Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday poem #5 : Stephen Collis : La Defence

Who knew a canoe?
Who found a forest?
Came around a cape
with a tanker
spilt it
“over my dead body”
promises we
we defend we
are ulterior
and avowed

we see and know
because we see and know
money from trees
and money from soil

And this little window
I found in your boat—
lighthouse eye—
from promontories
and running
or a pilot to show you
long teeth of jagged inlets


macaroni and glue
fibrous web—
test the edge of sincerity
I like you
and the sun comes up
one side of you
in small streams
just beyond suburbs

Come close
where we made you up, OK?
we’re ready
the gluing of shapes onto
though the kids are alright
and the world’s
sometimes a defensible idea


show me no solitary
show me no pathetic
meandering middle
show me no compromise
chemical economics—

there’s never quite enough
to encircle
or bridge
CEOs lisp
as they pump liquid assets


because Paleozoic flora and fauna
because rivers
because a spirit bear
watched my car pass
the ghost
in their machine

these waters
is a shell of

don’t get to purchase the
yet to be born
yet to breathe
yet to tumble

surrounded by people
who came up
knocking them down
where they once put them up

Stephen Collis is an award winning poet and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (New Star 2005), The Commons (Talon Books 2008), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (Talon Books 2007), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012), is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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