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.