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The EW Reading Series Presents PULP Poems Poems on recycling, paper, and the environment


Seamus Ogden I A thousand years ago — let's pretend — I was a craftsman a potter who shaped earth into those useful things that held, cupped the stuff of life, of lives more possible than our own I would've died just the same trying to build something trying to build something out of myself and what would be left of that effort today: a cool mood in the eye of some ancestor? a broken piece of clay? Let's go back 1500 years before that Heraclitus wrote that the shape of a thing is fire in a poem from which only fragments remain and it almost seems intentional, like he knew that in 2500 years he'd be a few broken words in our world that comes apart always that he'd be a few building blocks in the hands of us


II Take that trilobite fossil I found as a boy on a rocky edge of Georgian Bay put it on a mountain somewhere under a thousand trees and dirt and still the earth would not forget that it exists did exist will exist insists incessantly on being here somehow as residue across a landscape that used to point the way and though everything breaks conflagrates in the earth's quake as the horizon shivers like a wave these little signs of death remain little signs of endurance


! PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


The Smart Kids David Huebert The Yates Street Shell is the centre of my universe. It breathes Lego red and mustard yellow into the windows of my capital-gee green neighbourhood. At night the stars and the moon hide behind this Nickelodeon miasma as I bathe in the hemp-soap innocence of British Columbian evenings. Late night walks with like-minded companions (a bearded Marxist and a well-travelled farm girl) unearth the agony of our graduate seminars: we are no longer the smart kids in class. Down the street there’s a cedar that was once the centre of this universe. Now its leaves breathe gas station gleam while unhomed deer gnaw its weary husk. But I don’t notice, and if I did I wouldn’t care. When I round the corner past this tree and glimpse the red beacon that never strays too far from a dollar twenty-six, I know I’m home. So I abide the fungus of unease as I slide beneath the sheets and watch the lazy mating dance of phosphorescence and glass, forgetting to wonder who, if anyone, is at fault.


! PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


Uriel Ksenija Spasic Archangel, clad in cardboard armour, scalloped moulding bulks the arm. The face, the stance must sell it. Mighty, with paper wings, Archangel, unbending under seeming weight. The planted legs, the back that bars the gate. Your mouth, stern-set, a flaming sword you hold aloft – away from your breastplate. The two trudge out, heads bowed, and do not see you flinch when her hunched naked shoulder jostles you. !


A Pessimist Thinks About Plastic Water Bottles Aaron Kreuter A planet inundated, backs bent under a web of plastic, lost in the sunglint of seven billion ribbed carcasses, mouths open in perfect screaming circles— can you feel the earth crushing in like an empty pop can, innards fracked vital fluids bottled our chances fucked? How much longer can the core burn for us, what with what we do in labs and warehouses, this worldwide network of shipping lanes and gas-station displays, our home backwash in a single serving of false convenience?


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


A Week Allison LaSorda He tosses out names like magician’s cards. Argentina might be nice because he likes its shape, it reaches down to claim some Antarctic ground, and the wine tastes like sailing ships. Being a doctor has benefits, too, maybe a season in Montreal. But in this stale hemisphere, far north of the shores of Patagonia, ice is only appealing in the crackle of a gin & tonic. What kind of man doesn’t want to be needed – the moment she asks, he’s pulled by the gravity of that distant pole where December swells with heat and mouths fill with ciervo patagónico. He left her on tiptoe, looking for that Southern mirage. A week is an eternity to him while thumbs wander through pages of a Lonely Planet guide amidst a year of expeditions across the pampas. Waiting for the memory of a stampede of breath coming in gallops, wood boiled down into pulp to press swirled prints into her; for the beat of acacia falling; a thumping jugular mess, a clattering of digits and faces opened up like Spanish fountains.


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


An Optimist Thinks About Plastic Water Bottles Aaron Kreuter It can start with a single podium: instead of the ubiquitous throwaway bottle, the speaker shows up with her own one-litre, stainless-steel job (will you not at least take one bottle up with you, it's complimentary!) (no, thanks): midway through her talk she pauses, takes three big swallows, wipes her mouth with her hand, and, on some unconscious level, it begins: this happening to be a room of Fairly Important People it is only days before one of them has their own speaking engagement: they too eschew the proffered bottles in favour of their own hard containers, and this is how it will spread, seminars, conferences, political rallies, how-tos, concerts, athletic meets, spilling out into the populace, caught on some primordial hook of the mind: soon enough convenience stores will stop ordering bottled water, vending machines will rust, skids of untouched two-fours will grow skins of dust in abandoned warehouses: bottling plants will close, aquifers will rejuvenate, the tap will retake its place of glory, along with the pump, the intake valve, the marbled filtration hall: nothing's left from the passed madness but a lone half-litre rolling around some hatchback's trunk, a twelve-pack catching flakes of sun in its mudroom languor, a slight unease whenever the sight of a river causes us to smile.


Fury Maria McInnis Mother Nature's a fickle bitch Fury hidden In her beautiful face Inhuman contenance Twisted - Chaotic Yet as immuteable in her changes As fire Always new Yet always the same. All consuming In creative power That threatens to kill All who touch it Without first understanding its power.


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Tubular Conduit, Elizabeth Gosse PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014


There is No Love (in us) Rasiqra Revulva when sunrise taints the night a white-hot canker penetrates the bruising sky with bloody fuchsia tendrils when sunglare blasts the Sentineled field a soggy mattress shaded by the single ash cultures vengeful spores when sundark violets blossom on my eyes bitter foam through clenched incisors and in summer’s swoon i fail you * when ironwood leaves stain the sky like swarms of mutant moths a firespot wavering and tethered to your bloodshot sclera when silver maple leaves sprawl between brittle clouds spent neon condoms pasted to a moonlit concrete balcony when white ash leaves sigh underfoot i rise from sour mud knees dripping crimson ribs and in autumn’s death embrace you


* when snowflakes gambol in a smutty grey sky an ash-smeared tablecloth torn to allow sunlight’s dirty fingers to part your lips with a scabrous stroke when snowdrifts invade the sidewalk in coolly gleaming hunks like teeth my face wet and blood in the seams of your cold-cracked mouth when snowmelt glazes the mud in soggy clumps like succumbing arctic beasts and in winter’s yield i take you !


I Wrote the Right Words to the Wrong Man Naomi Freeman I wrote the right words to the wrong man sitting on a corner across from an asylum and the CN tower. I put my hand in the Mouth of Truth and ran a recitation of everything I'd learned: how to love and lose and plan. A burnished red-clad Roman battalion bellowed back. I cower knowing I wrote the right words to the wrong man. Blue and red sirens encroach; a beggar rattles for a quarter in his can. I dropped a tear, a lira – no, a Euro, watched it devoured as I put my hand in the Mouth of Truth and ran ran away from blood and love and loss and plans. I rinsed my hair in hanging gardens and Tivoli fountain showers sat atop the hills of Boboli writing the right words to the wrong man on parchment paper from a Florentine merchantin wrapped it in green and some kind of fleur-de-lis flower dropped in pipes behind the Mouth of Truth, and ran knowing it was probably a sewer system rather than a spot of sunrise radiant god-of-glory worship the power of writing the right words to the wrong man all flooding the story as I put my hand in the Mouth of truth and ran.


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


Summer Garbage Strike, Toronto, Aught Nine Aaron Kreuter Hockey rinks tower into pyramids of waste. The runoff is great for dogs, pranks, bum fights, swimming pool nightmares. Rats breed like cities, eat like stoned teenagers. The magic of the curb revoked, skeptics and urbanites ignore wet dreams where raccoons learn how to horde, develop hierarchy, enslave the skunks. Mowers rust. Clover colonizes the lawns. Birds thud into picture windows.


Plastic Magic (Lost Objects Found) Kim Fehr Of gas-station handkerchiefs Tin-can angels Plastic wands painted gold. Black-and-white photos of a lost era stolen from a thrift store Book of ten thousand words unearthed in a library basement Such plastic magic in lost objects found. For all the diamonds lose their glamour in the face of a tin-can angel For all the diamonds she has but never wears, there is the gas-station handkerchief No burden to bear. The shelf life of objects unlimited Mere trinkets possessed of infinity Dimensions larger than life. Believe in the magic of An abandoned plastic wand Fraudulent rhinestone light. A key to a new world for only fifty cents A book of ten thousand words Forgotten and found in a library basement. A photo from a place she has never been A time before her time Speaks to her in the voice of a muse from Pasquero. Faith larger than dimension Possibility beyond parameters Reality eclipsing substance.


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker)


Cephalopography Rasiqra Revulva !

arms banyan benthoctopus away

bereft

beyond boneless

chambered

coral cuttlefish

eye

face

fins

invisible

love onfish seek

leagues

flesh

flutter found hunt

LIE liminal live

Nautilidae ocean

passing

dead deletron display

octopus

peace

sepia shell

squid tentacles

reef

sand

shimmering soon

thee

water wave

roots

tree

web white

vent wa


Radicals David Huebert We stand against conformity. We buy used clothes in today’s fashions. We drive bicycles, talk Chomsky, think outside the sphere. We do not go to the gym or the tanning bed. We buy GREEN toilet paper, LOCAL produce, ORGANIC computers. We brew our own beer, compost prodigiously. Yes: our facial hair is ironic. We think critically about everything. We think highly of ourselves. We have created new monsters – tight pants and moustaches for men, high-waisted jeans for women, plaid for both genders. We do not see people in terms of gender. We are artists – mostly ugly photographers


and photogenic poets. We will not abide the status quo. We stand against conformity. Join us. !


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Exan Auyoung)


Convenience Mark Legacy Convenience before collective good Wants over needs Sweltering heat then blistering cold Rain turns to snow


Ninety-Eight Percent of My Laptop is Reindeer Bone Aaron Kreuter Ninety-eight percent of my laptop is reindeer bone. My pens and water bottles are beaver tooth. The necklace you’re wearing is sparrow eyes strung along a length of catgut. The coat hanger on the back of your bedroom door? Bear clavicle. The bristles on my toothbrush are hardened dog eyelashes, the shower pouf, jellyfish membrane (the soap, though, is just soap). Televisions, cooking utensils, milk liners, pill bottles, car parts, bike handles, telephones, a zoo of animal anatomy. Nothing is wasted. And when we die we are ground up, refined, recycled into blankets to keep the living warm.


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Computer David Huebert Your alkaline purr. Your sciency light. The way you make my eyes burn. I promise to spend the rest of my life with upgraded versions of you. All this talk of planned obsolescence, please don’t let it bother you. Have you read Do Androids Dream? Of course you have. You are a goddamn genius. That aging battery goes warm and nuclear sometimes, but I’m sure you feel no pain. You are nothing but a hive of wire and motherboard, yearning, like the rest of us, to enter the Great Recycling Bin of Eternity.


Pop Can Reincarnation Kim Fehr ! Wander as you will in the town square, Trinkets and travesty for sale, Adobe sun burning. Leave the sun behind, And be blinded by the shade, The luster of plastic turquoise and fake totems. Follow the winding corridor Until you come to the shop of angels; A shop without a door. Enter for all are welcome; You don’t need to buy anything, You barter with your soul. Listen to her talk of God, Her accident of faith, She’s giving away her angels one-by-one. Take the tin-can angel, A pop-can reincarnation, One more chance for salvation. Feign interest and step backwards as Your eyes and hers glaze over From the holy spiel. Say goodbye and thank you, For what, you don’t know, It seems like the right thing to say. Outside the angel catches the sun, You're holding redemption in the palm of your hand; Another new beginning.


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Our Rectangle of Green Allison LaSorda This place is an etch-a-sketch, a gradual building up that flattens erases with a sudden shake. Perpetual edges compete with the blur of sprouting. Jolted out of their chlorophyll hue, tendrils grow lushly dull, wings of clover reaching for solid grey. They caress where street games are traced in chalk, numbers smudge each other in humidity. The playgrounds are empty: a frictionless slide curls like burning paper. Red plastics flush with lack of action; the cushion of gravel under a swingset stirs no dust, softens imaginary jumps. Colour’s been chased from the fire escapes and alleys, stripped of movement; presence slips under the fences of graveyards, a glare of shade through public pool gates – into places where sharper textures intrigue small hands.


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PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: HyDee)


Chiliagon of Fingers David Huebert How many shrubs thrived and perished for this slimming waistline, these scooped thighs, this flattering taper? How many gallons sinked and filtered to make these pants so cool? You console yourself: they were hand-made in Los Angeles. Garment workers got decent wages, fair treatment, overtime pay. Wait. Are there denim mills in LA? Wherefrom, this raw matter – India, China, Bangladesh? Better: what is denim? These textile enigmas – cotton twill, warped threads, diagonal ribbing, weft – what do they matter, Pair of Jeans, next to all these fingers that bleed for you?


The Inherent Shame of a Water Bottle Aaron Kreuter The inherent shame of a water bottle. From the glorious moment of inception, the familial solidarity of a tightly-wrapped skid, the unrepressed joy of purchase— only to be emptied of value, drunk after a cool evening’s jog before being relegated to the curb and ten million years of worry. Oh, the ease with which one forgets the universality of ‘please store in a dry cool place.’ The dread of polystyrene, the sense of impending doom of lexan #7, the anxiety of plastic starts and ends at the landfill. It's a common dream, that of keeping the world out of one's resealable cap, yet the alien landscape of bottles, condoms and pacifiers hints at the sad truth: everything leeches.


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Fingernail Clippings David Huebert An insect becomes a wish, and ladybugs away. My reading lamp sheds light on an inchworm. In the alms of dawn it glows and squirms and in the evening it careens in centimetric sway as fragile strawberries furnish dreams with mould-soaked arteries; stigmas of decay. A lawnmower spins and chokes (on a stump of finger). When we eat egg whites, what happens to the yolks? I carry a briefcase full of peanut butter and put all my important documents in there. I used to think what I wanted to think but then I cut my hair.


Jellyfish Planet Kim Fehr Days without rain become drought And the mountain simmers magenta Aspen like bleached bones of beached whales Jellyfish planet shimmering In the twilight Feel the breeze, it feeds the fire Gargoyles of flame They don’t care for you, or me, or the mountain Or all of your prayers put together The deer scampering mad Centurion trees mere kindling For the final, indiscriminate act They aren’t particular They’ll take it all


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(T)re(e)union I. M. Vaissi Nagy Once upon a time, it was an Old and forested world, paper Less, light. Great Birnam walked where Ever bones and limbs met, we spoke Only on condition of uNanimity; our corps was one, Our cores were won by solid air, Itty bits of feast and famine Preserved in the rings that made us Whole. Now the copse is made up of Lances wavering free, digit Ally enhanced in name only, So we bark at one another Clear cut swaths barren behind us, Never more than one hundred and Forty characters, from Hardy elms, corks to twist-offs, all Duly obscured by the opaCity of private lit screens; how The Dickens could he have fit a Hundred and forty characters In today's short beak? Er, blame the Inventors, the innovators For the supernovae on our Supercilious lenses. Where Once we fought for breaks and wages Now we wage for our big breaks Cram-packed, individually Wrapped, from working class to work In class, classless as we pass shards Unoaked. De-united and it Feels like wood, the coarser roughness Of real fir; drag the heights for rights, Visualise canopies Upright no more, roots upended; Plastic, plastic, so elastic We're so spastic, recess shunned for Tweets, angry birds, good night, in gale. We were too rapacious in our Hunger to press and fill pages But the pamphlets folded distance. How now to push isolation Back, reframe, rescue tomorrow

From a grey and greenless void? Bent, unboughed, we tremble and blow By thirty-seven-point-five in Our quest for the ten thousand that Promise to turn interns, in turn Into branched and flourishing trends. Pack our trunks with sticky sap, then, Just give up the family tree, Tumble down with softer fibre Optics of a lonelier shade. Lumber, Jack, for spit, vinegar Whine and stalk, get stuck in social Nets, but forego 3D contacts There's no more giant in the sky Sprout and shiver, twig and tagged leaf By leaf, but no books to hold us Nor to cover; roll the die to Die, or dye, no vellum to reMember, roll the dice for console -ation, choose our vices wisely And the voices of our sweeter Still surrender: we'll all publish And we'll perish, sure, this pulp Fiction won't be stored or storied Stumped by nature and nurture both. Divorced from arboreal lovers As if we're not borrowed atoms, Carbon stewards, breathing by grace Of second-hand gases breathed out By greener and ancient things So yeah, we all speak for the trees. Befriend, spend your matter, prop age Better hope for union, better Deduce a better mash-up, clean Our trash up, cycle, recycle Reduce, refuse to use without Reuse, fuse refuse, and maybe Pray: we've always preyed, made, may Be there's a way to tap back to Balance, systems scaled to eco Logic, memories – past – with commUnion, love encoded, less Consumption, so at least the Ash exhaling to the sky, the Sycamore, the willow weeping Will still drink our selves from the soil And whisper our names at the end.


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Lubricate a City Allison LaSorda They gather, save, tuck phlegm away into cheeks. Paper, tongued till pulp again – pliable and warm. Fingers sink into the preformed mass, smoothing the hardening child-figure totems. Amid the delicate shells of metro-grid, moulded beings come to shape with moisture. In twitching cytoplasm, nourished fibres fuse, hold corpora together with coat hanger bone frames. Glass dishes are vehicles to propagate and baste, citizens fumble with glue and flour-water, pulling chunks out from finger webbing in a race against coagulation. * So what of movement weighed down by bodily fluids? Wetness doesn’t quench, and yet all attentions turn towards salty secretions, gelatinous gametes, to seedling ooze and saliva. Or to glassy eyes, the pattern of upper lip sweat on summer days. Cities lubricate their children with fire hydrants and garden hoses, animal-themed slip ‘n’ slides. They allay heat that wriggles up from asphalt: the horizon unsteady with steam. * After showers, the streets throb to the rhythmic tide pull of cigarette butts in runoff slicking into storm drains. To build something better than papier mâché: a mash-up of tactile and disheveled. There’s a lack of human-spun webs, nests, and functions –so heads brim with imaginings and drownings, unseen tenses in nervous water. Though composed of carbon and what makes brooks babble, they strain for consistency in liquid when there is nothing to do but coast.


PULP Paper Art Party, Toronto 2014 (photo: Rotem Patranker) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Poets Kimberley Fehr plans to publish her first novel, The Great Cubicle Escape, this year. She won the Vancouver Courier's 2008 fiction contest. Sometimes, important Canadian literary magazines publish her short fiction. Naomi Freeman has recently been accepted into Booming Ground, a writing mentorship run by UBC. In the past she has been a Room Magazine Reader’s Choice Top 5 Finalist, which also gave her the opportunity to read at Vancouver’s Word On The Street Festival. Her literary work has been published in local zines and other community publications. Naomi attended York University for Creative Writing and Philosophy. She has been a feature reader at Toronto's Wordstage and Emerging Writers Series, as well as in Ottawa for Chrysalis Zine. David Huebert is a PhD student in the English Department at The University of Western Ontario. His work has won the After Al Purdy Poetry Contest and appeared in journals such as Event, Grain, CV2, Existere, Matrix, Qwerty, Vallum, and The Literary Review of Canada. Recent work is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review and a first book of poetry is forthcoming from Guernica Editions. Aaron Kreuter is a writer of poetry and fiction currently living in Toronto. He is the author of the chapbooks Waiting by the Sea and Other Poems and Suburbs I & II. Besides writing, Aaron has been known to play guitar and spend inordinate amounts of time in canoes. In September he will start his PhD in English Literature at York University. Allison LaSorda holds a MA in English and Creative Writing from University of New Brunswick. Her poetry and nonfiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review of Canada, Vallum, The Fiddlehead, and The Malahat Review. She works for Broadview Press and interns at Brick, A Literary Journal. Mark Legacy is a poet whose work has appeared in Mindscape, In Medias Res, IN MY BED Magazine, and Thrice Fiction. !


Maria McInnis is a 27 year old writer out of rural Nova Scotia. She is a Writer and Personal Maid who has published in several literary magazines including "All Rights Reserved", Dead Beats Literary Journal and The Muse International Journal of Poetry. She has a background in folklore and herbology and enjoys reflecting upon the nature of the world. I.M. Vaissi Nagy is a writer currently emerging somewhere between Ottawa, Toronto and Langley, B.C. She has worked as a staff writer for The Fulcrum and won the inaugural Ottawa International Film Festival Award for her work in scriptwriting at Algonquin College. A play she co-wrote was given a very minimalist staging as part of the Hothouse play series, and the CBC requested a pilot script from her before politely suggesting she submit it elsewhere. She also holds a BA in history and English, and cares for hungry people, children and dogs for a living. She is a rampant tree-hugger. Seamus Ogden, like most emerging writers, is actually an over-educated server who writes when he has the chance, which is not often enough. His work has appeared in two University of Guelph publications, The Peak and Ontarion, and more recently in the journal Echolocation. He recently migrated to Toronto where he continues to wait on tables and inspiration. Rasiqra Revulva is a Toronto-based writer, multi-media artist, editor, musician, and performer. She is a founding member of the synthpunk/electro/glitch/industrial music and visual art duo The Databats. In 2010, her poem "The Lot" was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Judith Eve Gewurtz Memorial Poetry Prize. Her writing has been published by The Incongruous Quarterly, Cordite Poetry Review, and ditch,; and is pending publication by The Feminist Wire. Ksenija Spasic is an English professor at Centennial College. She has a great time in the classroom and the kitchen. She likes wielding power tools and being covered in paint. She writes poems. !


Acknowledgements Thank you to Rotem Yaniv and the rest of the PULP directors and volunteers for getting Emerging Writers involved with Paper Art Party. We love collaborating with you. Some of the poems in this book were previously published. "Plastic" by Aaron Kreuter was published in The Toronto Quarterly and "Summer Garbage Strike" was published in InkTank Magazine. “Lubricate a City� by Allison LaSorda was previously published in Prism. Much thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for supporting Emerging Writers and making our programming possible.

Profile for Emerging Writers

Emerging Writers Presents: PULP Poems 2014  

Poems on recycling, paper, and the environment, presented at the PULP Paper Party, Toronto 2014

Emerging Writers Presents: PULP Poems 2014  

Poems on recycling, paper, and the environment, presented at the PULP Paper Party, Toronto 2014

Profile for ewreading
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