her addiction to sad songs, whoo disagrees with her dream is writing letters no one will ever read smiles as she tumbles is fun is enjoying a bottle of ‘design time’ makes the dough and you get the glory sings a duet of Doctor Blind, into the phone is cloistered is somewhere between here and there is keep on calling me names, keep on, keep on is uncertain reads this afternoon at the bywords launch there will be reading and a launch she’ll probably wear a frock misses her uncle hides is listening to Miserere, Tallis Scholars enjoyed listening to the other readers is stupidly nervous about reading tonight reads tonight; one of many launching the latest issue of www.ottawater.com is the bookbinders’ newsletter also maybe the new poems what should Andrea and Christine name the penguin they’ll be ice sculpting doesn’t want, isn’t sure, can’t say, dunno, won’t should she go to tree or should she go to poetic intentions or should she hide under her bedspread is crushing your head is kinda stupid sometimes bah who is right, who can tell, and who gives a damn right now I had dreams that frightened me awake I happened to escape but my escape would never come … I love it never stops is an overdose of Joy Division is a dream hangover, full of cloudy impossibilities heard the excellent messagio, should sleep, is reading Paul Celan instead of sleeping looks forward to raising

46


cain in two cities today is lucky to know you beauties, damn skippy takes to the sky had fun last night with those nice poet fellas stakes her heart on it buck-o is 71 pages has plans for her firecracker weekend goes to watch the inauguration in the cci cafeteria, feels like school is a handful of clanging keys, shook so hard dreamt roses on the mistral is limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns/it calls me on and on across the universe has spoken twice (briefly) in the past five days thinks maybe she should go out today thinks good thoughts for Paul quietly listens is better on paper writes in a fever, with a fever, of a fever is a text message on the news, I landed in the Hudson smiles in flames remains virulent, listening to an unhealthy amount of mazzy star, fiona apple and the jesus&mary chain owns a plethora of puffers, just found four different kinds has the consumption, where are her violets, her french lace handkerchiefs, her artful setee feels fourteen, the answer to all is clearly Concrete Blonde burns across the horizon haunts the visible world with spectral grace is pretty blissed out is port, chocolate fondue, a massage and nordic baths this afternoon looks forward to tomorrow sets a match to it now knows that Baltic amber is irridescent under uv light is tightroping learnt that though similiar in appearance, nail polish remover pads are not the same as eye makeup remover pads and should not be used on your eyes has written 25 pages in the past three days for her long(ish) poem is ha-ha this a-way, ha-ha that a-way, ha-ha this a-way man oh man will soon hurl her manuscript into the world and is writing a tricky long(ish) poem dreams without concession dreamt manhattan, silver veiled acrobats, frozen cherries, a flowering moon misses Amy, everything’s less sparkly swears, fumbles, drops, loses, finds, repairs, sleeps kicks at the darkness till it bleeds daylight is going to be all kinds of reckless tonight, oh yes “you come right over here and explain why they’re having another year!” Dorothy Parker I too am not a bit tamed – I too am untranslatable considers the shape, scope and temperament of a perilous window is happy to have seen Sue + Tom and waves bye to a disappearing Hyundai can be seen in certain conditions and under the right lighting is pretend likes the witchy wind even though it slammed open her front door sketches out days unknown tumbles up and down stairs minds the gap is cowboy junkies & sparkling wine & early to bed sings have yourself a merry little Christmas to friends flung across timezones, her long lost novas ties ribbons, folds paper, nips her fingers, hums Justin Rutledge (Too Sober to Sleep) silver bows & fools gold paper unpretties herself, craving a blank sleep keeps looking at the window edits herself thoroughly anticipates Hanukkah fun with Kim in Burlington is Toronto-ed blesses the highway with her beatdown Sentra Again gets the hell out in eighteen hours threads the line between holly and humbug fills with Christmas rage is tired of being tired/nauseous/tired But at least she makes excellent mint chocolate cookies holds herself together cyanoacrylateishly is one of the sexiest artists in Ottawa Amanda says so My candle burns at both ends;/It will not last the night;/But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--/It gives a lovely light

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David Fujino David Fujino is a Toronto-based poet, actor, and performance arts reviewer for The Live Music Report and Showtime Magazine. Fujino’s participation and production continues in his poetry, his music, theatre, and dance reviews, and in his acting.

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distillery

pondweed omnirepresentative scums scrawler proscribed plonk a tearlike froggy. education indifference gone speech passing fair whether it’s bright a call suddens. twelve real men opposite enemy tragedy machines (oh?) some how. all is continue.d

:;:;:;:;:;:; = = |

and the rains came down

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David Fujino the “thing”

always over do it breaks me up in truculence and occasional lucidity the waves break daily in recognition cresting a-pace so this daily the ordinary in silk the hours worse subtle, sleek purse lipt up a sunder the false alone the car starts.

fantasies that clean up

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David Fujino •loop•

• time is change the dawn crack of seacrack • satrap seedtrap am trained at • trouble in solving • blister packs relegate • renegade followers work the vegetable seller • go get some since piled up • that is useless • that was possibly of geared circumstance • and guilt fantastically overlaid • in the guild • mannerisms where the owl tells? • Roommate launches faster cities of late market rivals • & tomorrow diagnoses hit nobody’s speedster • though Hitler recommends • no we • notice • thus preventing the unwanted • had a facility with language easily changed • some words • watch • somehow in reasonable doubt • conversation • gets played out the downturns the sickly Wows That would match the word to the deed the gut and the gullet please • understand what currently • cleans • a prime scumware where times have • radically not only gotten ‘soft’ (‘carry 1’) ...

distilled

pondweed omnirepresentative scums black trawler education indifference gone speech passing fair whether it’s bright a call. twelve real men opposite enemy tragedy machines (oh?) some how. all is aligned. some how. all continue. d

52


Liz Worth Liz Worth is an experimental writer, performance artist, and freelance journalist living in Toronto. She is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt (Bongo Beat Books), which documents the beginnings of the Toronto punk scene and the chapbook Eleven : Eleven (Trainwreck Press).

53


Liz Worth Damp mattress rewind Damp mattress rewind to: Dictation from Molecular thunder (and also known as 1 tablet makes 2 tablets makes 3 tablets makes Consciousness no more). Rapid eye movement Is bird-boned but Boasts hidden strengths Tethered to the persona’s nuts and bolts, The justification of deep depression And apathy through the faith Of processed wanderings. No security in this abundance Of awareness, only panicked avoidance. Taken down to basic tactics, Taken to what knows the Palmistry codes covering The mounts and scrolls. Fast forward is only a Slow motion trick: All short cuts have short-circuited.

54


The Sequence of Equation i. Leeching, it slid under the membranes Of my scalp, left a slow cold sludge: The coating of nausea. This is how I wake, To the metallic taste of nightmares Rimming my lips Like I've been licking knives Except that my skin should be in spirals When instead it's only heavy, Hungover from blades between bones. Hand to hair, give it a tug, Pull out the lethargy and escape from the Soft confines of the sheets. Scrape back the morning with Muted screams tattooed to lids of fire. Gag and spit Before the emergence of contractions Across the pupils. ii. The gases of a dead dream are composed of This embryonic equation: (MAJOR Arcana) x 3 : (minor Arcana) = 9fits9fits9fits They enter the skull through Cerebral hemorrhages, grow translucent legs By the thousands, with dull amber eyes of diviners That memorize these labyrinthine dispersions. Whether this is a state of being Is a debate that goes like this: It's tepid stress and leaves The inside of the cheek with a taste Only for gall. This neural din is A solar perception, The sundering of all points of corrosion.

55


Liz Worth iii. (dream sequence, exhibit A.) Your mouth: an intestinal cavity. iv. Crippled, this innate filth Covers the permeable caffeine film, scars like stains That make up the skeletal arsenal Of this cerebellum, which I Poke holes through with all those liquids That glint like a dragon's eye and tranquilize, Cauterize with organized inversions. These arterial branches are Test patterns, the schema of adorning myself With residual dissension, Charting this operation interlaced with symmetry. The subconscious fights to abate, satiate. v. (dream sequence, exhibit B.) This is the pressure of what's inside.

56


M. Jay Smith M. Jay Smith is a Toronto-based but Canadian-hinterland-raised writer. After studying experimental poetry and aesthetic theory in graduate school (at the University of Alberta and York University), she has enjoyed a varied publishing history with work in various genres appearing in more than fifty different publications throughout North America, from the micro -runs of obscure literary journals (eg. Four Corners Feminist Review and Fait Accomplit, both based in Edmonton, the latter of which granted her several “best submission� prizes) to CanWest newspapers (especially the Edmonton Journal) as well as the Los Angeles Times (a creative non-fiction piece) and magazines like Alberta Views and Adbusters. M. Jay Smith has also worked as a columnist for both of Edmonton's arts weeklies and regularly reviews books. Presently, she is working on a novel, a book of poems, and trying to decide whether and how to hold down a day job.

57


M. Jay Smith the rise of choke cherry trees

... the rise of choke-cherry trees I have eaten my father piece by piece I love my cannibalism – Charles Olsen, The Maximus Poems • no one wants not to be native. tell that to the stones, o kay?

the bannock makers at ft edmon -ton make straight faces inform visitors: they cook with only 100% pure bear fat.

the new mansion next door, 3 stories tall, very imperial, has fucked up the wind patterns in the crescent the choke cherry went down 1st i didn’t see it happen but when

the a-

the tops of the 2 spruce trees in the front yard went blew off later, just at the height of the mansion’s impeccable aluminum roof. they snapped with plomb reserved for the strictest incredulity against a green sky; we thought it must have been a tornado. & the lightening was smoking bolts thru steaming air. a real apocalypse skyscape, it looked, over on refinery row.

i saw that. & i thought, yeh, fucker, next time we’ll see how you send your PVC-fucking-siding radicle down.

58


• storm was big & wet / put the ground to covers with hail / it looked like snow / we did not cry like pablo neruda // i was reading canto general, / & y’know, those chileans cry / they break out sobbing like big wet clichés / the melodrama we arid ones like to /fetishize: the earth / heaves / & anthropomorphism’s earthy / manifestations do / too // while tragedy here stems not / from corrupt generations of military /dictatorship. / no, wait, it does look like that / but they don’t wear / uniforms. & we’re talking about storms Anyway not the impressive ability to characterise the small cee in conservative electing the same junta every electoral season like planting crops or having to hack down the new infringement of contrary species the nettle the bastard toadflax the fire weed the way that nature damns the farming man thinking like sisyphus feeling like rhizome

• what my grandmother told me about choke cherries: do not eat the choke cherries. you will die if you do.

(we ate them anyway) (they tasted bad so we didn’t eat a lot) no, i mean:

59


M. Jay Smith what acrid untaste! tacky tongues tacked to tacky teeth

<spit <the <pit <spit <the <pulp <on

<pave<ment

(now, i read, y’re supposed to add sugar & cook them into jelly. the books add: bitch.) pitting is the real

• psst: bear fat = bull shit. they hide the safeway pkg of lard away from the visitor’s curious eye. slice it into the skillet in big thick slabs of white. watch it melt, say, transform. smile. sizzle. wipe hands on vintage apron. wait. flip. put on plate. offer. eat.

• cherry wood makes great furniture. 60


they took a chain saw, sawed it to bits & hid the pieces under a blue tarp in the back yard. future* furnishing**.

* or, the persistence of depressionera thought, a use for everything & everything in its use†.

** the wood is also oblivious to rot, an antidote in turn to oblivion.

† “Choke cheery bark was traditionally made into tea to treat colds, sore throats, pneumonia & diarrhea. The bark tea was also taken by women after childbirth as a strengthening tonic. Mashed choke cherry seeds were used as stomach medicine, and the branches were taken as a laxative, for influenza, and by nursing mothers to pass medicinal quantities to the baby.” p 86. Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada. Mackinnon & al. Edmonton: Lone Pine Press, 2009.

• i lived in my grandmother’s house for nine years after she died. the 1950s did not ask for transcendence, not even of the architectural variety. draining lakes for housing made maleable the lay of the land. (technically, i think you could say we are the original inhabitants here.) the same shitty contractor did all the bungalows in the crescent. 61


M. Jay Smith thereby, he ensured “home” was a maleable concept, with porous foundation prone to cracking, reversion, to seeping back to the original contours of lake. belonging is a wet feeling, an overwhelming, a flooding, an event.

the power went out, the rain descended, & the lake remembered how to be a lake. neighbours paddled their kayak down 111st street. & we were inundated.

( our artefacts floated away

-----------how----do-you-un-------do------------------that---------------?

62


Greg Evason Greg Evason currently resides in Toronto. He has published about ten chapbooks and his work has appeared in magazines around the world. New work continues to appear on his blog, PROJECT 51. Besides poetry, Greg Evason writes plays, short fiction and novels and is a musician and visual artist. He hopes to eventually produce some CDs of his improvisations on piano and guitar.

63


Greg Evason STANDING IN THE BANK someone was standing inside me as I was standing in the bank and the two of us were staring at the guards as they brought in or took out bags full of money and I was scared because it seemed like whoever was inside me was thinking about robbing the bank but as things turned out that was a one time thing and I never felt the presence of that would-be bank robber inside me ever again which is not to say Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been alone since then

64


SOFT WHITE WALLS my finger went in created a hole in the wall out of which dripped this brownish orange liquid and then I heard church bells I decided I would not rent that particular apartment instead what I ended up renting was a small house that existed all on its own hidden behind a much larger house where a powerful born again old lady by the name of Faith lived with her equally born again but severely pussy whipped husband whenever I talked to him I felt this warm energy coming from his chest area sometimes they brought me dinner I reminded them of their schizophrenic son who died in a drug-infested car accident my little house itself had been built in the 1950s by a couple for their schizophrenic son and I never tortured cats

65


Greg Evason VERY REGULAR I watered the flowers with my sloppy telephone as I sank ever so slowly into the cement of the driveway just as a bold new opinion came down from above which caused me to rethink everything and when that was done I went back to being who and what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d always been as the sun swelled to several times itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normal size and seemed to come down so close I felt I could almost touch it it was the dawning of something and I was its only witness and there was no one to drive the car

66


THE MOON IS BLUE eggs stay where they are on the dais waiting for the palm of a sad man to prepare them for love and just then some syrup and some pancakes and some hot black coffee I drove the truck blindfolded during rush hour and took her and her friends to exactly where they wanted to go without them telling me where and without me having a clue where I was when I got there suddenly they started to giggle which I assume meant I was getting close I felt directed to slow down and to turn right and then to stop and I heard myself say “okay, we’re here, wherever here might be” as it turned out I’d driven them to this incredible waterfall I’d never seen before when they told me where we were I still didn’t know as the name of the place was not at all familiar to me so we enjoyed the waterfall 67


Greg Evason for a while and did some hiking around the site then it was time to get back into the truck I put the blind fold back on and drove us all back home to our little town then within a week they all moved down to California to study the chakra systems of flowers

68


ORANGE PEACH MANGO tomorrow I was different when you turn the page you will get something different which is not the way to do it according to the market which states you should be the same as you ever were but I am not Leonard Cohen nor am I Charles Bukowski nor am I a lead pipe used for bashing in skulls one day I write a poem that goes down a page the next day I fly a plane upside down the day before yesterday I spend drawing naked women with my left hand one thing Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ever do is drop cluster bombs on villages then tears were served the queen bent over to tie her shoes and in that seemingly simple act lost all her marbles

69


Ingrid Ruthig Ingrid Ruthig is a writer, editor, visual artist, and architect. Her work has appeared across Canada and internationally, in The Malahat Review, Descant, Textbase, Magma, numerous other journals and anthologies. Her poetry won a Petra Kenney award and the Eden Mills Writers' Festival literary competition. Recent projects include a collection of her poems, an ms & artwork entitled Slipstream, the book Richard Outram - Essays on His Work (Guernica, 2010), as well as a mixed-media series based on the manuscript from which the following fragments of text are selected. She lives with her family near Toronto, where she is currently making a kaleidoscopic mess in her diningroom studio.

70


from “Chest Chest Bomb Dialogues & Fragments of the Missing” Missing I your voice comes to me every week on blue paper in envelopes locked with codes I don’t yet know will cost you dear month to month more blue prizes for surviving for counting down unsure of your return words prove our lit fuse scorching a trail between us erasing distance how perfect your voice is heart an oversized clock armed under skin slit red on a paper edge alarmed both of us aware of the damage due to too many unspent seconds hours unknown together time comes I stop counting your letters slow scroll to zero and as the silence begins I peel your heavy charge from my chest detonating hope and live you too but we find some holes don’t grow over some impacts hit home blown open keep hitting our ears bleed for years in that deafening hush

III sun in your eyes you ask if it’s time to unstrap my ticking devotion from your ribs blind there’s not much time to reply without cost I try and try but my words fall around you like debris piling up with no answers till discussion dies shredded bloodied shrapnel pages of blue we limp after all the seeped excuses those tourniquet’d words the ghostlimbs haunt me now from behind the hills this unfortunate freedom oh I’ll live see there’s nothing scorn or bitterness won’t relieve trust me steady I lost my land legs misplaced a decade or two but I can still muster a dare without flourish or lip-sync mad solos in a seventies’ croon howl bloody murder at a cold hard moon so soon it comes round again with its two-barrel stare a mouth ho ll ow e d out for thoug hts that don’t stop 71


Ingrid Ruthig IV stop daylight savings your early companion now more sun a good move you follow like a limp minute hand not asking why a body won’t lie sleep-deprived nudged to perform circus bear or old bomb you’d rather stay in the dark already snoozing at the wheel that man is his own soapbox speech on a quiet Tokyo sidewalk prone on a cardboard bed a bottle his pillow bike tethered /ask him does he dream of horses/ or dying for a nap to lengthen his life new study claims all the fun the money in studies there’s none in driving at the cliff or shifting into critical mass a crash to rival them all asleep on your feet it seems as those beds ablaze no place to lay nowhere to cross burning bridges built new from here on in triggered easy to see things only go downhill so fast go deeper and worse

XII why forget routine I don’t usually ride this bus but the alarm didn’t go off and the neighbour’s old dog was silent almost as though respecting the dead that only it can hear but I hear them too and oh I know what you’re thinking the dead she says crazy as a dust devil belongs in a room filled with fools so many the dead in this blessed city they roam the alley behind my once-husband’s home no one believes me when I say I feed the haunted who are empty and hungry for trust are unsettled and who keep coming back their faces of clouds drifting then gathering up again woolen in a wave of disbelief to stand shackled at the back gate with seven pale hands outstretched but not asking for reasons only asking to be warm loved alive and fed and undead mostly fed and undead 72


XIX arrival this oddball cyclone a bag of palm leaves battering wet coastal floods tears trees to spare the ever-precious population gone a rarity it heads southeast losing steam to depression its effect on the market weakens with minimal predicted landfall you devastate a port city due to poor visibility emergency supplies a river I overflow seas prevent crude falling on confirmation after suspended refuel and usual ship-to-ship supply operations sustain winds believed to be the strongest since record-keeping began residents wash cars in flooded streets others snap pictures mountains’ bone-dry peaks pour into canyons and maybe the tide will come in again fishermen might say low from hundreds of open windows unseen till now the refinery was working as usual by Thursday

XXIX alibis you’ll unwind please stand back of the yellow platform line this train is express from mind the doors metro headlines lie lost on seats the floor the doors close another mouth opens the lake yawns by two glowing nuclear shrines a ceaseless need to mine limits the silence and she says they flew in from BC for a whirlwind visit the kids didn’t eat everything but they tried you know we went to the zoo up the tower to find the time fitting it all in took them to the airport but the flight was delayed so it was Tim’s and a coffee while we waited they boarded at nine but on the way home thought what if they had to sit on the tarmac for hours still weather’s been so hot and will be she sighed and the other now arriving at Union the doors on this train are out of service track five thank you for travelling

73


M.A.C. Farrant M.A.C. Farrant is the author of eight collections of satirical and humorous short fiction. As novellength memoir, My Turquoise Years, was published by Greystone Books/Douglas & McIntyre in 2004. She has published a number of chapbooks with David UUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Berkley Horse, with Damian Lopesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fingerprinting inkoperated and with Farfield Press. Her stories have been adapted for both radio and television and are widely anthologized in Canada and the United States. She is a book reviewer for the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Globe & Mail. In 2006 stories appeared in the Penguin Anthology of Canadian Humour, Dropped Threads 3 (Random House), a tribute anthology for bill bissett, (Nightwood Edition) and other places. Three anthology contributions are forthcoming in 2007/08. In March, 2007 a short fiction collection, The Breakdown So Far, appeared from Talonbooks Down The Road to Eternity: New & Selected Fiction will appear from Talonbooks in 2009. She is currently working with the Arts Club Theatre of Vancouver on a stage adaptation of My Turquoise Years.

74


Ten Point Lesson

1. It is dangerous to be one half of a pair of lovebirds because lovebirds are enamored of time. A lovebird is always trying to outlive its mate so it can pine away in exquisite grief. This is the prize: one dies so the other can sing. 2. There is a substance called oenanthic ether, which is found in the oxygen samples of those happily feasting on brotherly love. This ether may contain the antidote to brotherly strife. 3. Romantic love is a musical term meaning toccata and fumble. It is short lived but can occur repeatedly in lives that are old, new, exotic, local, conventional or radical. 4. When love is lost do not be ashamed. Turn the memory of love on its side and push and pull and stroke it. Soon you will have a colorless, odorless shape like a glass dome, practical enough to encase your heart in. 5. When love is blind, meddle slowly and with care. Too much or too little inhabitancy will cause blind love to miss its mark and you'll be left holding the donkey's tail. 6. The love knot is supposedly an interlaced bow made of ribbon but lovers know it as that sated realm where to even utter a tender word is too exhausting. 7. Love Lies Bleeding and Bleeding Hearts are the names of plants and, while suitable as 19th century metaphors for a broken heart, they are too sentimental for our cooler times. Choose metaphors that are pest free and ultra hardy, ones that prefer wasteland environs such as shopping malls, concrete boulevards, airports, abandoned king-sized beds. 8. The cure for love sickness is a tasty bit of anything forbidden such as a Black-Thorn cocktail made of Irish whiskey, French vermouth, Absinthe and Angostura Bitters. 9. If Platonic love heats up dangerously, set up an immediate chill. The secret of a quick and gentle exit is plenty of idealism; no one wants to be accused of upsetting the story. 10.

In games, love scores nothing.

75


M.A.C. Farrant Ten Point Defense

1. A person's original nature attracts or repels certain wisdoms; hence no expert can with assurance affirm that any particular wisdom is better than another. 2. The earliest records of wisdom almost uniformly refer to it in connection with religious celebration, i.e., the effect on the brain. 3. There is no substantial evidence that wisdom has contributed to the corruption of mankind, other than in connection with evangelism, which, being an emotion is a brain by-product. 4. A frequently asked question: Where does the pursuit of wisdom lead its devotees? A common answer: To laurels and hindsight, most certainly, to the harmless and delightful thrill of a wise and moderate wit. 5. The combining and manipulating of nature's more potent thoughts should not be treated as a mere matter of routine. Devils of confusion are lurking everywhere. They're only too happy to caricature importance and to spoil polite Socratic events. 6. It is prudent to remember that households in all parts of the world are engaged in their own brand of tragicomedy, all of them excellent. 7. To the nervous who may seek wisdom without understanding there lurks potential gloom: mal de mer and headache may substitute for a planned and happy affair with life. 8. To a normally healthy person there is a fair certainty that some wisdom, taken with forbearance and in postmodern fragments, will contribute materially to the health of the species. 9. It is always a wise decision to suspend definitive judgment on any matter at all. 10. As an added bonus, wisdom acts as a mild stimulant on the adult orgasm and is a solvent for pasty accusations concerning performance in that sphere, sweetie pie, my beloved.

76


Ten Point Tour

1. Seduced by sang-froid we rode the city streets in busses made of bulletproof metaphysics. The busses had clear, indestructible platinoid instead of glass for the windows. Outside: car lights and casualties. 2. Many things have absorbed then dulled our interiors so that now it takes a violent swizzle to renew the deadly. Never mind, we say, trusting the next stereotype, the next expression of mind. Never mind. 3.

We are damaged, but brilliantly. See how our scars weep music.

4. Riding the busses, we felt sad about our lives, that short stretch between black and black where we don the clothes of the world, disguising ourselves as wonders. 5.

Riding the busses, we prowled our nihility like tourists.

6. Years ago nothing could touch us. We were safe from the mazurka of inner-city mayhem. Snapping our fingers we let our heavens collide, as in love! Years ago we were imparadised! Married to a tour bus of our own making. 7. Now, passing the pink and white bodies of newborn animals left for dead by the side of the road, you said, “This is what happens when a civilization turns off meat, when animal flesh is reviled,” and a man seated across from us nodded his head and said, “Ironic, isn't it?” 8. As ever, there are many slides into sediment and we never know which moment will contain an earthquake. This is our song. We sing about our lucky escapes. 9. Still, I pointed out the window: “Look! A parade!” The bus slowed and the crowd on the sidewalk cheered. A wedding procession sped by. 10.

We felt--metaphysically speaking--happy.

77


M.A.C. Farrant

A

.

1.

Trundolatry. The worship of change. Much easier to live with.

2. A new practice, yes. Relatively speaking. With a bunch of improvements you can’t see. Like the notion of time. You don’t get stuck in the long-term. Diversion remains intact. 3. Agreed. The word worship is a problem. More it’s the belief about what’s great. An exaltation of the short term. 4. Well, that’s difficult to say. But essentially it’s the rapid wearing out of interest. That’s the idea behind it. As the moment changes so does the interest. 5. True. But somehow the moment defines itself. You don’t have to think about it. Just ride the bus. Check out the view. There are lots of moments and lots of interests. Take your pick. 6. You could say that. But what’s the problem with surface? It’s a fast ride so you have to skim. Everything’s on the menu. 7.

Whatever floats your boat.

8. The usual things. Any kind of star. Sometimes food, a colour, a country. Sometimes yourself. There’s no telling. 9. Well, we just stop paying attention. We move on. There’s nothing mysterious… 10. True, again. But interest in this communication is fading. There’s something else…

78


Ten Point Weight

1. I heard the cry of agitated crows and shielded my eyes, peering at the sky for reasons. A turkey vulture, black and red beaked, was attacking a crow's nest in a nearby tree. From the crows came a terrible cry of panic. Higher up, a pair of eagles lazily drifted. 2. At the same time, an ambulance backed out of the yard next door, discretely removing the body. 3. You said, “Did you know that eagles mate for life?” and this thought gave me comfort. 4. It was the same comfort I felt at a party while watching a woman with a bottle of Echinacea dispense twenty drops into her husband's martini. She had the look of a zealot, dead serious, humourless. She said, “I've personally taken charge of Bob's immune system.” 5.

You cringed and headed for the drinks table.

6. But I faced a wall and cried. After twenty-six years, which in married terms is a lifetime, I'd take charge of your immune system, too, if you'd let me. Take charge like was a medieval fortress and I was Captain of the Guards throwing spears and fire balls at bacteria, multiplying cells, attacking hearts, killer thoughts. 7. But you don't believe in invisible things, refusing to prostrate yourself before another description of doom. “The immune system!” you declared. “Who dreamed up that metaphor?” 8. When the ambulance removed the body of our neighbour, a cry of panic settled mutely in my chest like a twenty-six pound weight dragging me closer to you but down, as well. 9. When the time comes, death offers a shopping mall of possibilities, from small deaths to large. Everyone knows this. But who amongst us is not tempted by a final, gaudy flourish? Some give away their money, hoping for a monument. Some become hysterically kind in an eleventh hour bid to curry favor. This much is observable. 10. And this. It's early June, warm and bright. The pink climbing roses are in full bloom along the side of the house. The lawns are still green. There's a strong breeze coming in from the sea. And Poplar leaves are snapping like flags at a fair.

79


Chris Hutchinson Chris Hutchinson’s poems have been translated into Chinese and have appeared in numerous Canadian and U.S. publications. He is the author of the poetry collection Unfamiliar Weather (Muses’ Company, 2005) and Other People’s Lives (Brick Books, 2009). Born in Montreal, he has also lived in Victoria, Edmonton, Nelson, Vancouver, and Phoenix, Arizona.

excerpts from: Other People’s Lives by Chris Hutchinson (Brick Books) 80


GAME So significance, bare-limbed but for a broken wristwatch peels away its skin where fractals of analysis and breath unfold. So instead of listening, you cross-talk as logic weeps and syntax bleeds into ellipsis, an uncertain trailing off, reaching like phantom limbs of thought, meaning: the sentence as object can be opened like a multi-purpose tool—just as whim can twist into an array of conscious deeds. So watch your fish tank like TV, so train the cat to drape itself around your shoulders like a stole. Is it a game, this semantic shuffle, or that which gets you to the breakfast table—the goal not the centre, but life’s ironic fringes— obsessed not with words, but with their hinges?

MINING SAPPIRE I’d rather reflect the sleep of twenty castle-shaped clouds— quiet as an unplanted garden, a belief saddening in the saddest of times, clutching the wine cup without letting a single telltale drop insinuate itself like

81


Chris Hutchinson a crystal of aluminum oxide slipping down the peacock’s effulgent throat. In my worst moments alone: eucalyptus diving into the green lake of itself, cricket at night cheeping beneath the floorboards, or me placing a foot in the valley in which I was discovered so tears of blood might brighten the medieval statue’s cheekbones— wondering, what makes the experience exquisite? Mineral-hard proof or simply rocks in the beguiled jeweller’s head—meaning crushed like light through a chandelier. Though I’d rather masquerade as something easier to conceive, a designer brooch amongst the high-stepping set, sparkling wit of the vehement intelligentsia—who these days can afford not to invest in their pageantry of feelings? Or an alcove where the wind shakes its fists at the remnants of sleep, as I who was murdered awake spitting seeds of red worth—

82


NO CITY FOR YOUNG VICTIMS Another Claims Examiner with fevershakes and a surgeon’s scalpel this town doesn’t need. Not another knuckle on a sporting fist bled white with first-place obsessions, cruel as an Old Testament stone. But rather a clock with fingers splayed like slithering filaments suggesting a tactile and sexual nature. Or a forest of cigarettes for the deinstitutionalized and, at the centre, for their spiritually malnourished pets, a mandala of bones. Why? Because the body both receives and transmits, an elegant agent for assessment and action or, in today’s case in point, physiognomic revolt— That is— if it weren’t for this soupy suspension made from the broth of platitudes and slogans. If it weren’t for this slime-mould bureaucracy. Then everywhere: palm trees! Green shimmering pompoms that rejoice in victorious ascent above trunks wed to the vertical plane of the crucifix. Now imagine: pain without victimhood as a commercial by-product, and the streets freckled with patterns of actual blood, as living.

83


Chris Hutchinson TALKING Being intelligent yet sick the precision of our insights is honed to a silver point that enters the mind in a self-inflicted pleasure of pain akin to a syringe piercing the cheerless libertine’s vein. Above,

altocumulus undulatus striate slowly west while across the street reflected white ripples reach like fingers of plague towards the city’s east side. I’m talking about talking endlessly with you about sickness and the mind stuck in a groove of disbelief, about synapses and lips friable as scorched aluminum on stinking hot mornings of reciprocal need and tumid eloquence. It’s this friendship based on a love of flamboyant natter, each phrase itself a mouth full of teeth; anecdotes passed on like sparkling talismans, precious as the small, intricate, unworkable objects bequeathed to us in dreams. So sing, my friend, your long complaint, and I’ll grind my organ of ironies or, like a semantic explorer, with a wink, circumnavigate whole continents of meaning. How we must appear, words falling from our lips like coins from a bumbling magician’s sleeve! But who can say whether this grackle beetling through the scrub makes the same noise as a pencil held by a quick-sketch artist whose hand freezes each detail into its ideal Platonic expression? Suddenly I cannot argue but nevertheless it occurs to me—as religiously as wind skims the worldly surface of appearances—that it’s only ourselves we can’t explain; and this city, a circus tent of echoing applause and shrieks, each of us desiring a place at centre stage. Then again, maybe it’s the way grief celebrates and grins, our funhouse visages reduced to shards of laughter; and the fragments of our love, our strident and tremulous attempts at concealment—

84


CROSS EYED Feathers of milk, or fingers of the elderly; in the institutional dark, eyes blind as seeds. Soon the suburbs will overgrow the banks of these sludge grey rivers, in uniform ranks trees bow down to the holy, ascendant, insufferable heat. Now history slants, breezes across the urban grid, the name “freedom” anchored like a kite. Locals bathe where the wound opens, conceivable as light without an image. A stranger, I alight on a horizon so indefinable it defines me: skeletal trees, rows of houses, uneven teeth. If description belongs to the surfaces of things— how the mind swerves, disbelieving.

CROSSWINDS According to aerodynamics there are horizontally stacked sheets of glass— moments, not monuments the machinating troposphere at whim deforms. Once we begin, taxiing at ground zero, each integer a toehold quickly pixelated into innumerable Space Shuttle scraps, we are embraced again, but by the wrong technology, developed to help transport people, cargo, military personnel, and poetics.

85


Chris Hutchinson SOMEONE ELSE Almightily alone, I unplug the world, place the plastic globe on an empty vase and proclaim the wellspring dry. My own irony chews me up, spews me out. Face of a famished war machine! Oily lips writhing in figure eights. It’s as if someone else were here, rudely pointing with his eyes, signalling with his chin, silently asking. “These drowsy hands,” I answer. Each fingernail, a mouth yawning in perpetual fatigue. But I will endure, patient as the enchanted flame that sleeps inside the match head. I will note each swing and twist of consciousness, though only to equate, much later over drinks with persons I have yet to meet, the fluency of running water with the vertebrae of coral snakes. Until then, my only friend on the phone, boastful as a parade, marches his opinions, all spit and polish, into my right ear. The phone is a device which opens me up, coldly shuts me down. If I could cradle myself I’d doze to its cosmic tones, dream in tongues I might one day transcribe. Instead I gather in what remains of the fabric of my private life, draw it up around my head, not a monk’s hood, but a tunnel of attention.

86


SUBURBAN INTERIOR MAGIC It’s too bad I can’t plug the monitor into the grease trap, my plumber having discovered another word for victims of botched electrolysis. Perhaps I’ll just bolt the gate and feed the atomizer its usual baseball fetishes, that is, until there are tap shoes to incinerate as if having never read The Pumpkin of Dusk. Or if I reorganize these sleeping pills so that they resemble a skyline boiling with birds then no one will call about that dairy farmer’s polemic. Though it’s likely the spider plant will think it’s a spider the way it’s likely the accordion of the future will resemble an air conditioner. Regardless, this cat, thinking in binary terms, thinking, Cryptozoology versus philately, has again leeched my shag carpet of nutrients. Tonight, will I wonder how to choose between the comedy of a pinhole-burnt eiderdown and the anecdote of a laundry hamper overflowing with Thanatos? Or will my landlord realize it’s high time to honeycomb my interior again, seeing that the thermostat is mixing liquid nitrogen with lemon gin, off carousing with nymphs and gryphons, regardless of gravity, despite my New Age sang-froid—

87


Chris Hutchinson MONKEYMONKEY-MAN Serving spoon or funhouse mirrorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; so enamoured with the tool you sometimes forget its function: gramophone or satellite dish, anything machined, moulded, made: whatever lasts, not the object but its task: what you see, not always exactly what you get: slide trombone or shotgun barrel, this place where uncertainty breeds potential, where appearances lay their traps: polyamorous as a flower, polymorphous as a glance fraught with innuendo and subtext: the way, in 1913, Duchamp schemed with stool and bicycle wheel: the way desire defines itself in the moment before the application of your will: weightless as a hammer at its zenith, then downswing, decisive act: that which exists in the hand, less phenomenological proof of your own cleverness than reminder of what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re striving for: timepiece or wedding band, or the abstract

88


work of words themselves: breath harnessed to sound, sound fashioned to whatever meaning suits your need, serves your fleeting purpose: every invention, a jerry-built attempt to nullify the distance between your reach and whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forever beyond your grasp: telescope or microscope, or even the weapons you turn upon yourself.

89


Susie DeCoste Susie DeCoste grew up in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and completed an MA degree (2007) in English and Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The Antigonish Review, Arc, CV2, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Poetry Ireland Review, The Toronto Quarterly, and QWERTY. A section of her unpublished manuscript received honourable mention in the 2007 Atlantic Writing Competition for Poetry; she was awarded the 2009 Graduate Creative Writing Award from the University of Waterloo where she is currently undertaking a doctorate degree in Canadian literature.

90


Muscleman Da Vinci instructs: Remove by degrees

all the parts of the body of a man in making your dissection, till you come to the bones. At the level of the knee, rolling hills stretch along a horizon, offering vantage for surveillance. To begin, Vesalius removes the skin. Some bits are displayed, others left to hang. Muscleman stands at the edge of a cliff, lifts a hand for mercy, resists the removal of layers. Skin and muscles, valleys and rivers. The anatomist gets deeper. Landscape disappears as the body gets mapped. The audacious surgeon’s scalpel! What affront. To the body. To the sloping hills. By the time the veins appear, the figure is boundless. There is nothing left of the world.

Barbicide I’m looking for a change. Shears snip a bit, so irritating and clippy. They steal my voice. How dare they filch the helpless parts while I sit and fold my hands. If I were to set down the last five years it’d be a plate of cherries: pitted, scarlet, juice all over, threatening stains. Meanwhile, the blue barbicide pickles stiff combs. Someone plucked all the flowers in the garden. Who bothers to remember what peonies smell like anymore? Hair is halfway down my back and I don’t trust myself. Just sever it.

91


Susie DeCoste Under Cover If you’re lonely, organize the library by size. Run palms over spines, cheek to leather. I’m in the book, out of the book, past it. I’m not even in the room. I speak about books as if I am one. Or several, scattered through the upper rooms of this house. Looking back, books have ruined my life. I left one under cover in the garden, a bed of rooting ink.

Secrets Secrets in the crack of the wall, press an ear against the murmuring. A woman is dreaming you up: foot bent with toes on the floor. Each of us floating to our deaths, why tie the rope so tightly to the dock? The arch of her back: a fluid line, continually moving around the room. Ophelia’s thin red hair immersed; open jaw, about to speak—

92


Rose Dust Wilted petals redden stale water in the glass observatory of my body. My better half (so-called) lurks beside the goldfish pond, shooing the herons. Light’s drained from the valley, sun sucked it back. Lamp’s broken, matches sopping wet. I can no longer read what I’ve written. If I could move my arms, I’d throw my hands. It’s time to replace torn sheets, the down pillow. Dried rose dust in patterns on the bedroom floor; doorknob hangs loose from its door.

Empty stroller parked outside Mad flapping in dried leaves: a partridge flounders in front of an unleashed dog. Some women will admit to dreaming motherhood, as if it’s coming for them: that urge to roll on the ground and feign injury. Mothers around me flick seeds from branches or buzz lightly, lightly. Flower to flower, nuzzling or flailing their wings. Offspring huddle in groups around them, or trail behind. The cygnets refuse to blink. Read glossy headlines in convenience store windows, forget for a moment my yearning: a blue robin’s egg, speckled.

93


Kemeny Babineau Kemeny Babineau lives near Brantford Ontario. He is editor of the occasional literary magazine The New Chief Tongue and also operates the distinguished small press Laurel Reed Books. His most recent collection of poetry is After the 6ix Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock News (BookThug, 2009).

94


Discover Canada, Burp

Let us get back to the beginning of history; a Viking ship with sweeping lines to withstand fury flies over the waves to the land of flat stones and thick forests.

They came to an island, there was dew upon the grass; and having got some of the dew upon their hands and put it to their mouths they thought that they had never tasted anything so sweet. Then they ran to a place where a river comes out of a lake. They carried their beds out of the ship and set up tents.

Other voyages are said to have followed to form a colony under banner and ensignes with five ships of proper Christians Armed with powers John Cabot sailed It is not known there is the variation of the compass in 1497 where John Cabot landed Cabot saw Ray race the king Cabot sailed across Baffin Island Cabot seems to have mistaken these waters Cabot failed Japan Cabot named all the coasts Cabot did not exist Cabot extended his feet for many years This brings us to 1534 Cartier had two little ships he followed the north shore He saw a man who ran after long-boats and began to row towards him but he started to run and flee So ended the first voyage Cartier returned to satisfy himself

95


Kemeny Babineau Lawrence reached the mouth and Cartier arrived On them, says Cartier, the lord of Canada came in twelve canoes he came along our ship, he began moving his body and his limb Having Cartier up Lawrence Nine days brought him to leaving her This memorable incident may be Cartierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own words On reaching Hochelaga more than a thousand persons danced in one ring

they brought quantities of fish and bread made of Indian corn throwing so much of it into our boats that it seemed to rain And the women brought babies in arms to have the Captain and companions touch them Cartier cultivated and cultivated Indians Cartier built a settlement It is evident his narrative intended to ascend the Ottawa but it did not do so and added nothing to nothing further back.

Champlain is Canada 1603 The Lachine made trips short The voyage emphasized narrative The Annapolis Basin then sailed to the Bay of Fundy Martha tempted Champlain laid Quebec History repeated itself The Indians found an enemy Champlain ascended Champlain entered Henry Hudsons mouth 1613

1615

1616

information came from a lake eighty men escaped to the shore the English devoured Indian corn and other necessaries of life Champlain took young Vignau past the rapids to imperishable glory Vignau was impudent Champlain content 96


Etienne Brule traveled to Susquehanna to attack the Onondaga this was a failure Brule was illiterate Champlainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s map assumed the journey Lake Ontario dug up evidence of St. Mary Michilimackinac discovered Michigan Wisconson leads Mississippi Brule and Nicolet were ignorant wood-runners La Salle was the history of North America a man of vision not a visionary wintered on the banks in the Griffon he sailed to Michigan and the Sault he heard Illinois flowing south he was chosen by Arkansas but returned to Green Bay

French and English historical students made several journeys for many years to his romantic relations. However, this was neither understood nor appreciated.

97


Pearl Pirie Pearl Pirie is currently and foreseeably in Ottawa, running her train of thought along many ponds, vispo, mechanically separated meat and fur poems. Her work has appeared in Peter F Yacht Club (above/ground, 2009), unarmed #60 (2009), Pent Up (AngelHouse Press, 2009), Into Our Words (Press Here, 2009), NationalPoetryMonth.ca (AngelHouse Press, 2009), 1cent, (issue #400, 2009), Ottawater, experiment-o, GAR (2008), Oath in the Boathouse (chapbook, above/ground, 2008), Whack of Clouds (AngelHouse, 2008) Puddle leaflet #23 (griddle grin, 2008). She won a 3rd place for Ray Burrell Award for Poetry 2006.

98


take it on the china punch in the order the dead band is 4 degrees in man versus machine, B.O.B.s are easier to handle anyway. an eye doctor's lens machine clicks China approaching. all catching Bachinsky watching, watching zucchini lipsynching mar-mat-wat-atea- and mis-synching Females entrench in therapy, gossip, fashion laun-lur-ching. Wǒ hěn bào qiàn wǒ bú tài dǒng zhè gè cí de yì sī I'm sorry, I don't understand this word. worse for poorly couching such as Kvetching Up on Things which in turn triggers a small turbine which invites guesswork from the reader cinch in, will wins over the machine! going up no shaft pitch instead of conversation, very much informed by studies of Zen wǒ hái zài xué xí zhōng wén

I am

still learning Chinese. hoping for as much input as peach incognito.

99


Pearl Pirie Number 7

"We laughed. The kind of laugh one gives to a cigarette, it's slender form like an orchid stem." — Jude Goodwin, Sadness i. neg number em dash not dash 0 before decim and hardly room for acceleration in confines of dashes in hyphenated-words-like-this completed work afterwards admits it was addictive ii. as she tightened her lisp and established as adult notwithstanding "Trolls don’t know they’re trolls; they think they’re crusaders." does this advance the plot? in the couple weeks added onto xmas day? iii. the glummed up body's taking care of whatever sadness there is, leaving you out of the loop, kindly, tidily, TIDly, TINDly, you may call it whippoorwill, Saddam Hussein, Belinda Schneider, CBC radio's Adrian Harewood, Anil Dash, Douglas Adams or Mahandas Gandhi whichever ambassador of category... iv. crushed cigarette in coffee and know what's sadder? totally drank it anyway. As De Sade says sex, eating or drinking ought to be indulged in without false modesty. and onions add bouillon gradually. v. yes, glasses adjusted by devil's advocacy as laying on the horn is advertising one's imperf cted. the clock's ticking ambassador is halfspeed

100


For PengPeng-ean Khoo in March

"Master Bridgenorth," she said, "I blame no man's creed, while I believe and follow my own" â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Sir Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak your four squared identity, glenridge bride is a partridge overriding Florida your new fridge is ridiculing strident pride on the Frida-Coleridge corridor on a Friday which is on an April 1st, (which year tba.) but something is agreed and freed up in the rich ride of rawness with equal indifferent comfort for sex, or bikes. that's sexual freedom riddled with complexity at Rideau & Cobourg, water under the bridge still drinkable. how lurid our ideals or ideas and their errant (Stride) around the Children Riding Bicycles in Midyat (2004 or 2005?) who are educated in conscious tongue on equality, subconscious acts

101


Pearl Pirie stepping from shackle of muscles to balconybalcony-black a mouth kissed as coffee inches towards yawned favours what a sharp tongue she has that stinging bee puts the o no in hobnob what about the h? that too, that too. protesting the trouble she imposes she takes copious noes, taxis open, create men samely amazed wetness between heavy roofs of street and streetlight neither cave against slate of rain, the breaking plates of hoots enough enough

102


Dewy 75

"my mother a collection of mason jars she puts nothing in" â&#x20AC;&#x201D; rob mclennan Soupy air: when the dewpoint approaches 75 degrees F Her solitude would have an interval of unknown shape sidewalk pecked away year after decade with that scientific faith in results he'd come running to the end of the sidewalk decide whether a bride will spend $500 on her wedding henna expect it to take 6 hours it may coincide with fair ride with Chorus Ecclesiae, bips of truck backups , wake from riverside walk the issue would coincide with an equitable portrayal code which covers all the isms and dewy monsters

103


patti sinclair patti sinclair is published with Palabras Press, Synchronicity, The Prairie Journal, and ascent magazine. She is the author of Motherhood As A Spiritual Practice and the chapbook red poems. she has performed with the raving poets, the roar, edmonton's stroll of poets and is currently working on a performance project: the red earth women poets. she lives and writes by prairie and ocean. she is currently working with red nettle press.

104


fit Put it through the eye. You can thimble-read, a sewer said. Stole a yellow one. The rest brown, plastic. None small enough for my finger. Pricks her index. Lips as red. Why are colours called shades? Shadow my eye, keep the burn out. Stitch the skin with snow white Rage, mine's only tiny, big enough to hold the dike Have you ever looked inside? It's dark, the capital pocked, convex.

105


patti sinclair red bird of all things small ridges like the edges of the fifty-cent pieces wrapped in white tissue his happiness grows like a layer cake until the coin collection becomes his chemistry she could lend him her ribs his buttocks being close to pink and with red being a girl's colour in the sixties she ritualized buying each a Christmas decoration writing the year on them could count on those decorations of all things even dying the light in her eyes grow like when the red bird came alive, flew imagined the gentle beating

106


halocline break apart when he says salt of earth break apart lips dry not yet split break apart riddled finger points at me break apart knowing he feeds off rock break apart live in place underground break apart like a bat in my chest break apart sand I thought was hard stone break apart under pools halocline break apart fresh of him salting me

107


patti sinclair solitaire even so she brings her bag of fears trumpeted infused depleted shrunk no longer a back-story of wounds but emersion in a story of change there are no surprises when it is this thin, the stew and she naps astral travels yackety-yacks with no one

108


Robert Swereda Robert Swereda was raised in rural Alberta, currently studying creative writing at Capilano University where he has been an editor of The Liar. He has authored two chapbooks. Other work has been published by magazines Flask & Pen, The Liar, The Monongahela Review, Northshore News Blogspot, and The Capilano Review. He works in visual art, experimental music, sound art, text and photography.

109


Robert Swereda r p ch s ho t ed rst g er ue redi ons or a h si n of s i ando a ume t a a ng m t o li p h w th i t f pe s di g be nce ov r p ch s sh tha d t rs g ov ue p d ons or a esi on of in nd n u en wi h an rr ge t f ing eep i h w th i t o rs di g bed en e over patches of shorthanded thirst long overdue predictions for a hesitation of skin abandon argument with an arrangement of living keep with worth diet of persuading obedience o r pa ches of ho t nd d t rst l ng ov ue pre ict s f a hes ati n of s in b don gu ent wi h an a angem nt f ving e p h w rth di t f persu ing o edien e w k ou o fe l mor c for able is la e to su ort c ange of r la nsh p: gra s s ai ed, dbl wn gg ng fo c ea thr t th nking fra ti n: mi k I th st or. ro m f r s h n e ibit. 110


pir d

mfo t

s t ut v sh o d neg ve sh walk out to feel more comfortable isolate to support change of relationship: grass stained, windblown

begging for clear throat thinking fraction: milk I thirst for. no room for such an exhibit. expired comfort split out on varnish wood negative show alk ou to fe l ore omfo ble Iso te o s ppo t ange of re atio ip: gr ss stai ed, wi dbl wn

e pir d co or

b g ing f r cl ar t oat hink ng ra ion: mil I t ir t for. o ro m or suc an exh bit. s t ou on var sh wo d n at ve s ow

es spe l ca s wo â&#x20AC;&#x2122;t h t t e gro n le t s r h ng or conn tion ri ht wi h p un ati n c ys a s s usu l wil in n v ess st o g in rrow a ne d to l av b re rk w t a d u le pa es in ou elf hi ous w h chan e of ak e ver wha er we ay, wh r ur e cu e is h ow kn s at t e li e s d bi ter u h. fumb a ou d. m gs dis

ure

these spell casts wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hit the ground left searching for connection right with pronunciation crystals as usual wilt in nervousness strong in sorrow a need to leave before dark wet and unable pages in yourself hilarious with chance of take over whatever we say, whatever our excuse is throw knives at the lifeless and bitter

111


Robert Swereda push. fumble around. mutterings of displeasure t e s ll c s s won’ t t e ound l t searc g or onne tion i t ith pron nci tion c yst ls as usual wi n n ous es str in s ow a nee to ve bef e d rk et a d u ble pa es in yo elf il ri us ith cha ce of t ke o er at ver we s y, wha ev r ur exc se is row kniv s at he lifel s a d b ter push. umb e a ou d. utt ngs displ re s dy o f l n ra es: yer ge y n o e t ’ in er b r d ove p f hite c ue ot. tsi e w h a so nd l e a t rr to

an al

ba k an fo t of h ev ry i pi g aw y a a i a a en

ning

al ze a t te o sl ep i a b ment ll of d o so nds e fe a study of fallen branches: layer geometry in a forests’ winter buried over trap of white clue shot. outside with a sound like a territorial animal

back and forth of thievery sipping away at a joining in awareness realize a taste of sleep in a basement full of dream no sounds save life ______________________________ Decimator poem 1. 112


Ado pt a fun eral tem po. sou nd halts and bre aks into fragmen ts. How

we have been do ing thing s, is a m ost impr essive s cene co mpletly imcomp

rehensi of. Let us out eas .Try to s ound a ble. Bu go back, ily. Kee cratch o nd abo t now l travel an p out of ut a repr b lea et me d d separa sight, fe ieve and ving. raw a p te at will. ar of ca prevent s arallel w There's sualties tars from ith other no reaso could pr sproutin tradition you shou esent a g. Lay o s or lack ldn't slip problem n the gro

_____________________________________ Decimator poem2.

Mesotics on The Glass Bead Game

Chapters: 1. The call 2.Waldzell 3. Years of freedom 4. Two Orders 5. The Mission 6. Magister Ludi

7. In office 8. The Two Poles 9. A Conversation 10. Preparations 11. The Circular letter 12. The Legend

perfecTly monkisH gamE consCientious gAin pabuLum gLass

knoWn venerAte bacheLour eDited xxZxx figurEs unreLated generaL

justifY 113


Robert Swereda knowlEdge circulAr SecRet remainS grOtesque liFe Fact sculptuRes gavE irrEsponsibly Domination amOng poems counTless wHimsies ordErs Movement abidIng dancerS Sketch light-mInded biOgraphies self-obsessioN

sTirrings We dOubt tOgether woRds indeeD opEn histoRy eaSily

layMan speAk stranGely wrIters confeSsor tempT Extension ephemeRal Life serioUs renDered sImply

introductIon briNgs evOled Few Fodder wrIting traCed disobEdience

disquisiTion postHumous stEp worThy Word fOr Probables overthrOwn cuLture lEgend atmoSphere

nowAdays catChword tOgether borN themselVes opEning 114


histoRy reverSe meAning aTtatched raInmaker sOurces uniqueNess desPeration wRitings closEr biograPhies detAchment foR fAct worThwhile fashIons pOems drawN irreSistibly

painTing togetHer cErtain hiearChy fInest histoRy neCessary strUggles ceLebrated gAme barbaRities formuLate zEalous skeTch Treat mEmory aRdent

iTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notHing unEquivocal Lapdog ordErs desiGnated phasE strikiNgly eDited

115


Robert Swereda untitled reacquaint yourself with reason you admitted here the voice uplifts accompany this as if it were your own possession the sense swims around heaves itself over rivers of regret and loss in the lowest of low, reduction: an alarmed presence emerged from wandering deserts of great noise an elegant appearance stands still to casts shadow over quicksand dismissive looks stream on past with a kind of urgency I just came to see the distance between remembrance and fact the river stands empty un-clustered, not together.

conversation in walls of anguish remove all the Cancer and hold against your belly returns attention to immediate pipedream that threatens sincerity hip-deep in hunger for connection

116


how much of this will vanish into nothing? to suspicious of forming connections the current is too strong and your words thick with debris of sound that bends against cedar locating a fashion of single steps toward prediction

117


Sandra Huber Sandra Huber is a Canadian poet living, writing and teaching in Vienna, Austria. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in literature from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Sandra Huber has been published in the milieu portfolio/anthology of canadian women writers, idea&s, Word For/Word, The Danforth Review, Philament, and am upcoming in Lexican. Lately she has given performances as part of the London Word Festival (London, England), the Schule f端r Dichtung (Vienna) and the Labyrinth Poets (Vienna). Her short story "Eels" has been selected as part of a Best of the Web 2008 anthology by Dzanc Press. She has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council towards her academic and creative work & has presented at conferences in Denver, Colorado and Toronto. Sandra Huber curates Dear Sir, online journal presenting innovative, unconventional or emerging voices in literature.

118


Sive Sky

the more I know you the more I real realize Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been d d d d dreaming o of the more I know you the more I r r r r real r realize

we

cannot mistrust absence. it is our o only monument.

I loose you to the fiction of beginnings. To the storybook seacoast we were never mea nt to trespass with our too finite laughter. d onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be so surprised. i lose you like one los es speech in shock, bracing for your return, never asking what can be gained from silen ce. nobody knows what forever is. every moment a flimsy defence against the bla nk weight of loss.

119


Sandra Huber I loose you to the fiction of beginnings. (T here is no here no there.) I say I saw you once: on a train heading southbound and your eyes, they diced the passing light into coherence (your retinas swallowed winter) and my head, it fell sideways into the cold window, the tremor of commute passing fr om my gaze to yours. Say you knew me th en out of simplicity. Because I did not ask you things, did not touch you, do not satisfy your curiosity, hold nothing of yours. In m y proximity.

I lied to you then about the dystopias of wi nd. Created syllogisms from the nonsense o f your palm. I would have bit your lip in play, pressed my hand into the must of your back. An earlobe turned towards your mouth.

120


In retrospect, the dim falters. The why I said the things you said the way I said. Our most poignant scenarios abandon to the debris of right margin, held infi nite to the curser of interpretation. Wh ose missing voice forgives a loss. I wa s here. Once more and again our long ings turn to marks as specialized as in difference, ambling between somewhe reâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pavement and the mutually exclu sive sky.

Neither missing from me nor I from you, no surmise, only simply: that I give every thing now. Everything. How do I say this. What is lost in loverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s language (that we come to this alone). That you have everyt hing. You have everything youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ever nee d.

121


Sandra Huber

I am c com com com completely honest wi with you. I put up n n no I put up up n n n n no walls with you. i li ft each hand to write that we cannot erase an end.

122


Eric Schmaltz Eric Schmaltz is a student at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he is studying the English Language and the Liberal Arts.

123


Eric Schmaltz [film noir] eyes lean against exhausted houses of light. inside, the mathematician and painter resume their struggle. white mutates into minatory disguises, crumbling faces emerge from the curtains. a metaphysical tearing at the nerves: necessary sacrifice.

[never sleeping giant] with cultivation the solitary giant eats feral motions that are his and his not; these little labours maintain him.

have pity for this merciless creature, he has no death. even at the end of flesh there is no rest. nothing inside him that he may call his own.

124


[dandelion] I found a house on the top of a dandelion; I’ve made it my own. in the afternoons I take long walks. its skin blisters beneath the insincerity of my foot. in this there is some guilt and some satisfaction.

[the given estate] between trunks I walked with day and saw horses pitching covers on drilling eyes. I sang: ‘holler and tumble beasts; I am long retreat. I soullessly laid shores criss-crossing through the killed. in heads, I’ve led dead around the sun, buried the revived indigo avatar into my body. at the warmest part of day, I endure.’

125


Amanda Earl Amanda Earlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poetry appears most recently in Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology (Mansfield Press, 2010), Drunkenboat.com, the Windsor Review, and the White Wall Review. Her chapbooks are "Welcome to Earth: poem for alien(s)" (Book Thug, 2008), "Eleanor" and "the Sad Phoenician's Other Woman" (above/ground press, 2007/2008). Amanda is the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the Bywords Quarterly Journal and runs the new micropress AngelHousePress (www.angelhousepress.com). For more information on upcoming readings and recent publications, please visit www.amandaearl.com.

126


~ your offering is sleep sweet sting of entry each syllable smooth and sharp after you whisper in her ear that was the hesitation unaccustomed to verbal cues the dark a blurred surrender flickering neon vacant there’s got to be grace slide yourself gently see how it cuts this one’s a knife edge slow dance to familiar your body those who adore run fingers through you’d like to

127


Amanda Earl ~ A for eventual the wind stirs up mortuary corpses words laid out another plaid impostor each visitor devours celtic blur the perfect blue the four of it sky hides scars where the star is

but

she so often a cup cradles blessed caffeine some afternoon candle cellular prophesy with cursive writing someone starts late this is how dog eared several pages forgiven

128


~ a b_________ evening he took her hand right here it took place who wants to see you move often finally someone is holy day the streets on holiday if you refuse an ear what can you offer everywhere tonight have you noticed the saints the music stops to listen she is the first question on the verge (of) this is where they sat the coffee too strong the line up too long stop running why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we?

129


ditch, anthology 4 (canadian) (innovative poets) featuring: Maxine Gadd

Greg Evason

Kane X. Faucher

Ingrid Ruthig

Chris Turnbull

MAC Farrant

Jeff Casselman

Chris Hutchinson

Amy Dennis

Susie DeCoste

Michael Woods

Kemeny Babineau

J. Mae Barizo

Pearl Pirie

Robert Chrysler

patti sinclair

Christine McNair

Robert Swereda

David Fujino

Sandra Huber

Liz Worth

Eric Schmaltz

M. Jay Smith

Amanda Earl

Trainwreck Press St Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NL Canada www.ditchpoetry.com 130

ditch, anthology 4 (canadian) (innovative poets)  

an anthology of some of the most extraordinary and exciting poetry being written in canada today

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