Thursday, December 27, 2012

Diana Hartog


A Ruby — as yet uncut — pulses as a heart
in the broken window of his chest.

Jaded beads unstrung at random
led one-by-one to this house, the door unlocked.

(The next clue, incited by a grain of doubt, is repeated, Oh… Oh,
as a Pearl labours to hide the handsome intruder.)

Ah, the tang of family Silver in the air, metallic: first snow
soon to fall. — Tarnished, all the forks, with their tines. Who forgot?

Someone lives here. Any moment up the cellar stairs, mines for Opals will ascend
dirty and tired, to turn out their pockets, lunchboxes “empty” — Don’t be deceived!

Come back.

With this ring, I thee wept...

And wept. Beyond the window with its broken breeze, a clutch of white-washed stones
tortures the hen with one Glass eye as she paces frantic: Which are my eggs? — mine!

Come lie down.

But where? Where is the rooster with his Diamond-tipped spurs?


Diana Hartog is the author four books of poetry, most recently Ink Monkey ; a novel, The Photographer’s Sweethearts; and a memoir, No Hippies Allowed. She divides her time between California and New Denver, B.C.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Paul Vermeersch


The new sports set up again in Gaul,
After victory in the Insubrian campaign:
Mountains of Hesperia, the great ones tied and trussed up:
Romania and Spain to tremble with fear.

— Nostradamus

That the layoff notice would come
on a Friday. That the palpitations
would be caused by coffee. The inventor
of a childhood protected by monsters
would die of an acute case of ghosts.
There was no warning at all, no signs
in the flight of birds, no dreams
to caution us: the eggs would all be broken,
the Internet slow. ESPN has announced
the new sports set up again in Gaul,

and from the world of Gauloise sport, one
would arise to become Captain
of the Humiliated. But the prophecy
offered no caveat, no hint. The chocolaty
sandwich-spread favoured by European
children would consign the orangutan
to scorch in the sunlight like a vampire.
That automakers on the verge of ruin
would wage a PR war against sculpture.
After victory in the Insubrian campaign,

billboards for Subaru dominated
the Milanese skyline. Boccioni’s Unique
Forms of Continuity in Space went missing.
But the prophecy was useless in foretelling
how populations with compromised immune
systems would be regulated with weaponized
peanut butter. How the survivors would be fed
on the dry breast meat of colossal, genetically
modified turkeys from factory farms in the
Mountains of Hesperia; the great ones tied and trussed up,

wings the size of parasols, drumsticks
like punching bags, cooking in volcanic ovens.
No voice in the wilderness could have prepared us
for the statue of a boy that pisses blood
when the people are afraid. No prophecy could
give us the insectoid courage of a single champion
whose own bones will quake in the museums
of Louisville forever. Even now, the mere mention
of his name would cause his old opponents from
Romania and Spain to tremble with fear.

Paul Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010), a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. He lives in Toronto.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

James Hawes


I was a frog
kept in a garbage can

my best friend
put me there
and used a hose
to fill it with water

the other frogs and I
we baked in the heat
it was dark
and lonely

our croaks went quiet
when the lid came off —
we knew
the crazy giant boy
was coming
to play with us

James Hawes is a Montreal poet, fisherman, and operations officer for a major Canadian railway. His work has previously appeared in the journal Quills and the anthology Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansfield Press).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lillian Necakov


because I wanted

a veranda
a pair of lobster claws
a man’s life
the vowels from your scrabble game
an ice pick
the sulphur from my father’s lungs
the lower east side
a fedora
pearl harbour
George Raft’s voice
the beloved farms
an eclipse
a lonely cake
a chestnut flute
a streetcar full of ambition
a frozen shed
a library
a nest
a suspicion
a revolutionary pie
a septic tank
another man’s life
a forest fire
a crown
an apology
a rumour
an appendix
a toe.

Lillian Necakov is the author of Hooligans (Mansfield Press, 2011), The Bone Broker (Mansfield Press, 2007), Hat Trick (Exile, 1998), Polaroids (Coach House, 1997), and more. Her work has appeared in anthologies in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and China. She was born in Belgrade and lives in Toronto.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Susan Kernohan


And the party debris. Women danced on tip-toe
dressed as disco balls dressed as helium balloons.
Your friends are leaving the continent.
Soft footfalls in the kitchen, up the walls of your heart;
winter sun shallow in a dishwater sky.
On Thursday, a sudden wedding.
What can it mean?
Tomorrow is perpetual, is always eventually a chasm.
Be fresh and huffy, get a haircut, live another year
dutifully trying not to be who you are.
The last person to ever listen to radio news
said to the last person ever to subscribe to a print newspaper,
We cannot concern ourselves with these eventual chasms.
Best to ask for what is small and repeatable, for problems
less than 180 pages long. Goodbye again, including yesterday.

Susan Kernohan works in a library in North York where she runs a writers' group for teens. Her writing has appeared in CV2, grain, The New Quarterly, Taddle Creek, This Magazine, Hardscrabble, and sub-Terrain. Susan lives in Toronto.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marko Sijan


The infant screams, gets suckled, laughs later
when he sneezes creamed spinach on her face,
before he cries and rubs his bum as a woman
waddles by in the grocer’s aisle: “Mama, she fat!”

The boy wonders what’s eating his mommy but
then he throws up her liver and onions. She spanks him
with a wooden spoon, sprinkles sugar into a bowl
of chopped apples, mangoes, kiwis, peaches and
sends him downstairs where he nibbles first her fruit

followed in youth by new breasts. In the basement he chews
on why his mom hates his girlfriends and doesn’t talk
about her past; why she serves up her cancer and implants
years after the fact. All the meat she pounds and fries

fattens the man who finds out her father fondled her,
until he couldn’t get it up anymore and shot himself.
She thinks her son doesn’t know, while a secret of his own
in which he wishes her dead omits her breasts,
the succulent ones he misses and can’t remember.

Marko Sijan’s poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in journals such as Canadian Notes & Queries, Maisonneuve and This Magazine. He blogs at The Huffington Post and co-edits Encore Literary Magazine. His novel Mongrel, “a stuart ross book” out from Mansfield Press, was named one of the “Best First Books” of 2011 by The Globe and Mail, and long-listed for a ReLit Award in 2012. Marko lives in Montreal.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Caroline Szpak


This is how a lawn runs
from you — it enters
every room at once.
I want to call it
a marionette but it’s cut
short and crowded, lubricated
like anything that involves air
and something heavy.
Tell yourself I never wanted you
with firm light that strikes
your teeth like a tipped glass.
Lost Muppet, I pull
every string, explain it away
— a swimming pool that packs
itself with bodies and asks
if it’s raining — it is, the downpour
can’t come to any other
conclusion. Oh, is that
what it is, does it come
with a name
it can keep
on a conveyor belt,
suffer it neither
here nor there.

Caroline Szpak was born in Istanbul; she’s lived in Poland, Toronto, Victoria, and now calls Toronto home again. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in This Magazine, subTerrain, CV2, The Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and the chapbooks Expense Account and Garland Get Your Gun (both from Horse of Operation).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mark Laba


A sinister warning came,
carried on the wings of
a hesitant budgie.
“Capitalist pig,” it chirped.
“You said it, toots,”
I replied, beating my face like
exfoliated meat on
the typewriter keys.
What was it to be?
A speechless couple ready to punch my ticket?
A photo of Orson Welles in his underpants plucking a chicken?
A cravat with cigar burns, lying on the side of a desert highway?
All I know is that if you weighed my despair
it would be about half a pound of flank steak,
not taking into account its
parasitic twin, Frederick, heir to a hairless mole rat fortune,
all his when he turns eighteen.
Damn him. I wear the galoshes in this body.
There’s murder in the air, as imminent as
the murder of crows darkening my breakfast nook
where I eat Cap’n Crunch and stare down the budgie.
“You should’a been a crow,” I say, between satisfying and crunchy mouthfuls.
“You should’ve been Hans Christian Anderson dying of mushroom poisoning. But instead it’s just you and your carpet sample book that you pleasure yourself with on the shores of Lake Erie and that, buster, is more than anyone needs to see.”
I looked out the window.
The sky was like a giant pinball machine.
I thought, Nobody has any business being here,
especially me,
but then again, if I were a one-armed xylophone player from Baltimore,
well, that would be a whole different story.

Mark Laba is the author of many books and chapbooks of poetry, including Dummy Spit (The Mercury Press, 2002) and Movies in the Insect Temple (Proper Tales Press, 1981). His chapbook The Mack Bolan Poems (Gesture Press, 1986) won the bpNichol Chapbook Award. He is the co-author, with Stuart Ross, of the pork-noir novel The Pig Sleeps (Contra Mundo Books, 1991), and his poems were included in the anthology Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence (The Mercury Press, 2004). You can also read his highly thought-provoking work on Mark lives in Vancouver.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Steve Venright


I once saw the reflection
of a hole. So young was I then,
so resolute in my
doleful glimmering.
The grace of this lifetime
is that I have grown more
frivolous with age, have
seen all my closets repainted
a dozen times or more
by elderly boys and girls
who come unbidden
at any hour of the day,
singly or in pairs (at least once
as a trio), without my consent,
in colours I neither chose
nor knew existed.

I once saw
the reflection of a hole —
though it may have been
the shadow of a coffee spoon,
teased to breaking by
a prankster kettle
whose mirrorous convexity
caught my child-gaze
and met it unfazed,
stretching a world I
barely knew all out
of shape—like a
magician whose only
so-called trick is to
punch you in the face.
And yet, I’m pretty sure
that somewhere
there was a hole.

Steve Venright’s books include Straunge Wunder (Tortoiseshell & Black, 1996), Spiral Agitator (Coach House Books, 2000) and Floors of Enduring Beauty (Mansfield Press, 2007). Through his Torpor Vigil Industries record label, he has released such CDs as The Tubular West by Samuel Andreyev and The Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor: More Outrageous Recordings of the World’s Most Renowned Sleeptalker. Steve was born in Sarnia, Canada in 1961. At 20, he crossed the plains of Southwestern Ontario, and has resided in Toronto ever since. Visit him at and

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Elena E. Johnson


You dream the sky darkens with birds.

There’s hardly blue – everything’s
movement, flocks and flocks.

You don’t require
binoculars. Even in the shadow
of flight, you recognize

species and species and species.

As our grandfathers would have,
in this kind of dusk,

this kind of eclipse.

Elena E. Johnson’s manuscript placed second for this year’s Alfred G. Bailey Poetry Prize. Her poetry has also been nominated for the CBC Literary Awards. Work has appeared recently in The Fiddlehead, ARC, Dandelion, This Magazine, CV2, and The Literary Review of Canada, as well as in three anthologies. Elena lives in Vancouver.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lance La Rocque


in an age when I don’t know
what to make of it,
I detach myself
from my dick my dick
from myself
unfolding in the evening paper
set on the kitchen counter
looking like a mournful measure
ill-fitted animal trapped in its thin skin—
a package of wrinkled letters
stuffed up a translucent hide.
bulging. messages you can almost read.
like when a dreamer speaks.

Lance La Rocque lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Acadia University. His poems have appeared in Industrial Sabotage, This Magazine, the chapbook The Gross Metaphysics of Meat (Proper Tales Press), and the anthology Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence (The Mercury Press). His most recent work is Vermin (BookThug).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jaime Forsythe


When I drew closer to the reclining centaur,
its breath hit me, salty in the cold, clean space
where I decided to commit the most serious

crime of my short life thus far. It seemed fair
to not only touch the plaster of Paris, but
to stroke the fur and trace the embroidery,

which was easy compared to most of the dilemmas
I’d been struggling with lately. It was a matter
of acting natural. The problem was in the tease

of details: a drip of red on icy floors, a hair caught
in the light switch, the bullet hole in the wall they forgot
to spackle. I paused at a projection of clouds, faces

turning into clouds. But the sculpture was on
my side. I spotted my doppelgänger and switched
directions, altered the angle of my elbows, seeing

that a small adjustment is all it takes to get the safe
combination right. It was only your hands
shaking the first time, jarred by the half-animal

hiss of last decade’s walkie-talkies. Security
was baffled enough to lag, and the polished shoulder
fit under my arm like a dream, like the dream I had

last night where parts of the city were missing
and my clothes hung in the trees, and the streetlights
dissolved one by one, all the way home.

Jaime Forsythe lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she tutors youth, serves sushi, and writes about the arts. Her first collection of poetry, Sympathy Loophole, was published by Mansfield Press in spring 2012.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eileen Myles


big velvety
hills or
you could pat
like a horse

Eileen Myles is the author, most recently, of Sorry Tree (Wave Books, 2007), The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (Semiotext(e), 2009), and Inferno (A Poet's Novel) (OR Books, 2010), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction. Eileen lives in New York City.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nicholas Papaxanthos


You're gone again, into the elevator
and sinking towards a different future,
one without me. I imagine the sea.
The doors open into a coral reef
and you live amid colourful fish and
softly swaying tentacles like you've always dreamed.
I barely know you and I can't swim
so we don't see each other. At night
I read or look out over the balcony
at the moon. It is like my heart, a shell
that houses the silence of a great wayward crab,
one day to be washed out
among stellar billows of soft foam
into a sea of eternal laundry.

Nicholas Papaxanthos is currently living in Montreal, pursuing an MA with a focus in creative writing at Concordia University. He recently put together the chapbook Teeth, Untucked with Proper Tales Press, and has been published in the anthologies Lake Effect 5 and 529, as well as in The New Chief Tongue 10, Sandwich Review, and This Magazine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gary Barwin


after a line by Natalee Caple

dear friend
I have invented

a new kind of footwear
a third eye

also a time machine
I will save

the one you love
place hands

from the future
on his body

I open my eye
he opens his

each word
seen from inside
knows you

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, multimedia artist, educator and performer. His five poetry collections include The Franzlations: The Imaginary Kafka Parables (with Hugh Thomas and Craig Conley; New Star), The Obvious Flap (with Gregory Betts; BookThug) and The Porcupinity of the Stars (Coach House). He is also the author of two fiction collections, a collaborative novel, and several books for children. Barwin lives in Hamilton, Ontario. Visit him at his blog.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alice Burdick


The silence and light
of Dellview on the morning
of a memorial. A memory
into memories. The birds
all watch memory, and break
its hull to crumbs. The crumbs
dive down the gullets of the many
marching ants. Gentle love
and sweetness without plan.

Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She was raised in Toronto, and has been involved in the small press community since 1990. She is the author of the full-length poetry collections Simple Master (Pedlar Press), Flutter (Mansfield Press) and Holler (Mansfield Press), as well as many chapbooks. Her work has appeared in the anthology Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence (The Mercury Press) and in a few other anthologies and magazines.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Richard Huttel


Her subway tokens are adorable
As Baby Toonies. Crackpot inventor
Me hereby commissions genetically
Enhanced spuds to meet up with cushions
And upholsterers for the dawning of
The Age of Potato Couch. Memories
Are made of red & white mailbox, Willie
Nile’s “Vagabond Moon,” arugula, her
Wind song plays on my mind, flat on my back,
Legs dangling over the southern edge of
The Avenue of the Islands’ pier, heaven scents.

Her wind song turns out to be not quite so
Memorable after all when I see the news
That day about Natasha Richardson
On my way back to Chicago. Have yet
To be persuaded by the quantum kids
To a string theory better than the one
Connected to paper cups. I can’t help it if
Bob Dylan still doesn’t have a Nobel
Prize for literature. In my haste the
Transit transfer flies out of my pocket
So I pluck it right out of the air and
Subway agent says, “Baby, you magic!”

Urgent billboards herald ONLY A FEW
LEFT! in Memory Lanes subdivision,
Leaving me nostalgic for the history
Of my future. Pass the bongo drums and
Call me Babalu! I heart alignment.
And I’m humming it: her wind song passing
Over me again like hawk shadow.

Richard Huttel is a Chicago poet. His chapbooks include The Evolution of the Rutherfords to Lumpie (ep press), Rainy Day Cliffhanger (Proper Tales Press) and The Be Seeing You Variations (Surrealist Poets' Gardening Assoc.) He has read in Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa, and elsewhere.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Paul Dutton


The door avoids me, keeping to itself on the side I avoid what the door is keeping to this side of me beside the door beside myself behind a door avoiding me on the side that’s back before a door closed on a void inside an opening in or shut out door in front of more an opening out or shutting in a side before, behind, below a wall or floor a door is in a version of a room a door’s avoiding what’s behind it, keeping to itself the void that is avoided by a door’s averted opening on a corridor of doors closed upon a multitude of rooms enclosing multitudes of who or what avoids a door I’m on the other side of looking in or out upon a room a door has closed on who I am or was avoiding, closing in upon a void I am enclosing doors avoiding opening doors avoiding closing me into a void I am averse to opening closing doors, avoiding voids inside or out, disclosing nothing doors enclose so much as more than lies upon a floor a body’s pressed to in an attitude of listening or looking through a crack an open door creates in wishing more to be revealed to eyes that lie in wait beside a crack a door is opened by to view a room across a corridor a door across is open to eyes waiting where a room’s a void avoided and the one across the way is where desire awaits fulfillment in a void averted by a crack in time to catch a glimpse of just in time a wish fulfilled by an open door, desiring what or who is lying on the floor or on the bed upon the floor beside the open door desire rests on in an attitude of looking or listening to desire delayed or obviated by a door closing on an open wish fulfilled in rooms that lie open to what lies on the other side of lies on this side of that side is hidden where a hand upon a doorknob’s set to push or pull a door shut or open on a room where secrets lie in waiting for desire to be fulfilled or delayed within a multitude of rooms where multitudes lie, turning their backs on doors closing on secrets lying under layers of desire.

Paul Dutton is a poet, novelist, essayist, and oral sound artist living in Toronto. During his four-decade writing career he has performed, solo and ensemble, throughout Europe and the Americas, at international literary and music festivals, in concert halls, clubs, and schools, on radio, TV, film, and the Web. He was a member of the poetry performance group the Four Horsemen, and is in the free-improvisation band CCMC, among other music groups. The latest of his six books is the novel Several Women Dancing, and of his five solo recordings the CD Oralizations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leigh Nash


the bayonet, the blue grass at dawn, the sunset
sent like a dart. The crisp sheets, chipped shutters,
worn trails between house and barn, the porch light
left burning, the braying. The crying. The sound
of bees drinking honey. The sound of money.
The sound of being pushed up against the wall.

The barrel over the falls, cramped coal
chute dark as winter, the cur’s bone. The tannins,
the whitening irises. The whiskey-stained teeth,
the clattering teeth, china teacup atop a loose knee.
Paper curling like toenail, like horse tail. Swish.

Morning a bright, white picket fence: the rocket.
The red. But for the wall pushed up against.

Leigh Nash is a partner in the editing firm Re:word Communications, a publishing assistant with Coach House Books and a co-founder of The Emergency Response Unit, a chapbook press. Her first book of poetry, Goodbye, Ukulele, was published by Mansfield Press in 2010. She lives in Toronto.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Laura Farina


It was hot.
Much of the food was deep fried.

I got sunburned
while taking an architectural walking tour
of South Beach.

My toes in the sand
felt like stunted American worms
yearning to be free.
A man in a toll booth told me to have a blessed holiday.
A coconut fell from a coconut tree.

The sun turned the sky the colour of a mixed drink.
I watched a Montessori teacher smoke pot.

The thought occurred to me —
we are all dangling above the open mouth
of the ocean.
It was terrifying for a moment.

A cat jumped through a hoop that was on fire.
Shadows began to look like mouse ears.

When the radio came on,
someone had replaced the songs
with the sound of fish breathing.

I drank sea water until I felt ill.
I lost sunglasses in three historic buildings.
I ate key lime pie in moving vehicles.

In the darkness,
I thought I saw an alligator wink.

When the wind came up, the sand beat a hasty departure.

Floridians like loud shirts
and hair products that combat frizz.
They are an inventive people
when it comes to sorbet.
It’s amazing what they can do with animatronics.

The highway was a line between two oceans
and what was washed up on those beaches
was mine to keep.

All the diners were shiny
and inside them, people called me ma’am.
I became programmed to salivate
at the sound of ketchup bottles
hitting formica tables.

A cruise ship pulling out of port
seemed too large to float,
an island severed from its umbilical chord.

I never once thought about soup.

Laura Farina is the author of This Woman Alphabetical (Pedlar Press, 2005), winner of the 2006 Archibald Lampman Award. Her work has also appeared in This Magazine, Arc, and elsewhere. She lives in Vancouver, where she teaches creative writing to young people.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Niels Hav


You are really stupid
when you can kid yourself
into thinking you’re smarter
than the lacerated pedestrian
who screams with rage
ambushes himself with curses
and insults, because he has forgotten
his keys, his name
even his home address.

You know perfectly well where he lives.
Those are your shoes he walks around in.
It’s you he yells at,
it’s your name, it’s on the door.
Come on, let’s go home.

Translated by Heather Spears

Niels Hav is a full-time poet and short story writer living in Copenhagen with awards from the Danish Arts Council. His publications in English include We Are Here (Bookthug), and poetry and fiction in magazines including The Literary Review, Ecotone, Exile, The Los Angeles Review and PRISM International. In his native Danish, he is the author of six collections of poetry and three books of short fiction. His work has been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Spanish and Chinese. He has travelled widely in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

Heather Spears is a Canadian writer and artist living in Denmark. She has published four novels, twelve collections of poetry and three books of drawings. She has won many awards in Canada, including The Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Her latest collection, I can still draw (2008), was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She travels widely and has drawn at many international festivals, and in hospitals in the Middle East, Europe and America.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sandra Alland


The question is where were you sitting. The question is how did he enter the room. The question is how did the glass get in her hand. The question is how far away was your safety from his violence. The question is was that his blood on her jeans. The question is how did his friend walk in. So drunk. Past the barmaids.

The question is how did he speak. The question is were you two women sitting madly in love on a sofa. The question is did she refuse to answer. The question is how did his face get in the glass. The question is were you born here. The question is did he say something racist. The question has nothing to do with her boyish charm. Does it.

The question is where were you grieving. The question is how did he enter her future. Why they served him another. The question is the beloved. How the glass got all over her. The question is were you two women playing pool in love in a lesbian pub. The question is did she refuse to fuck him. The question is panic. Lack of breath.

The question is how did his hatred get on her skin. The question is how did his friend enter your nightmare. Do you speak English. The question is how far away was your joy from their rage. The question is were you two women in love. The question is were you two women.

Sandra Alland is a writer, performer and intermedia artist who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is currently on a six-month hiatus/tour in North America with her poetry-music-video ensemble, Zorras. Sandra’s work has most recently been published and presented in Scotland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Her poetic love affair with voice-activated software, Naturally Speaking, will be published as a chapbook in autumn 2012 by Paperplates (Toronto). Other books include Proof of a Tongue (McGilligan, 2004), Blissful Times (BookThug, 2007), Here's To Wang (Forest Publications, 2009). Visit

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jason Camlot


A Jewtard such as I am
has no right to say good morning
once the morning prayers have begun,
unless I am first addressed by someone
more learned in the Torah than me.
Reasons for speaking once prayer has begun,
speaking as an interruption to prayer, I mean,
are few. Fear is one allowance the Mishnah
gives. If one is addressed by a ruler
who can harm you if you do not reply,
then you are allowed to disengage
yourself from the teffilah, and respond.
But who, really, do I have to fear
in my life? Who can hail me out
of this half hour because the possibility
exists that he will have me beheaded,
or burn my house to the ground, or take
my wife and children from me,
or strip the skin from my left arm like
apple or potato parings?
I can imagine the existence of such a man,
but thankfully, I know I will not meet one
who will thus inhibit me from doing
my Jewishy things.

Jason Camlot is the author of three collections of poetry, The Debaucher (Insomniac Press, 2008), Attention All Typewriters (DC Books, 2005), and The Animal Library (DC Books, 2001). A new chapbook of his poems entitled Rules for Sadness has just appeared in the Vallum Chapbook Series. Jason teaches Victorian literature, among other things, at Concordia University in Montreal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

What's this all about?

I like curating poemspaces.
I like to share poems I wish I'd written.
I will soon be kicking off this blog with the first weekly poem.
Each poem will be accompanied by a bio of the poet and, if applicable, of the translator.
I'm thinking maybe I'll pay the poets a bit for their poems.
Just a bit, though. Or maybe not at all.
All poems will be solicited.
So please don't send me poems unless I ask.
I hope you like the poems I put up here every week.
At least, some of them.

Each poem on this blog is copyright © the individual author. Got it?

Stuart Ross