First came the dissolution of religious houses and the libraries bereft began to wander. Sometimes the books would find each other passed along until they touched again on a shelf the sense of recognition like a match lit in the wilderness, one the match one the surface, hopestruck.
Humans were Joneses. Hard to see through smoke under low round roofs. What did I do? says the book. Except ignore time.
Before Cromwell castles rags and oil fire thrown arcing
Into the library
Legends curl and shatter your legends your past (you stupid Joneses)
This fragment “war on slaves / I will consider I will know what caused them to go”
Assemble a draft from the floating pages because the words want to be read history wants to be known however good or bad however human
Cymru burned and the slaves ran
A Byronic energy rose
The spark struck between literacy and free thought
A little blue light
You could never keep them all illiterate the word was the end
Natalee Caple is the author of seven books of poetry and fiction and the co-editor of an anthology of contemporary Canadian writers. The New York Times called her fiction “moving . . . unsettling.” The Washington Post described her writing as “breathlessly good.” Caple’s latest novel, In Calamity’s Wake, was published by HarperCollins in Canada and by Bloomsbury in the US. She is a professor of English, teaching Canadian literature and Creative Writing at Brock University.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan