Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sandra Ridley


It’s absurd what Craig was saying about consortium sycophants who do no wrong
treading crude slicked water—girlie—it’s a wicked situation when the blue sharks
get set back in the Carib once we’ve cut their fins—that wounded way they try to
swim—it’s only a matter of time and it was inevitable our albatross crash-landed
in that landfill some ten thousand kilometres off kilter—having flown up the old
majestic river—it must be some kind of joke—believe me Craig said—that bird
was near death—alone and habitually stressed—he wasn’t optimistic for survival
—we do what we can—refill these feeding tubes—it’s coffee time and the more
I stay away from you the better—of course even I have VERY limited experience
with visitors up north in cottage country but for wolf howls and the occasional
iconic bear suffering from weight loss and water deprivation—all bone and gall
bladder after days with his head stuck in your bait bin—coax him up your pitch
pine and then dispose of him like your disposable plastic SORRY—this is hardly
encouraging—please orchestrate a quick release or place me in a daycare with
the remaining thin-skinned seniors—oh I know we all need some respite so rest
me deep in peace—beloved in loving memory—always in the heart.

Sandra Ridley is the author of two books of poetry. Her first, Fallout, won the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing and was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second, Post-Apothecary, was short-listed for the 2012 ReLit and Archibald Lampman awards. Also in 2012, Ridley won the International Festival Of Authors’ Battle of the Bards and was one of ten poet-participants in the University of Toronto’s Influency Salon. Her third book, The Counting House, is forthcoming from BookThug in 2013.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jay MillAr


Stop in Toronto
Knowing you’re alone
Even if you’re sitting there next to the phone.
Why – the phone is obsolete you moron! Get with it!
But feel alone as long as you can, it’s important
With that community attached to your hip
And the ideas you imagine really mattered
Left like breadcrumbs
Scattered for the birds.
Then go out and attack the trees.
They will forgive you, but only because
They never held it against you in the first place.
Not like everyone else.
This is the birthday poem I meant to write for years,
The one in which I look back
After reading barely and widely the works of
Whatever happened to come within reach:
“If you are a poet at forty it is because you are a poet”
And here we are, um, yeah.

Jay MillAr is a Toronto poet, editor, publisher, and virtual bookseller. He is the author of, among others, the small blue (2007), False Maps for Other Creatures (2005), Mycological Studies (2002) and The Ghosts of Jay MillAr (2000), and more recently esp : accumulation sonnets (2009), Other Poems (2010) and Timely Irreverence (2013). MillAr is the shadowy figure behind BookThug and Apollinaire's Bookshoppe. He teaches creative writing and poetics at George Brown College and Toronto New School of Writing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peter Norman


Staples, I can see you from my home.
Distinct against the dusk, your logo blazes.
Let me list the stuff I see from here:
you (Staples); the steeple of a church;
the naval docks; a grove of highrise banks
(TD and RBC and Scotiabank);
a few hotels and other sundry sights
you might expect in a city of this size.

Staples, you have plied me with supplies
I may not need, or may, which help me work
and sometimes help me in my hobbies too.
You’ve given pens and printer cartridges
and paper by the sheaf. That sort of thing.
Your staff have been so helpful and so svelte.

Peter Norman was born in Vancouver, and has since lived in Victoria, Ottawa, Calgary, Halifax, Dartmouth and now Toronto, where he works as a freelance editor. His first poetry collection, At the Gates of the Theme Park (Mansfield Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Book Award.