Dedicated to Canada’s dynamic literary culture
Issue 2, Spring 2014
“The visionary starts with a sheet of paper, and re-‐ imagines the world.” -‐ Malcolm Gladwell
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen In This Issue Featured Writers Da vid Bry dges Ad eena K a ra sic k C har len e Jones I. B. Nov ick Jennifer Floyd Ma rk Ma gro Joseph B rush E d ith B aguin ho John W all B ar ger K ate Ma rsha ll Fla herty K ay la M cDon ald
As we continue to expand as a publication, The Trillium would
Another season, another issue. It
like to broaden its content. In
seems fitting that nature’s swelling
addition to poetry, we are pleased
and blossoming should bring with
to announce that we will now be
it a new crop of wondrous poems
to thrill the senses. The writers
essays, in an effort to bring our
showcased in this, the second
readers a fuller appreciation of
issue of The Trillium, represent a
our bountiful Canadian literary
culture. We hope you will look
messages that are as diverse as
forward to this new perspective.
they are tantalizing; excellent for springtime
thanks to each of our contributors for the joy they bring to our pages.
“Writing is far too hard work to say what someone else wants me to. Serving it as a craft, using it as a way of growing into my own understanding, seems to be a beautiful way to live.”
-‐ Jane Rule
The Editorial Team
The Trillium – Issue Winter2,2014 The Trillium – 1,Issue Spring 2014
“And what you do is you go into where your anger is, if you’re writing anger, you go into where your hatred is, if you’re writing hatred. Your joy is, if you’re writing joy. You find the source of energy that draws hatred, joy, anger, etc.…that’s what you have to find. That’s what you do as an actor and that’s what you do as a writer. And you bring people to the page. - Timothy Findley
T HIS P OEM : B OOK II – A D EENA K A RA S ICK (ex c erp t) Oh this poem is bringing the big guns opening the sluice gates all stoked and on trend hustling its hyper-dramatic excess flexed with swishy riffs, pithy spiff grifters like a shattered chatterbox schadenshow Oh this poem has missed you— and is languishing in its intra-phonemic flusters, lusty musters, roaming like princelings.
Adeena Karasick is a poet, cultural theorist, media artist, and author of seven books of poetry and poetic theory, most recently This Poem (Talonbooks, 2012). Additionally, she is a Professor of Pop Culture, Gender, and Media 2 Theory at Fordham University in New York.
A POCA LYPS E
B EES – K A TE M . F LA HERT Y
Some summers there were no frogs, Other summers, no snakes. One year there were no bees, and Dad had the bright idea of us kids pinching the pistils from zucchini flowers and squeezing them into their stamens. Even the strawberries came out weird and misshapen. The pumpkins looked like lopsided tumours. The cucumbers were mere nubbins, too small even for pickling. And no butter squash at all. At the time, I resented doing bees’ work. I didn’t want the prick-hot sun stinging my neck nor the pollen-like snuff ragging my nose, deer flies biting tiny chunks from my scalp. I was not in the mood for flitting from flower to flower in our parched garden. Once again the bees are disappearing. Today I read in the pallid paper they are two-thirds gone in Niagara region vineyards. Now there will be less table wine with fewer bees to pollinate the grape blossoms. Will we get shriveled vegetables and puckered produce with spindling swarms of bees to fertilize them? My brain hums with scary thoughts of shrunken fruit, shifting weather patterns, a buzz of freakish storms – May snow, bike rides at Christmas, acid rain carving weird grooves into the Earth. Eerie how this pattern homes in – lonely honey makers in their empty hives, busy workers, blue-dotted queens, and pollinators vanishing – bumbling into a new climate, droning into silence.
Kate Marshall Flaherty is published in journals such as Descant, CV2, Grain, and Vallum, and was short-listed for the Malahat Review Long Poem and Descant’s Best Canadian Poem. Her most recent book, Reaching V, with Guernica Editions, was launched in March of 2014.
The Trillium – Issue 2, Spring 2014
a group of friends met to meet the police our beloved golden ginger boy had to be evicted from our lives we couldn’t do it alone, by ourselves from Christmas through New Years’ to mid-January a span of three weeks the tall, shiny sunflower boy morphed becoming hard-faced, goateesprouting, round-shouldered, violent, confused, a man strange to us sending threatening texts spewing vicious homophobic slurs stealing a guitar, belonging to us then selling it to buy who knows what his hateful thoughts attracted meth heads and he invited them onto our personal private property He rejected every hopeful opportunity given accepting only something that would elicit a price that would elicit a price that he would use to pay for food, money, phone his survival cache nothing worked as we saw it for if nothing truly earned, nothing has value everything was given with pure,
open-handed generosity How did we lose you so quickly? We didn’t have expectations other than your own happiness everyone wanted this boy to sail, soar, be loved How did we fail? How could we not see the turmoil roiling beneath that golden ginger charm? some of us felt the quiet tension it was like a storm, a volcano just before it blows still, we were all hopeful, genuinely, we were all disappointed we would have appreciated insight, ambition gratitude were we acting too much? We all just hoped for the best we all got a leech, a parasitic-like behavior, clinging life force depleting sucking out behavior like art on a blank canvas, we wanted to see colour, form, evolution we would have waited, watched, and said nothing we would have enjoyed the growth, constructively when the ugly head buried the beautiful ginger boy we observed patiently with bated breath finally the yelling and threats and slime encroached we fought back, burying our own pain No one won survival is not for the fittest survival is for those who endure.
Honey (I.B.) Novick is a singer, songwriter, vocal teacher, and poet living in Toronto. She is the director of Toronto’s Creative Vocalization Studio, acts as a song facilitator at Sheena’s Place and a resource artist for the Friendly Spike Theatre Band, and performs with Bill Bissett.
“W e’r e ta lk ing about the str ug gle to dr a g a thought ov er fr om the mush of the unconscious into some k ind of gr a mma r , sy nta x , huma n sense; ev er y a ttempt mea ns sta r ting ov er w ith langua ge.” - Anne Carson
G INGER B OY – I. B. N OVIC K When daybreak broke over Toronto this morning the sky was blue The purple and pink and tulip petals on the piano opened as arms do in an embrace this winter day seemed mild it all seemed lovely until remembrances of yesterday’s events stirred the heavy sadness, rearing its ugly head
The Trillium – Issue 2, Spring 2014
W A NTED : P ONY – J OHN W A LL B A RGER First published in Prairie Fire and reprinted here with permission of the author. My kid has a birthday coming up & there will be a lot of children, so I figured I’d better buy a pony. If you have a pony, please contact me. I would like a nice pony, to carry objects from here to there. If possible, I’d like an articulate pony, able to talk to me about my favorite topics: natural law, the novels of Murakami, the nature of joy (but not poetry, please). I’d like a pony that might chat with me as I try to sleep,
to carry me into the land of dreams, which is impossible but we could try. For hair-petting, the pony’s hooves should be exceptionally soft. The pony should have a swath of silky hair on its forehead, like that of a beautiful woman. Some restrictions apply. I do not want a rude pony. Or a crass pony. Or a clumsy pony that will break dishes & soil rugs. My house is NOT a stable. The pony should be pink, too. My kid would like that. Hell, we would all like that.
John Wall Barger’s poems appear in The Cincinnati Review, The Malahat Review, and the Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology. His second collection (Hummingbird, Palimpsest Press, 2012) was a finalist for the 2013 Raymond Souster Award. He lives in Hong Kong and teaches creative writing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
S YL VIA P LA TH – J OS EPH B R USH
Have you found the darkness you longed for since you were eight years old when your Father died? First proof the world was imperfect. Are you still working with glue pieces sticking to your fingers other remnants fallen to the floor devoid of confidence? Details you couldn't or wouldn't master. Is it a good long sleep that you've been having or do you still toss and turn plagued by the tarnished business of life? Sylvia, is your world full of stars or is it starless? Why did you let the water under the bridge carry you away? Joseph Brush was born in 1947 in Toronto where he worked and raised his family. He has been published in approximately 100 publications in Canada, the U.S.A., the U.K., and Israel. He has had two books of poetry published and he is currently working on his third book.
T HE O THER H A LF – J ENN IF ER F LOY D I’ve looked for you in everyone I’ve met. So much I want to say to you, to ask and tell you. I’ve spent my whole life searching; One piece of my heart, beating within me, drawn to this place and this moment drawn to the other piece of my heart, beating within you. If you remember me, it matters not if everyone else forgets. Take all that you have and pour it into me. I need something more to live for.
Jennifer Floyd is a student at the University of Toronto, and is an avid writer, musician, and creator. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for The Trillium, and has written for other publications including The Radical Uprise.
The Trillium – Issue 2, Spring 2014
T HE V ICTOR Y C A FÉ – D A VID B R YD GES
A LL S M IL ES A R E R A IN BOW S – I. B. I S KOV
We cannot bury the past, or uproot history without having an unexpected shock. Am dining with poet friend Kate who last year was stunned to know she’d been diagnosed with cancer. Says she’s won the war on the chemo/radiation battlefield. Has spent a day at a writing workshop. Kate with language Sherpa, climbs the tallest branch on the ancient poetry tree. Reads new poems of elevated elegance. One of 9-11 blows me away. It tells of a miracle pear tree once beside the American Stock Exchange, sucked into the violent vortex of the twin towers’ collapse. Lands 4 blocks away where it’s rescued by children. Shocking revelation is I planted that pear tree one evening in 1989 with landscaper Larry. I was always puzzled why someone wanted it there. How one uneventful evening as it stood alone, away from the maddened epicenter to come, waiting for a pro-found destiny. A parallel pair is the survivor pear tree from the World Trade Center. Amidst the tangled rubble, recovery workers found its 8 foot burnt broken limbs. Covered with ash, one living branch survived. Today sits 30 feet tall, at Memorial Plaza, a prominent remembrance, how the human spirit rises to persevere. That eleventh day in the carnage of chaos, the world traded its centre of sanity, for a mangled scar of pure unreason. Replanting the cosmic pear tree, blossoms reminders of our fragile strengths, breathes oxygen into hope, and resurrects the ruins. Upright and unbowed, all hands of humanity harvest the fruit of this ripened victory.
We have had two thousand years
David C. Brydges is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, and an Ontario Poetry Society branch manager. He founded Northern Ontario’s first poetry/arts festival in 2008, and in 2013 he completed a new chapbook and poetrythemed documentary.
to stumble and lean squawk great cries clamour for attention carry on like a hyena detached and horrible then retreat to the corner with a quiet that could be mistaken for patience We have had two thousand years in the cold behind the fence fixed under the cover of cloud in troubled silence to worry about the clinging terrors of everyday life in a landscape that could be taken for paradise We have had two thousand years to point broken fingers in the summer heaviness spin anger spew up air furious meet triumph in the gutter wait for sun and light from a window that could be taken for vision We have had two thousand years to sing like thunder dissolve chaos touch into wholeness bind hearts together fill the air with promise spirit
in peace that could be taken for a miracle
I. B. (Bunny) Iskov is the founder of the Ontario Poetry Society. Her latest collection of poetry, In a Wintered Nest, was published by Serengeti Press in July 2013.
The Trillium – Issue 2, Spring 2014
F OUND – K A YLA M C D ONA LD You are the pretty parts of love. The tune to every song that I’ve been caught whistling, or humming, or tapping absentmindedly. You are an exclamation point, a saltshaker, a collision of thought and movement and energy and light. Always dancing, always slipping away through that space between my door and the hardwood moments before I’m quite awake enough to chase you. Born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Kayla McDonald is a student and athlete. She divides her time between her family and partner, volunteer work, and her dog Lennon, and writes poetry only when she feels strongly that she must.
“An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry. This makes poetry very exciting, unstable, and interested.” - John Barton D R IN K – M A RK M A GRO Crossing the line of no borders, I step into daylight. Turning over, I dissipate like lime in a tall glass of vodka. Now is the time to shake the emotions and stir the unconscious. Let the restless mind continue in thought. Swirling dreams spill onto my page. Words and insights are no match for the marching band that blows into my ear. A message behind every meaningless puppet is paradise. This shadow game of light and trickery is designed for Mr. Contradiction, not me. Sitting in a bar without sound, the melodies of religious whispers give me solace. True to freedom, I am confined to no one else expect my pen and my soul. Words are as powerful as the candlestick that I ignite for inspiration. Sentences blow away with relentless structure. Without meaning, it appeals to the blue stride of the endless paradox. Let the girl be the boy. Let the breach be breached. I will tune out this hollow world and wait for a grain of insight. Lovers are the true designers of this ice machete. Clip-clop to the pattern of an empty glass. Happy hour is close to my heart… Mark Magro is an artist in motion. With an educational background in history, film, and technology, he created Wanted Media in 2007 as a way to fuse his talents together. Since that time, Mark has successfully produced award-winning documentaries, short films, and literary works that have been showcased around the world. Interested in submitting your work to The Trillium? We accept poems, short stories, flash fiction, essays, and book reviews on a rolling basis. Visit our site, www.thetrillium.webs.com, for more information. 6