Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday poem #156 : Renée Sarojini Saklikar : Informant: The Belt of Venus

We met that young boy living porch-side, mercy
who worked, those people foragers. It were
inside Rentalsman, after the first Catastrophe
boy, insisting: to gaze in love prefigures
honey-locust, angel mushrooms, all his finds
dew surrounded tender orchard trees, pear-gold
apple, enough gaze to kill, asking why,
he cried: my love is strong enough to make
longing, one look filled, enough to wither
jealous rain who takes the wind away, drenched
other places unseen and we, in drought
I loved the honey locust and it died
the pear and apple tree, too.
His cracked lips, his bruised skin, after silence—

Blinded, his palms turned upward, life-lines cut
Help me, I want to see again—shadows

obligatory, whispered the INVESTIGATOR

Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle that includes poetry, fiction, and essays. Work from the project is widely published in journals, anthologies and chapbooks. The first completed book from thecanadaproject is children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) winner of the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and a finalist for the 2014 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award. Trained as a lawyer at the University of British Columbia, with a degree in English Literature, Renée was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1991.  A graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, Renée is currently a mentor and instructor for the university and co-founder of a new poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU. In September 2015, with acclaimed author Wayde Compton, Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square). Renée serves as an advocate on the national council of The Writer’s Union of Canada and is at work on the second volume of thecanadaproject, excerpts of which can be found in the journals Eleven Eleven, The Capilano Review and online at DUSIE and The Rusty Toque.  Renée is working on a sequence of bee poems based on her collaboration with well-known biologist, Dr. Mark Winston.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday poem #155 : Michael Sikkema : from You’ve Got a Pretty Hellmouth

I saw the tibia flute that you
sent and didn’t bat

a lash. The sorcerer though
put a story in my head where

one owl carried my eye to
a beehive, one carried my

eye to an anthill and I was swept
back into the mixing

bowl part of my brain where I don’t
even remember how many

times I’ve fired this gun
All those tracks we’ve been

following turn out
to be our own

Michael Sikkema has worked in factories, YMCA camps, and landscaping. He is the author of three books of poetry, most recently May Apple Deep from Trembling Pillow Press. He is also the author of several chapbooks and collaborative chapbooks, most recently Time Missing, an exploration of alien abduction and pioneer captivity narratives, available from Grey Book Press. He enjoys correspondence at michael.sikkema@gmail.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday poem #154 : Geoffrey Young : THE RED DAHLIA

I’ve just read “The Seventh Chihuahua” three times.
A short work in Planisphere, it’s Ashbery’s poem
About sporting a pithy, omnidirectional grin.
Who knows if the dog even barks? I don’t

Have to ask you because you always end up
Where you are, but J.A. prefers a cul-de-sac, seems
Ever ready to re-paint the shutters on his dream house.
Think of trap-door spiders and the bugs they catch.

John grabs his supper in a provisional world, as well,
Words chewed, swallowed, shat. Today I used
A snow shovel to plant a red dahlia. If I leave weeds
In the garden, it’s because I want the deer

To eat them first, then wander off.
I don’t know why I bother to get angry but I do.

This poem is reprinted from Geoffrey Young's Dumbstruck (2013), with permission.

Geoffrey Young [photo credit: Walter Robinson] was born in Los Angeles in 1944, and grew up in San Diego.

Before settling in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1982, Young spent student years in Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Albuquerque (UNM), then lived for two years in Paris (a Fulbright year followed by a six-month stint working for La Galerie Sonnabend) followed by seven years in Berkeley (two sons born). His small press, The Figures (1975-2005), published more than 135 books of poetry, art writing, and fiction. 

His own recent books include Sapphire Drive, 2015; The Point Less Taken, 2013, with images by Lucas Reiner; All the Anarchy I Want, 2013;  Dumbstruck, 2013, with paintings by Daniel Heidkamp; Get On Your Pony & Ride, 2012, with paintings by Chie Fueki; Times of India, 2012, with images by Alexander Gorlizki; The Riot Act, 2008, with cover painting by Eric Fischl; Fickle Sonnets, 2005, with cover & drawings by Donald Baechler; Lights Out, 2003, with cover & drawings by James Siena; and Cerulean Embankments, 1999, with cover & drawings by Carroll Dunham. He has directed the Geoffrey Young Gallery for the last 24 years, as well as written catalog essays for many artists.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Tuesday poem #153 : Paul Zits : from dlog, dlog

it wasn’t so dark. yes. it wasn’t light enough that you could see
the road. it was light, but not so very light

and then i heard the light of day crackling
under the coffee-pot

and down the road came a woman with a basket on her head
or maybe a swirl of falling snow coming from her lantern

bright against the dark bulk of the brush
like small girls appearing in their undershirts

(girls accepting sticks of gum on their tongues
jam and bur scratches on the backs of their hands)

her face framed by her dark tendrils and bangs and her eyes
ringed with dark circles

eyes that flick cigarette ashes into laps, eyes that claim she grew
up in a circus tent, that her mother was a contortionist who died

during a trapeze act. blinded by the moon beating up
from the sand, she saw wing shadows thickening on the ground

she made a noose of her long black hair and snared
the bright lizards of moonlight

a big lumping woman, she passed and stared into the glass of my
shack, at her body with its muscular thighs, its small compact

breasts, and its slender flanks of an athlete. she moved this body
forward as if to see it better, moved it into the light

until it illuminated the upper half of her face. she rubbed her chin
with her knuckles. my reflection darkly surrounded

and enveloped her.

i could remember towns, houses, places, other people
but have managed to suppress myself out of my memories.

Paul Zits received his MA in English from the University of Calgary in 2010. Massacre Street (UAP 2013), the product of his creative dissertation, went on to win the 2014 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. In addition to serving two terms as Writer-in-the-Schools at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary, teaching creative writing to students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program, Zits is a regular instructor with the WGA’s WordsWorth Camp at Kamp Kiwanis. Zits is currently an instructor with the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s Verse Project, and the Managing Editor of filling Station.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Tuesday poem #152 : Cassidy McFadzean : SALEM

I peek out my witch window
a double hung sash, the sheet
of glass placed diagonally
on the second-storey gable wall.

My siding’s sideways glance
stops the witch’s broom flying thru
when bodies banished from Salem
Massachusetts begin to move.

With no coffin corner, my corridor
too narrow to pass, I took a king
size box and cut the springs in two.
I close the curtains tight and recite

the lord’s prayer on my knees.
Now I’ve gone from counting sheep
to catching z’s in a dead sleep,
air at night cold as my witchy teat.

Cassidy McFadzean is the author of Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart, 2015). Her poems have appeared in magazines across Canada with new work in Carousel, Prelude, and The Walrus. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently lives in Regina where she is a sessional lecturer at Luther College.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan