Friday 29 January 2016


  two poems
     Kate Hargreaves


 A piece of skin the size of a quarter and the shape of Texas
 A clot (swallowed)
 A pineapple
35 plastic army men
A pantsuit
A birthday card
Culture Club
A carrot
Several ladybugs
A jar of sauerkraut
A painter’s canvas
Plastic tubing
A block of cheese
2 5lb weights (one from each nostril)
A rolled up newspaper from 2016
6 popcorn kernels
part of an optical nerve
3 baby teeth
 my frontal lobe
 a live panther
a Christmas wreath
a box of tissues
a pot of gold

     Taco Baby

     Taco Baby chews the pits from avocadoes.
     Refries string beans on the hot sidewalk.
     Burns her feet.
     Squirms when the shopping cart collector
     rattles by says I just want to eat
     you all up pinches her blotchy pink
     wrist before snagging
     another quarter from the return slot.
     Taco Baby’s too round to run
     Cracks a cream soda sniffles
     on the curbside and thumbs the flyer
     for a better sale on probiotics.

Kate Hargreaves  | Windsor  ON |  2016


      Frances Boyle


     I am liquid and slippery shiny
     mercury in my blood
     I can’t stay in one form
     for long.  Light refracts me
     bends me, spoon in drinking
     glass.  I shed that shape, shift
     on broken bedsprings,
     Charge and recharge from
     the circuit; clear the way
     for the next

Curiosity’s Gift

Scarcity and all that service,
his able friend.
Your attraction made an inclination dewy
light damns bad heartcourse
each point intent and fixed,
strange bursts.
Forever lake on paper. 

Begged or coveted,
sorrow dallies.  Possess curiosity’s gift:
a broad three-bladed snake. 
Form images distorted
claws and paws, face
with feathers fitted. 
Trace a join, hard found. 
Hate, the absent thought,
mines the hill   Feast rover
slake silver woods to prayers,
made with her own hands. 

A mother inward demons
receive with awe.  The visit fresh,
look -- delight sighs, refuses no gain.


at table every object
used to map a moment:

Canoe of Japanese snake claws,
paws of beast and bird
awful trace joined and polished.
She discovers a demand,
figure imaged in ivory
her own hands
pass forward
sorrow for days,
bring fearsome curiosity

Frances Boyle | Ottawa |  2016


Dream father
Ellie Hastings

In my nightmare my father
is holding me
down. I am stuck
for air, he is spitting in my face.
I don’t know what
I did – broke a cup,
forgot to vacuum,
fell asleep
in the wrong place.

You wake me
from my fit
and I am unhinged
by my illusion. I know
this is really a memory, but
you are holding me together
in your arms
and I know I have returned
to safety. I know I can sleep again.

In the morning
when you ask me what happened
in my dream,
I don’t want to tell you.
I know you will imagine your kindness
as hurt. You will turn your love
into a monster. You will think
your hold is the same
as the nightmare’s. And I am afraid
that you won’t believe
your love is saving.

Ellie Hastings | Windsor |  2016

Wednesday 20 January 2016


Land & Tittle    Christopher McCarthy

When I read a poem  – or hear it being read –
I  imagine  it   was written   as close to me as 
she is  &   listen  to   each   word   land  

your words land  prettyclose,  &   so much so
I imagine  the  poem   is a postcard  to me

solid, speaking well, from some sunny place:  silent

when  so many small words   lie so close together
tiny spaces  in between  are  evenmore,  important

the little square for the stamp: silent’s reserved parking space
your correspondence  poems - our sending columns of words
which gain meaning & expression from the quiet  pauses, waiting
            late  &  human

so many  of  your poems  land  pretty  close  
I can hear how tittle  is  title no longer:

          superscript spot – small distinguishing mark, diacritic
          dot on lowercase i or j –integral, part glyph

you remind me of Fr. Patrick, the priest,
who wrote ‘Ponc’, which is the point, dot,
& tittle, it begins:

            ponc mé – I point, I dot, I tittle
            but I leave in a gap after me

we correspond like that small distinguishing,
marking the dot over top of the i,
 the space after it, not one t–too much:
               cut i’s head off,
go to l

kick away j’s
soccer ball

tittle  sounds too much  like  diddle, & ‘Ponc’
sounds more like  punk  or worse, 


but there are too many poets, writing poems
to spoiled, aging priests, defrocked & hopeless
no, not that:

                 cut i’s head off,
three i’s grow up in its place

kick away j’s
soccer ball

pass it back   
               start a game

Christopher McCarthy | Toronto | 2015-2016

Tuesday 5 January 2016



     never a how or why
           by Pearl Pirie

        Rumi said, The china doll in us, at some point, will no longer break. 
        presumably, we will be powder for the horn to make magical healing,
        placebo dust for every which wind-up. because us being crushed
        will make everything all better, yeh? were Rumi’s shoulders the first 
        to load that hooey brick, or some well-intentioned translator? 

        monologues ignore their audiences. do you feel ignored? sit, have a tea.
        I’m thinking of you and trying to be risqué . I suspect you of making
        sow-ear purses by night from all those pigs your parents killed
        and blamed you for. because children’s tears look like a satire
        of parent’s own grief and by cutting themselves thru you, release.

        within all the pain that they called virtue, you learned well 
        the language of the crib. and because you walked with it, think  
        it’s good company. nobody really cares so go ahead, entertain 
        yourself. but ask nothing of me. Noguchi or Pound. which are you? 
        a what-knot of knowledge: this book is copiously researched. up for it?

        Pearl Pirie | Ottawa  ON | 2016

Monday 4 January 2016


You There
      by Tom Dilworth

I am putting you into this poem
and keeping you here.

You dislike constraint,
but how different is this from being
in your body? in the world?

Obviously it’s not enough for you
to be here as a pronoun.

So take your pick of an image in a metaphor:
A stick of chewing gum, a snowflake, a sliver of light,
A piece of gravel?
a bridge?
One of these please.

A bridge then—Boethius, too, liked that one.
But which? Brooklyn Bridge,
is already famously taken.
How about the Mackinaw Bridge, immense
and beautiful?

We feel you sway, the wind pulling us into itself
for delivery to distant whitecaps.
We cling to you, O Mackinaw Bridge,
especially those who panic halfway across.
Others traverse and vanish. The waters below
pass from Superior and Michigan into Huron, Erie, Ontario,
the St. Lawrence and the sea,
but you remain
like landscape.
This poem is your strait.

Or be a peach, sexy, delectable,
a juicy Angelus, hot with sun
but virginal, still on the branch,
softening, sweetening, just for me I’d like to think
but  know better.
This poem is your tree.

Or a bullet fired from preverbal casing
into the warm body of these words.

As they cool, a plump young forensics expert
digs towards you unsuccessfully
because you transform
into a diamond at the bottom of a mine shaft
which collapses—kaboof
burying you forever,
deprived of air and light,
unaware of ever having been lead or human,
impervious to the forensics expert’s corpse
above and oozing.

You dislike blood.
I knew you’d be hard to please.

A bee, then,
furry, humming, heavy with pollen,
dreaming of honey and the queen,
remembering the way to daisy fields
ready to dance directions. This poem
is your hive.
Welcome home,
bumping and rubbing the others.

Or try a word of some distinction:
indefatigable? delirious?
Not biliousness. And not duress,
since you can’t be here under yourself.
How about impervious from nineteen lines ago?
No. Then thong?

What’s wrong with thong?
Ok, so no one’s going to wear you between butt cheeks.
If you were a thong you wouldn’t mind
but I guess you’re not.

Consider prepositions.
Some have class.
I recommend thence or whence,
forgetting here and now.
because you want to be noticed.
Yes you do.
This is no place for false modesty.

Rambunctious? No, too Roman.
Ululation, then? that lovely barbarian
always on the losing side.
Of course not, what was I thinking?
No single word fits,
not even your name.

How about a simile? like puddle-glimmer of gasoline,
brighter than the pond-scum you declined.
Or like the hot surprise when you first touch dry ice,
like sunrise over snow,
like chewing foil that wrapped the gum you wouldn’t become
            in line ten (how soon they forget),
like a typhoon tightening shrouds between top tree and futtock
Ok, forget that, you who won’t be a thong.
Or like the butterfly kiss of a lover’s eyelash on your lower lip,
 but then it couldn’t be your lip, could it?
I guess you are like nothing else.

A nuance would suit, but how do I manage that
for someone so enigmatic.

Let this poem be your composite innuendo,
the opaque envelope of your mystery, implying
but not revealing the truth and goodness at the heart of you,
and hinting (I think I can manage a hint) at your longing
for the beauty that you lack.

‘Like this poem,’ you’re thinking,
or its writer. (Have we met?)
Let this, then, be me forgiving you,
and pardon by all you ever knew, for everything.
Let this be the verse where you deposit guilt
when you go (as you will)
Oh, but you’ve left that verse,
                                          a missed opportunity.
Ok, then when you go from this stanza,
put guilt aside,
shove it into this gap        

 brimming with molten lava
—there, it’s no longer yours and now no longer itself.

How does it feel to be innocent again?
                              You never were?
For the first time, then!
Even better.

And to think I had to drag you into this.

And now
just for you, a house with high ceilings
and many windows,
a view of green fields full of wildflowers
(where your bee hummed),
fields alive with unmetaphorical butterflies,
commas, say,
extending to hills and virgin forest
      (all virginity in this poem
      is metaphorical)
where you can roam or run,
young again, with a sweetheart,
gorgeous, witty, cheerful, kind,
just your type.
And above, a blue sky with Simpson-puffy clouds
where you can fly. Yes, try,
extend your arms, lean forward,

                                                                  you’re off.
               in serenity interrupted only
                                                      by bubblings of joy.

See, this isn’t such a bad poem to be in.

I know,
I know, you want your liberty,
but how free were you ever?
sovereign mostly over attitudes.
So choose one and don’t complain.
unless that’s your choice.

All right,
I’ll tell you what,
when you wish to stay, then
you’re free to go.

Tom Dilworth | Windsor  ON | 2016