Thursday 19 January 2017

TAMARA FAIRCHILD (Iqaluit, Nunavut)

Death Dream

You were right about the end, my love. You called it. I should never have doubted that
our neighbour’s worst impulses would finally impale reason and compassion with pitchforks.
Uncle Sam was always a bit of a bully, and never my favourite, but he was still sort of family.
For years he was a roadside attractcident drawing us in despite ourselves. He was Vegas, neon
unreality, a guy with too many guns talking a big game & dropping by with deplorable friends, a
crazy, small town, big city patriot, with some beautiful dreams and a fatal attraction to nut jobs.
Knowing where it ends changes the past like learning your teacher was a child molester.
If I could do it again, I wouldn’t laugh. I wouldn’t blithely toss off the ugly as a foil for my superiority.
Now, I regret my irony, my naïve belief that progress is permanent. I regret my complacency as truth
gave way to truthiness, then accelerated into post-truth until we stared slack-jawed in disbelief.
Democracy was stolen by a clown from a nightmare so bad we haven’t even imagined it yet.
I’m afraid. America isn’t too big to fail. It’s under attack by a cheeto godzilla, as yuge as it is stupid,
crushing everything good with greed and directionless spite. Can we lucid dream our way out of
kakistocracy? Time will tell if this government by a parade of the worst people will be fascist
warmongers, a kleptocratic dictatorship, another vile variety of corruption and decaying pus or
all of the above. While tiny hands tweet death rays with weaponized Twitter, republican Jesus is
dropping bombs on the poorest and weakest. This is the American Dream. This is me waking up.

Sunday 15 January 2017


niobe’s slaughter

yearly, gray mother reblooms like a peacock
on the day i became for her.

[unlucky though, hubris, in our petty lives]

felt before seen, a growling, an
underweight firstborn begged from the sky
conspicuous calm, then later tempest of coarse doing
kicking at the dainty teeth of life.

in the days since you rose in the west, blinding orange sun
now she says in tinned telephone voice:

 girl, have i not cause for pride? but i am begging
 don’t be this political, don’t draw them down with fight
 if it’s peace you want from these tidy new bigots.

curses come modern of color and cunt, skill and loving
killjoy genus, species feminist
walking under the eye of new jealous gods’ zealots
affronted by the extra-familial – we have only only the old
dead democracy’s lullabies.

Thursday 29 December 2016

JASON HEROUX (Kingston, Ontario)


You’re a device      always channeling      one electrical signal

over another      into a sound      loud enough      to be heard

uptown      you came to get down      jump around      get some

feeling      we’re all devices      powered by impulses      we don’t

understand      what we’re saying      or hearing      you don’t

care      what we’re thinking      say what you like      do you

know      if anyone is listening      loudspeaker      your voice

is up for grabs      play what you want      the future is under

new management      we don’t know why      new snow keeps

getting stuck in old snow       waiting for friends      to come

dig it up      with their shovels      or why a dying battery loves

its toy      even though it won’t play      or why the moon loves

channeling      its lonesomeness      through our bones      who

knows if riot dogs      are barking I LOVE YOU      at the crowd

whoever wants      to be happy      must do it now      if someone

alerts us      to leave the premises      tell them we came      to get

down      we came to get down      not to give up      jump around.

Monday 19 December 2016

LAURA FARINA (Vancouver)

Believe Me

You can be anything you want to be –
Ogled organic farmer
Uninhibited ukelele player
Fondled forest ranger
Up-for-it upholsterer
Curvy chiropractor
Kittenish kitchen manager
Inviting inventor
Nubile neurosurgeon
Groped gas leak inspector
Docile dentist
Impregnated impressionist
Coquettish CEO
Kneeling karate instructor
Willing welder with an 
Ass that won't quit
Demure dog walker.

Friday 16 December 2016


Fuddle-Duddle Drumpf
You will not much care, of course
Our fury for your deceits, our frail
Unity rendered dumb and disunited.
For your gilt-rusted rage, you martialed
Untoward, unwitting brigades; and
Crowds did sway with indolence,
Knowledge mocking and afraid,
Illiterate to honesty. You grasped at
No greater good except to prod and
Grope the public sphere. You will
Deliver no promise but spite
Its remaining decency, hound
Civility into a sad corner, and will
Kick good with bad faith. Still,
We learn anew from anger’s focus
Are goaded by your ‘Great’ brag, you
Dare us this better rage.


You never know when democracy will choke
out a glottal-stopped death rattle
under elliptical bows of grandeur,
fences and steel that stand monolithic
under guile, the guise of greatness.
Can you hear the semantics cast in
knee-jerk frenzy
invoking the hysteria of red states?
Neville never saw the signs
glad-handing in clueless clucks
despite the world realigning 
in desperate coordinates.
Churchill read ciphers like constellations
knowing fragility threads muscle and spirit.
We never saw it coming! Only you kind of knew he'd
ape it, an orange marshmallow man teetering over DC
dancing a bigly toppling jig.