Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday poem #103 : Stephen Cain : Poem for CUPE

Streaming across the eyes
Will the circle be unbroken
Still solidarity in saying
Shame, strength, security

Cold coffee, wet boot
Less cries to Camaros
Barricades barcodes & bargaining
Busted by bourgeois belittlement

An index of action
To tuition, tenure, senators of sinecure
This is your time
Adversity, disparity, precarity

And this is the creation of communitas
You will never forget the smell of the fire barrel

Stephen Cain is the author of five books of poetry, including American Standard/ Canada Dry (Coach House) and I Can Say Interpellation (Bookthug). He recently edited bp: beginnings (Bookthug), a collection of bpNichol’s early long poems, and he is currently an Associate Professor of English at York University where he teaches avant-garde and Canadian literature. From 1995-2002 he was a member of CUPE 3903 and he was on the picket lines during the strike of 2000-2001.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday poem #102 : Chus Pato (trans Erín Moure) : Goal

from Flesh of Leviathan, translated from Galician by Erín Moure

You disappear
“we’ll miss our connection we’ll miss our connection
we’ll miss”
it’s a powerful song in its error
and arid and persuasive
but the voice
exactly like that of stammering girls
of those in the throes of dying
recorded voices
those of apparitions
those of the newborn
the song’s not
What I write is the vanishing
into the body that the voices dictate
into its possibility
I write the voice as if a foreign country
“we’ll miss the train we’ll miss we’ll miss
we’d rather sleep here we’d rather”
mermaids who travel

we’d abandon the oars
and all government
lashed to the mast

Galician poet Chus Pato’s (Ourense, 1955—) sixth book, m-Talá, broke the poetic mould in Galicia in 2000. Hordes of Writing, the third text in her pentalogy Decrúa (Tilth or Arable), received the 2008 Spanish Critics’ Prize, and the Losada Diéguez Prize in 2009. She was voted 2013 Author of the Year by the Galician Booksellers' Association. One of the most revered and iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Pato continues to refashion the way we think of the poetic text, of words, bodies, political and literary space, and of the construction of ourselves as individual, community, nation, world. Secession (BookThug 2014) is her fourth book to be translated into English (all by Erín Moure) and her first published in Canada. Her most recent book and the final volume of the pentalogy, Flesh of Leviathan, will appear in Moure's English translation from the US press Omnidawn in 2016.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday poem #101 : Barbara Henning : A BEDOUIN MAN

A Bedouin man isn't certain
whether joining a revolt was
life's proudest moment or its
ruination.  The object in your
pocket is a tracking device
that just happens to make calls.
Just perch the clock near the bed
and put your phone on the stand
and it will record your sleep
patterns. Hello. Good night.
The days are going so quickly.
Perhaps we perceive quickness
more in our busy lives than
people did in previous centuries.
Yesterday, Americans used
their sizable advantage to run
others ragged. We lay the child
down into his bed and find
each other under the sheet.
Now with four arms, four legs
and two heads, we circulate qi.
Then the arm starts turning
sideways in a gentle curve, tracing
an S shape, the thumb heading
up as the palm turns parallel,
our bodies and souls parallel.
Oh, the grief of separation.
Don't think, dear, stay here.

Barbara Henning [photo credit: Michah Saperstein] is the author of three novels and nine collections of poetry. Her, most recent books of poetry are A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). A DAY LIKE TODAY is forthcoming from Negative Capability Press.  She lives and teaches in New York City for Naropa and Long Island University where she is Professor Emerita.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Tuesday poem #100 : N.W. Lea : EASTERS POEMS


Was it an attempt
to bolster a thin mood?

Was it an extension
of the ego (an extended arm)?

Little worlds unfold:
tiny trinkets in the understory.


Bless sacrifice. Its
viscose rhythm. Its
lump sum love.

N.W. Lea lives and writes in Ottawa. He is the author of three chapbooks, light years (above/ground press, 2006), Actual Girl (The Emergency Response Unit, 2011) and Present! (above/ground press, 2013), as well as the full-length collection, Everything is Movies (Chaudiere Books, 2007). His second collection, Understander, appears this spring, also with Chaudiere Books.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday poem #99 : Nikki Sheppy : Laboratory of Chthonic Fantasy


In deepest cavern steeps a surreal 3D printer, sufficiently precise to print aerospace parts. Instead, a man programs an algorithm to reproduce a delicately rendered eye, in several contrasting cells—some precious, some common. Then poured onto a plate, unseeing, beneath the oculus of uppermost cavern, the eye swelters with light. Strange jewel: it’s a model of optically precise structures, submerged in algae, complying with the most rigorous tolerance, yet blind.


Gradual haptic. Coal diadem. A hemorrhage of dreams. At the blood, a loitering.


In cavern, it is always oneiric multitude of night & gloveless dreaming. It is always fat, imaginary knowing, the well-fed scuttle of bats piloting each violent descent into depth. That is when shine lucks out from the plate. Eye picks up a scent & scows over the invisible scurf & spoor, bashes to its flower, strangely known, & slinks inkwise home. Odour gilding its filaments.


When the room badgers, hacking its paw at the inhabitant. When the room bellies & hives. When the god of angles battles dimension. And the only contusion is the past pleasure of walls—sound cored and skivvied, into partition.


Tart cry, held apart. From me the fruit of fluency. Devour it. Atmospheres startle the floor, numinously strobed. Substitution of abyss for ground. Husk for pelt. “Me” for me.


Where the long nerve sweeps the esophagus from the inside. Deep so deep it’s ablaze. Like shade so far gone it finds the light folded into secret theories. Palpitation in language. Tremors yoked each to each: larynx & phrase. The me that differs from the me, heart an auroch racing for itself at naked speed. Can’t wait, can’t breathe, can’t handle this proximity. To itself, the body bares each of its animals.

Nikki Sheppy is a poet, editor and arts journalist. She has a doctorate in English literature from the University of Calgary. Her book reviews have appeared in Uppercase Magazine, Alberta Views, and Lemon Hound, and her poetry in Event and Matrix. She serves as President of the Board of filling Station, Calgary’s experimental literary and arts magazine, and is the author of the poetry chapbook, Grrrrlhood: a ludic suite (Kalamalka 2014). 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan