March 28, 2020

TYLER PENNOCK AT THE POETRY PARTY


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

Under the moonlight
the softness that night gives us –
    the earth rising to meet
    in snow, or the glow of trilliums
where there is enough sound in a breath –

in here
I speak

gently step
    and story-weave
sending out a thread of me           

like a foot’s condensation
drying on a summer floor

hoping the memory of me
    survives
        in the eyes of others

I’ll speak
of blood
and wounds and beauty
in terrible things

the way the wind pulls a thousand leaves
    down an empty street 

and when they settle –   
        we look up
        to trace the direction of the wind 

    *
Tyler Pennock was set to launch Bones at First Nations House, University of Toronto May 8 2020. The launch and a reading scheduled for April 15 in Toronto have been cancelled. Copies can be ordered through Brick Books.

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