Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday poem #17 : Camille Martin : Da Capo al Fine

White noise pruned into a dirge
for the mid-fifteenth—who’d’ve thought
mere fleas could wreak such havoc? —
wringing salt from the living dead. Gaudy
hats adorn hubris beyond the moment of biting
the hibiscus and tumbling into a dark space.
Crack open a tomb and “hibiscus”
pops out, not dust or colourless green,
though “bite the plague” comes close.
Easier to toast aborted branches
than to flaunt choice: spin or twirl?
All frequencies of vibration or everlasting
reverb of industrial punk? Another dawn
fizzles into night, spawning earth after earth
orbiting funereal suns. 

Canadian poet Camille Martin is the author of Looms (2012), Sonnets (2010), Codes of Public Sleep (2007), and Sesame Kiosk (2001).  She recently completed a manuscript of minimalist poems entitled R Is the Artichoke of Rose. The poem is from Blueshift Road, a work-in-progress.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday poem #16 : Kathryn MacLeod : New Year


the cat’s first sly glance on waking. lolling sideways, exposing limbs and belly. believing we own everything.

after the economic downturn, after the slaughter in another country.

gestures graceful as the grass in wind. they lie to speak the truth, to keep us in the right queue.

a new breed of barbarity. as we age we enter ambiguity. the oaks are wailin’ up an old tune, mournful.


frantic squirrels, the rain-stained siding, the sky a bowl of instability.

we dream a better life, a deep connection.

the people sleep in tents on grass and concrete, their protest signs hand-wrapped in plastic. the office workers start their shift with some fatigue and apprehension.

daily, I record the details: I let the cat in from the cold at 5 a.m., the chubby grey cat with silver whiskers. I fill the kettle, choose a cereal bowl. before dawn I walk through planes of darkness.

we are a country with a lot of birds, a lot of sky.


this year, ranked 23rd in happiness. we have forgotten how to change and falter speaking.

I made some big mistakes, I lost my appetite. I wish the good life had been mine to give my children. pay attention

I stood up and said like, pay attention.

the women are irascible: they knit and cook, read literature, write manifestos.

the trees, the birds, the beasts who love us. it is too much of an illusion and the real world fails. this is my artist’s voice.


the curse of all our wants and all our fears. we breathe in and feel the cleansing sea. breathe out the greed, decay, imprisonment.

I did not know how art had changed me. I stared it in the face until the danger passed. I could not see the real, amazing world until I saw it with amazement. the tiny details of our wondrous lives.

We live in beautiful and troubled times. love vibrates, cracks the days asunder.

Kathryn MacLeod lives in Victoria, BC. Her previous books and chapbooks include Entropic Suite (above/ground press, 2012), mouthpiece (Tsunami Editions, 1996) and How Two (Tsunami Editions, 1987). Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals (most recently 17 seconds Winter 2013) and anthologies, including Companions and Horizons: An Anthology of Simon Fraser University Poetry (2005), Writing Class: The Kootenay School of Writing Anthology (1999), and East of Main (1989).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday poem #15 : Sarah Rosenthal : Five Untitled Poems from Lizard

When you read

about Lizard you

may feel bliss.

That’s her deep

moment rubbing

off on you. Lizard’s

a teenager hungry

and perfect, an

elder bemused by

stingers. She thanks

each one in their

own tongue. Her

means world …

what did you just

forget, remember?

L touches every fact

and you touch L

Questions you might

have: Will a lizard

drink? Do parasites

creep under her skin?

Do you know her

dose? Will she

tolerate a triangle?

Are hyacinths

preferred? Why

does she exhibit

her stay away coat

this morning?

seeing: she licks her lids

snake: interior landscapes resemble

asphalt: mistaken for life-giving warmth of rock

she never: waits or cries

wait: it’s you who wait and when you wait you are most like Lizard

I wear the stay away

coat till I’ve written

down my dreams.

There are coats for

any occasion. Coat

of arms, sugar coat.

Parasitic load may

be managed, given

other factors. Hyacinth,

yes, but nasturtium

too, and dandelion,

and the rose. Hydration

is key and never

standing. Only in

motion is water to me

All the words in

this poem rebel

because Lizard

I’m unimagining

you. A guttural

hope would have

to seduce me now,

a stage whisper

I know what a gun

can do, a hand. My

heart beats against

its walls

     What are

you doing today?

Love is love and

praise my inabilities

The next lines read

we coexisted for

a time. You are

a parent a sibling

of mine. A passing

tryst, a grabbed


Sarah Rosenthal is the author of Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009) and the chapbooks The Animal (Dusie, 2011), How I Wrote This Story (Margin to Margin, 2001), sitings (a+bend, 2000), and not-chicago (Melodeon, 1998). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Sidebrow, Zen Monster, textsound, dusie, and Fence, and is anthologized in Building is a Process / Light is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (P-Queue, 2008), Bay Poetics (Faux, 2006), The Other Side of the Postcard (City Lights, 2005), hinge (Crack, 2002), and Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, and Stories for Children (Black Radish, forthcoming). Her essays and interviews have appeared in journals such as Jacket, Denver Quarterly, Rain Taxi, Otoliths, and New American Writing. She is the recipient of the Leo Litwak Fiction Award and grant-supported writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, and Ragdale. From 2009–2011 she was an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. She serves on the California Book Awards poetry jury, teaches in the University of San Francisco’s MFA program, and writes curricula for the Developmental Studies Center.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tuesday poem #14 : Cameron Anstee : Local

we are reasonable people with unreasonable organs
the heart is absurdly partial

possibilities multiply under your hands
consequence is welcomed

we walked until our knees ached
and then we walked the rest of the way home

we reconstruct one another as the morning intervenes
I am a citizen of your neighbourhoods

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa ON where he runs Apt. 9 Press and is working on a PhD in English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tuesday poem #13 : Jenna Butler : This Rain

brings with it the scent of rain-soaked lilac, lemon lily. Bruised
skirts of thunderclouds drop their wet hems over this prairie. It rains
and the ditches brim, rains
and the water rises like ire amongst the willows.
What we say and do not say. The heart
incandescent, riverine with distance.

lilt like this: sound
of droplets from leaves
       gift   gift          gift

Jenna Butler is the author of three books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road (NeWest Press, 2013), Wells (University of Alberta Press, 2012), and Aphelion (NeWest Press, 2010), in addition to ten short collections with small presses in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Butler teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton during the school year. In the summer, she and her husband live with three resident moose and a den of coyotes on a small organic farm in Alberta’s north country.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan