Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tuesday poem #517 : Réka Nyitrai : I asked the Night to breathe into my mouth



Last night I dreamt that a swan was sucking jade-dew from my fingers. With eyes wide open I saw thousands of little deaths, pooling. For a moment I thought that the warm breeze made by the swan’s wings would dry out the meadow's loneliness. Yet, once again I was proved wrong. When I woke the candles of will were no longer burning and the blessing bowls lay shattered on the floor.

Réka Nyitrai is a Romanian-Hungarian poet who discovered her poetic voice at forty-one, mainly through Japanese short forms, but particularly haiku. Her debut haiku collection While Dreaming Your Dreams won the Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for 2020. Following this, she began to write both prose and lineated poems. She writes in English, her third language.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Tuesday poem #516 : Tolu Oloruntoba : Beware of dog



And when my loneliness had grown ravenous, as in a ravine, as in a ravaging, a raven, a pet wolf made of carnassial teeth, I realized my danger. I wanted all who saw this to run from me; to run toward the damage of my arms.

Tolu Oloruntoba is now mostly tired, having been a physician, editor, and project manager, and lived in three countries. His literary work combines existential inquiry with historical and contemporary critique. His debut collection of poetry, The Junta of Happenstance, won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry in English and the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. His second collection, Each One a Furnace, was published by McClelland & Stewart.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tuesday poem #515 : Dessa Bayrock : Another problem with pie



You wait all day to write a poem about pie
because there are other things to do, and besides
a poem about pie isn’t going to save the world. In fact,
nothing is. So why worry? Write a poem about pie. But
the cat limps into the kitchen and Reace says it might

be arthritis
and you say even so, and I’d better call
the vet
and all this while your toast sits on the counter
getting cold. Some things wait. Certainly you
were not meant to, and yet here you are; sitting
patiently on a cracked vinyl chair, Scout rooting
herself under the towel at the bottom of the carrier
and you are nothing but patience, filled with a pungency
of patience. It is a new flavour, one that always was
missing from your pies, and you put that into your poem
when you finally sit down to write it. Scout loses her limp
just in time for the vet tech’s appraisal, squints at you
on the way home as though she can’t blame you
but does anyway, curls back up on the couch
with her miraculous paw outstretched. Still, you worry.
You sift your worry like sugar, peel it like apples, open it
like the wire door on the cat carrier. Write the poem

you want to write
, the toast whispers from the garbage,
soggy under too much cream cheese and stale, besides.

Write the poem about pie before no one else will. 



Dessa Bayrock lives in Ottawa with two cats, one of whom is very loud and almost always nearby. She used to fold and unfold paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada, and is currently a PhD student in English, where she continues to fold and unfold paper. She has two chapbooks with Katie Stobbart: The Trick to Feeling Safe at Home (Coven Editions 2021) and Worry & Fuck (Collusion Books 2021), as well as one with just her poems about bad dreams (Is It About Ruins and Ghosts?, Ghost City Press 2019). She was the editor of post ghost press for nearly three years and was the recent recipient of the Diana Brebner Prize. You can find her, or at least more about her, at dessabayrock.com, or on instagram at @dessayo, where she reviews books and posts anticapitalist memes. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Tuesday poem #514 : JUST SLEEPING : Simon Brown




See? There’s nothing to it. It’s a rock. They call it ghost rock, but it’s just a rock. See? This is a match. It’s for making fire. You scratch it on a rock, any rock at all, any time of day or night. See? You scratch it, and the sky splits open like an onion when it’s time to spill the soup. And you’re the one to spill it. You can make things happen. You can peel back the layers. You can peel and peel and peel. You can peel forever, really. Me, I’ve peeled. I’m not bragging. It didn’t take any special skill, and it definitely wasn’t fun. In fact, it almost killed me. But I’m not dead. No, I’m just sleeping.






Simon Brown (he/they) is a poet, translator and interdisciplinary artist from rural southwestern New Brunswick (Peskotomuhkati traditional territory) based in the Quebec City area (Wendat and Abenaki traditional territory). His English- and French-language texts have been presented in media artworks, collaborative performances, zines, and journals such as Lemon Hound, Estuaire, Poetry Is Dead, The Fiddlehead, periodicities, and The Anti-Languorous Project. Simon’s collections, chapbooks and artist’s books have been published by Vanloo, Moult, Le laps, squint press, Paper Pusher, Frog Hollow, and, most recently, above/ground press. simonbrown.ca

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan