SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died. But if she did, I knew
it would be as a lady in a long white dress.
It is strange that she has returned
as somebody's dalmatian. I meet
After the celebrations,
people, TV channels, telephones,
the year’s recently-corrected digit
finally falls asleep.
Between the final night and the first dawn
a jagged piece of sky
That feeling of my soul getting yanked
I wonder where my soul hides when I’m sick
My heart feels as if it’s getting beat up
Is it because the restless ocean is clumping up?
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
’Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
what a glory feeling it is to sit in the sun by the oceanside
as tulugait and naujait sing circling above
and scrape skins with centuries of arnait guiding my ulu
Boyakka! Boyakka! Boyakka!
Shots rang out on my street today
Three Black yoots lay dead
shot inna dem head
it is friday. we have come
to the paying of the bills.
all week you have stood in my dreams
like a ghost, asking for more time
but today is payday, payday old man;
my mother’s hand opens in her early grave
Once, I slapped my sister with the back of my hand.
We were so small, but I wanted to know
how it felt: my hand raised high across
the opposite shoulder, slicing down like a trapeze.
My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
For thirty-one years, my mother tried not to miss her. Every week,
a little water or the trickle of a few ice cubes
in black earth. Years back, in the muck of Toronto, April,
You wouldn’t fit in your coffin
but to me it was no surprise.
All your life you had never fit in
anywhere; you saw no reason to
begin fitting in now.
When I was little I remember
The fish are drifting calmly in their tank
between the green reeds, lit by a white glow
that passes for the sun. Blindly, the blank
glass that holds them in displays their slow
That night, I opened your wardrobe and found
a trophy of vultures, their necks pierced
by hanger hooks. I saw at once
that you hunted everything I loved —
it was very sad the day we heard that dad would die but it was
also fun because all my friends came over and we went driving
in the blue Toyota that kelly’s sister terry drove
and i was the center of attention
“Morning of goodness to you”
— “Morning of goodnesses”
Or add flowers: “morning of roses”
Always multiply the gift—
“welcome” to “two welcomes”
“a hundred welcomes and kinship and ease”
WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried
a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went
out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
i thought you were gone / stupid bird / darling worms shifting in the mud / this time i am not so certain / is it kinship or are you gloating? / have i grown bitter with the bees / how they bring the blooms reliably?
Where did the handsome beloved go?
I wonder, where did that tall, shapely cypress tree go?
He spread his light among us like a candle.
Where did he go? So strange, where did he go without me?
We haven’t travelled to this door
For wealth or mastery,
We come here seeking refuge from
And we have journeyed all this way,
Fleeing the confines of
at least in our waking life
doubles as force
the most benign
are tinged eurocentric
when brown women die
Am I a praise poet or a blame poet?
Today I am a blame poet.
O Death, face it, existence
doesn’t like you.
You can’t sing. You can’t paint.
three crosses appear
on the tv screen
sweep of my hair
that felt like your hand
maybe i dreamt it
but i so badly
When my mother died,
one of her honey cakes remained in the freezer.
I couldn’t bear to see it vanish,
so it waited, pardoned,
in its ice cave behind the metal trays
for two more years.
The other people quit their stone fields to come here.
They slip in from nights that even the snow abandons.
They leave ashes in their glasses
and stains on the table.
Do you remember, Nancy,
when we sat in the Creole restaurant
and glanced up at the television to see students running
with their hands in the air and photographs
of two young men?
As Whitman sang the body electric
Goodwin sings the body forested:
dense stand of dark-trunked saplings
illumined by a blood-streaked sky,
ominous forest where
abandoned children wander
On the night we dug up your father’s body
(for reasons I can no longer remember)
we took turns with the shovel
as we passed a bottle of Whyte & Mackay
back and forth.
Freezes, goes blue screen, shuts down. Dead pixel, dark.
Ghost echoes, lossy in the source code. Time zones away,
people who have actually shaken hands with my online friend
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 dad taught me to never give out my real name, age,
address, or photos. This seemed obvious to me. My fake
birthday entry was always my crush's birthday plus a
had a dozen foster parents
tell me to run from my mother’s truth
the track marks up her arm,
How to describe sea
To someone who’s never seen it?
He lives to ninety-nine, he wants it, to see it
To walk on its glass surface, to blow the seven trumpets.
I'd like to close the distance between us:
where you end, where I begin,
but your skin stops me,
I can't find my way in.
If I could, I'd press every bit of me
On the lee slope of the small coastal mountain
which conceals the sun the first hour after its rising,
in the dry, steep ravines, the live
mist of the heat is seething like dust
left over from an earlier world.
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,
At first there's no lake in the city, at first there are only
elevators, at first there are only constricting office desks;
there are small apartments and hamburger joints and
We’re all aware that human hair is dead
Yet we spend thousands taking care of it.
It’s like an endless funeral.
The moment your hair hits air, it’s toast.
It only lives inside the follicle.
The thing that death gave you —
your face leaks
your face overflows
Your face is the grave of your nose
your face is the grave of your ears
When Daniel Harris stepped out of his car
the policeman was waiting. Gun raised.
I use the past tense though this is irrelevant
in Daniel's language, which is sign.
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,
Unless you believe in the eye of the needle
this kind of poverty will never be about material
it won't be about ragged clothing
or mud huts with broken walls
or river blindness
Here's how you make pemmican
big ghosts contra
band my diction war
korea's north sees red as
america flags china's chopped limb
british crowns hong kong
cut for duplicity more capitalist than capitalist
Ocean, don’t be afraid.
The end of the road is so far ahead
it is already behind us.
Don’t worry. Your father is only your father
until one of you forgets. Like how the spine
the spirit of
your flowers is
my favourite shelter
we were in love is
The 31st day of August 1914
I left Deauville a little before midnight
In Rouveyre’s little car
I come from the land of
Where You From?
My people dispossessed of their stories
and who have died again and again
in a minstrelsy of afterlives, wakes,
the dead who walk, waiting and