SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
scurried around a classroom papered with poems.
Even the ceiling, pink and orange quilts of phrase...
they introduced one another, perched on a tiny stage
to read their work, blessed their teacher who
on the day the chief of kâ-awâsis announces they have confirmed 751
bodies in unmarked graves outside the residential “school” in their
community, i google things like:
when will the sun run out of fuel?
Not the music.
It is this other thing
I keep from all of them
that matters, inviolable.
I scratch in my journals,
a mouse rummaging through cupboards,
Well, it’s too long for one thing
and very repetitive.
Remove half the fields.
Then there are far too many fences
interrupting the narrative flow.
Get some cattlemen to cut down those fences.
Each day, I am apprenticed to the boy
I want to be.
He rifles the ball
and I catch it
or I fumble.
His red head ducks and weaves,
You sit in the forgotten bone-dry hills
surrounded by sand and sagebrush
above Buffalo Pound Lake.
A day and a night, and then
three more days and nights.
I only know rivers
Waters elongated to the unrumpled recitatif
of endless land
The Bow knows
Has tongued and grooved the firmament, baby,
of this Last Best
I triage the landscape. The prairies
are numb today and so am I.
I am too thin. Built
like I won't explode on hot
afternoons, a mirror
to the sky. My body is a hurt
where tall grasses grow, where
Here's how you make pemmican
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.
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
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
for M. Maylor
Dear Anne Carson:
My friend read me the poem where your mom
said that the dead walk backwards.
You thought this myth arose from poor translation.
this is the transsensorium
there are indo-robo-women fighting cowboys on the frontier
& winning finally
the premodern is a foundation for the postmodern
wintermute, tessier-ashpool, armitage
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,
the law mandates that a hate crime only be classified as such if there
is ample evidence to show that one’s actions were motivated by
prejudice toward an individual’s nationality, ethnicity, sexuality,
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
If you can’t speak / write in a fissured / alter-language
Of nerve-matter / dura mater / orbit of the central axis
By a crevice / scattered / venous lacunae / lamina code
— say the names say the names
and listen to yourself
an echo in the mountains
say them like your soul
was listening and overhearing
and you dreamed you dreamed
with the tip of my spring tongue, ayîki frog
your mouth will be the web
catching apihkêsis words, spider
The calendar marred with birds and you are kik-kik-kik-kicking all the way into June.
180 days scratched with black X’s and crow’s feet: bird-of-two minds (goodandevil
Someone waiting in the lobby of a Hotel Imperial amid
the spaciousness tourists and peeling gold leaf
might see it all as too hesitant for truth
1. 18 and Life
her friend takes her to
Dear Regret, my leaning this morning, my leather foot, want of
60s pulled us from starvation into government jobs
antiquated Indians in Saskatchewan danced for rain
Manitoba Indian doings were hidden for a jealous
oh papa, to have you drift up, some part of you drift up through
fresh water into the teal plate of sky soaking foothills, papa,
the re-invention of oneself
through the tongues of whispering mountains
the re-arrangement of the universe
sometimes I find myself
at the oddest moment
Breathe dust like you breathe wind so strong in your face
little grains of dirt which pock around the cheeks peddling
against a dust-storm…
The snake can separate itself
from its shadow, move on ribbons of light,
taste the air, the morning and the evening,
Backward & down into inbetween as Vicki says. Or as Robin teaches
the gap, from which all things emerge. A left
handed compliment. Bats…
More than a storey high and twice that long,
it looks igneous, the Buhler Versatile 2360,
possessed of the ecology of some hellacious
They said, ‘You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.’
The man replied, ‘Things as they are…
In the onion, there’s
something of fire. That fire known as
Fog. The onion is the way
About me the night moonless wimples the mountains
wraps ocean land air and mounting
sucks at the…