20190422

Letter to K. from Žižkov

Alison Braid


It’s half past four in the afternoon in Prague
on the rise of the Bohemian Basin. You’ll be

counting bird after bird until you hit 50,
wet on the B.C. coast and will be for months.

Next door a woman believes a man sleeps
in her attic, materialises downstairs to cut

her hair at night. Police are summoned
to discover a homeless man in a dumpster

with houseplants in his hands. In Vancouver
the trees that surround you peel away

from themselves. Streets run into the ocean.
In Prague life is seldom still. Harvest moons

spawn shape-shifting nightmares. Kafka’s head
in its square, revolves. Did I tell you

the morning Papa died
the air raid sirens sounded, unscheduled?

Out the window I watched women
walk dogs, unhurried, and decided to not

be alarmed. Sat through the heady looping
in the kitchen trying to understand how

to manoeuvre the days to follow.
Learning the sirens mourned the passing

of a firefighter felt fitting too. I sat through
the afternoon and into the night, unable to conceive

of bombs falling, or his stilled hands. Watched a light
go out across the way, as it had the night before,

and the night before that. Nina Simone sings under
the long horn of a reversing truck and I balance a cup of tea 

while writing you. I moved 8000 miles
to stare at the same trees: maple, linden, false acacia.



Alison Braid is a Prague-based Canadian writer. Her work has appeared in Bad Nudes, The Puritan, CV2, The Maynard, Poetry Is Dead, and elsewhere. Her poems have won Honourable Mention in Grain's 2018 Short Grain Contest, and been shortlisted for CV2's 2018 Young Buck Poetry Prize.

 

20190418

An interview with Daniel Cowper

Daniel Cowper is a poet from Bowen Island, BC, whose poems have appeared in Train, and recently in In/Words' special issue Dis(s)ent, Cascadia Rising, Southword (Ireland), and Big Smoke. He is the author of The God of Doors, a poetry chapbook with Frog Hollow Press, and his first full-length collection of poetry, Grotesque Tenderness, is forthcoming from McGill-Queen's University Press in Spring 2019.

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I grew up on Bowen Island, BC, in a micro-culture where everyone was encouraged to practice some form of art. We were were given licence to develop whatever creative practices interested us, and my natural medium happened to be words. As an adult, writing took step after step towards the centre of my life.

Now, it would be difficult to stop writing. I feel uneasy if I allow a few days to pass without writing. After a week or two away from writing, I’m very anxious and out-of-sorts. Even if I learned to cope with the absence of writing, the eagerness I have for my unfinished projects (I always have more projects in hand or in mind than I can master) keeps me writing.

Your first full-length collection is scheduled to appear soon with McGill-Queen’s. What was the process of putting together a full-length collection, compared to putting together a chapbook? Was there a difference?

I think the change in scale does require a different approach.

With my chapbook The God of Doors, I tried to sequence the poems to make the best ones easiest to run into: I put my favourite poem first, the second strongest poem last, and put the poems I liked least in the second half of the collection.

The full-length manuscript, Grotesque Tenderness, is divided into five parts: the first, middle and last parts are discrete poem sequences, and the second and fourth sections contain themed assemblies of lyrics. The collection’s centre of gravity, a mass of grief mixed with guilt, is reflected on in the first four sections before being obsessed over in the last section.

So you could say I organized my full-length collection much as if it was a series of five chapbooks. But in Grotesque Tenderness, the poems are organized to follow a coherent exploration of the underlying themes, regardless of how fond I am of them. With so many poems in one book, I thought it was important to create a navigable and satisfying route from cover to cover.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

I expect most poets have a ‘first’ contemporary poet, who shows them it is still possible to write poetry. For me, that happened to be William Logan. I read “The Saint and The Crab” in the New Yorker when I was about 20. After that, I sought out some of Logan’s books, and poems like Blues for Penelope, Punchinello in Chains, and After a Line by F. Scott Fitzgerald persuaded me that words could still work miracles. Logan is often criticized on account of his own (sometimes theatrically harsh) criticism of other poets, and while that may be fair, I’m in his debt.

There are too many poets I’ve learned craft from to answer this question properly. I could tell you about Edith Sitwell’s sound patterning, or the way Richard Wilbur and Joachim du Bellay taught me to develop the thought of a poem. I could talk about how T.S. Eliot builds his big poems out of bite-sized pieces, or how he cloaks what’s really on his mind in ambiguous imagery. But any of those topics are essays in themselves.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

As you might guess from my answer about influences, I feel that much of my development as a poet has come from careful study of poems I admire, by poets I’ve never met. In the last couple years, my wife, Emily Osborne, has been a constant source of encouragement, good advice, and insight, and has certainly helped my writing develop.

I have never taken a creative writing course, and I have never worked closely with a single mentor over a sustained period of time. Instead, I’ve relied on the fellowship of other poets in poetry workshops, such as the Algonquin Square Table, in Toronto. The encouragement and support I’ve received from other poets in the workshopping context has been of enormous importance to me, both as a writer and a human being.

I’m also grateful to Shane Nielson, who chose The God of Doors for publication, and whose encouragement was essential to my actually getting a book manuscript submitted to publishers instead of gathering glitches on a hard-drive.

What are you currently working on?

This past summer I set out to avoid bleakness and negativity in my writing. Since then I’ve been dwelling on some unexpected ideas (why mind-body dualism?) but overall I’ve gladly found myself expressing more praise and fewer complaints.

I have a pair of book-length prose projects that need some revision - a novella and a novella-length fairy tale. Both are “nearly finished,” and have been for some time. It is extremely challenging for me to make enough time to work effectively on those prose manuscripts, so progress feels glacial.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

Emily Osborne is my favourite poet, hands-down. I’m biased, of course, but I can’t help that. Emily’s chapbook Biometrical is available from Anstruther Press.


20190415

T​ANGIBILITY

Kara Petrovic


and how do you view yourself?

a ghost can feel nothing, taste nothing, exist as nothing but exist anyway.

                   i lay out my pills and thank         
                   them for their colour.

                   black and white,
                   absolute, but with a drop of
                   dark blue (or turquoise or ohhh
                   pretty in pink based on your
                   dosage not to be stopped or
                   changed without medical
                   supervision), it is shaped into  
                   something new.

i repeat: a ghost can feel nothing, taste nothing, exist as nothing but exist anyway.

                   i lay out my pills and thank          
                   them for their flavour.

                   the flavour of
                   unseasoned unsalted over-
                   cooked mashed potatoes,
                   made by your mother when you  
                   were sick,
                   but made over and over
                   again until you felt better.

so, a ghost that can feel nothing but exist nonetheless. to be ethereal and corporeal all at once. to be felt by others as cold cold cold but never feel the brush of their skin against yours.

what do you see when you look in the mirror?

real real real i am real you cannot take that away from me with your silver mirrors that reflect an empty room.

        ( note: this cannot be confirmed)
( note: this is noted)

no better than a drug addict, draped over drugs, can see the track marks on the soul. try this vitamin supplement. and this one. and this one. and this one. better now, there. maybe the brain is broken but at least can be better than a drug addict.

          ( note: this cannot be confirmed)
( note: this is noted)

when did you first notice this behaviour?

born not of flesh and bone, but water and smoke.

to be ethereal
          and corporeal
all at once.



 

Kara Petrovic is 23 years old and is living in Toronto, Ontario. They are a survivor of trauma three times over and are living with a variety of mental health disorders. They have self-published a collection of poetry, beyond rock bottom in 2017 and have been published in CONKER magazine in 2018. In 2019, their work was selected for publication in Philadelphia Stories. Also in 2019, they self-published another collection titled forget-me-not. They have also been selected for Toronto's Emerging Writers Reading Series. They identify as genderfluid and pansexual.


20190411

Train : a journal of astonishment


Issue #4 : Terrence Abrahams David Alexander Sacha Archer Manahil Bandukwala rob mclennan Chimedum Ohaegbu Terese Mason Pierre Ben Robinson Ian Seed Lydia Unsworth

A limited amount of copies will be available for free at the following locations:
Open Books: A Poem Emporium (Seattle WA), Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop (Brooklyn NY), the Windsor Small Press Fair (Windsor ON) and the New Orleans Poetry Festival (New Orleans LA).


includes shipping


Four issue subscriptions also available:
Includes shipping


Terrence Abrahams lives and writes quietly in Toronto. His second and third poetry chapbooks are forthcoming this year with ZED Press and baseline press. Find him on Twitter at @trabrahams.

David Alexander is the author of After the Hatching Oven from Nightwood Editions (2018). His poems have appeared in Prairie Fire, The Rusty Toque, The Humber Literary Review, the Literary Review of Canada, Big Smoke Poetry and other journals and magazines. David volunteers as a reader for The Puritan and works in Toronto’s nonprofit sector.

Sacha Archer is a writer that works in numerous mediums as well as being the editor of Simulacrum Press (simulacrumpress.ca). His work has been published internationally. Archer has two full-length collections of poetry, Detour (gradient books, 2017) and Zoning Cycle (Simulacrum Press, 2017), as well as a number of chapbooks, the most recent being TSK oomph (Inspiritus Press, 2018), Contemporary Meat (The Blasted Tree, 2018) and Autopsy Report (above/ground press). His visual poetry has been exhibited in the USA, Italy, and Canada. Archer lives in Ontario, Canada.

Manahil Bandukwala is the author of two chapbooks, Paper Doll (Anstruther Press, 2019) and Pipe Rose (battleaxe press, 2018). She was the 2019 winner of Room magazine's Emerging Writer Award, and won the Lilian I. Found Award for poetry in 2019. See her work at manahils.com.

rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles include the poetry collections How the alphabet was made (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018) and the forthcoming Household items (Salmon Poetry, 2019) and A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019). He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com

Chimedum Ohaegbu attends the University of British Columbia in pursuit of hummingbirds and a dual degree in English literature and creative writing. She is Uncanny Magazine’s assistant editor and her work is published or forthcoming in Strange Horizons, This Magazine, Honey & Lime Lit, and The Capilano Review.

Terese Mason Pierre is a Canadian writer, editor and organizer. Her work has appeared in the Hart House Review, Collapsar, The Brasilia Review and others. She is the poetry editor for Augur Magazine and the co-host of Shab-e She'r, a poetry reading series in Toronto.

Ben Robinson's recent poems include the tale of a man who finds himself lodged in his condominium’s garbage chute, as well as an account of the Christian God’s foray into Spanish lessons. In 2019, The Blasted Tree will publish his chapbook, The Sims in Real Life. He has only ever lived in Hamilton, ON.

Ian Seed’s latest collections are New York Hotel (Shearsman, 2018), which was selected by Mark Ford as a TLS Book of the Year, and Distances (Red Ceilings, 2018).

Lydia Unsworth is the author of two collections of poetry: Certain Manoeuvres (Knives Forks & Spoons, 2018) and Nostalgia for Bodies (Erbacce, 2018), for which she won the 2018 Erbacce Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Ambit, Pank, Litro, Tears in the Fence, Banshee, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Sentence: Journal of Prose Poetics, among other places. Based in Manchester/Amsterdam. Twitter@lydiowanie

20190408

The Humans Are Dead, We Are the Humans Now

Ben Robinson


children on bicycles
imitate cars
with their mouths

a dog barks
a man barks back
the police are called

two government agents
show up at the door
wearing macaroni jewellery

the premier declares the carbon tax impractical
everything
is made of carbon

a raccoon tears
into a bottle of
orange powerade

a waitress asks a bachelor
are you one person
or two?

just as the dentist puts me under
i spy a poppy seed
between his teeth

you wake up to find white bandages
where your opposable thumbs
once stood

trust me son,
he says,
this will be better for both of us



Ben Robinson's recent poems include the tale of a man who finds himself lodged in his condominium’s garbage chute, as well as an account of the Christian God’s foray into Spanish lessons. In 2019, The Blasted Tree will publish his chapbook, The Sims in Real Life. He has only ever lived in Hamilton, ON.

 

20190404

An interview with Conyer Clayton


Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. Her most recent chapbooks are: Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (forthcoming with above/ground, 2019), Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). She released a collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, in August 2018. Her work appears in ARC, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, Puddles of Sky Press, TRAIN, post ghost press, and others. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize, and was long-listed for Vallum's 2018 Poem of the Year. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor, and writes reviews for Canthius. Her debut full length collection of poetry is forthcoming in Spring 2020. Check out conyerclayton.com for updates on her endeavours.

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I kept pretty systematic diaries from ages 8-12. Lots of apologizing for my feelings, lists of curse words, and drawings of what I thought sex was. These started getting more accurate later on. Around grade 9 I started writing poetry, short stories, and flash fiction. I continued on from there without much pause through my undergrad and graduate English and writing degrees, into my late twenties, until here I am, at 30, still writing with pretty much the same process as ever.

What keeps me going is discovery of all my temporal selves, all of my real and unreal and hopeful and hopeless selves. I think this is the most crucial work of life; growth, and specifically growth through internal work that will (ideally) manifest outwards as love towards other beings, to the earth, and to ourselves, in all our wide and expansive versions. Writing helps me remember that none of these versions are more or less me, just situated differently along my timeline. Writing is how I discover just about everything.

Finding a wonderful literary community here in Ottawa has really helped propel and nurture my vision of myself as writer. I am inspired by my friends all of the time. For the first time of my adult life, when someone asks me what I do, I often answer "writer" before "gymnastics coach."

With a couple of chapbooks to date, to you feel your process of putting together a manuscript has evolved? How do you decide on the shape and size of a manuscript?

I don't know that having released 4 chapbooks in the past year and half or so has necessarily changed the way I put a manuscript together. I just try to listen to what I think a work is trying to tell me, and honour what it says. That being said, I have 3 ways that manuscripts generally come together:

1) I'll have an idea for a thematically or stylistically unified manuscript, and my drafting then follows that mold. "Undergrowth" (bird, buried press, 2018) was made in this way. I had the loose idea of writing based on seed packets, and once I drafted a few poems, it became clear that the subject matter demanding my attention were events in my Halifax garden during the summer of 2016, the last summer of my failing marriage. The rest of the book followed from that realization extremely quickly.

2) I write. I write. I write some more. I look back over the things I've been writing, and realize there is cohesion. I put them together roughly and play around until it feels done. It usually isn't done. I sit on it for a few years. Write some more. Come back. Hate it. Love it. Change it. Keep it. Trash it. Over think it. But time is necessary. I have slowly been learning that I need to be more patient about certain poems and manuscripts timelines even if it takes forever and I am tired of it and just want it to be out in the world and off my mind. It takes forever. I love this entire process. I love listening to it whine.

3) This third way is rare and elusive, but has happened: it is quick and easy. I simply write, do some mild edits, and it just works. It comes out and is pretty much done.

Usually my projects just feel their way into being, taking the shape they need. This is how my collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, came about. We played with putting "Mitosis" to music, and the rest stepped out gradually and naturally. Peeking around the corners, like it had always existed and we just had to find it.

I think every manuscript has a different life, but there are certainly lessons to be learned from each. I don't want to be an artist who gets stuck in my ways. I want to be open to what my work wants and needs. How to let it be alive and breathe and die. Then I want to do it again, but differently, every time.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

My high school years were spent obsessively reading the canonical Modernists. I was/am particularly fond of Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway remains in my top 5 favourite books), H.D., Faulkner, Beckett, and Hemingway (I know I know). I tried to emulate stream of consciousness styles of writing when I was in high school, and that has a big impact on my writing process to this day. I think this practice is how I am able to sit and write without the burden of self criticism hindering my initial drafting. There is a lot of power in the free associations and links our minds create within the mundane. I was/am also very into magical realism and fabulism; Borges, Calvino, Marquez, Morrison, Rushdie, etc.

As far as contemporary poets go, I'd say my biggest influences, or those poets I keep coming back to, are Kaveh Akbar, Eleni Sikelianos, and Natalie Shapiro.

I read lots of short stories nowadays, and am blown away by the recent collections of Carmen Maria Machado and Anjali Sachdeva.     `

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

My very first university writing course in 2007 was with Martha Greenwald. She reads and edits my poetry to this day. One day in class, a poem of mine titled "For Ernest" was ripped apart by my peers in the workshop (it was a poem re-imagining a Hemingway short story from the perspective of a minor cameo character). I was pretty upset. She pulled me aside after class and told me not to stop writing, that it was a good poem, that the class simply didn't get it, but she did, she saw me. I think about that every once in a while to this day, and I don't know if I ever told her what it did for me, so this is me, telling her now. Hi Martha. Thank you so much. Thank you for the time you've spent these past few years reading and giving me feedback on two full length manuscripts. Thank you thank you thank you!

Another shout out to Kiki Petrosino, who was my thesis advisor during my Master's. She was also the professor during my summer course in the UK. I drew a lot of inspiration from that course, and the time we spent working on my creative thesis. We've stayed in contact over the years, with my having published a poem in Transom Issue 11, the beautiful online journal of which she is co-editor with Dan Rosenberg. (http://www.transomjournal.com/) You should check her most recent collection, Witch Wife (Sarabande Books). It is haunting and gorgeously crafted.

What are you currently working on?

I am in the final stages of editing my debut full length manuscript. Details are still a secret for now, but more on that soon!

I have a lot of other manuscripts in the works or completed and in the editing stages:

- A full length manuscript that is proving a hard one to edit, as it is about some super raw and emotional events in my life.
- Poems about the body / impermanence / illness / stress / addiction (i.e. holes and what fills them)
- A manuscript of surrealist prose poems inspired by my dreams (some of which are in the newest/next issue of TRAIN)
- A manuscript of somewhat continuous narrative prose poems about reincarnation (sort of). This may actually be a short story collection or a novel written in prose poems but I am not entirely sure yet.
- A chapbook length work called "The Clearing" which I have been writing immediately following meditation. The Clearing is place of safety in my mind; a pine forest, an island, a sun and a moon, all of these things at once, and it evolves every time I visit it. My hope is that the clearing can be a meditative and calming place for others to slip into as well.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

I'd like to promote a small press rather than a poet here (although Mia Morgan is also a great poet!):

Coven Editions is a fairly new small press here in Ottawa making incredibly beautiful and handcrafted broadsides, chapbooks, and unique poem objects, and they definitely deserve more attention! They've published works by fantastic poets like Manahil Bandukwala, Frances Boyle, Ian Martin, rob mclennan, Dorian Bell, among others. Mia Morgan and Stephanie Meloche are doing gorgeous work. https://www.coveneditions.com/


20190401

exegesis of a renunciation



Francesco Aprile











Francesco Aprile (Lecce, Italy) is freelance journalist, poet and visual-poet, essayist. In 2010 he became member of the literary movement called New Page-Narrativa in store, founded in 2009 by Francesco Saverio Dòdaro; currently he is the director of this movement. In April 2011 he founded the group of artistic research Contrabbando Poetico, subscribing the first manifesto. He is the co-founder of the magazine Utsanga.it (2014, with C. Caggiula).


20190325

Queue


Conyer Clayton


As we rolled toward the turnstiles, I realized — she will never fit. My mother stared straight forward with an open mouth. We watched my sister's car roll smoothly through in front of us, frame morphing naturally, a mouse flattened between baseboards. I abandoned her for fear of being trapped. In the car she was next to me. In the car she was alive. I allowed myself a last look, then shut the door, and she was gone. I went inside, calm, and my best friend sampled ice cream while I bought a small orange octopus crammed in a glass orb. I sprinkled water on his exposed scalp, wondering what spaces he could fit into, dreaming how I'll clean his cage on my afternoon's off, his consciousness of my care. What if the emptiness you're confined to fits you perfectly? What if knowing you can take it makes others build smaller spaces?  I dust the porcelain weekly. The rocks under his suckers are scrubbed on schedule. She was still gone when I shut the door.





Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. Her most recent chapbooks are: Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (forthcoming with above/ground, 2019), Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). She released a collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, in August 2018. Her work appears in ARC, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, Puddles of Sky Press, TRAIN, post ghost press, and others. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize, and was long-listed for Vallum's 2018 Poem of the Year. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor, and writes reviews for Canthius. Her debut full length collection of poetry is forthcoming in Spring 2020. Check out conyerclayton.com for updates on her endeavours.



20190321

An interview with Ian Martin


Ian Martin is nobody's mom. Ian's work has appeared recently in where is the river, Bad Nudes, Plenitude Magazine, and Pretty Owl Poetry. Ian has published 4 chapbooks, most recently PLACES TO HIDE (Coven Editions, 2018) and YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER (AngelHousePress, 2018). When he's not writing, Ian develops small games and complains online. [http://ian-martin.net]

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I grew up in a very creative family so I’ve been creating things in one way or another my whole life. I think I published my first poem in my Grade 3 yearbook. I've been desperately chasing that high ever since.

In Grade 7 or 8, we had a few English classes dedicated to writing poetry. I wrote a really sad poem about drowning. At the time, I insisted I wasn't depressed. I posted it on DeviantArt.

In high school, I joined the literary & arts magazine club, and I think by process of elimination became the editor. It was a fun time and it was nice to work with other people rather than just writing alone at home.

I think that’s the big thing that keeps me writing: the connections. Both with other writers and with the people who read my work. I sometimes worry that I am uniquely cursed so it’s nice to remember that I am not alone. It’s nice to read a poem that speaks to me. It’s nice to speak to someone else. Also I get bored easily and my phone has a notes app.

With four published chapbooks to date, to you feel your process of putting together a manuscript has evolved? How do you decide on the shape and size of a manuscript?

I don’t know that the process has evolved much. Maybe refined. But my chapbooks have always developed unintentionally. As I write individual poems, I start to notice similarities in subject matter or style. Once I have a critical mass of poems that work together, I put them into a file and start gently massaging it into a manuscript. I usually just add and take away poems until I like all of them and they work well together. Sometimes, I’ll write a few poems specifically for the book, either to pad the length or touch on things the other poems miss. The shape and size usually settle when I get tired of looking at it, or when I read a press's submission guidelines on manuscript length.

I’ve dabbled in zine-making in the past, which is usually a more deliberate process. I’ll set out to write a zine that addresses a certain subject, or using a particular style of writing. I’ve thought about doing chapbooks this way, but I usually run out of steam before I have anything of significant length. So I stick to letting the longer manuscripts come together on their own.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

My biggest poetic influences are Amy Lowell and Alfred Starr Hamilton. Those are the most present to me, and I think the easiest for someone to pick out while reading my oeuvre. But I think I’m pretty easily influenced. I’m a media sponge. I suck up 2 metric tons of information every day and it dribbles out into everything I do. Amy and Alfred just kind of hold down the fort and help it resemble poetry.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

My high school English teacher, Julie Whitfield, was my first writing mentor. She helped me run the aforementioned arts magazine and just generally took me seriously, which I think is the dopest thing a teacher can do. At graduation, she said one of the most sincere and wonderful things anyone has ever said to me, which was — though I’m paraphrasing — “I think you’re gonna be fine. Like, in general.”

When I was at Carleton University, I took a poetry workshop led by Sandra Ridley. I was doing a degree in Information Technology, so poetry was just a fun elective and I didn’t know where it would take me. Sandra helped me refine my skills and harness my voice in new ways, and introduced me to a lot of cool work by cool poets. Sandra also encouraged me make my first professional submission to a magazine. (Bywords magazine, run by the wonderful Amanda Earl, who ended up publishing my fourth chapbook.) That was the start of my "formal" "poetry" "career", and a big reason why I’m writing this today.

(Every time I tell Sandra this story she denies any credit for my success, which is patently outrageous, but possibly an attempt to avoid being put on a pedestal, to which I’m sympathetic. But now I have a beautiful, hand-carved pedestal that I have to sell on Kijiji, so thanks a lot, Sandra.)

What are you currently working on?

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a poetic lull. I’m mostly just editing existing poems and submitting them to magazines to feel busy. These days I'm working more on little video games. Some of them are kind of like poems. I've been trying more and more lately to make games that are poems and vice versa.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

Sarah MacDonell. I just think she's neat.

20190318

ONE DAY I WILL BE NAKED ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE


Ian Martin





a haplessly scribbled page won’t bemoan further scribbling. get your pen out, that’s an invitation. in the ink a truth becomes apparent on a future page. i can’t stress this enough: there are future pages. now dog-ear me. remember where it feels good. as much as i hate op-eds, knowing me is necessary. love is a corkboard and string. how you read into the folds of my body. how you read knowing i am reading you. we are books, not librarians. we can gesture at a system but text is born manic. patterns can’t be trusted but i want to love again. but love to me is scribbling. but love to me is papercuts. where we draw and let ourselves be drawn on. where does all this ink belong. yada yada. anyway would you be interested in a second date.






Ian Martin is nobody's mom. Ian's work has appeared recently in where is the river, Bad Nudes, Plenitude Magazine, and Pretty Owl Poetry. Ian has published 4 chapbooks, most recently PLACES TO HIDE (Coven Editions, 2018) and YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER (AngelHousePress, 2018). When he's not writing, Ian develops small games and complains online. [http://ian-martin.net]


20190311

August on the Terrace

Ariel Dawn



Forest fires rage so close the morning sky is ash, the city smoke and gold, haunted with tree spirits and elementals. All month I cast spells. This one for love: circle of red velvet, rose petals, felt heart and silver earrings sewn together with hair. Shadows cross antique light. On the street a lady wanders in regal gypsy dress. She looks heavenward for the guitar, the fiery ancient song a boy plays, while black and white birds land on rails and windows open above and below.


Ariel Dawn lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She spends her time writing, reading, and studying Tarot. Recent work appears in canthius, (parenthetical), Foxhole, Room, and is forthcoming in A Furious Hope anthology.