05 January 2016

"Wigwam" on Synapse

I have another new poem up on an online venue. "Wigwam" will be making its next appearance in my best-selling blockbuster spring collection, A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (Wolsak and Wynn, under Paul Vermeersch's Buckrider Books imprint), but its debut is right here on Synapse, an onliner out of, I think, Ottawa. I'm wondering now whether my Grade 2 teacher's name was Leibovici or Leibovic. I better find out before the book gets published! Anyway, it features the excellent education I received in First Nations issues in the 1960s in North York.

This online publication is all part of my desperate campaign to give a pile of new poems an extra life before the book comes out. I'll have a few more publications to announce soon.

Over and out.

01 January 2016

Alterations (2016 New Year's Poem)


The weight of John Ashbery’s
Collected French Translations:
(414 pages) and Roberto
Bolaño’s The Unknown University
(835 pages) on my mattress this
New Year’s morning is like
the weight of my mother and
father sitting on the foot of
the bed, watching me as I sleep.
Twenty-one years gone and fifteen,
respectively, they’re from another
world. “What’s a guy like you
doing here? / Are you plotting
a crime?” my father asks,
and he puts me in a headlock.
“O closed heart O heavy heart O
deep heart / You will never get
used to sorrow,” my mother says,
and she strokes my left cheek.
Thing is, I’ve stopped writing
poems about them. Also,
my strides are longer, and
I can be out the door and
at the lake in three steps. I
kneel down and scoop
some water into my palm.
Soon the water turns to ice.
The weight of me makes me
sink into the snow that covers
the beach. By the time spring
comes and the snow has melted,
I will have a little tailor shop
down there. I will have become
my grandfathers. My parents
are just a gleam in my eye.
I switch a little light on
above my sewing machine
and do some alterations.

1 January 2016

Over and out.