Posts

Showing posts from March, 2020

RHONA MCADAM AND SWEET WATER AT THE POETRY PARTY

Image
Rhona McAdam BY THE GLASS Free for the taking
 through all my childhood,
 crashing into glasses bouldered with ice, poured thickly from the sides of plastic jugs, the unremarked and neglected
 sentry at the top of place settings,
 sweating on formica,
 seized to cure fits of coughing
 or moments of spice, replenished
 unasked and endlessly. When the costly bottles came,
 in thalassic greens and fluvial blues, the taps still turned for the frugal, and we got what we paid for,
 tepid, swirling with mist, fragrant with swamp, or sold for 10 p a glass at a parsimonious caff in Cornwall. We drank each chlorinated drop and spared the tip. In New Mexico restaurants,
 cards propped on the tables
 invited us to value even this, the stuff of dishpans and swimming pools, while all afternoon in the Hilton
 the self-flushing toilets
 thundered their copious refrain
 in unoccupied stalls. A friend has returned from Africa.
 We sit on the beach in clothes the colour

ERIN WILSON AT THE POETRY PARTY - AND A GIVEAWAY

Image
Erin Wilson's first poetry collection, At Home with Disquiet , was released with Circling Rivers Press on March 24, 2020. She would have been sharing this poem in Sudbury, Ontario, the day the first case of COVID-19 was announced there. Erin Wilson MARE     “When is it we come to the realization that all things are wandering away?”                                         Charles Wright i. I am driving by, watching. Things like this always happen inside the momentum of other things. Time is like a waterfall, someone says. ii. In the centre of a green pasture four corpulent mares have gathered in a circle to confer. What they are discussing is the listless colt lying like a sable fur upon the dew-lit grass. One mare, probably the mother, is stomping her hoof, tearing up divots of soil. Certainly, she thinks, if I translate this angst through this body—! The four of them stare, one unblinking eye staring into the green eye of earth which doesn't blink either. This is ho

TYLER PENNOCK AT THE POETRY PARTY

Image
Tyler Pennock writes: This poem is the opening to Bones - and is a part that took me quite some time to settle on. The book itself is set in winter, and I really wanted to capture the season in the first poem. I remember the image of snow in "the dead" by James Joyce.  Don't get me wrong -- I've never read it. But I remember being told about it by a former partner, some time in 2002. He described it with such detail and admiration. At the time, I, too was listening to him, such detail and ... admiration.  Given how I write, I thought snow would be the perfect vessel for the opening of this book. What I love about snow is its gentleness, and beauty. It signals the death of so many things, but can still hold light above a forest floor (the same way some flowers do). This, the circle-nature of seasons, relationships, and memory are all brought forward in this poem. A wonderful start, and one I'm very proud of.  Tyler Pennock from BONES

AMY LEBLANC AT THE POETRY PARTY

Image
 Amy LeBlanc writes: The Calgary launch of my debut poetry collection I know something you don’t know (Gordon Hill Press) was meant to be on March 31st, 2020. I’ve also had to postpone an Edmonton event in April and I will probably postpone my Toronto launch in May. Amy LeBlanc The storied life of Grace Poole     She dangled striated      scarves from the window     rattling her head as I      held her waist. He told me to keep her  quiet, to keep her safe, compliant— this significant  paranoia  that she might be     vaulting     purging     dancing     like red fiber from rafters.      She tells me     my hair reminds her      of a fox. My brush is      a signal to enemy lines:      her lips parting     on a stolen glass     of honey soaked wine.  She and I  watch the tree,  as it splits and succumbs in the orchard, a slit  where the tree was licked with a voltage charged tongue. She says that it will never  be the s

LAURIE D. GRAHAM AND SWEET WATER AT THE POETRY PARTY

Image
Laurie D. Graham ANTLER RIVER Pigeon waltzing the trail on one foot and one little nub.  Mallards and their escaped domestic kin and the bright, rasping horns of Canada geese in false spring, in glacier- turquoise water. Hundreds and hundreds of sharps sinking  into the banks. Nests of clothes. Tents. Tarps. Broken trees  helped down the banks with chainsaws. Water rainbow-slicked.  The salt-spackled ground. The farmed transplants, the white- bread crumbs. Up the bank: courthouse, hockey arena,  brutalist government tower, city museum, wind.                  Down here, the fork in the river. The sacred. Laurie D. Graham's poem is from Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds , edited by Yvonne Blomer. Republished with permission from Caitlin Press. The anthology was meant to be launched March 18, 2020, at Munro's Books in Victoria, BC. The launch was cancelled. Copies may be ordered direct from the press.

FOUR POEMS FOR FOUR CHILDREN, PLUS ONE: EMILY GROSHOLZ

Image
Fragment of a Susie Osler ceramic plate Snowdrop Snow fell so early this year, just after Allhallows, We never finished the ritual of raking clean Livid grass and cushions of stricken moss. The yard's still matted with leaves, oak, maple, walnut, Visible once again as the snow recedes, Tatted lace unravelling, going wherever the snows Of yesteryear retire to, heaven or hellward. Under the mat of crisscrossed mahogany And black gold crusted with ice, one snowdrop rises. She stands already in the outmost bed, bordering Woods, though it is only February, turned, Dear Mary-Frances, less than a week ago. I laid The coverlet of leaves aside and there she was, Furled on herself and bowed, but blooming hard, Sober, exquisite child of an uncertain season.

JAMI MACARTY AT THE DESERT POETRY PARTY

Image
Jami Macarty Desert Distances     From vine, devil’s  claw                 from coyote jackrabbit             Gila monster  from its inching         from jojoba slough wind             from owl bone pellet             cactus wren from the darkling hollow  of its saguaro nest         cactus arms  raised in surrender         there  she steps through a door     creosote                  volatilized by rain Jami Macarty was going to launch The Minuses on March 22 (Tucson) & April 19 (Vancouver). Order her book here

BRIAN BARTLETT AT THE POETRY PARTY

Image
Brian Bartlett From Safety Last  (inspired by the silent-screen films of Harold Lloyd)   Two men fight on a heap of rope until,    tangled, they fight the rope                   He keeps all he has             from their one meeting—                  her dog’s biscuit-box    From sleeping-car curtains horrors of the dark—   strangers’ jutting white feet                After the mouse-trap             bites his searching fingers,               he eats the cheese    Silent movie— the shy stutterer    is spared sound                  After she’s named             the stranger Trouble, she says,               “Trouble, don’t change” Brian was going to read from his new Gaspereau Press chapbook at The Words & Music Show: It Will Be Summer in Montreal Sunday, March 22. Copies of Safety Last can be ordered here