SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
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?
commencing to the place of beginning;
in 1959 the South Saskatchewan river was dammed;
forever altering the boundary of Treaty no. 6;
such that it technically no longer exists;
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
some towers are made of cladding
some made of ivory
some burn in the night
some built by slaves
wind rushes through coarse hair
body aches between vertebrae
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
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’s the season of wine, meadows, and Rose
The court of spring is cleared of choughs and crows
Generous clouds now water Rey more freely than Khotan
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?
The little girl is innocent
they’ve put henna on her hands
they’ve plaited her hair beautifully
they’ve put kohl round her eyes
they’ve dyed her eyebrows
We’re driving and the radio says mass marine extinctions within a
generation. No silence, no sirens — an unflustered inflection, then
stock markets, cryptic as Latin mass. I force myself: the interval
The hallway is an empty
riverbed, smooth and barren.
At three o’clock classroom
doors open like dams.
Gullies of teens stream
out, to become one
flowing body. A torrent
In some, the luggage lies open
like a mouth mid-sentence.
In others, closed zippers grimace:
What would you have brought?
Slippers, a stuffed platypus, a gold watch
When the doctors burrowed into my body, they unearthed a slew of tumours. Growths speckled across lungs and kidneys. (Later, they would find the duo nestled into my cortex.) A Starry Night, the ultrasound technician titled my organs…
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?
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
we learned to stand on one leg
clasping bundles of hope between our teeth
not because we wanted
to resemble flocks of black flamingos
Love, you ask too many questions.
Let’s agree: we are whole
—John Thompson, “Ghazal II”
I take apart the watch
this job hates me
this job wouldn’t make me feel so shitty if it didn’t
i’m nothing but nice to this job
but when this job is done with me it always sneaks out while
i’m still sleeping
had a dozen foster parents
tell me to run from my mother’s truth
the track marks up her arm,
Scrape the inside of sleep the belly wall
tasting like yoghurt cooked broccoli
its emptiness leaving something
on the tongue. Escaping the body
that wants to quit from the inside.
It was in a boardroom
that I witnessed the latest killing
A room filled with knowledgeable
trying to understand
what we offer
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
the other gold.
Now that's the stuff,
shredded or melted
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,
I've dreamt of you so often that you become unreal.
Is there still time to reach this living body and to kiss on its mouth the birth of
the voice so dear to me?
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 bodies are on the beach
And the bodies keep breaking
And the fight is over
But the bodies aren't dead
And the mayor keeps saying I will bring back the bodies
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,
He wakes up naked and drunk as a bear
on sun-fermented garbage.
Hungover and queasy and riled up by
Nothing going well today, he moans,
life being short and the craft, ah, long.
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
A black and white picture
The sun is shining through a window behind you
Your hair black short Your small brown hands folded neatly on a tiny wooden desk
The 31st day of August 1914
I left Deauville a little before midnight
In Rouveyre’s little car
He sat cross-legged, weeping on the steps
when Mom unlocked and opened the front door.
O God, he said. O God.
He wants to kill me, Mom.
i ask mama
about residential school
she says no
i ask her again
the third time
i stop listen
to her silence
ask about her diabetes
I recited to him,
Now as I was young and easy,
and in the cough-afflicted wheeze that was left of my father’s voice,
Should lanterns shine, the holy face,
Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
Would wither up, an any boy of love
before i start i want to say you shouldn’t blame yourself
there’s no point in beating around the bush
there’s something we need to talk about
this is the most difficult thing i’ve ever had to tell anyone
Whereas my eyes land on the shoreline of “the arrival of Europeans in North America
opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples.” Because in others, I hate the act
love is a moontime teaching
is your kookum’s crooked smile when you pick up the phone
is another word for body
body is another word for campfire smoke
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,
i twist and gasp
open and close my mouth
searching for air
whenever a sturgeon is caught in the rainy river
the feel of strange hands touching my body
I threw away your letters.
Years ago, just like that.
The tight black swirls,
circles and strokes
filling fine sheets —
I would not see them again.
The last items I had left.
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
Hello from inside
with a windproof lighter
(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
There’s a joke that ends with — huh?
It’s the bomb saying here is your father.
Now here is your father inside
your lungs. Look how lighter
the earth is — afterward.