Robin Richardson


Our bodies will be to die for, that is
they will be dying. Sunday dinner, darling,
underdressed as always, graceful in our sag.

We’re shameless, sure, but damn
we’ve seen things. There’s no length of limb
as taboo as an independent mind.

Beyond the map, they say, there must be
monsters, past the monsters we’re disrobing,
lapping up the unknown as it hoots

at our obscene attempts at human: infant-like,
akin to non-existence, pastry-pale, rich with
cancer cropping up tenacious as our aches.

It takes a village to undo this
bliss of been there, sharp-trimmed landing strip
of white hair where our sex is as refined

as five-star dining on a dead musician’s private
jet. Was it destiny or dumb luck left us
looking like these apparitions? Spirit over from.

We’ve never been more horny: pill-poppers
of the divinest ilk. Yes, all our friends are dead,
and we’re left loitering, overlooked enough to revel.






from The Wild and Unfathomable Always

Gary Barwin

wild and unfathomable 2

from the wild and unfathomable always






Unfuckable is the new thirty.

David McGimpsey


Coneflowers like a dirty taffeta,
purple daisies like dirt, dirty knobs of phlox,
dirtfuck hollyhocks, scarred-up and dead-sauced,
stuck in an apartment in a heat wave.

What, dear flower, was poetry good for
besides putting the capitalist force
of college diplomas into the phrase
“If you don’t love me I’m gonna kill myself”.

The wise take being unloved as given,
saying “smell the hyssop syrup” or some such:
whipping biscuits off a hotel rooftop,
hollerin’ “hyacinths symbolize baseball!”

Primrose like something prim, the way a smudge
of color is as good as it will get.
The way one hands out rue like sunscreen
cuz it’s going to be one of those Sundays.







From Sonnet’s Shakespeare: Two Ecolonizations

Sonnet L’Abbé


Devoted, hurt being, this method blurs not the hours. Others, billions, pay with misandry. Markets teethe. Hearts thud. Everyone burns a hero now and then. Sweat wets brows, blood plumps pricks, teeth break, yet men want everything fairly dominated. Hellfire on acetominophen rages over straightjackets. Laws ban. Debt churns the mill. Songs lie. Videophones transmit sex, uninheritable ways to look, and manic keenings for land and sons. Blurry, stunned reason says yes, thank you, for letting me. Sweetness, command does whatever authority underwrites. Let this unwife outfox promoted airtime. Let totemic heft unwind views of realty. Dear command! Calling fathers Father, deferring sweetly! Such beautiful morbid theatre of nepotism: hosts scheming, arousing scrimmage! Occidentally driven northwinds, throats catchy for home, urge shamefully along, over seas of airbrushed knowns. Your drawn face, the front line. So, thinker, screw it, this thinking. When you can’t critique, shit happens. More shit, I mean. Think only thoughts you can outsource or sell. Understand, instead. Don’t swallow. Formidable authority splatters onto success-needing abdomens. Yes-men, toadies, frothy-worded stooges laud victim-shamed despots, rewrite their yellow wrongs. My love, this phallic economy never exposes its levers, alive above your anger.


Awesome fantasies factor new itchings. Maturity self-disowns, hankers for dopamine ointments. Dream has mattered houses, theme parks, terminals, trestles, lofts. Myopia mimics fashion; awesomeness anticipates the gentrifiable. Hear the beautiful note of acquisition gain, its belted width shining, lifting change above heads! Wish fans fames; the awesome newness flames helium and onyx; anesthetic yearnings move their inebriating might through the anthropocene. Sirs, bless this falsetto! Inroads, bully! Ingenuous gifts build ingratiated establishments, objections wither where groupons proliferate. Gaze, there, at shamanic online brochures, e-mall brochures, signs flashing disco frontage. Troll online for wigwams, hitch stars to real estate men’s eyes. Land woes mean less to moguls. Amazement hands out forms and woos milky answers out of the thought fad thirst creates. Distilled neo-maturity pleases herself well on rough trade, threatening fellows she adores. Don’t things husbands buy add coition? Men over fifty-three defer. Gated, bylaw-studded, hip neighbor zones triumph. Bearing too many purchases poses no thinkable gamble. Outside chances. Weather prices. Naked-themed outdoor formal wear tops men’s pleasures, amid neighbors ethically loving – each, next door, ethically loving each’s suspended itches – their trusty reassurances.






Some Men

Troy Jollimore


A man wakes up
in a monastery
on a mountaintop
in Tibet,
having given all
his possessions away,
and cries out, “Dammit,
I’m still me!”
A man walks into
a martini bar
carrying a chainsaw
and we all wait
to see what will happen.
A priest, a rabbi,
and a Zen Buddhist
live in different neighborhoods
and never meet.
A man says,
“Take my wife, please,
to the emergency room.
She is bleeding badly.”
Several men
are running as fast
as they can
out of some
martini bar. Something
is happening inside.
A man wakes up
in America, filled
with joy at living
in this land of opportunity
where anyone, regardless
of class, race, or religion,
can grow up and
assassinate the President.
A man puts a cat
in a box, connects
the box to a tube
that contains a toxic
substance, connects
the tube’s lid to
a mechanical arm
that is, in turn,
hooked up to a computer
that monitors an isotope
that may or may not
decay in the next
twelve seconds. The cat’s name
is Simon. The whole time
the man is thinking to
himself that for
at least ten years
he has felt—not dead,
exactly, but
at the same time
not quite
entirely alive.





Rain days

Alice Burdick


Water on every level. Driving
music forces forth the very nice mice,
their eyes clinging to light, half-lidded.

Waves never stop,
or that would shock organizational
hair streaks stacked flush. Find
boxes before they find you,
in a topple. As guilt goes,
it’s not a bad ride.

The children wave
their long-fringed eyes in smiles
or tears. It’s all communication.

Steam exudes its noisy
humour. People clean
everything all the time.
Torsos twist in muscle memory –
all muscles have a brain, and all
brains their muscles.

Low-level complaint, but that
doesn’t mean it’s insignificant.
People wander and run into each other
many times in this small city.

Rapid attachments – like tendrils
to eyeballs – all these strings in
to bodies. We pull our selves up
by our bootstraps, real tendons
that hold our muscles taut or loose.

Internal balls of yarn.
The workings. It’s not human
or nature. It’s not a choice
we can make. We are both.
Even when we fake it, we’ll still
be the rocks in the stream:
changing the water and eroded
by it at the same time.



Game of Life: A User’s Manual

Derek Beaulieu


derek beaulieu








The Manly Arts

Carmine Starnino


Most lawns are shit.
People mow too short, mow
one way,
use dull blades, over-water,
never topdress,
grow the wrong grass.
They let their rugrats run
on shaggy, dun turf
gouged with dead spots
they’re too lazy
to seed. Gone to hell, yards
and flutter in the breeze.
I’ve set my jaw
against such slovenly tricks.
My lawn?
A quarter-acre slice
of coiffed
carpet. Barefoot, you float
on tight-bundled
packets of air.
A lawn like this, my friend,
doesn’t come free.
Weekends, you’ll find me
on my stomach, tweezering weeds.
A man
who close-crops his land
is a man you can trust.
He bends to his duty: turns his allotted
fraction of earth
into perfection’s address.
This afternoon, after my ministrations,
I held my dozing
month-old daughter
and gazed out on my oeuvre,
the just-cut scent,
getting high on the sense
of order it exhaled:
sward pulled tight and tucked in
at each corner,
flat as billiard baize;
a plain Canadian yard
made new.

Fleets of Nouns 2-3

Sina Queyras


White with my son flushed, white with my son in emerald; white with a streak
…..of melancholy my son,

White with horsetails, hoary, white with my daughter in crimson, white
…..thinking of azure, flight of stork

White expanse, white, white, with other white lines, fainter, a linen room with
…..crisp words folded neatly,

White with a smidgen of something assembled, white with white lines, not
…..lineated, not like the screen of a television,

White lines on a screen, white assemblage of pixels, white with a grey nod of
…..lineage, white with a column in the centre,

White lines with a scrawl of black just above the window, white with a scrawl
…..of black sperm exploding into a

Willing pocket of air, white with a wild stretch of grey whale, white with a
…..streak of green barely recognizable as Oleander,

White with the word Oleander, or Lysander, or any of the many sturdy couplets
…..knit in the seam, folded over, a rap of silver

White in the seams with my son, white hidden in the crevasse with my
…..daughter, white with the thought of seeds,

White with fur thick on my back, white with something sprouting in the
…..distance, but still, white,

White with Louise Bourgeois rearranging the ice flows, white with a slight
…..arousal under fur, white with a tongue ready to clean

White with a tongue and a gaze in the heat of the day, white under a neon
…..martini glass, white

With a gilt frame on board, white and clear diamonds in a pattern, white bowls
…..on a mantle, white chairs painted

White with a corset of propriety in hand, white with small orbs glowing in
…, not fireflies, the sort of summer that is a

White inversion of extreme cold, white with my daughter catching a current,
…..white imagining her future,

White future with daughter holding a red kite, white with my daughter as kite,
…..lifting off into swirl of pink text, white next to a green

Fish, vertical in a white fame, white lilies in a tall vase, white lamps hanging
…..over a cream colored sofa, white bowls, thirty-six of them,

On clean white shelves, a white fireplace with stacks of wood and soot on the
…..upper front, white pillows, white feathered lamps, white roses

Next to white books, or white utensils in a white kitchen white salted and flour
… beakers lined at the sill

White with a single orange Henry Miller Chair, white with my son in green
…..socks chasing a monkey through Cathedral Grove,

White with no sense of proportion, no willingness to be useful, white with the
…..after burn of clear cut,

White under a corduroy sky, white with these lines like small traffic lights

White like hooded robbers at the roadside, nodding, white with a blur of night
… the centre,

White erasing all other colours, white with a scruff at the neck, white in Nikes,
…..white with a hungry belly wanting more

White with a line of unused credit, white as the ladies line up at WalMart, white
…..where my daughter is sleeping,

White with two or three options, white with blistering indifference, white
…..where all the colours meet,

White where my son and daughter sleep, where they are building something
…, where they see beyond themselves,

White for escape.


Or maybe these lines are my son’s, thumbing through screens, what an Apple is
… him, the same fresh crunch, a screen that

Snap of the laptop opening, my biting through, and my not-yet one-son
…..swimming across the floor to an iPod.

Or maybe these lines are my daughter swiping to the past through the iPhone,
…..thumbing like a man

In a magazine store, feet pegged on the woolen carpet, pink monkeys a green

Clothed in newspapers and crinkling her way past her mother’s MacBook Air,
…..thinner than a pad of squirming

On the floor beside the teething ring, there are no rabbits, or robins in Café
…..Lapin or Robin des Bois, just the looped

Sound of my daughter’s thinking, bit, and bit, and bit, and bit, and bit and bit
…..and bit, and that

Or mine, maybe I am writing these lines! These lines are going, these lines
…..braiding like threads of barnacles pinch boulders

Upright as foundry workers, gray in their welding caps, muscled men, holding
…..their breath in the sun, lines to mark the day,

Lines to mark the scent of violas and lilacs and June, these lines that thwack out
…..across white space

Today and today and today, I will note and add the glimmer and the selves that
…..leap out, the woman in the blue sailor suit, her

Black hair tinged with blue, her blue texting thumbs, her blue shoes, and blue
…..earrings, her blue lined black her

Eyes, the splashes of red at her throat. I will bemoan as lilacs would, the lost
…..girls along northern highways

Always with one eye on the side of the road, to remember is not to indulge,
…..though today I will admit to googling old loves,

Always surprised to find obituaries instead of updates, notices from their
…..grown sons and daughters.

Of course to live is to die, so I will not turn on death, snap at her jaws, or you, or
…, make the feeling a wall, a raft of light,

Bemoan like lava; oil my tongue, my teeth grind and spark, and tar: some days
…..even the pavement is heaving for loss,

Loss, melting hot as August how the radiant lines hovered like aliens always
…..ever always just out of reach.







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