Showing posts from May, 2017

SQ's Ariel

Among my most anticipated this year is Sina Queyras's My Ariel, from Coach House Books (September 2017). Sina Queyras' My Ariel, from Coach House Books If you've been watching these poems hatch over the last few years, you're probably like me: eager for the book, to hold, browse, watch, read and hear. Meanwhile, fortunately, this poem, Tulips . And this and this from the Awl And this and this from Poetry

Sina Queyras: Tulips

SINA QUEYRAS Tulips The tulips are not lovely, they make me cry, they are Excitable, willing, complicit: they will never fly. They begin so prim, they turn and stare, then settle In and suck my good air. I think they slipped in Between the nurses sailing by my bouquet-bright harem Festooned room and now wild tulips from Syria And Persia swoon. They are servants of mood, descendants of the fifty Thousand sent as a gift to Turkey where a Sultan tamed The small explosions so central to the pleasure gardens. The tulips swan my fears, they mock my tears, giggle And preen across the sheers where the variegated Parrot reigns over lesser varieties whose sculpt and sheen Are nonetheless honeyed bright apples I cannot bite. I hear the Sultan crammed his pipe—a stem of some long Tulip—full of fat red bores—the kind that drove you Out of London, though not the ambition out of you—not even Death could achieve that. Listen, these sheets cocoon me Hour after hour, the su


Image by Mirja Paljakka/Red Edge Images, used by permission S. E. Venart CHANCE HARBOUR Some things cannot be faced head on. Inside the bay, men in boots come with shovels, open our washed ocean floor. The thoughts I can never lose or use spout from the sanded throats of clams beneath what the tide exposes. Two years after your death, you’re back visiting my sister’s yard, admiring the lilacs. Some things cannot be faced head on. When the men climb in a dinghy, they accept a black mask and plunge for whores’ eggs: prickled delicacies to be eaten, peeled, by eastern men. These thoughts I will never lose lie beneath our bay’s smooth skin, it’s coming in, low tide holds its copper strength for only sixty seconds. I have no time to fix you in place before you’re gone. Some things cannot be faced head on. This visit, you stood by tiny lilac flowered flutes, unruffled bay behind you. All pettiness aside, I can’t be the daughter pulling something


It might have been the Athens Restaurant in Halifax where I first met Darren Bifford, deep in conversation with a friend I'd gone over to greet. Or it might have been in Montreal, at The Word Bookstore (for everyone eventually turns up at The Word). Or maybe some other realm entirely. SUSAN GILLIS: What first brought you to poetry? DARREN BIFFORD: It’s surprising to me that I became interested in poetry at all. I grew up in a small town in Western Canada where there wasn’t much by way of culture. I have a memory of my ninth grade English teacher laboriously attempting to explain the difference between a metaphor and a simile. Still, some cultural scraps ended up within reach. My grandmother ordered this four cassette series of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Haydn which I do not recall anyone ever listening to. I was interested in this music in part because it seemed so out of place.           The same, I think, happened with poetry. We had a teacher of English Lit