About the Author

Neil Petrunia

Books by this Author
Blood Orange

Blood Orange

by Heidi Garnett
cover design or artwork by Geneva Haley
edited by Micheline Maylor
designed by Neil Petrunia
tagged : canadian
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Our Black Dog Who Disappeared
Sits at the back door and barks to be let in.
He offers no explanations,
but looks well fed as a cucumber
and guilty as a radish –
that little traitor – I wonder where he has been.
He follows me to the garden  
and watches as I dig potatoes.
I make a show of stuffing them,
eyes and all, into burlap sacks
and dragging them to the root cellar.  

He settles in his old spot on the back deck,  
his eyes water bowls skinned with dust,  
the kind crows might drink from
or drop corn seeds in to watch them sink.

Second Sight
A bomber’s navigator charts a glittering river
visible now and again through clouds below,  
a ribbon dropped by his daughter
unwinding over rolling green countryside,
beaded rhinestone, head filled with flowers,
May in Amsterdam after Anne Frank. A woman,
faceless under her Breugelian hat, crouches to plant lettuce seedlings.
A robin lines a nest with hair plucked from a skeleton.
There’s so much we must be witness to. Soon,
chimney stacks, roads, a factory, an assigned target,  
but, then again, maybe not.  
Perhaps, like a lost man, the pilot has circled back
to where he began. Men wielding two-handed saws between them
cut trees down in a forest that has never been logged.
The trees fall without complaint. A stump is a lonely thing.
The bay doors open. Bombs drop
as if they’re sleepwalking.

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The Bone Weir

The Bone Weir

by David Stymeist
edited by Micheline Maylor
cover design or artwork by Tim Nokes
designed by Neil Petrunia
tagged : canadian
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Pinhole Man 




At Pinhole Cave, another grotto pun:


a crook-backed man with erect penis 


scrimshawed haphazardly onto 


the side of a thick slab of rib – 


the hard bone mammalian armour, 


now playfully turned to an après dine 


canvas where in thin cartoonish lines 


a lone dancer carouses in his mask. 


Our liminal Adam, first root and seed, 


and all that untimely, unimagined woe 


to the woolly, hairy beasts of field.

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And The Unfinished Script
by Tyler Trafford
edited by Terry Davies
cover design or artwork by Mary Haasdyk
designed by Neil Petrunia
tagged : coming of age
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Cemetery Compost

Cemetery Compost

by Murray Reiss
edited by Micheline Maylor
preliminary work by Geneva Hayley
illustrated by Neil Petrunia
tagged : canadian
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Because it is utterly open to heaven and all its blessings.


Because when consciousness escapes my body at the moment of death no clinging tendrils will deflect its homeward flight.


Because of the seven cakras it is the crown, the thousand-petalled rainbow-coloured lotus.


Because Don Juan told Carlos Casteneda that a warrior wears death on his right shoulder but I wear it every day on the top of my head.


Because while age shrinks the rest of my body, it alone continues to grow.


Because without it I might believe I will live forever.


Because it is a beacon to our little friends from outer space, showing them where they can safely land.


Because in seventeen tongues in seventeen lands it signifies virility.


Because it is the size and shape of a yamulka, reminding me of all the minyans from which I absconded.


Because it could be innocently mistaken for a tonsure.


Because I always wanted to pass for a Christian brother. As I have always wanted to use the word tonsure in a poem.


Because I need not ask for whom the bathtub drain clogs. It clogs for me.


Because in growth and shape it is both circular and incremental and thus echoes, eerily, the incremental growth and circular shape of this poem.


Because through it my body is attuned to Gaia, and I grieve for her losses even as I grieve each falling hair.


Because it waxes with the ozone hole of Antarctica and wanes with the rainshadow coastal forests of my island home and its mountains Tuam, Maxwell and Bruce.


Because it is both map and memory, keeping score of my wanderings like the rings of an ancient tree.


Because even as the deserts spread through Africa’s grasslands, it devours my remaining cover.


Because it provides me daily practice in renunciation, and prods me to gradual progress in the arduous spiritual discipline of letting go.


Because its presence is that of absence and thus inclines me to the metaphysical.


Because it removes all impediments and interference, releasing me to write without restraint off the top of my head.

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Silent Sister

The Mastectomy Poems
by Beth Everest
illustrated by Neil Petrunia
edited by Micheline Maylor
tagged : canadian
More Info





i phone. let my sisters


know that Dr. Kanashiro tells me


they are now at risk, in that strange


mathematics by which


my illness has made them more 






yes, yes, one sister says. i understand.


and the other, i’ll book a mammogram


and the third, well, my friend had a 


mastectomy, and she’s just fine.




my neighbour visits. do you 


want to see, i say. do you


want to show me? yes,


yes i do. i want to show you,


i want to scream naked


thru the streets and run


and run and run, one breast






then they’ll see, won’t they


then they’ll see.

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