About the Author

Daphne Marlatt

Daphne Marlatt
Daphne Marlatt was at the centre of the West Coast poetry movement of the 1960s, studying at UBC and with many of Donald Allen’s New American Poets, most notably Robert Creeley. Her writing includes prose narratives on the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver and of Steveston and several poetry books. In early 2006, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to Canadian culture.

Toyoshi Yoshihara
Toyoshi Yoshihara is an award-winning translator who has worked tirelessly to introduce English-language works of drama to Japanese audiences. A Canadian industrialist, he has translated over seventy Canadian plays into Japanese; heads the Maple Leaf Theatre in Japan; and is an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

Books by this Author
Cyclops Review, The
Excerpt

The Most Spontaneous Thing

Adrienne Ho

Walking toward Bank Street in winter, cold showing in our breaths. You leapt

pressed my back down against what would have been a raised flowerbed in summer, your mouth planting kisses.

The whole few seconds, I was thinking: what if someone's looking, what if in my backpack I carried some blown glass ornament you didn't know about?

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Intertidal

Intertidal

The Collected Earlier Poems 1968–2008
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Liquidities

Liquidities

Vancouver Poems Then and Now
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Excerpt

after noon’s bill put paid to young and out of our heads with ecstasy driven re-current (over the hump that 1930s bridge) all-new drive or lift-off from collision with what’s closing in debt paralysis now light’s red they’re racketing through cost incline inclined to sail sign for mercurial sparks of evanescent brands we’re leaning into the wind of our passing on acrylic legs in line in rhythm in astro-visors unimaginable to those 1960s ones who jumped from bridge billboard ledge fourth avenue windows looking for seventhheaven’s magnolia flesh or sought a way out from (through) midnight’s evacuated depth sufficiently peopled with our own reflection tower on tower eclipse since Blackball’s splash since Peace Parades’ high hope it’s high enough for tugs at flood tide Taylor’s coach-lamp pillars raised a glow above that human flood some 7,000 in from RR yards the wangies stickers pokey stiffs with canned heat, crack now, flaring up through vein flambeaux or stained our mirror glass is electronic tweets ten secs at most gone Digital Native If you lived under this bridge you’d be home by now

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Reading Sveva

Reading Sveva

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Rivering

Rivering

The Poetry of Daphne Marlatt
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : poetry, canadian
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Selected Writing

Selected Writing

Net Work
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Steveston

Steveston

by Daphne Marlatt
illustrated by Robert Minden
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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The Given
Excerpt

you remember — what is it you remember?
The feel of home, that moment of coming into your body, its familiar ache and shift, its little cough of consciousness resuming (Monday claims). i’m awake. i can’t quite see your face assume its usual definition. your shoulder rises like a hill i climb getting out on my side of the bed to pad to the sunroom, lift the blind on a spectral world. one early dog racing across the park, its breath steaming up through pallid light, though it isn’t light, not yet. still in bed, you turn to rise like some revenant, asking what time is it?
in the still of the day we bring something to burn. the smells of home, not roasted barley flour but tea, tea and toast. these small ceremonies ribbon through the days we share. and share, continuous, with what is gone.
it was July, that radiant kind of morning when all of outside shines in, calling the body out to play, light pristine, rearisen, chickadee’s two-note shrill euphoric, here / i’m here
— this joyant pouring in with sun across a kitchen nook amist with memory smoke, his breakfast cigarette, my usual struggle with a five-year-old, eat your cereal, you can’t go out until you eat. while all three of us know, between sips of this and that, only two blocks away the waves are lapping tenderly at sand, at soon-to-be bare feet, a thrill of seaweed under the gulls’ dip and shriek.
how it was, that morning of liquid flight when my father’s call came: i can’t wake her up, his voice like a child’s, crushed, lost. i’ve tried, she won’t wake up.
and birds, in the corner of an eye as i stared unfocused at their skywriting: flap flap, soar. their Sanskrit.
why does the eye slide off? the mind refuse anything more than grabbing at keys, making quick arrangements, then tearing through the parkway across the bridge along the Upper Levels, thinking glorious glorious morning, everyone driving their usual cavalcade of must-do’s and if only’s, thinking how can this be? this sudden gap.
gape. a wound that is love and not love.
you can’t do that, she told me over the phone when we’d come back to the city and i wanted to paint what would be the baby’s room. you can’t paint when you’re pregnant. that limiting fear i bridled at. it’s latex, Mom. we painted together in a memory loop from my childhood, water instead of turps, a splotch of robin’s egg blue on the soft sag of her cheek, her perfection at cleaning brushes. paint moons at the roots of our nails, and her latest conspiracy theory about her doctor, her dentist.
A pleasant glow of sentiment was shed by a light rosily shaded and suffused.
that too. its pleated shade, its fluted glass stem a little tippy, casting a glow to read by. satin quilt pulled up to her chin, hands holding the well-used public library smell of plastic covering a queen’s unbent head, the bloody intrigue of courtiers and kings, while all the while steam rose from the rose-patterned teacup beside her, twisted and thinned to
nothing in the pinkpearl glow.
rapid overlay, one place-time on another, as if we’re actually in the movement between, memory cascading its lightdrenched moments and then suddenly that single jet of recognition, parallel perhaps, that allows us to see, paradoxically, this place we’re in the midst of . . .
incredible. conflicting with explanation.
underlay, as if
her body under the
lay of the city under
lies it

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The Gull

The Gull

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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This Tremor Love Is

This Tremor Love Is

edition:Paperback
tagged : lgbt
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Mad Shadows
Excerpt

One

The
train
was
leaving
town.

Lying back with his head against his mother’s shoulder, Patrice followed the dappled countryside with a melancholy expression. Behind his forehead everything grew confused, like a billowing stormcloud on a screen. He watched in silence and did not understand, but his idiot face was so dazzling that it made one think of genius. His mother caressed the nape of his neck with the palm of her hand. With a gentle slip of her all-too-supple wrist she could lower Patrice’s head to her bosom and hear his breathing more easily.

On the other side, aloof and motionless, her daughter Isabelle-Marie sat pressing her sharp features against the window. Louise often said to herself, “Isabelle-Marie never really had the face of a child . . . But Patrice . . . Oh, Patrice!”

Isabelle-Marie was thirteen. She was tall and emaciated; her alarming eyes, so often full of anger, seemed glued to black bone. When she scowled, the lower part of her face twisted into a look of fierce contempt. It was almost frightening.

Her mother Louise, who was rich and owned many farms, gave her daughter all the most menial chores in order to devote her life and her remaining youth to Patrice. One could see that Louise believed in herself and above all, to the point of obsession, in the beauty of Patrice.

In the seats nearby, the passengers were looking at her son. Weary of having nothing to think about, the child yielded to sleep, gently, with a drop of perspiration on his brow. Louise wiped the drop away with the tip of her finger and smiled with pride at the thought that the beauty of her son was becoming ever more devastating, to even the coldest onlooker.

“Patrice . . . such a magnificent child!”

At the same moment, Isabelle-Marie thought, Patrice, the Idiot!

Patrice did not seem to worry about himself. He pressed even closer to his mother, his large green eyes empty as the night. Now and then his eyelashes and his cheeks would tremble, suddenly, and not in unison. His forehead was white, intact, and soft as the thigh of a swan. His bare lips curved without the slightest trace of tension. Never was there a sign of life on these lips. The lips of a corpse. Isabelle-Marie cast a sly look at him.

“A Beautiful Beast!” she muttered between her teeth.

Louise did not question the intelligence of her ten-year-old Adonis. He spoke very little, but she attributed this speechlessness, like the silence of the gods, to unconcern.

His extraordinary beauty satisfied her every wish. Nevertheless, Patrice was an idiot. Isabelle-Marie knew that behind his pale forehead was the deep stupor of an inactive mind, the lethargy of a dead brain. How cold it must be beneath his skin, she thought and was ashamed to see him sleeping peacefully, protected by his mother’s shoulder. She knew that the woman’s eyes, indeed her whole being, rested on this solitary and fragile beauty.

The passengers never stopped looking at Patrice. Isabelle-Marie began to blush. She felt sick to her stomach. Soon she saw nothing outside the window. A strange desire to die came over her. She rose and pressed against the cold glass. Her bruised cheek shivered. In an awkward attempt to hide her trembling, Isabelle-Marie clawed at the pane with her nails, trying to hold onto it . . . Louise did not see her. Louise never really dared look at her. Finally Isabelle-Marie buried her face in her hands.

“Mother, I have a fever.”

Bewildered, physically terrified by the people around her, she heard a woman cry out, “What a handsome son you have!”

And Louise, in her contented voice, answered, “Isn’t he, though?”

Isabelle-Marie fainted.

When she opened her eyes, they were drawing into the station. The other passengers, she was relieved to discover, had forgotten about the beauty of her brother. They walked hurriedly toward the station, paying no attention to one another. Isabelle-Marie began to breathe again. Blood warmed her legs and she felt a sense of release, a crazy desire to burst out laughing now that the torture had ceased.

“What is it, Isabelle-Marie?” asked Louise in a deceitful tone of voice.

“Nothing at all, Mother. Only a slight dizziness . . .”

Louise held her son’s hand nested in her own and the two of them slipped through the crowd, oblivious of the smoke that filled the air. The blond child followed indolently, his head resting against his mother’s elbow. Isabelle-Marie was sorry that the sun cast such an aura of innocence over Patrice’s hair. She followed her brother, awkward in her black dress . . . and more awkward still in the flesh.

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Opening Doors

Opening Doors

In Vancouver's East End: Strathcona
edition:Paperback
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