Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday poem #308 : Michael Turner : I Ran to Persia

for Mohammad Salemy 

arms by my side, bent forward
backwards down Valiasr
past Benneton, Reebok, Adidas

down Mossadeq, Pahlavi, running
arms by my side, bent forward
carpets, blankets, backwards 

past CIA, MI6
standing on the sidewalk
hands on hips, pretending not to

notice the truck across the street
don’t look – the red one
the driver has a Leica

Michael Turner [photo credit: Olive Liesch] was born on unceded Squamish territory (North Vancouver, B.C.) in 1962 and spent his teenage summers working in the Skeena River salmon fishery. His first book, Company Town (1991), was nominated for a Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His second book, Hard Core Logo (1993), was adapted to feature-film. Kingsway (1995), American Whiskey Bar (1997), The Pornographer’s Poem (1999), 8x10 (2009) and 9x11 and other poems like Bird, Nine, x and Eleven (2018) followed. A frequent collaborator, he has written scripts with Stan Douglas, poems with Geoffrey Farmer and songs with cub, Dream Warriors, Fishbone and Kinnie Starr. At present he is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Graduate Studies at OCAD University.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday poem #307 : Erin Emily Ann Vance : Alice Discovers all the Rabbits are Dead

After Stephen Sexton

A little girl with frilled pink socks
and daisies in her braids
crawls into the stump of a plastic tree
to say a gleeful hello!
to all the dead dears inside.

Hello hedgehog!
Hello little mouse!
Hello mister owl!

Fairy doors open
to reveal a stuffed finch on plastic moss
and a field mouse
hiding its glass eyes
from the sticky fingers of children.

Everything here is for touching
a curator sings,
Snow White with an electronic security pass
on the third floor of the Ulster Museum
a princess of taxidermy
and plastic play sets.

Low to the ground
three fox cubs are curled together behind plexi glass
eyes glued shut
like a stillborn cerberus.

This is where the little girl
with frilled pink socks
and pinch-red cheeks wonders,
for the first time,
why the animals lay so still
and silent.

everything here is for touching
the living and the dead
and the in between

This thought does not linger;
a bushy tail hangs like a feather duster
in the playhouse,

the girl plays tug-of-war with the plastic tree
reaches to pet the hedgehog and squeals
at the spines
scraping her flesh-ripe palm
before running to mummy.

Everything here is for touching.


Erin Emily Ann Vance (MA Creative Writing) is a fiction writer and poet. She attended the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry summer course at Queen's University Belfast in 2018, and a will be a fellow of Summer Literary Seminars in Nairobi in December 2018. A recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize in 2017, and a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards for fiction, her work has appeared in many magazines and journals, including filling station and Contemporary Verse 2. She has a chapbook with Lofton8th press and a leaflet with The Blasted Tree. Her first novel will be released by Stonehouse Publishing in Fall 2019.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tuesday poem #306 : Mikko Harvey : American Beech

I was hideously, lewdly
drunk in the forest.
It was a Tuesday afternoon
and I had left
everything behind—
I mean everything.
The variegated greens
of the forest spun on their axis
like a basketball balanced
on a child’s fingertip.
After stumbling between trees
for several minutes, the nausea caught up with me.
I rested my arm against an American
beech to steady myself, and that’s
when I saw the bear. 
A bear is like a beautiful man
in more ways than one.
It sat there gazing at me.
It didn’t charge,
nor did it run away.
For a long time the two of us
did nothing. It was actually
more boring than scary, after a while.
I noticed a toad hopping near my
foot. Unfortunately
I had no choice
but to vomit at this point,
and the bear stirred ominously.
I was unable to glean
any information from its body language
because I was so fucking drunk.
I decided to simply stand there,
letting the world do with me as it pleased.
Later I came to recognize this
as flawed and more or less
suicidal thinking.
But as that bear drew
near me, then stooped down to sniff
my vomit,
then began eating it,
and seemed to be enjoying it—
this is how I came to see myself,
finally, as a person with something to offer.

Mikko Harvey is the author of Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit (House of Anansi). He received the 2017 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award, and you can find his poems in places such as Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Lemon Hound, and Maisonneuve. He is a poetry editor for Fairy Tale Review, and he currently lives in Maine.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Tuesday poem #305 : Marvyne Jenoff : It Wishes

It wishes to happen,
it hovers aloft,
how lusty and soft,
now soaring, now flitting

It wishes, it winks,
how wisely it tingles
o’er wrinkles and hair,
it hums everywhere

it widens with weather
It narrows with wit
it tingles with wishing,
O wild, wondrous it

How nicely it whistles
How sweetly it nestles,
O happily happen,
O happen to me

Marvyne Jenoff first published poems in Canadian Literary magazines as a student at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s. Since 1972 she has published four books of poetry and experimental fiction with Canadian literary publishers. She lives in the Toronto area, where she is also involved in visual arts.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan