Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday poem #177 : Farid Matuk : My Daughter Unbound In the Foot Fault

say you're the steady light impulse to start
a spinning in our soft heads so we wake
each the queen the happy ghost at the halls
of the riverboat or maybe I am
the martyr takes her state inside herself
insourcing a claim to life you can take
riding upon the face of the waters
will you in your time account for any
war just enough in as much as a feast
photographed hangs framed in time in a house
pellets of salt to soften its water
palms in their stands siphon its water runs
along air’s fibers in prisms a lamp
A-10s circle offering ground support
let’s don’t lose mothers running in superfluity
whose clean teeth ring crystal teal and white who
go afeared of time in writerly ways
the sky behaves itself over bamboo
grows wild or bedded with river stones hauled
come to rest their smoothing ends but not the
infinitive work a daughter to run
away with water as one of her rhymes

Farid Matuk is the author of This Isa Nice Neighborhood (Letter Machine Editions) and My Daughter La Chola (Ahsahta Press).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday poem #176 : Montana Ray : Oulipoing the fuck out of your e-mail to the class listserv

It seems as if the, for lack of a better word, good kids, those who don't
need to be beaten with a large long-handled spoon or The Norton
Anthology of English Literature, are penalized, while those who should 
be attendants in a hotel performing services such as carrying guests' luggage go sans consequences their merry way along what is euphemistically called the learning process.

It seems as if the, for lack of a better word, good gals and boys, who are also very down to earth, who patter through their days as water flows or falls with a gentle repetitive noise, are penalized, while those who act like
aggressive nations engaged in war go along their merry way armed with
pencils and staplers, etc., not designed but used for inflicting bodily harm.

It seems as if the, for lack of a better word, good girls, of the stock who spunkily wore pants to mount the first bicycles in realms where their fathers held the deeds to their mothers' plots of land and pieces of sea, are penalized, while those who are misbehaving go along their merry way like weasels who may look cute and cuddly, but trust me: you don't want to get too close to those little beasts let alone offer them comfort in times of grief or disappointment.

Montana Ray is a feminist poet, translator, and scholar. The author of five chapbooks and artist books, (GUNS & BUTTER) her first full length collection of poetry is available from Argos Books. Ray is a PhD student in comparative literature at Columbia University & the mom of Pokémon enthusiast, Amadeus. www.montanaray.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Tuesday poem #175 : Sonnet L'Abbé : LX

Local Ikeas outfit houses with alsvik faucets, smaka cheese cutters, botne wardrobes, spathiphyllum potted plants, klubbo coffee tables, lindsdal handles and knobs, norreskog odorous candles, format cabinet lights, nutid exhaust hoods, and kajsa sten duvet covers. Their blue and yellow architectures are harbingers of indistinguishable places with stylish coordinates, with irreproachably organized closets. Before Ikea’s consequential interior imperialism, loveseats were forever. Now temporary is how decorators do contemporary condo. Somnat cribs, svit cutlery, koncis steel roasting pans, fantast meat thermometers, aina cushions, fläckig white colanders and bowls, tomat spray bottles, titta djur finger puppets, groggy corkscrews and heat trivets go with betydlig and hugad curtain rods, alve drawer units, fredde computer workstations, kritter children’s chairs, liatorp bookcases and glass cabinets, and thorine polyester hedgehog pillows. We’re years post-Fight Club and still they send me the catalog, that seductive document, that porn of Swedish furnishings; my gift card props the INGKA Foundation up; their glossy merch doth me transfix. The careful layout of retail showrooms is contrived to convey you through a long, winding, deliberate groove, counterclockwise, past shelves and partitions, along slow aisles of cheap Scandinavian beauty, past bins and rows of textiles and fashion kitchenware. The sardonic market for medium density fibreboard must be one of nature’s truths; what would stand in clothing stands’ thereabouts if not for this basic home accessory itch? When customizing your window treatment, don’t you dwell on cost like any customer? I’ve spent more time on this than I meant to. I should put this item away. I never had a taste for Swedish meatballs until I needed a nightstand; but o! primary injustice! when – godlike—they wouldn’t rethink, despite my girlish dissent, the cruel height limit of småland.

Dr. Sonnet L'Abbé, is a poet, essayist and public speaker. The author of two collections of poetry, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, L'Abbé was the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan and at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. Dr. L'Abbé currently teaches creative writing and English at Vancouver Island University. The poem included in Dusie is an erasure-by-crowding from her current project, Sonnet's Shakespeare, in which L'Abbé overwrites or "colonizes" all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Tuesday poem #174 : Kristina Drake : Line of Trembling

Aspens, a trembling curtain shimmering beyond the kitchen
window, between my dishes and the precise house
next door – I am whaching                                (oh Emily, oh Anne –

This sleight of truth is not a trick
of light; patches glinting
in the mirror, not reflection –
the insides peek out.
At my temple.
Around my eyes. Also my armpits and groin.
I am fading, vaguely,
at the edges of my mouth -- words blanche, pale,
unformed and unvoiced.
The truth places, paces there
as if it must – must -- show me
the trembling inside.
I am shimmering imperceptibly
Into an aspen creature at the edge of –
Truth? – This border
changed, barely, visible. It has a name – I am not
unnamed, only shedding pigment,
baring discoveries and nerves. Am I (over) exposed?
A photograph, captured. These parts
where courage failed or grew or became
less – if only in certain (uncertain) light. Paling,
I tilt my head to see.

Kristina Drake writes and edits in the wilderness around Hawkesbury, Ontario. Lately, she has been distracted. Her poems have previously appeared in Carte Blanche, Soliloquies and Yalla!, and as an above/ground press broadside.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday poem #173 : Rita Wong : parables of the polluted

ancestor light
brings futures closer from
            hedging            bets
  to cultivating             commons
from salish coast to treaty 8 territories
   yoked together by british colonial hydro lines
& indigenous responsibilities before during & after
the fracked forest’s sobs, site
c for crappy, criminal, crisis
 presage our own stupid demise
clearcutting the province’s future
 with your tax booty
galaxies within                    life the force
manifest trash & terrain, tenderness & terror
refuse to look away from the violence
as the massive pines & eagles’ nest shrivel
through the liberal looking glass
                                       a capitalist “externality”
colonial prism turned ideological prison
manufactures its own obsolescence, mass extinction
its relentless logic disavowing its own delusional state
opens a path to mass exodus
helps us to see
our lives as walking (prayer)
                               camping (prayer)
                                                last ditch prayer
for with the flick of a light switch
                we see
the Peace River’s fate
is ours

Rita Wong has written one graphic collaboration with Cindy Mochizuki entitled perpetual (Nightwood Editions, 2015) and four books of poetry: monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998), forage (Nightwood Editions, 2007), sybil unrest (Line Books, 2008, with Larissa Lai) and undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015). She lives and works on the unceded Coast Salish territories also known as Vancouver.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday poem #172 : Jennifer Baker : Usborne

                        slack-jawed blue grey
                                    sky &
jostle     pekoe-tinged             harvest moon               indigo quiet    

in the agape     night-blooming
children furrow
between high cornstalks

disappear deer-like       

                                                & just like that
                                                              relief sets off 
learning I could
die of exposure                   never taught me to shut up

a pair of tiny shoes      remains


when you stop working                       bad things can happen

dig out              ossified pitch              make marrow sing


wheat fallow corn fallow soy

I have never seen a fallow field
only hybrid sureties
standing thickly/seeds

scattered neon
Roundup ready
in the gravel yard

neo-nicotin-oid armies

not ours


learn first          changeable       weather         

harmless          silent

ropey               erratic              breathless            grey-green  stillness                        

then squealing chaos               will level a house        

nest a carton of eggs
among   high branches

cling to/impose
almanac surety:   no use


letters sealed               in ziplock bags            buried              graveside        

no right to appeal to the dead             still      they've sprouted


planting season           

meeting my grandpa
for the first time
family lore has it         he paused mid-field    peered at me                yep      
returned to work

blessed                        mythical         

one shoulder bent                    to the earth     


love     makes memory            holy


would not leave/give up          would not grow too old

I furrowed myself deep          below the hospital floor          the gurney
one small scratch the body                  goes limp                     evacuated

deep gashes through the empty field lingered for months
they left his boots on

said yesterday             if I felt any better it would be a sin

a pair of steel-toes
a set of handkerchiefs

Jennifer Baker comes from Alice Munro country. Her first chapbook, Abject Lessons, was published by above/ground press in 2014, and her poetry, interviews, and reviews have appeared in ottawater and The Journal of Canadian Poetry. She is currently completing her doctorate and teaching English part-time at the University of Ottawa.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan