June 2010


View Issue

Vol. 1, No. 3

Writers:

Meg Baird – The Great Debate

Chris Benjamin – Bill on a Code of Ethics

Kristen Chafe – Oh, Cassandra.

Stephen Patrick Clare – ha-ha-ha

Roger Field – February 11

Dominic Gauthier – Excerpts from a horse

Maureen Larkin – George’s Island

Lunchbox Lunatic – pome

Jane Marshall – Low Tide, Bay of Fundy

Ms. Anonymous – Then and Now

Lianne Perry – Complicate My World

David Pretty – Anticipation

Matt Robinson – Cold Spring Song

Sarah Simpson – Dear Earth

Jeff Torbert – Mountain Valley

Asha May Trenaman – At the Diner

Jordan Walters – Tick, Tick, and Tock

David Williams – The Kissing Disease

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The Great Debate
Poem by Meg Baird

It’s hard to stand back and be abstract
with a blood-red, pumping, merciless heart

It’s hard not to stand back and be abstract
Press my lips to his shoulder blade tips
Rest my leg up on his hip

So we hold pretty close to the line
Sometimes kinda gets on my mind
Feel like I’m in a cellular bind
‘till I get what I want, then I’m fine

Never get what I want, never mind

It’s abstraction, pure theory
The heart rests when it’s weary
Therein, lay the truth to the query

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Bill on a Code of Ethics for the Province
Poem by Chris Benjamin

As the honourable member for East Sinsancto
power-reads the Cautious Liberal amendments
for a bill altering the unethical behaviours
of all elected representatives,
those officials snicker chat and spitball each other.

The Ever Forward Conservative representative of Nova Bay South
next offers his party’s amendments
as the honourable member from Lower Downtown Pugington
whispers sweet something-or-others into the ear of his assistant.

Finally the Chair, who backbenches the Ruling Central Left Leaners,
submits his own written amendments and winks his deferral
to the morning’s 1st coffee.
Relieved laughter ricochets
as the sun threatens the west-facing windows.

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Oh, Cassandra.
Poem by Kristen Chafe

Oh, Cassandra took my hand
and lay her lines with bitter truancy.
Salt smeared my palms
and twig-like longing grazed my face,
like taunting numbness in piano fingers
or doubtful songs a mother croons –
and I was sad.

Oh, Cassandra is a cynic
but I’m enchanted by her smile,
so I consented:
I recanted every lank philosophy,
gave in to romance, real romance,
like the kind we used to smoke
with open minds.

Oh, Cassandra, did you know that
rapture only grows with breathing sin?
I’m leaving now,
like all those heroines you liked to twine
with air and flight and vehemence.
I’ll let you keep our idyll, bound
in ribbons, spit and my contempt
for future draws.

And yes, I hope they calm you
more successfully than I.

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ha-ha-ha
Poem by Stephen Patrick Clare

ha-ha-ha
funny money games
ha ha ha
numbed
we are
oblivious
we are
insidious
we are
nebula
wheat armour savage
ha ha ha
funny money games
riotsville

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February 11
Poem by Roger Field

Awakening

thick grey light
soft sound of foghorns
gentle drizzle
black trees

Dreamt I slept until July
counted the months & wondered
what I’d missed

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Excerpts from a horse
Poem by Dominic Gauthier

…the broken broke it and the child
ran from it the birds will have it sown
back with merciless tenderness the
pigeons have its park the trees its
numbness it speaks in front of horror it
is quick to renounce and slow to resist
since it dies with the hour it is never
never missed it swallows our receipts it
craves deep into June it is shambles it
is shame it is corpses on the moon the
cruel has concealed it the music takes it
back it was famous for its fact its
fervour to confess it cannot taste the
wine we all drank nonetheless the mother
saw it last the father let it go my
sister knows it chaste it sleeps deeper
than snow it is carrion and waste it
feeds the world apart it is the universe
inure it will not break your heart it
makes it sad to stand too still morning
knows it like a trick water drowns it
like a brick it goes to show a friend in
need it goes a distance hard to watch it
knows not where the living stops the
broken broke it with a switch the strong
horseback heaving rich it would not stay
and would not go beautiful breathing
broken thing so long so long ago.

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George’s Island
Poem by Maureen Larkin

The ferry leaves backwards
into the gargling harbour

Slicks of oil cling to the boat’s edge
guzzling rainbows

Other barges flare up like knives
through clogged fog stabbing a red sky

Across the distance eels electrify
in whirlpools, inky cyclopses eating their tails

Latent, the green drumlin prostrates impenetrably accompanying seagulls waiting for rain

Blue security men huddle on
the hill like paranoid wires, hunting tourguides

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pome
Poem by Lunchbox Lunatic

brew
shoe
time
flew

joke
smoke
lots
spoke

lips
hips
she
flips

night
tight
outta
sight

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Low Tide, Bay of Fundy
Poem by Jane Marshall

……….Ocean floor,
………………….expose yourself,
……….pull back
….your blankets
of water,
……………..lie down
……………….naked
……………for me.

I’ll smooth
…….your driftwood
……………collarbones,
gritty with salt,

 …………..trail fingers over
your wave-wrinkled
…….sand,
………..your ribs.

………….I’ll whisper
……………….to your sponges
………………….and seaweeds,
………………………………scattered
……………………and helpless
…………………as secrets.

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Then and Now
Poem by Ms. Anonymous

It’s been a long time since I lived with poetry.
The geography of my life was different then.
There was no ocean; instead a river would
hum softly under my windows
sometimes, at night, it smelled like vodka.

The sky above me was darker
but it had a lot more stars
Sometimes whispers of Bulgarian tobacco
would unroll gently while our lips spoke
of resistance and absolute.

The orange and pink baroque cinema
was still there, diligently showing us
movies of Vajda, Czibulsky
and, rarely, Tarkovsky

My philosophy was quite different, too.
Either, or.
Now, or never.
Anywhere but here.

Now things are so much more simple:
All I need to do to find poetry
is go to Local Jo’s on a Thursday night.
I buy tea. Spring is a lot cooler,
but the tea has flowers in it.
You are resting in peace by the river
and I only see you in my dreams.

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Complicate My World
Poem by Lianne Perry

Complicate my world
Do not restrict compulsion
Break through
Penetrate on all sides
Be near
Where light extracts a rhythmic stress
A yearning
Fascinate
With fevered ache alight
Hold with intensity
Fiercely
On the apex of my being
To the highest place
Anchor me
I am not so fragile
Not so easily broken
Furnish me with all you have
All things bright and brave
The fabric of your field
Against reason,
Complicate my world.

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Anticipation
Poem by David Pretty

An obligatory glimmer of promise provided.
The unconscious optimist now resurrected.

His sermons of hope are ever-alluring.
The masses will follow, never returning.

Empowered, he usurps the throne of despair.
Just as the bullet will dagger the air.

The flock and the spirit will perish within him.
But that’s the way it is without him.

The martyr must fall from the golden barony.
All for the sake
….of a little something
……………..called “tragic irony”.

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Cold Spring Song
Poem by Matt Robinson

a fist, made and then un-made.……..your
jeans pocket, worked, like some barely
recollected friday night, its empty cases and
mis-steps; its dark seaming, formlessness.
……….and that knuckle you fractured years
back? it’s now a bone-forked tine just struck,
now tuning this unseasonably jarring april
day, its chill sleet music, with each exposure
to the gelid air. ……..your re-knit joint first
ringing slip-shrill as a new-shattered icicle
against some nerve’s tin roof; an ice
staccatoed treble splintering. ……..then,
simply: nothing. then, ache. deep
thrumming, a slushed-marrow pang pulsing
the base edge of your hand; the face of a
roughly cobbled stone wall struck, over
and over again. ……..again a fist, made and
then un-made.

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Dear Earth
Poem by Sarah Simpson

Took So Long For
The Short
Destructive Ways
Settle Over
The Processes
Of Formations
One Bacteria
Cell Ago
How We
Nurtured Your
Growth
Then Later Be
Ate Away
By Our
Fat Satisfied
Selves
Clinging On
To the
Paved Sidewalk
We Poured
Around You
Like a Barrier
Don’t Worry
Though
We Took a Photo
To Remember
You By Dear Earth

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Mountain Valley
Lyrics by Jeff Torbert

Mountain valley
You took the long road
growing another meadow

Nothing fancy
About this cool stream
Flowing beneath our dreaming

Mountain valley
You waken both eyes
Showing how deep the rain goes

Voices believing nothing but the wind
Oceans beyond the mountains knew to send

Something tells me
The bridge to nowhere
Opens the river wider

Mountain valley
Remains in silence
Footsteps return to silence
Leaving not a trace

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At the Diner
Poem by Asha May Trenaman

A near vacant lot, coffee good & piping hot
The waitress wore a white smock
Autumn flowers, crisp sharpness to the air
Life for a moment without a care
The smell of coconut still in my hair

Fork, knife and spoon, the food should be arriving soon Dreamscape I find a duffel of unmarked cash
Brought to a hault with “eggs over easy, toast & hash”
Ahh, I’m happy with that
London, Paris or Rome
but at this diner, this minute I felt at home

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Tick, Tick, and Tock went the Clock
Poem by Jordan Walters

Tick, tick, and tock went the clock,
tossed aside like a cheap rosy cheek’d harlot.

Inquiring the streets
with a lewd taste about my mouth,
stumbling upon that carnal lass in scarlet.
Conjecturing about my pocket watch I asked the lass
“what’s the speculation of our stint Scarlet?”
She candidly divulged to my concupiscence.

Tick, tick, and tock went the clock
groped like a cheap rosy cheek’d harlot
We brushed against each other on the nose of one,
we tussled the other with the passing of two,
we thrusted at the crack of three,
She felt a cold dirk at the tip of four,
I felt the warmth of a bodkin at the sharp of five,
we felt the others breath dance down our necks at the brief six,
I’m pretty sure I loved her at the tick of Seven,
and she loved me at the tock of Eight.

Tick, tick, and tock went the clock,
just like being pinned to the ground by that Rosy Cheek’d Harlot.

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The Kissing Disease
Poem by David Williams

Just at that moment of pause
When I had saved you from the crocodiles

When therefore the subject of crocodile was exhausted
When a new topic
Had not yet been begun

In that astounding silence
Though it had never occurred to our minds
The aura of the kiss arose
Like an apprehended seizure

When our lips magnetized
And once met could not be pried apart
We must go on and on
scorn to catch our breath
yet to catch our death of love

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