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First

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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A child gathers answers

 

Sixty-Three Green Circle Melrose one-one seven five two my locational numbers plus one baby sister for free a mother for safety and a blue car for long drives and one father at work leaving in the blue car morning a Dodge as well as dodge ball and hopscotch skipping ropes skipping Hopalong Cassidy how about a date meet you at the corner at half-past eight in the street stando yelling stando against a brick wall roller skates hide-and-go-seek answers in school also the pressure cooker beef stew steamed lemon pudding the creek behind McTavish's house up-on-the-hill train tracks which a child cannot walk near the golf course where toboggans in winter and brown strap-on rubber boots in the spring saddle shoes tap shoes toe shoes white bucks Pat Boone gumshoe Nancy Drew rubber soles and cartwheels and handstands though at night devils clawed the closet and snakes rustled under the bed despite now I lay me down to red rover red rover Red River coats and red Red River mittens grade one grade two grade three a party line a best friend.

 

A woman questions

How does the leaf know how does Turkish Finnish Kurdish French where do numbers whence negative why and whence zero is it fact or concept how instinct neurons for instance quarks cockroaches rats for instance mirrors mirror cells the Mariana Trench how many creatures will never be seen soufflés pavlova pavlovae how cells know how on earth friends the cosmos how far back where did she go what means without any start missing and end without end without start quantum physics theoretical higher math mathematics how the big bang string theory the Cern Cyclotron Stephen Hawking how does a friend falling off with Einstein altogether the Earth why and which equations and how mainly from where.

Firsthand

 

In the inside there is deluge, in the outside there is missing. Somewhere is refuge. Quickening. Listen. Let is-ness then be the business, let mothers into story if only for a few more years. If quickening, there may be answers, whistle, wind, chance literation, chance marriages, misfits, chance the first chance, do not reprove the child asking awkward questions. Let blue angora mittens, a black cat, second fiddle. There is a second layer, liar, liar, pants on fire. Never mind, there is always porridge with a sift of salt and garbage bins under the sink whispering misery in an off-key pitch. Cinch your belts, no one here is as rich as you may wish. Hey diddle, diddle, kit and kaboodle, cows, spoons, a cat in a fix. In the inside there are two. In the outside, there is one and one sitting, unseeing what will be missing. Heaven whistles by in its finite fevered way, tin whistle stops and lingerie, saxifrage and lingering, and tips. Q-tips. Second storey is higher than first, pinch me if I'm wrong, never mind, the second story is typically too blue, too long.

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Coconut

Coconut

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canadian, lgbt
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I tell my mother that I want to be a poet

and do not flinch when 26 years of
licking the dirt off the earthworms
no longer tastes like home
I think we forget that the great pyramids of giza
were burial chambers, never meant to hold
anything close to a beating heart, or a living dream
and I wonder why it is that when a child of immigrants
wants to be a poet, we pray instead for a prosperous afterlife
I tell my mother that I want to be a poet
and for a second, we fall in love
leave the men we think we
aren't beautiful enough to abandon
touch palms to the cool tables of our cheeks
hold each other as women do
chest to chest, like we are enough
but if I could write a poem for every time
I have made my mother proud
I would, for once, have nothing to say

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awâsis - kinky and dishevelled
Excerpt

Who is awâsis?

 

awâsis, awâsis. The settler is confused
about your shapeshifting. You can't decide
if you're an animal or a human,
or if you are a he or a she.
I am from the iskonikan, a nehiyaw who has seen
talking animals, the roadrunner, big bird, bugs
bunny, projections on television, and movies.

 

kayâs our people spoke with all Creation.
And all Creation understood each other.
The âtayôhkêwina say animals and humans shapeshifted.
Was the trickster, wîsahkêcâhk, a coyote or a person?

 

Seizing the mic, wîsahkêcâhk urges the rolling-hips
to the blind-duck dance.
She'll smoke her cigar at the prayer lodge,
piss at the tail-end of a prized treadmill.

 

awâsis, I've heard you speak. My antennas
strain to listen. Your voice so raspy and soft.
You tell us how your kôhkom
poured skunk oil into your swollen throat.
You fan the sweat rocks,
eagle wing scorching our flesh.
You bring Grandmother Skunk's medsin to bless us,
while Bear Child heals us with her lard.
awâsis, who am I without you?
You've blended into my sagging and wrinkled skin,
watched the owl wisdom of your face
in the skylight of my dreams.
You've hidden your laughter
under years of my travel-worn feet.

 

Remember When

 

awâsis dreamt she married herself,
with full-moon breasts,
with a phallus and gonads.
When she woke, her body
was a full-grown woman,
her spirit entwined in a warrior's heart.
She gave birth like any other
bear, grunting, groaning, and pushing
forth a blood-river of land-filled brawls.

 

awâsis worked like a wolverine,
hefty muscles wearing tattoos.
Her feet a ballet dancer's desire,
fingers that traced a cello with the lightness
of a butterfly's wings.
When you see her today
she's the man on stage, her bulge
straining against her ballet tights.
She's the woman wearing work boots,
driving a transport loaded with fruit,
going cross-country.
Remember when the two-legged
had three, four, five, six, and
sometimes seven: he, she, he-she,
she-he, she-she, and he-he!!

 

In nehiyaw country, when people speak
of a man or woman, they refer to them
as he and she. They know that spirit
is neither and is all.

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Moldovan Hotel

Moldovan Hotel

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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For You Shall Be Called to Account

 

The ancestors of everyone I've let into my body
are gathered in a small room with one window,
no lights. Yes, the room is crowded. Yes, there
are no chairs. Yes, they are talking-why are we
here, says the Nazi resister. Where are the chairs,
says the Viking (no horns). Where is the light, say
the people with their new French name hung
around their necks heavy like a long black cross.
Here, says the grand wizard, and a long white
light descends from a point from the ceiling.
The people of the oldest empire are here, too,
they have brought their own fire (hidden), they
too can speak French, they know in an instant not
to trust that light. They are opening the window.
How do we get away from these people, they
murmur. True Aryans! say the Nazis with their
new French name. No one is speaking
to the Catholics. There is a knock on the door-
there is a door. More Nazis. How did this happen?
Outside the open window there is a small huddle
of shawls and feet and candlesticks, a suitcase
and a cane. Someone has forgotten their things,
says the Nazi resister. The candlesticks turn into
my great-grandmother, their tarnish to coal smears,
the cane grows tall into my great-zayde, the shawl
his mother, suitcase an uncle with an aunt inside.
The feet are just empty shoes-my cousins have
already died. The small huddle of my family outside
the open window begins to sink to a great distance,
first one storey, then a long drop. Someone spits
through the open window. My great-zayde
shields his face. Great-grandmother looks up.
What are those people, she says, doing
in that room?

 

Return & Revive Us

 

No one ever thinks they might be
the dragon.

 

Everyone wants to swing the
lance around, divine stomp.

 

A legion names itself
protector, prince among angels--

 

nested in green
shirts, scales on a beast.

 

Calls itself iron. Declares its task
guarding. Another legion

 

wraps itself in yards and yards of cloth,
whispers the name of that very

 

same deliverer. The archangel Michael

 

is confounded--intervenes
and appears, yanks humans out of the mouth

 

of the eternal lion as fast
as they throw themselves

 

in. Archistrategos is a web of light pulled
in the directions of his sparks. Starts

 

one fire. Beseeched to put it out again. Covers his ears,
leaves red handprints. Nobody thinks

 

they could ever be the serpent.
Who is like God?

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Iron Goddess of Mercy

Iron Goddess of Mercy

edition:Paperback
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