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Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Tag: Canadian poetry

Prologue by Luciano Iacobelli

To create angels

Is to slice pie and name wedges:

difficult angles of light preserved in heart’s jelly

teenaged crushes trapped diagonally

undirected love felt in the presence of music

infatuation without object

movement in the skull

turtles waking in the mind’s mud

grape cluster the past becomes if artfully remembered

not images

but the script under them

negative space written in spelling errors

negligence that amends the soul

a family of perspectives driving a cumulative death

into the oncoming traffic

whole note in a black triangle on a blue background

disappearances denting the air

weather not noticed by the self absorbed

ignited visions

kissed ashes

barrel in the cellar

parallel fermentation of grape juice and darkness

the strong red taste of every humanizing event

stolen hour at the church dance

when a hard father’s daughter meets the one

who steals her from home

mines and quarries dug with the eyes

dream’s mailman

slipping letters through the slot

the white surrounding this

word

Luciano Iacobelli is a Toronto poet, publisher and editor. From 2007 to 2019 he was involved with Quattro books as both publisher and editor. He still runs a micropress entitled Lyricalmyrical press, specializing in hand made poetry chapbooks. As an author, he has published 6 full length books of poetry, his most recent book DOLOR MIDNIGHT was published in 2018 and deals with the subject of gambling. His next book, NOCTOGRAMS is due to be published in the fall of 2020 and deals with the subject of night and transformation.

Prologue begins THE ANGEL NOTEBOOK (Seraphim Editions, 2007)

Reposed in Flight by Ned Baeck

Basement bright with skin

shows dark, rapt faces.

They hold him

in their hearts and brains.

Someone whispered the world

is not worth becoming evil for –

On the ceiling, which is the maiden mother’s floor,

they pound, and pause, and pound again.

Blood pulsing in their fists,

the pierce of loathing under their ribs.

In a shadowed mezzanine

below the conscious mind,

they gnaw on river fish,

direct you to the wrong people,

put glitter in their eyes,

control the atmosphere,

arrange stillborn thoughts in old places.

Later they will say you brought down

the old, dull, rusted sword

with your own hands – and you did –

on the samovar that hid her hand

and the bed where she bared herself.

Motionless,

bird reposed in flight,

love for whose sake everything, murderous

and merciful, is done –

It’s so quiet now,

vouchsafed to a world of sullen depravity,

a few crumbs of dust for the broom.

The true operation of your mind – follow it –

 

Ned Baeck lives in Vancouver.

His poems have recently appeared in untethered, The Continuist and Sewer Lid.

His first full-length collection of poems is forthcoming from Guernica.

Sugar by Sheila Stewart

slightly blur

1.
Dust rises off the hot low veldt.  Vast sugarcane estates: the only irrigated
land.   Wide lush green fields sprout a million tiny sprinklers. The cane is
ready, burnt to make it easier to cut. Flame sweeps the fields, fierce as a
forest fire. The air black soot, a flurry of ash falls miles away, drifts in
doorways, a line of soot runs across the table in our classroom Monday
morning, mirroring the crack in the roof’s peak.

a35

2.
How I love a dusting of sugar over a slab of chocolate cake, a script of
raspberry sauce.

aaaa

3.
Give me brown sugar, white sugar, cubes and icing sugar, caster sugar,
sugar daddy, sugar mummy, sugar baby, sugar bear, sugar-beet, sugar
bowl, sugared and sugary, sugar plum fairy, Shake Sugaree.

avery

4.
Long, open cane trucks, chains along the sides, drive past the auto-
wreck’s Jesus is Coming, into the refugee settlement, collect workers
early in the morning, return them dirty, tired at day’s end. The cane cutters
earn a little more, dressed in layers for protection, sooty as chimney
sweeps. Our students tell us, Cane can cut you. Snake can get you in the
cane.  

spoon sum

5.
Monthly rations: maize, beans, salt, sometimes dried fish, and a little
sugar.

suncube

6.
One more lump of sugar, please.

kandinsky

7.
Simon learned English fast: homeland, refugee, truck. Hot and cold. Love
and hate. Past, present, future.
Simon cut cane. He told us of his last trip
on the back of a cane truck. Returning to the settlement one black night,
the truck broke down at the side of the road. People got out, lay down and slept, waiting for another truck. Simon watched a lorry full of oranges
crash into the cane truck, knocking it over onto the sleeping workers,
pinning the dead and injured to the ground. The sugary smell of oranges
but none to eat. The truck carried on, cutting through the night taking the oranges safely to Durban.

intersect

Sheila Stewart has two poetry collections, The Shape of a Throat (Signature Editions) and A Hat to Stop a Train (Wolsak and Wynn). She co-edited The Art of Poetic Inquiry (Backalong Books). Sheila’s poetry has been recognized by such awards as the gritLIT Contest, the Pottersfield Portfolio Short Poem Contest, and the Scarborough Arts Council Windows on Words Award. She teaches in Equity Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and the Writing Centre at New College, University of Toronto. ‘Sugar’ is from The Shape of a Throat.

bowl

Exercise 8 (or On Longing) by Pierre L’Abbé in response to Plein verre, Pierre Reverdy, (May 1940)

Labbetad

As I walk the corners of the line square

line square

29end of the line

 I realize there is somewhere “I might live

that is already lost to me”

deep sea face

It may lie outside this plane

12

On days when my heart circumscribes the straight

wall line

On days when my heart precedes me

circumnavigating the straight

glow

 It is the celebration of this summer

on the lateral

11

 while my body an orifice drinking through winter

tad

so I go my heart before me

possessing it

small glow

and suckle on the end of the line

that divides me from myself

too often

 where if only I were to make it to the end of this line

before the line

8

so would I watch its own application

evaporate as it goes before me

curling itself into flat spheres that are these points

of line for to be always

receding

before me

windows

 aaah

face and circle

I know where I am and where this place is

that may allow me to be

round

It is of course the journey of the line

that joins them to me

that is unknown

green

It is. It is that it eludes me

were that all my longing would resolve into joy

were it a path to be found

2121

Pierre L’Abbé has translated Pierre Reverdy and is currently responding to Reverdy’s poetry.

slowwhite on white