SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
A patterned repetition of vowel and consonant sounds.
The instructor said,
Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you —
Oliver Sacks is going to die,
He tells us blithely in the New York Times.
He’s 81. His liver’s shot.
He’s blind in one eye
Though when both worked fine
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
’Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
You charm’d me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another’s is the grace,
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
Men prefer an island
With its beginning ended:
Undertones of waves
Men prefer a road
Convex and fossiled
Stranger, who can measure the distance between us?
Distance is the rumor of a never-before-seen sea.
Distance the width of a layer of dust.
Maybe we need only strike a match
i thought it was ok - i could understand the reasons
they said there might be young children or a nervous man seeing
this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting
My sister is crying and crying
her tears grow to salt stormy showers
to rain and to rapids and rivers
they run to the sea to the sea.
My sister sobs softly she knows
The world has become corrupted
from our hearts
to the way our gods love us
as if they know they’re already dying
and they’re determined to drag us down with them
Weeds are flattened beneath last year’s tire tracks
others lay burden by the winter’s heavy snow.
The crocuses labor through this thick blanket.
I am sun drained from the bleakness
“I saw my land in the morning
and O but she was fair”
- M.G. Smith, “Jamaica” (1938)
Come see my land
they say we are a family that is good at death / i make a decision to hold
a seminar on how to live / i schedule this party for my uncles on the first
day of spring / my dead uncles play hooky with the afterlife
My father liked them separate, one there,
one here (allá y aquí), as if aware
that words might cut in two his daughter’s heart
(el corazón) and lock the alien part
Hands pressed to glass
It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslins
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.
recycling Dr. Seuss
Some fish are sold for sashimi,
some are sold to canneries,
and some are caught by hungry slaves
to feed what wealthy tourists crave!
Take the thickest socks.
Wherever you're going
you'll have to walk.
There may be water.
There may be stones.
There may be high places
you cannot go without
Place a foot upon a pedal,
Put your pedal-pushers on;
To the pedal pin a paddle,
Paddle-pedal push upon.
Place the paddle-pedal-cycle
On a puddle in the park;
my mother occupies the passenger seat. my brother and i
stick in the back.
the radio babbles and sings between us. she is estranged, returning
in the south hebron hills the slanted hills
recall old songs, and the women collect
them like rain. the men have two-syllable
Give me a few more hours to pass
With the mellow flower ofthe elm-bough falling,
And then no more than the lonely grass
And the birds calling.
Give me a few more days to keep
Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore.
The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at war,
Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
There is a mouse under the sink
Little mouse turds around in the kitchen drawers
It is raining, storming
has gone to the dump
There was busy air there, air
seething through the leaves so,
from farther up, the tree-line shone
like a single scintillating polyhedron.
Still, though ravens and wrens flaked off the top,
— “mu” twenty-eighth part —
On Antiphon Island they lowered
the bar and we bent back. It
wasn't limbo we were in albeit
Blue-white afternoon. The Bow river churns and smokes
as the city rumbles, economy chokes and bundled homeless
build cardboard homes in the snow. Yes, Walt, this is the new
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet—
Should lanterns shine, the holy face,
Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
Would wither up, an any boy of love
Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Let the world’s sharpness, like a clasping knife,
Shut in upon itself and do no harm
In this close hand of Love, now soft and warm,
And let us hear no sound of human strife
My Black heroes don’t drop names like Fendi Gucchi Prada
My Black sheroes rock afros like Angela Davis and Assata
But my sheroes are more than a trend and they’re bigger than a hairstyle
for Alton Sterling, Andrew Loku, Philando Castile, et al.
I wanna live, son. But which son are you?
There where the rivers are made
of moonshine and the lights still wait,
It’s the first day of summer and we’re so happy
To see the sun and the satchel of colours it schleps
All those dark kilometres. The sky is so blue
And the sea is blue and the small islands in the sea
It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again
it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower
and every flower a tiny tributary
take the moon
nd take a star
when you don’t
know who you are
paint the picture in your hand
nd roll on home
take my fear
nd take the hunger
take my body
(for the Chinese maroons, British Columbia, 1999–2001)
if you arrive in the belly of a rusting imagination, there are grounds to
outlaw you. but Canada is a remix B-side chorus in the globalization
Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, oppressed;
O born to rule in partial Law’s despite,
At the heart there is a hollow sun
by which we are constructed and undone
Praise the rain, the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk-
Praise the hurt, the house slack
Tune: Rory Dall’s Port
First printed in Johnson’s S.M.M., Vol. 4, 13th August 1792.
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; one
You ran naked out the door.
The neighbours laughed; I chased you down.
I hardly see you anymore.
The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
A thousand martyrs I have made,
All sacrific’d to my desire;
A thousand beauties have betray’d,
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,