Laurie Macfayden White Shirt.............................................................. 40Sid Marty Sky Humour............................................................. 41 The Rider With Good Hands..................................... 42S. McDonald Confessions of an Empty Purse................................... 43Edited by Ken Mitchell Rhyming Wranglers.................................................. 45Catherine Moss Swallowing My Mother............................................. 46Jim Nason Narcissus Unfolding................................................. 47William Nichols Fallacies of Motion................................................... 48Lisa Pasold Weave.................................................................... 49 A Bad Year for Journalists.......................................... 50 Any Bright Horse...................................................... 53Sharron Proulx-Turner she is reading her blanket with her hands................... 54Kirk Ramdath Love in a Handful of Dust.......................................... 55Nikki Reimer [sic]........................................................................ 57Pierrette Requier details from the edge of the village............................. 58Ali Riley Wayward................................................................ 59 Tear Down............................................................... 61 33 Million Solitudes................................................. 63Patria Rivera Puti/White.............................................................. 64 The Bride Anthology................................................. 65Anna Marie Sewell Fifth World Drum...................................................... 66Zaid Shlah Taqsim.................................................................... 67Bob Stallworthy From a Call Box....................................................... 68 Optics.................................................................... 69 Things that Matter Now............................................ 70Richard Stevenson Wiser Pills............................................................... 71Rosalee van Stelten Pattern of Genes...................................................... 72 Pavlov’s Elephant..................................................... 73Yvonne Trainer Tom Three Persons.................................................... 74Joanna M. Weston A Summer Father..................................................... 75Sheri-D Wilson Autopsy of a Turvy World.......................................... 76 Re:Zoom................................................................. 78 Goddess Gone Fishing for a Map of the Universe........ 79Other titles from Frontenac .............................................................................. 81
For OrpheusLate summer and the red death of leaves.He walks as if asleep and whispers to himselfa poem. About loss, of course, about deathand love. A typical poet? Yes,and the first.He fingers a scar on his chestfrom love-making. He hasn’t noticedthe birds, the trees, the rocks that have rolledbehind him. The insects hummingin time with him. Seven black bearsfollowing like paparazzi. He hasn’tshielded his eyes from the sunthat hasn’t moved. A Gloss on Our Painted Gods Then he sits. by Eric BarstadLooking around at the same clouds and trees 978-0-9732380-1-3, $14.95and birds as this morning, the seven black bearsand the flies that won’t bite him, he imagines he’s walked Eric Barstad currently lives with his partner Erin and their two catsin a circle, or worse, not at all. He believes this — Finnegan and Pickles — in Brooks, Alberta. Eric completed hisis his new tragedy, dementia from loss and death, MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of New Bruns-and love. wick in 2001 and now runs Shadow Box Creative Media, a web development company that builds websites for non-profit organiza-So caught up in his next sorrow, he doesn’t hear tions. Eric published A Gloss on Our Painted Gods with Frontenacthe footfalls of women in the forest, the blood House in 2003.sounding in their ears like a song.
D twentytwothe condensation of these ice cubesin a glasssquat blunt drunken penile objectsbobbing labial petalson a damp spent towelH twentythree Wait Until Late Afternooncondescension by David Bateman & Hiromi Gotoglassy eyed wetness 978-189718-130-0, $18.00slops over the lip David Bateman is a spoken word poet and performance artist licking the skin based in Toronto. His most recent performances, A Brief History ofa sticky hand White Virgins or The Night Freddy Kissed Me, and What’s It Like? were presented in Vancouver, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto during the winter of 2009. He teaches drama, litera- ture, and creative writing at a variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions. Hiromi Goto is the award-winning author of Chorus of Mushrooms, and The Kappa Child. She has also written a children’s novel, The Water of Possibility, and a collection of short stories, Hopeful Monsters. Her most recent publication is a young adult novel, Half World, published by Penguin Canada. She and David Bateman collaborated on and showcased a performance piece entitled The Cowboy and the Geisha.
Watching Grown Men Cry1over cappuccino with a warm shot of whiskey beside a thin young woman on a barstool in a loungenamed “East of Never” under pressure in a late night board meeting when his son will be the east-ern star by nine in a first grade play named “Heaven” after stand-up sex with his golfing buddy in afully equipped RV while the wives are at the spa when the flirtatious lesbian economy of the straightwomen he works under excludes and excites him before undressing for dinner in full frontal perusalof twenty-five years of living he will never get back beside the pane-fused light of a sun razed moonon a surreal jigsaw on a commode in his den regardless of pomegranate salad sun dried children sentto camp she asks him to go down on her again with his shallow feet awakening in a sudden streamof light and some fragility in shadows Invisible Foreground2 David Batemaninside a posh holding bin for new psychiatric patients interrogating $2000 red leather Barcelona 978-1-897181-78-2, $15.95knock-offs below a wreath of holiday wealth imagining belief in small paternalistic doses without “A glorious chameleon on page or stage, Bateman tries on asregard for nothing less than fine wine praise for middle aged women sunglasses and scarves beyond many styles and forms of poetry in his new Quartet collection as hequestion the faint vivacious tremor of her lower lips inside identity defined by birth certificates does costumes. Invisible Foreground is as balanced as a practiceddriver’s licences genital configurations and undotted sin above reproach for moody playoff seasons set of gams in high heels …. A poetry of extreme originality, itmale menopausal breath beneath cribbage boards plastic pegs hedge clippings and the news of the will linger on the skin of all your senses until it sinks in for good.”world unless heaven allows foundational bliss and flood insurance —Laurie Fuhr, Fast Forward Shortlisted: Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
Destiny (to have), Nicosia, 2006to have met for those five fabulous secondsit may have been more but it felt like five knuckledpummelled minutiae of timeto have made that wrong turnaway from the Lydras Palaceand into this racialized gazeto have lost one’s selfin the zirconian glowof your right lobeto have, at five foot seventowered over your immense Impersonating Flowersdwarfish masculine beauty by David Bateman 978-1-897181-11-9, $15.95you short exquisite man you!you lightly bearded angel! Rated PG, these poems loosely chart an adolescence – moving swiftly into middle age – experienced without parental guidance.to have spent those last few hours As the poet morphs from poodle to petal, finding solace in Haikuin the Turkish Republic of Cyprus (and other profound decorative forms) he considers a timeless re-hunting for the blue and black of those manageable evil eyes visionist anecdote – When he was just a little girl he said to histo wrap in socks to pack and carry home to envious comrades mother, “What will I be?”to have been lost among window shades and torn curtains Impersonating Flowers answers some of the questions his mother was afraid to ask.for a quarter of an hourassimilating death zones negotiating alluring tourism
remembering how we rode to empty reservoirslay down on soiled sleeveless tank tops in deserted asphalt riversthrusting hips and buttocks into sand and gravelto have sung of arid shorelinesto have been blown by vacant riverstoward an orange skyfucking into nightto have been rendered empty dreamersto have spoken of the placematsyou had sewn from the flat backs of his designer shirtsrequiem cuffs turned into napkin ringsto have howled in adobe homes and patio housesfrom Limasol to Phoenixto have seen the Nicosian youthon motorbikes crossing checkpointsfor same sex loveto have travelled without your auntand made such faint relations
pleasurehe does not see the sky as more beautiful and brightin the dying lighthe has always known that blue is blueand radiantand that clouds are softand tantamount to the pillows of a goddessroughly pushing luck and privilegein and out of liveshe does not stare more keenly at the moon and starshe has always known that precious celestial carshave driven him to worlds he craved and cherishedhe does not regret the solid diving into pleasure ’tis pityto have arrived here with so much sensation thrill and leisure by David Batemanand then to perish 978-1-897181-67-6, $17.95there is something perfect Currently based in Toronto, David Bateman is a visual artist, per-in the deconstructed pose of willows formance poet, and playwright whose most recent performancemeant to weep and droop and plummet to the ground piece, Does this Giacometti Make Me Look Fat? or Art Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, was presented in New Orleans in the springlike fonts of leaves rooted in the earth of 2010. A Brief History of White Virgins or The Night Freddywith trunks that smile and frown Mercury Kissed Me was presented across Canada in 2009, andgroaning merrily sheathed by blades of grass his spoken word monologue What’s It Like? has been presentedon mounds of dirt in Montreal, Toronto, Peterborough, and Cyprus (2010). He has taught literature and creative writing at a variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions. His two collections of poetry, Invisibletall proud flowers desolate and happily bound by inches Foreground and Impersonating Flowers, have been published byashes dust and earth Frontenac House (Calgary). Frontenac has also published his col- laborative long poem entitled Wait Until Late Afternoon, written with poet/novelist Hiromi Goto.
Tafelmusik Performs the “Other”Brandenburg ConcertosThat white winter I turned thirteen, I saw my firststring quartet. The Vaghy Quartet. Four men so bravethey faced down five hundred pairs of pupilsmore used to skits on that stage than strings. Don’t ask mewhat they played. All I would ever rememberwas the cellist. He was black. A lot of my heroes were blackback then – Sidney Poitier, Arthur Ashe – but an Indian kidhad to find heroes where he could. And better than serving aceafter ace, Ashe wore glasses. Now Poitier tries to act wisein the shadows of less gentle men. Ashe is dead.My heroes have names like Kingsley, Te Kanawa.Jon Kimura Parker – a Japanese Canadian I met calls him a Halfer. The Lightness Which Is Our World, Seen from AfarTurning thirty-seven today, I find myself far from home by Ven Begamudréas usual, in a church of all things, 978-1-897181-02-7, $15.95while a bearded giant in a cummerbund plays an oboe,bent over it as if over a straw. Washington McClain: Ven Begamudré was born in South India and moved to Canadagood name for a man who might’ve been a linebacker once. when he was six. He has also lived in Mauritius and the UnitedI love it when he lifts his eyes from the music. Not to me; States. He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.to the first violin, those belled cheeks asking, Allegro?Molto? Later, taking his bows with the rest, he seems He has an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He has been writer-in-residence forunaware of the stir his trousers cause, the dye more indigo the University of Calgary’s Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writ-than black. Outside, blizzards pound the seaboard ers Programme, the University of Alberta’s Department of English,from Labrador to Alabama. The power is out in Tennessee. the Canada-Scotland Exchange, Regina Public Library, McMaster University’s Department of English, and the Yukon Public Libraries.Back in our mixed neighbourhood, as in white collar and blue,Robert Holmes the ex-Roughrider renovates his house. Shortlisted:He grins. I grin. He says, Howza goin’. I say, Howza goin’. City of Regina Writing AwardOther times, near the corner store, I see otherblack men. They can tell I’m not one of them.
And though they ignore the whites hurrying past the cathedral,they often stop and say hello. Sometimes we shake hands.Brothers passing in the street? I don’t think so.But they take me back to the summer I looked up from a bookand what should I see but a black mancarrying his cello down our lane? It was late afternoonand it was perfect: that a man should carry a cello homeat quitting time; that such men live and work and play among us,and always have. So tell me something, J.B.:When you were trying to score that jobfrom the Margrave of Brandenburg,did you ever guess how many savage breastsyour music would one day soothe?
ScopingThe terrain is to be assessed in terms of distance, difficulty orease of travel, dimension, and safety. — Sun TzuHer perimeters seem easily mapped,Standard grid – though the usual squaresBulge from her curves. But try to breechHer fears, surmount her inhibitionsAnd I’m caught in a nervous barbed wire smile.If I look long enough at her eyesThe pupils become Rorschach blots.One day her face sags, the next it isImpenetrable. She is the floor of a lake, Standoff TerrainThe deepest parts seeming close enough by Jocko BenoitTo touch. Her moods are an open book 978-1-897181-39-3, $15.95Rifled by crosswinds. Jocko Benoit was born in Montreal and raised in Cape Breton,Perspective is difficult in this heat. and explored the rest of Canada one university at a time until ar-One minute she seems to be miles away, riving in Edmonton, where he lived as a poetic marauder with theBack to me, a concentrated point of disinterest, Stroll of Poets. He has written one previous collection of poetry,And then I find I’m surrounded, in the centre An Anarchist Dream, and his poems have appeared in magazinesWhere she camps. She shuts and locks the door in Canada, the U.S., England and Australia. His stories have ap-The way she might a telescope. peared in On Spec and Tesseracts. His screenplays have been shortlisted in competitions in Canada and the U.S. He divides his time between Calgary and Washington, DC.
The HitchThere’s no crease in his baggy jeans, All he did was steal some foodthough the crotch reaches his knees because he was hungry. All he didand his pant legs drag was run away from an abusive home.over unlaced running shoes. All he did was get bornA grungy elbow pokes through to a woman who didn’t wanthis sweatshirt as he stuffs thin hands his kind of reminder around. Howinto back pockets and rocks can he possibly understand:side to side taking a wide stance Keep the peace and be of good behaviour.in front of the judge who beginsto read his probation orders: It’s a teasing echo in this courtroom.Keep the peace and be of good behaviour. If only it came with a recipe. If only it could be bottled, could nourishHe’s fourteen, just pleaded guilty – hungry youths like this one hereagain to shoplifting. As he drops his head waiting for the judge’s recitation to cease Between the Silencesdark clumps of hair fall forward before he’s released, free to leave by Diane Buchananto cover pimples and a scowl with a hitch of those jeans, a scratch, 978-0973238-08-2, $15.95exposing scabby skin at the back a timid grin and these words, which,of his neck while shoulder wings jut hopefully, he’ll carry beyond these courtroom Diane Buchanan is a poet and essayist who has lived in andand flex, bony, featherless, grounded: doors: around Edmonton, Alberta all her life. The last thirty years haveKeep the peace and be of good behaviour. Keep the peace and be of good behaviour. been spent on a thoroughbred horse farm where she and her hus- band of forty-three years raised four daughters. She began to writeA familiar phrase heard over after retiring from nursing and returning to University at the ageand over in youth court, but not of fifty. Her first book of poetry, Ask Her Anything was publishedon the TV he watches, not in the music in 2001. Her next book Unruly Angels will be released in July ofhe listens to, not in the movies he sees, this year.not on the streets where he’s trying Shortlisted:to exist. Does this young man know The Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Awardwhat that phrase means or,are they just empty words to him:Keep the peace and be of good behaviour.
Cowboy CourageIt’s Thursday morning in Calgary’s flashy new steel and glasscourthouse. The Stampede’s over but here there’s still reasonto celebrate. It’s graduation day in Courtroom 505. Thisman’s no cowboy but he’s shown he’s got the guts to ride abucking bronco through the agony of withdrawal and win.It hasn’t been easy. It’s hard enough to last eight seconds, letalone fourteen months. But he’d already had a fifteen yearstruggle with the rankest of stock. And though there’s nosilver buckle at the end of this ride, his prize is the rest of hislife. He’s got his health, a home, and a job. He’s going to usewhat he learned while hooked on the horns of crystal meth,heroin and Listerine to help those who are still trying tosurvive the spurs and burrs of an addict’s life on the streets.This man doesn’t want to forget that ride, the many falls, the unruly angelspain of landing, of being trod upon again and again. But to- by Diane Buchananday he’s in the winners’ circle with his family, his friends and 978-1-897181-54-6, $15.95his colleagues. Today, it’s white Stetsons off for his cowboycourage. Diane Buchanan is a poet and essayist who has lived in and around Edmonton, Alberta all her life. The last thirty years havesobriety been spent on a thoroughbred horse farm where she and heroff the horse husband of forty-three years raised four daughters. She began tothe pinch of new boots write after retiring from nursing and returning to University at the age of fifty. Her book of poetry, Unruly Angels, about the drug court in Edmonton, Alberta, was published in 2011.
Closure in the ContemporaryItalian NovelA little after midnightin an un-named piazzawhere disappointment over anonymitytrickles out of the fountainand the heat of the dayleaks from old stones.Steady bus-drone, a sirencompeting with a car-alarm. Learning to CountThen, a tone higher, a canine cry turns by Douglas Burnet Smithevery head on a café’s terrace 978-1-897181-37-9, $15.95inside toward the bar: it’s an old man – Douglas Burnet Smith is the author of over a dozen books of po-black suit and black hat, bare feet, jaundiced etry. His work has won the Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize, and has been nominated for a Governor General’s Award andwhite shirt, mouth frozen the Atlantic Poetry Prize. He has been Writer in Residence at aopen in a toothless howl number of universities in Canada and the U. S., and has served as President of the League of Canadian Poets, as well as Chair of the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada. He teachesthat crescendos into a shrieking laugh. at St. Francis Xavier University, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, andHis fist shakes at the American University of Paris. He divides his time between Canada, France, and Argentina.a battered blue paperbackat everyone, and he shouts One of three poetry books listed on the Globe & Mail’s Globe 100 Best Books selection for 2010So come finisce! So come finisce!I know how it ends! I know how it ends! Shortlisted: The Atlantic Poetry Prize
Excerpts from the Dictionary of Winds—found poem from essay of same name by Ivetta GerasimchukA DAnemophile (phobe) Dictionary of Winds (Degree of Certainty)I admit I never thought about this: Sooner or later, a person assignsventivacts—traces, figures of wind erosion characteristics of infinity to the things mostthe work of wind and time—allow for finding dear.one’s bearings in the future. The dictionary Depending on what you want to see—a point,of winds insists that when you look, there a straight line, time.on the smooth surface of the lake This rushing movement is inclineda hard body oscillates under to reduce the essence of a thing to its origin.the impulse of applied force. Then follows the story connected to inaccu- racy. Attenuations of ForceB An optical effect often caused by wind by Lori CayerBachelor Wind (Crazy Wind, Dark Wind, The absence of calm. 978-1-897181-31-7, $15.95 Married Wind) This series of simplifications, a crown of clouds. Lori Cayer’s first book Stealing Mercury (The Muses’ Company)Let’s assume that the little person has measured What remains is only to console ourselves. won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award and was a finalist for theeverything—the number of constructions McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She is a past winner equal H of the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.to the number of phenomena. Hall of Winds (Cave of Winds)Abstract words, lists, appear and disappear not Shortlisted: in Precisely then, there exists merely Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/an entirely clear way; one single movement of air, a single wind prix Lansdowne de poésie.in the first place, they can be interpreted arranged in compass points. Absoluteany way you like; such mystification sewn time on behalf of the convenience of man.with white threads. Constellation located. It is required that a point of referenceSomething familiar relative to which be constant and noticeableyou can determine your position. at scholarly symposia and in grocery stores. The hall a creation not of man, but of the winds themselves It is an excellent landmark.
M WMeasurement (Hypertime, Infinity) Wind Rose (Wind City, Wind Mill, Wind of the Seven Mountains)Nothing other than dots.Under the figures of the winds Resurrect the picture that has just departed intoa year flies by unnoticed. the past.Given the required observation of the To say that I was interested in history is merely conditions because of the cliffs. We were warned,of similarity, you can measure anything at all waited for it, when all kinds of junkby anything at all. perceived by us as eventsA similar equality of a part and its whole are crammed into it.is also inherent in zero. Notions of a better life have been reflectedScience begins from the moment measurement in various risky expeditions. begins. It is worth noting, in some strange dictionary, part of I is equalT to I itself.Tower of Winds (Grammatical Time)It is not obligatory to conduct an inventoryat the Tower of Winds.(E)ventus (e)ventus est.An event is wind. Wind is an event.You need to come here, to the sandwhere it seems nothing has changed,but each grain of sand lies in a new place.In an infinite number of cyclesthe common denominator is also equal to infinity.
LudochkaNot for you the pleated skirts, youwho dazzled us in the coat closetat the back of the class, butt slinking outof the elastic-waisted jeansyou called “suicides”.Not for you the comfort of only being imagined,as you slowly peeled yourself beforethe rapt attention of our blessed eyes.Just minutes ago our minds were a hazeof the strangest form of boredom, and awashwith those black-and-white films ofnaked bodies in heaps at Birkenauthat Mrs Lesnitsky forced into our gaze. Forgetting the Holocaust by Ron CharachDecades later, you and I would meet again. 978-1-897181-46-1, $15.95Under pancake make-upyou played the vamp so well Winnipeg-born Ron Charach is the author of eight books of poetry,no one would have pegged you among them Dungenessque, winner of the Canadian Jewish Bookas offspring of a single mother with broken English, Award for Poetry in 2003. His work is widely published in nationalyou, who flashed your tomboy body for the boys and international journals and anthologies of writing by doctors aboutin a dark room of damp winter coats, their craft. Now residing in Toronto, Charach combines a physician’sdripping scarves and limp mittens. candid eye for the foibles and betrayals of the body with a psychia- trist’s compassion for the suffering of the mind. He creates poemsIt took you a while to remember me. around the memorable image, the anecdote that initially seems to say little, yet opens to reveal a great deal about the human condition.But once, when you slowed the spinningof your pelvis, you cast me a longing look In Forgetting the Holocaust, Charach reflects on his life as a Jewnot as if you wanted me to want you more raised in post-Holocaust Canada. His poems look back on a life ofthan anyone else in that little room did, accomplishment and reflect, sometimes with broad comedy, some-but as if, in a way I only understood years later, times with great confessional power, on what it means, comingI might become an ally in your counter- from such a beginning, to be a good Jew, a good son, a good man.offensive to take back the flesh.
Snow poemI want to write a poem about snowand the naming of snowin the word our Step Mom re-trained us to sayin Chinese –thloot meaning snow –as she held a piece of beef jerky out for usto say each word of our mother tonguein 1968 we were reclaiminglike daylight savings the tongue that would repatriateour love for anyone who dared to marry our fatherto save his four kids from the foster homes.Dad and Step Mom talked about Heng Ha, the homeland: Before a Blue Sky MoonSah Vun, Thlum Gup, Bahk Sah by Weyman Chanjeweled villages on a shepherd’s path 978-0968490-35-8, $14.95to stone-hedged grave markers,each one in the shape of an inverted omega, Weyman Chan, who lives and works in Calgary, is married withcarved into rainy hillsides. two daughters. His poems and short stories have been published in many journals and anthologies. His poetry also appears in ManyThey never saw snow until they came to Canada Mouthed Birds: Contemporary Writing by Chinese Canadians. if your eyes move with it Before a Blue Sky Moon is his first book, and deals with themes of the snow will hold still childhood, displacement, loss and redemption both spiritual and while the earth meets up with it secular, the meaning of personal love, and at the same time gives us stunning and magical insights into a Chinese Canadian family. never to own or to be owned His second book, Noise From the Laundry (Talonbooks), was nomi-Step Mom warned us about heaven, when we were bad. nated for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Poetry.There’s a heaven, she’d tell us. “Yu-ga hin.”She had eyelashes that seemed Winner:the perfect altar of warmth The National Magazine Awards Silver Medal for Poetry;to die on Stephan G. Stephansson Award, Best Alberta Poetry Book, 2002
snow is the one thing this body taken by storms and dart frogs, that holds still while we float free excoriations that bend leaves at night between lattice and rivulet with our children’s voices crying for us snow is the anchor of our moderation this bodybut snow kept her alone in the house caught in the middle distanceconstantly sweeping out the grey air where life stops freezing or burningyelling at us to step back and begins to know itself.when we walked in dusted with snowflakes I skated on the river todayand years later on the morning amazed that this distance could be mother to watermy mother-in-law died and that water could have made meher last eyes looking outfollowed that gentle whiteout to remember a word like thlootit hushed her breathing and I wondered on a day like today where the sun spoke to mehow anybody could stand open-mouthed like an old friend –looking upwardhoping to cradle-catch that illusion of falling Yes I remember you when you left me yesterdayinto its own vowel – its no, and I’ve slept without you in the worldnegation, have-not of heaven anticipating nothing until now.following the sand if snow could be a poem about the bodywhen in other seasons a fishcould dream air out of wateror a tree could bend sugar out of light,then snow would talk about disbelief,its six-sided dissolutionin the millionsproving that the smallest touch lastswhy her, why this falcon-like fallfrom recovery, only to believe withall the science of your heart that all we haveis this body
Santa MariaOh Mother of JesusThis world is still at warThe beautiful girl down the street has been murderedAnd we are empty as prayerIf we are made up of our lossesThen we are as thin as KleenexLiving in hope for the deadOur breath unable to rest inOur lungs search for solace in the new suburbiaWe shovel; we sowOur lawns so expertly mowedWe are the post-modern somnambulistsShopping for God and the perfect diet Untitled Child by Nancy Jo CullenAnd you souls in Purgatory 978-1-897181-27-0, $15.95Have you any insight for us sinnersWho have the sons and daughters to prove it? In 2006 Nancy Jo Cullen’s life partner died after a long struggle with mental illness and addiction. Untitled Child examines the tra-Oh Mother of Jesus you crazy so-and-so jectory of the end of the marriage between the two women andIs this what you imagined it would come to the author tries to understand her role in a series of painful events.When you slapped your insubordinate son Nancy Jo Cullen is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Science Fiction Saint and Pearl. Nancy Jo Cullen lives in TorontoWhat does resurrection matter where she is at work on an MFA in Creative Writing at the Univer-when the dead lie in our arms sity of Guelph–Humber.All beyond the presence of our fingertips
facing west everything in panorama there are things that seem like silence; cars passing onan always somewhere highway, voices of boys calling out acrossthe afternoon and Evelyn’s chickadees chattering in the bluespruce. how terrifying, that blue spruce, when you imagine itcrumpling – no, crashing – onto your roof. it would spell theend of you all, your grisly demise featured on the six o’clocknews. families around their kitchen tables would click theirtongues in horror. after that no one who’d ever loved you couldsit under a blue spruce without feeling a pang. at your funeralall your ex-lovers would sit in a row. humbled by your suddendeath, and a little bit destroyed. because there is was no one likeyou. they realize that now. and good, you think, they figured Science Fiction Saintthat out. except you won’t be thinking. you won’t be. you will be by Nancy Jo Cullenashes for the compost heap. and that makes you not fearless, but 978-0968490-37-2, $14.95dizzy. it makes you want to scream or puke or have intercourse.because of the force with which you can be pushed against a Science Fiction Saint, by playwright and poet Nancy Jo Cullen,bed. because of friction. investigates the space between a more traditional lyric line and the experimental use of form and language. A provocative work that this is a moment that can not be controlled shimmers with risk and offbeat humour. everything inside you is a weed Nancy Jo Cullen was the 4th recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Grant. The grant is given annually to an emerging gay or lesbian writer washed in the panic of nothingness you understand. not who demonstrates great promise through a body of work of ex-yourself, but what it is that takes strangers to public washrooms ceptional quality.their hands stroking their genitals. not love, just that instant of Shortlisted:being perfectly alive with no attachment to another. and no idea The Gerald Lampert Award;of the consequences of a blue spruce ringing with chickadees The Stephan G. Stephansson Award; Alberta Book Awards Trade Fiction Book Award
The Future of ScentBefore the everyday use of plastic:Mud, horse shit and burning coalA damp wool blanketDiesel, spat from the trainFungal sheets, jismRye splashed against a windowsillA brisk westerly delivering dustand the promise of spring, or winter depending on which corner you stoodThe odor of a pipe, sweet until after the Spanish flu then sorrowfulVinegar on the morning floorsThe ears of an unwashed man (always too close to the nose)The piss of a tomcat on an inside wallA new deck of cards PearlRosewater and glycerin rubbed lightly on tired skin, by Nancy Jo CullenFunereal in retrospect 978-1897181-03-4, $15.95Cloves inside a tooth Pearl is a poetic exploration of the life of the legendary PearlBaked apples Miller, early Calgary’s most famous, and successful madam. Cul-The tight smell of ten days of thirty below zero len fuses traditional lyric lines and experimental uses of form andFresh cut lilacs in a bowl (again, in retrospect, funereal) language to fabricate a biography of Calgary’s mythical brothelToast and saskatoon jelly keeper.Regret unmitigated by capital assets Nancy Jo Cullen was the 4th recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Grant. The grant is given annually to an emerging gay or lesbian writer who demonstrates great promise through a body of work of ex- ceptional quality. Winner: Alberta Book Awards Trade Fiction Book Award Shortlisted: The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
English LiteratureWhy,Because chiaroscurois where I belong.That and I was once Pushkin’s wife.O, my darling octoroon your Russia is doing alive and well,but your Ethiopia is still squinting into the sun,blind and full of lighttrying to find empire in uptown Harlembut all we get isgentrification petrification talkabout holy war, race war, war on warwhile the Church of Nazareth on 144th standsa burned-out shell, waiting. ex nihilo by Adebe D.A. 978-1897181-34-8, $15.95 Adebe D.A. is a writer whose words travel between Toronto and New York City. She recently completed her MA at York University, where she also served as Assistant Editor for the arts and literary journal, Existere. Her work has been published in various North American sources, including Canadian Woman Studies Journal, The Claremont Review, Canadian Literature, CV2 and the Toronto Star. She won the Toronto Poetry Competition in 2005 to become Toronto’s first Junior Poet Laureate. Ex Nihilo is her debut collection. Adebe D.A. was one of 16 writers longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize for her book ex nihilo. Global in scope, the £30,000 University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author under 30.
Soldier, SailorMake love to me like a soldier.Your new uniform hangs starchedand tough on the closet door.Leaning against the rocker, your gungleams maliciously in the moonlight.Afterwards, I will hold you, troubledand spent, your desperate arms too tightaround my neck.In sleep, macho dreams stumble from your mouth,like men in midnight trenches.You leave me nothing to believe in.It is absurd to put that much faith in fate.In the morning the rattle of your belt buckle wakes me.Your bus leaves at noon. Contrary InfatuationsAugust heat will stick you to your seat. by Dymphny DronykYou don’t know it yet, but 978-1-897181-10-2, $15.95all your generals are insane. Dymphny Dronyk is a writer, artist, mediator and mother. She isMake love to me like a sailor, passionate about the magic of story and has woven words forit is a course we have travelled many times. money (journalism, corporate writing) and for love (poetry, fiction,Your thick sweater lies curled on the rug. drama, mystery novels) for about 30 years. She lives in Calgary,Gumboots trip over themselves in the doorway, has three almost grown children and works in the “oilpatch”, inbrass pea coat buttons are polished, happy. stakeholder relations.The concertina plays a slow waltz to itself.Afterwards, I fall into the deepest slumber, Shortlisted: Gerald Lampert Award;drowning in a cove of your warmth and scent. Stephan G. Stephansson Award for PoetryAt least I can dream of this madness –your absence is finite and planned,your infidelity something I can trust.At dawn we rise from well-charted sheets,and I make coffee, French and black.You shave, singing a sea shanty,and swagger over the floorlike it’s a pitching deck.
Grand CanyonAt the rim, she wings it.A twitch of big bang dust, houndedthrough the gouged, high noon cathedral, seething.Darkness swallows light from the bottom up.Ego, love child of desert rat and turkey vulture,orphaned in the Great Unknowing,scritches and circles, sniffingthrough the carrion alphabetfor some sounds to speakto this hugeness.Awk, says Raven, disappearing. Falling Blues by Jannie Edwards 978-1-897181-36-2, $15.95 Jannie Edwards was born in South Africa and now lives and writes in Edmonton, Alberta. Her second book of poetry, Blood Opera: The Raven Tango Poems, was a collaboration with visual artist Paul Saturley and was adapted for the stage by Edmonton’s Theatre Prospero. Jannie Edwards’ website is www.jannieedwards.ca. Shortlisted: Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
“Write lots of shit” he advised. We walked to myself in a bus shelter with the girl and an arm-the library as he spoke. The lie prayery, where I load of damp books about cats and dogs andpromised eternal devotion in exchange for the heterologicality. Grelling and the one about thechance to get laid before I graduated. Or else I thunderstorm and the pet loving girl from outdidn’t. And in this I lie as in a bed with two pil- of town. They had a whole lotta books aboutlows and a woman I push away because it’s too pets and a few of them can be most lovabledamn hot for a snuggle or maybe I’m just not companions.dead enough for damnation in return for ly-ing directly to the Almighty. But enough about “Is this the library?” Her eye winkedGod all right let’s focus on the matter at hand, and I saw she wanted directions, but I don’t Static Mantisusually the right but the left now ‘cause it’s like know shit about pets and I’d rather sleep in by Arran Fishersomeone else came towards me and said “Is this comfort than swelter in her arms. I prefer a 978-0-9684903-4-1, $13.95the library?” good sci-fi before I lie. The drop in her eye, but her arms were full and the ground wet, so Arran Fisher was born in Brisbane, Australia, and raised in Saska- She was unfamiliar with the buildings instead I offered to hold her pets so she could toon, Vancouver, and Calgary. He has a philosophy degree frombut had something in her eye. A glint or dust wipe. That wet patch which is always left over the University of Calgary, where he studied writing under Nicoleor just a drop of water. She wanted to find the between us reminded me of the downpour from Markotic and Fred Wah. Since then he has travelled to Europe,library or was unfamiliar with the language and the heavens like an open book full of locusts the United States, and Japan, where he took part in the All-Japanwanted to know the time. It was 4:27 and the or tadpoles. It was cold, but the sun was com- Aikido Demonstration. He is cofounder of the rock band, The Sum-library was in front of us and I knew she’d find ing out and the businessmen were folding their merlad.it if only I told her, but I lied and said “Move umbrella-like wings or solar panels. Shortlisted:over a bit, I’m too hot” and left it at that inter- Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetrysection, kitty-corner from the cathedral. Godsaw my misdeed and the sky opened up andeither rain or locusts fell upon the city. Like agood book with many insects among its pages,but like a bad book because it closed soon afteras it tends to do in the prairies, and I found
God’s animalsmust Late nitesto stay away from telephones heavy-intakemust hefty billsthere’s no love there too much smokestrong enough no sleepingwet enough or eating properlyon the other end or at all,to corral the lust swapping spitthe sucking chest wound with fat.that come aboutafter a couple cocktails. Ugly people in bad tavernsBathroom mirrors junkies help you sleepare the nitemare alone Death Day Erectionespecially always refused. by J. Fisherflourescent-lit men’s rooms It’ll have to do 978-0973238-05-1, $15.95in dive-bars this incessant needafter three days spent for fuelling J. Fisher was born in Edson, has lived and worked in Victoria’s down-sucking floor gives meaning town core and is now in Calgary. His first short story “for what it’syou can see right back to exhaustion worth” was published when he was 19. He spent his early 20s asto the real problem and carnal musings. a wildly unsuccessful blues singer and lyricist. His love of the wordjust under the lunatic dermis Playing part propelled him thru his failings until, in 2004, he managed to bringpores tell the tale. in phony revolution together the pieces which would make up his first collection, Death causes a great thirst. Day Erection. His poems continue to appear in e-zines, reviews and publications all over North America and Europe. Shortlisted: Alberta Book Awards: Book Illustration of the Year
into the arms of GodTue 2 May 2006 11:32 amEden works the Government strip simply release the fingered gripbut she’s not really there at all and it’s into the water, back into the arms of Godshe blows her mind out in the alleys but no, not todaybefore the johns come calling she’ll stick it out as her spike heels clickflashing cash and cock, against the worn asphaltpromising to do their worst she shakes her thoughts like water fromstuffing it in, taking it all out her curly brown locksone trick at a time catches the first car doorEden smokes a steady blue stream for another short rideperched outside the diner all day to nowheresee, she can’t sleep in the daylight’cause she knows bulletin from the low lightwhen the sun goes down it’s back to work by J. Fisherdown on her knees, down to business 978-1-897181-07-2, $15.95screaming without speakingspreading the disease J. Fisher is the Quintessential counter-culture archetype, a Jamesand her own loneliness Dean incarnate… Fisher’s strongest work blends base abstractionsEden takes a moment to lean over the rail with complex allusions. Nevertheless he achieves some dexterouson that famed Blue Bridge sleights of hand (it’s all in the wrist) and a sense of alienation onlytime between the poisonings to reflect the young can cherish.on how it all came to this —Anne Burke, Prairie Journalmemories like a slow-fisted dragpull up upon her past
Istanbul in Darkness, GrievingHouses, streets, ghettoes of childhood. Darkness is a cover for the eyeThe world almost forgetting these existed. peering at ghosts and shadows. DarknessYour city has always hidden its ruins, makesits black bile, its melancholy. a moral point. This darkness a grieving for what has fallen into ruin.Cities, like families, expect love and luckthe way lovers doin the acceptance of bodies, in their imperfections.We live in different fantasies of the same museum:bric-à-brac, photographs, locked glass cabinets,silent pianos, beaded curtains, large heavy carpets,and an old nanny who can no longer read love lettersfrom a dead suitor. Children of Ararat by Keith GarebianOutside the semi-darkness of these relics, 978-1-897181-32-4, $15.95the streets are weary, light decliningon the surfaces of fallen down mansions, Keith Garebian is a widely published, award-winning freelancecrowds huddled in winter’s thick coat, literary and theatre critic, biographer, and poet. Among his manynight rubbing its cold into streets and lives. awards are the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara Branch)Battered streetlamps, old wooden houses, Poetry Award (2009), the Mississauga Arts Award (2000 andconcrete apartments, chiaroscuro of decay. 2008), a Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Award (2006), and the Lakeshore Arts & Scarborough Arts Council Award for PoetryAge, neglect, dirt, and humidity (2003 & 2010). This is his fourth book of poetry.confuse the tourist’s eye,misinterpreting the value of the colour black.Dark haze on smoky morningssettles on rooftops or in eaves and gardensleft untended – not the pretty tints of etchingspainted by foreign hands.
guys named BillRian and I step off the plane the bartender at our hotelbreathing yellow hibiscus is Bill – Bill the Bartendertossing alohas to smiling swarthy men he loves us it’s nice to meet athey drape us with leis Bill who doeskiss us on the cheek he puts extra rum in our Mai-tais we laugh at his jokesI’m here to recover from Billshake myself clean at last and then there’s the nighttwo weeks in which to re-enter the world we join a table of singing Australiansprepare myself for the man the dark-haired one with freckleswho waits to buy me dinner is Bill of the Australian Navyon our return I haven’t kissed a man in almost a year butI did send Bill a postcard I’m used to kissing Bills guys named Billfrom San Francisco airport – by Leslie Greentreesomething about a man in a dress I’ve put away a lot of beer 978-0968490-36-5, $14.95I don’t know – with guys named Billit was a layover we were Leslie Greentree was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and has livedsleep deprived and a little drunk in various parts of BC and Alberta, including Salmon Arm, Mc- Bride, Dawson Creek, Crowsnest Pass, Calgary, and Lethbridge.everyone in Hawaii is named Bill Her first book, guys named Bill, was published by Frontenac House as part of their poetry series Quartet 2002.we have our pictures takenin Honolulu Leslie Greentree was the winner of the Howard O’Hagan Awardglorious parrots astride each shoulder for Short Fiction.the tousled man who chats us upis Bill, the Parrot Guy
black go-go bootsit’s stylized sixties the black boots are to her kneesbut the tank top with the silver spaghetti straps and her tinyskirt only nod to the originals the colours arecarefully psychedelicthe first photograph shows her and Elvis laughingher go-go boot draped lightly over his satin thighhair pulled high on her head ponytail cascading over hershoulders slapping her in the face as she gyratesthe second is of her in the classic pose arms pumpingclenched fists hair flying boots planted firmlytwo feet apart her head is down eyes closedI can feel the music here something like Jailhouse Rock or go-go dancing for Elvishis bastardized version of Hound Dog by Leslie Greentree 978-0973238-02-0, $14.95she’s having the time of her lifewhen she wore her boots to supper she felt wild and mod go-go dancing for Elvis by Leslie Greentree is the story of twogetting such a kick out of this outfit sisters: the beautiful sister, who travels the States as a dancer forlike the kid who used to put on the old clothes an Elvis impersonator, and her more conventional sister, who staysfrom Mom’s dress-up box home and renovates her house. It’s a story of love, jealousy, be- trayal, and the people who used to have our phone numbers. MostElvis told her to go back to the room and change of all it’s a story about Hawkeye Pierce and power tools.he’s had enough of looking at that crap every nightdoes he really have to take his work with him to supper? Shortlisted: The Griffin Poetry Prizepart of me is glad to see that even a go-go dancer for Elviscan be made to feel like an idiot be spoken to in that waybut I still want to drive to their hotel in Renoand kick his ass
INSOMNIAYou may have heard this before – an ancient Egyptianmeditation called quiet ears can cure insomnia. You plug the ear canals with your thumbsand listen for a high pitched singing in your head.If you give yourself over to it, the sound will carry you into sleep. Outside, the moon is yawning over the city –and the neighbour has arrived home. He opens a square of light to the night.My husband moves in his sleep,pulls the blanket to his shoulders. He is curled up,his ear pressed toward dreams. Now I understand how lovers Yes.fly around each other night and day – how close and secret by Rosemary Griebel are the passages of love. 978-1-897181-77-5, $15.95 Apparently that melodic sound Born in the farming community of Castor, Alberta, Rosemaryis always in the head – we just need to listen. Griebel grew up on the prairies. There she experienced nature asThe way birds hear a choir of light, and in darkness both immense and intimate. It’s common to say that there is little start to sing. room to romanticize nature when the lives and deaths of animals are commonplace and all around you. Yet Rosemary, currentlyAcross the river, wolves in the zoo are howling. Special Projects Manager with the Calgary Public Library, where You may have heard this too – she has worked for 20 years, always knew experience as bothimprisoned animals cry out for their kind, knowing something to be felt and something to be spoken of. Rosemary’s poems have been published on CBC’s radio program Anthology,they are out there somewhere. All creatures in national journals, in the Calgary Transit’s “Poetry in Motion”have an instinctive geography that goes beyond fences and cities. series of in-vehicle posters, and in chapbooks by Leaf Press. It is a map of belonging. Yes. is Rosemary Griebel’s long-awaited first book, an intimate journey through love and loss, an affirmation of the importance of curiosity, passion and vision.
Even my own father would call out to my mother in the night. He could hear her walking above him in heaven,opening doors, looking for him.Right now the wolves are hearing things their keepers can not – the sound of jazz bars closing, the clock-tickand night noises of humans: distressed crying, love making, and someone at a small window writing the worldwhile a distant keening in her head will not lead her back to sleep.It is 3 a.m. I would like to wake my love so we could talk,or lay our heads together like heavy hymn books, and listen.
Long BeachI am mesmerized by the young man analogous to something –zipping his girlfriend’s wetsuit, not loss, but something likejealous of the way he braces his feet the pattern of sand ripples, orand yanks, as if her skin I have been here before, orwere familiar to him as his own watch face. the cogs and gears that work the tides.I envy them as I envy the otters The young in their neoprene sleeknessanchored in kelp knots, rocked return to the water I climbed out of.and static in the moving sea, their eyes The seam where the ocean openssealed tighter than abalone, their pelts is sewnshiny as inner tubes, as harpoon steel. and opens again.Here on the beach I have been sandcastlingwith my children, constructinga simulacrum of well-being. Water StriderWe are sticky with flotsam, by Karen Hofmannglitter with mica, salt, fish scales; 978-1-897181-19-5, $15.95everything is gritty, ridged, creased. Karen Hofmann grew up in the Okanagan Valley, completed a BAThe sun slips a notch in its slow curl and MA at the University of Victoria, and now teaches English andand I wade in, cast for my lost skins creative writing at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Britishbut bring in the usual old boot Columbia. She lives at the edge of a former pine forest with herof cartoons, and each frame husband, many children and small animals, and the constant fear that she has forgotten to do something important. Shortlisted: The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Entering VeniceShe looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,Rising with her tiara of proud towersAt airy distance … –Byron, Childe Harold’s PilgrimageSpanning Here, words are vines the breadth, of an invasive speciesthe back of Venice: borne by aerosol winds;graffiti scribbled across bare walls,a gorgon’s coil signature set as its own gaudy subject,writhing against the water, cheap paintslick tentacled creatures as netting, Dinner at Madonna’scaught in low tide. lattice. Scar. by Kevin Irie 978-0973238-00-6, $14.95Sprayed ropes Not beautyscale Castello, Cannaregio; but what defines it. Kevin Irie was born and lives in Toronto. His poetry has been pub-green, pus yellow, lished in periodicals and anthologies in Canada and the Unitedto tow the sight past walls Venice: States, Australia and England, and has been translated into Spanishwhere a gangrenous a catch lashed in painted nets. and Japanese. He won first prize in the 2000 poetry competition in Rice Paper for his poem “Tashme” which appears in Dinner at Ma-cut in a portal donna’s. He was a finalist in the prestigious CBC Literary awards formarks a gash as welt and whip. Each launch, his poem “Viewing Tom Thomson (A Minority Report)”. Kevin is also a finned creature the author of two previous books, Burning the Dead, and The ColourHearts become serpents moving in of Eden, which was a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. An-swallowing their tails; closer … gel Blood: The Tess Poems was also published by Frontenac House..their purple, not royal, but bruised.Damp worms, eels,plucked from the oceanthat wrings them outtill they seep faint blood.
Higher EducationSchool taught meI wasn’t my parents.School gave me a way to growagainst them. My educationa distance they couldn’t crossas I wandered further into myself.Each page was a new place they couldn’t find me,chalk across slatelike a trail escaping.You’re too smart for us now,my mother once told me Angel Blood: The Tess Poems by Kevin Iriethough I said nothing 978-0973238-04-4, $15.95to prove I was. Adopting the posthumous voice of a wronged girl from 19th-cen- tury fiction makes for a bold imaginative leap on Irie’s part. Yet he enters into Tess’s situation so thoughtfully, and his diction is so exact, that he ends up making a success of it. —Harry Vandervlist, Alberta Views Longlisted: 2005 ReLit Awards
chinese caféi want to eat chinese all the timeivory chopsticks between my fingers,porcelain bowls in my palms.i want to sit on the red vinyl seats,crack cookies between my canines,floss my teeth with fortunes.i love those old chinese cafés,jasmine, chrysanthemum, or green tea.i want to savour pork dumplings,dribble hoisin, garlic and black bean sauce over rice,want to twist and drip noodles into my mouth, She Dreams in Redlick my lips. by Alexis Kienlen 978-1-897181-12-6, $15.95i crave those wontons,thrust my tongue deep in the custard tarts. She Dreams in Red is the story of journeys – from China to Cana- da, to Indonesia, to Mongolia into the mysteries of the human heartthis chinese café stays open all night. and romantic relationships. Exploring the author’s unique cultural background and history, travels and encounters with love and loss, these poems attempt to make sense of the world with simple images painted in clean brushstrokes. Alexis’s new book 13 will appear in September.
the one who slippedwe have all heard anything to suck out the loneliness,about the little monster the dullness of endless wanting.who stepped out of the shadows,showed her face to a child. the child would take time to remember memories of fear.in the quiet stillness of the nightthe child’s scream summoned children have to learnbleary-eyed parents. how to be afraid, to recognize the differencethe little monster, terrified, between awake and dreaming.could not get away fast enough.she had snarled her fingernails a child has to learnin the child’s hair, how to scream.mesmerized by soft curls, 13the perfume of newness, by Alexis Kienlenperfect apple softness of the child’s cheeks. 978-1-897181-53-9, $15.95we were all familiar with the scene. Alexis Kienlen is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She isin a moment of silence of mixed ethnic heritage: Chinese, French, German, and English/we imagined the child’s sleepy, trusting gaze, Scottish. She holds an International Studies degree from the Univer-the holy moments between them. sity of Saskatchewan, and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Concordia University. Alexis has lived in Montreal, Wainwrightawe as the monster Alberta, Grande Prairie Alberta, Vancouver, Indonesia and Mon-touched the soft skin of the other. golia. Her poetry, fiction and journalism pieces have appeared in numerous publications throughout Canada. She has written twoshe would have held poetry books, She Dreams in Red and 13.the small one close to her,to absorb the warmth,the feeling of life,
hoboyou would call me a nobodyi myself prefer the termemotional vagabondi am a nobodyand my mother’s given up on mebecause i’m hopping boxcarsin search of language for the unseenfor another thousand waysto say the things i was forbidden to sayshut up shut up shut upmy mother would call the train tracks dangerousbut i take comfort in their stretch White Shirttheir long steel hum, by Laurie Macfaydenthe way they just go off 978-1-897181-40-9, $15.95towards an ending you cannot seeyou know that ultimately Laurie MacFayden grew up in southern Ontario and has lived inthey must come to a halt out there Edmonton since 1984. She spent 30 years as a sports journalist,somewhere on the other side of trestles and tunnels most recently at the Edmonton Journal. She left the news media inand the dangers of unmarked crossings June 2007 to focus on her own writing and visual arts projects. This is her debut collection of poetry. She blogs at spatherdab.you would call me a drifter wordpress.com and her art lives at www.lauriemacfayden.com.i myself prefernot to be called Shortlisted: 23rd annual Lambda Literary Awards, lesbian poetry category. Co-Winner: Golden Crown Literary Society Award, lesbian poetry category.
Sky HumourAt last the ranger quits A humming bird comes hopefully to fanhis dusty circuit through the firs a yellow helmet flowering on the stepsDoped on light he seeks the cool The sleeper would have fed this visitorof a roof, paper work. But a single sheet But now his mouth yawns, stupid with defeatfalls on his wrist like a hot towel He dreams into the heat of MexicoDeer flies, horse flies, house fliesmoths and bees, thud as heavily as sparrows He’s there at the volcano’s rimagainst the screen. They make a kind of music when the molten climax seeds a year of rainHis head drops on his arms, glued with sweatto the clammy desktop Sky HumourOutside the clouds roll in by Sid Martybut they are thunderheads of smoke 978-1-897181-43-0, $15.95Ash falls softly on the cabin roof Now a singer-songwriter, author and poet, for 12 years Sid Martya parody of winter was a park warden, spending hours patrolling the mountain back-All promise of rain is just sky humour country with saddle and pack horses; he wrote many of his earlyClouds “Just empties goin’ back” poems literally in the saddle, composing them in his head while onas farmers say patrol far from home. Sky Humour, originally published in 1999 by Black Moss Press, is now available in this revised edition with a new cover from Frontenac House.
Packing Dynamite“The thing to remember”he saidBull Durham bag suspendedarchly from one pinky“is to keep your dynamiteand your blasting capsin two separate places”Caps were in my saddlebagsdynamite packed on the mareAnd back and forth my horsesbattled for the leadbanging pack-box and saddleroughly together The Rider With Good Handseight miles up the river by Sid Martyto the camp above Twin Falls 978-1-897181-45-4, $15.95My sun tan flaked off A selection of horseback verses from three earlier books, Head-and I was a white and shining angel waters, Nobody Danced With Miss Rodeo and Sky Humour toready to take wing illustrate the various rites of passage of a life lived close to theAll in white pieces earth in the mountains and foothills of British Columbia and Al-of a horse shit bomb berta, in the late decades of the last century. The book concludes with newer material that smacks of an even earlier time, since it is written in the rhyming tradition that never went out of style on the western ranges. Sid Marty is the author of five books of non-fiction and three poetry collections. His recent prose work, The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek, was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award in Non- Fiction and shared the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. In 2008, he was awarded the Grant MacEwan Literary Arts Award for his contribution to the literatre of Alberta.
regent park will be there foreverI’ve got to tell you this: This is what I would do riding the subway every day whereIt’s 1974 and between Bloor and SummerhillI’m 14 years old. subway stations it was above ground.I’m in Grade 9,my first year of Outside. Lots of trees and green.high school. In the winter it would be covered in snow in a very soft, pretty way.De La Salle, an all-boys Sitting in the subway car,Catholic high school. looking out the window I would think of the sceneI took the streetcar fromand subway back andforth to school everyday. Valley of the Dolls Confessions of an Empty Purse where Barbara Parkins by S. McDonaldI was fat with flat, oily hair and pimples galore. was taking the train back from 978-1-897181-33-1, $15.95 New York City to Lawrenceville.wouldn’t that be a great drag name? S. McDonald was born, raised and continues to live in Toronto.Ladies and Gentlemen put your hands She’s looking longingly Ze grew up in pre-gentrification Cabbagetown and Regent Park.together and give it up for out the window of the train: Ze has performed zir alternative spoken word performance piecesPimples Galore! at various venues including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s annual Her hair is in a sophisticated upsweep. Rhubarb! Festival and Paddy’s Playhouse. Ze is the love child ofAnyway: Her make-up is perfection. Christine Jorgensen & John Rechy & the spiritual godchild of Jac-I had no friends. None. Her black leather gloved hands queline Susann. clutch her mink coat about her throat.I lived a life so insular,so deeply, so profoundly Her perfect, perfect face achinginside my head with a sweet, serene melancholyit felt both physically … at life.and psychically painfulto even be outside in the world.
Every day as I rode understand:the subway betweenBloor and Summerhill: I didn’t see myself “as” Barbara Parkins looking out that subway window.as I looked out the train windowI saw myself, I saw myself looking out that window.Marsha:with sophisticated upswept hair, It was my perfectly made-up face.perfect make-up, my black leather gloved handsclutching my mink coat to my aching throat It was my hair in that sophisticated upsweep.to keep the screaming inside and most importantly:.my perfectly made-up eyes, It. Was. My. Mink. Coat.so catlike and desperate,looking longingly out I knew it then and I know it now:that subway windowinto my future. Regent Park will be there foreverfor that few minutes every day And I will always, always be me; Marsha …I was myself on that subway.I was Marsha riding into my future,riding away from everybody and everythingthat still clung to my skin and stained myheart,that cut my soul to the core at every turn
On the Missouri CoteauSure good to see ole Henk again ridin with our crewalong the trail on the big coteau. Bin years since he was through.He left here for the rodeo, then took up tendin barand livin the life of a vagabond with a banjo and guitar.But there’s heavy lines across his face and his eyes seem kinda dullas if them years he spent down South been etched inside his skull.“Boys,” sez he, “I’m tickled green to be sitting by your firecause all the fancy bars I’ve seen can’t set a tone no higher.“Way out here on the high plateau your spirit gets a shakelike the smell of coffee on the boil, a thing you don’t mistake.That grub we ate was what I craved, each night in every town.Your venison and biscuit pie in taverns can’t be found. Rhyming Wranglers“Oh, I’ve sampled horses’ doovers in the bistros of Orleans Edited by Ken Mitchelland all the bins on the Broadway – but they can’t match Donny’s beans. 978-1-897181-13-3, $18.95And smart talk? Well, I heard lots, in some courtrooms here and therebut I tell you men, my learning began when I heared ol’ Wally swear. Ken Mitchell is a well-known Canadian playwright, actor and nov- elist, with over 25 books to his credit, including the legendary“As for music, I took in a few big concerts in my days, “country opera” Cruel Tears. His drama about Norman Bethune,but I still prefer the steady purr of a crackling pinewood blaze. Gone the Burning Sun, toured the world in the 90s. Mitchell grewOr the plaintive howl of a coyote prowling through yon aspen wood up on a family ranch near Moose Jaw, and went on to become ais gonna affect the hair on your neck, like no soprano could. professor of English at the University of Regina. He lives in Regina with his wife, the scholar Jeanne Shami.“‘I’ve wandered the world, looked at great art, your Leonardos and Vince Van Go,but if you wanta study a masterpiece, take a sunset on the coteau. Rhyming Wranglers includes not only poets from pioneer times,Look at it there, all purple and gold, ’gainst a blue like a robin’s egg. and the current stars of the cowboy poetry festival circuit, but such major outlaw poets as Sheri-D Wilson, Sid Marty, Doris Daley andNo painter I know can capture the flow of those shapes on heaven’s lake. Corb Lund. You will find they all speak the authentic lingo of the“So pour me out another cup of Slim’s black-as-hades brew; cowboy. Especially in the poem “On the Missouri Coteau” written by Ken himself.the coffees I been sippin late are thin as Moose Jaw stew.I’ll just sit and reflect a bit on the loneliness of bars,and the music of the Big Coteau, and the distances of stars.”
Writing Above Timberlineabove eight thousand feetthe energy of emptinesspushes back larchlifts upstone valleysalpine tundrarejects formal scriptit splashes lichen graffitiorange yellow grey/greenon rockcut to the coreby snow wind the wildness Swallowing My Motherof an open page Catherine Moss 0-9684903-3-6, $13.95 Catherine Moss lives in Calgary and has often spent summer and fall hiking in the high country. Her favourite destinations involve the transition from forest to alpine tundra.
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