Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hugh Thomas


On the wall, a mirror
in which the policeman directs traffic
towards the cannibal.
It is midnight backwards;
everyone is going away
to plug in their attachments.
They are trapped in the maze
in which we are also trapped,
but I am going to go to sleep,
and you are going to look at the moon.

Hugh Thomas is a poet and translator living in Montreal, where he teaches mathematics at UQAM. His most recent chapbook, Six Swedish Poets, was published by above/ground press in August.

Friday, September 11, 2015

David Alexander


for Chris Alexander

There is no safe passage if we fail our children
for the price of a coffee as plazas explode

and crops fail far away and they barrel
what rain falls and pray there’s enough

for a sapling to grow but an apple won’t fall
yet you never go hungry or rise up in mutiny

but you wish on a star in a sky filled
with wishes and the sky falling dark

slaps ships filled with wishes but not enough water
and the ships spill our children and we lose them

and terrorists win or we bomb them and still
there are thousands more targets more children

so you rehash the virtue of quotas and targets
but there is no safe passage

David Alexander is the author of the chapbook Chicken Scratch from Puddles of Sky Press. He lives in Toronto.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tara Azzopardi


We run around the block
throw balls against garage doors
in alleys
where cats spray
and raccoons eat their buffets
our running shoes will be ruined
by the end of summer

the air smells like hamburgers
gasoline and sun-baked concrete
when the knife-sharpening guy
turns the corner
ringing a bell
we grab our guns and run for cover

waiting for the mail to come
laughing at teenagers and their greasy jobs
their greasy-angry faces
wishing I was Spiderman for the 800th time

the detective agency is open for business
we make cards and promise
to find lost dogs
wallets and glasses

on Sundays
everyone is angry until we go to the lake
and for a while Dad teases
and Mom laughs at his jokes
for a while my brother spends time
reading comics with me
our dog is exhausted from swimming
I’m not so fat from swimming
we enjoy being away from our lives

I think about sex constantly
it’s abstract and alluring:
I want to make it with a vampire

can we get ice cream
and spy on the Nazi
who lives on the corner?

Tara Azzopardi writes, and sometimes makes visual art and music, in Peterborough, Ontario. She has worked on an organic farm, in construction, and at a Pioneer Village. Her first book, Last Stop, Lonesome Town, comes out from Mansfield Press this fall.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Greg Santos


Deaths in the evening, births in the morning.
Homely are the tuxedos for family mourning.

I’ll always remember when you touched my heart:
it was gelatinous and smelled vaguely of Rene Descartes.

I’m glad I disassembled you and put you back together.
I bought the turkey dinner made from imitation leather.

Let us raise our flamethrowers in celebration!
I have joined the national aeronautics and space administration.

Where’s a rotten egg when you need one?
I know of a metaphysical preacher named John Donne.

It is not a cactus, a cheese curd, or a shroud.
Look through the telescope: it’s the Large Magellanic Cloud!

I hope to be a finalist for a prestigious contest.
I’m crossing my fingers not to suffer from cardiopulmonary arrest.

Greg Santos is the author of Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014) and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Walrus, Geist, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Feathertale Review. He is the poetry editor of carte blanche and teaches creative writing to at-risk youth. He lives in Montreal.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mallory Feuer


the problem is: it’s not
exclusive. the problem is no one
is perfectly symmetrical and you
are too sensitive. how can we stay
safe from the rodents eating and
feeding on the bleeding brains of
terrorists, eating all the communists
until they operate out of the seams of
what seems like the fever dreamlike
state of affairs we live in. we don’t
live in america anymore. we don’t live
together or apart or forever.

Mallory Feuer fronts the NYC-based, psychedelic rock band the Grasping Straws. It all started with an introductory poetry class taken to fill a writing requirement. That same semester, Mallory bought a guitar and started writing music. At NYU, she studied with poets Matthew Rohrer, Catherine Barnett, Jeffrey Nutter, and Ben Purkert, all of whom had a unique and lasting influence on her lyrical style. The Grasping Straws' first album is available at

Friday, August 7, 2015

Michael Dennis


I just got a dragonfly stoned
not the behaviour one expects
from a man nearing sixty, but fuck it

all four wings of the transparent giant fluttered
when the first waft of blue smoke
rolled over his compound eyes
he didn’t seem to mind
so I shared the rest of my joint
with my newfound helicopterfriend

we were both on the deck of a cottage
on a quiet lake on a quiet day
we both watched the water below us
flat as liquid gets, the wind dead

I doubt we were looking
for the same things

eventually he turned to face me
or at least toward the smoke
I named him Duke
as he flew away sideways

Michael Dennis is a poet from Ottawa, Ontario, who has published widely. Most recent publication: Talking Giraffes (Phafours, Ottawa, 2015). He also produces a blog called Today's Book of Poetry where he talks about books he likes. Visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Debby Florence


I am one hundred years old. When the birds do their evening song and
I am walking near the industrial trains with their graffiti cooking in
the sun, I can hear your machine gun. Your face looks so young but I
know you are old like me. You have solidified your mask so it doesn’t
age. I am walking on the hot earth that is measurably able to scorch
thank god for shoes. I am walking slower than I want to. I am walking
slower than I can walk. The sun is making two suns in my burning eyes.
I drag my hand across the strange solidity of chain-link fence.

I believe is getting closer. Deepest things. I believe inching into.
Blinking screens of our faces. I believe static monstrosities that are
burning down, are burning themselves down. I believe the fire causes

I have things inside a basket and she keeps struggling to spill it out.
So I hide the basket. One day, the basket is too heavy. I put it on a
table and she burns it. As it burns she sees her own face in the flames.
Her mother’s face and her mother’s mother’s face. The basket turns to
ashes. She sweeps them into a vase and puts flowers in the vase and the
flowers die. She curses my name.

A mouth is floating downstream. Several hours later there is only foam.

Pronouns aren’t savages. Pronouns never were. Pronoun let pronoun go now.
Pronoun put this back. Stop making formations, no matter how beautiful. Stop
winning. Pronoun has gone under. Pronoun must go back. If only as a little
herb garden along the fence. If only when sinking desperately into the earth.
If only blood, asking for help, sends its message through the soil. I am
talking to you. My confidence angers you. I am talking to you of peace. My
peace threatens you.

Debby Florence is a performer, poet, social worker, and community organizer who lives in Missoula, Montana, U.S.A. She has been published mostly in Canada, which she usually prefers except for this whole Harper regime thing. A creator of artist books, she has been the instigator of a small press called Slumgullion, which pedalled zines and books on a bicycle-powered bookmobile. She teaches zine-making, self publishing, and general rabble-rousing workshops to youths and adults alike.