Thursday, June 20, 2013

Greg Evason


Sontag said
was not
to be
I sometimes say
the only one
should be
is our toe

Greg Evason's poems and drawings and collages and paintings and short stories and plays have appeared in many online and offline magazines around the world. He has has had at least ten chapbooks published and recently his book PLOWING DOWN THE CUT was published by Luna Bisonte Prods. He is an autodidact from way back. His work has been collected by the Sackner Archive and archived by the Ohio State University Library. He has written many novels which he has recently started to submit to publishers. He is not a cynic. In fact, he has high hopes for the future of mankind which he sees lying in wait for us as long as we commit fully to travel in and cultivation of space. First, all religious dogma needs to be tossed into the trash bin of history. Greg lives in Toronto.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Michael e. Casteels


a) you avert your eyes, look down at the sidewalk

b) you smile and say hello

c) you run screaming into the night

d) you both run screaming into the night

Michael e. Casteels has self-published over a dozen chapbooks of poetry and artwork. His poetry has also appeared in 529 (Proper Tales Press), Sterling Magazine, The Undergraduate Review, Incongruous Quarterly, In/Words, and That Not Forgotten (Hidden Brook Press). He was nominated for the emerging artist award in the 2012 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. He lives in Kingston, Ontario where he runs Puddles of Sky Press (

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Carol A. Stephen


after Joe Brainard’s Imaginary Still Lifes

I climb into a taxi
          on the other seat is a man
          with an old grey monkey

I climb into a taxi
          on the other seat is a bird cage
          with a large egg inside

I climb into a taxi
          on the other seat is a dead body
          in a flowery hat

I climb into a taxi
          on the other seat are five cold plums
          I eat them

I climb into a taxi
          on the other seat is William Carlos Williams
          he is looking for some plums

I climb into a taxi
                    There is a picture of me on the back of the seat
                    Old grey monkey clutching an egg

Carol A. Stephen is a Carleton Place poet who typed her first poems in Toronto on a green Olivetti typewriter, complete with whiteouts. Her work sometimes shows up in Ottawa journals, Tree Press chapbooks, and Ontario Poetry Society’s Verse Afire. She took third place in the 2012 Canadian Authors National Capital Writing Contest. In 2012, she also wrote a finalist poem for VERSeFest for the End of the World Contest. Carol co-directs Ottawa’s Tree Reading Series and has written two chapbooks, Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, 2011, and Architectural Variations, 2012. Carol blogs about stuff on Quillfyre.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jessica Hiemstra


destroys you, you go to the park
and kick pigeons. You scream
into anything that has a mouth,
you drop dishes
and look at the floor
and see your life in shards
that do not rise
from ashes
or tiles. Imagine
you took a bird apart

to understand it. You would
understand nothing.

Jessica Hiemstra is a visual artist and writer living in Toronto. She's is the winner of two Malahat Review Open Season Awards (2011) and the Room Magazine Annual Poetry Contest (2009). She's published two full-length collections, Apologetic for Joy (Goose Lane Editions, 2011) and Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle (Biblioasis, 2012). Visit her at

Monday, April 29, 2013

David W. McFadden


My eyes are like a truck of pomegranates
or like a pair of rowboats on the pond,
sweeter than grapes or pears on a tree —
how I'd live without them I'd like to know
or better still I wouldn't want to know.
My thumb-like eyes encompass multitudes.
Friends who have passed away I cannot see
but there are others glad to take their place.

On the street my eyes see many eyes
and occasionally a pair will latch onto mine.
My eyes will sometimes see something I saw
yesterday and then again today.
I'll see you tomorrow as we like to say
but I think our eyes don't really go that way.

David W. McFadden is the author of nearly 40 books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, most recently Mother Died Last Summer (Mansfield Press, 2013) and What's the Score? (Mansfield Press, 2012), which has been shortlisted for the 2013 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, his second such shortlisting. Other books include Why Are You So Sad? Selected Poems of David W. McFadden (Insomniac Press, 2007), Why Are You So Long and Sweet? Collected Long Poems of David W. McFadden (Insomniac Press, 2010), and Be Calm, Honey (Mansfield Press, 2009). David lives in Toronto.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Oded Carmeli


Great grand daddy, you sneaky bastard, you

Who are just just you who are just just who are you

Great grand daddy, who did the world war

In the World War?

Great grand daddy, in the World War

The world warred

The Second World War

Great grand daddy, in the World War

Warred the world the second world

And won

Great grand daddy, you sneaky bastard, you

Who are now justified by now you are justified by who

Great grand daddy, the scales are even

Great grand daddy, even the scales are even?

Great grand daddy, even the scales even

Other scales

Which do not even even

A Great grand daddy

Translated by Maayan Eitan.

Oded Carmeli is an Israeli poet, editor and journalist. He is the author of a novel and two collections of poetry, the most recent of which is The Universe Has No Opposition (2010, Achuzat Bayit Books), and the founder and editor of Hava LeHaba poetry magazine. Oded lives in Tel Aviv.

Maayan Eitan was born in 1986 in Jerusalem, Israel. She is a PhD student in the department of comparative literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pearl Pirie


I opened the trunk and saw
that against my wishes you are
again keeping river trout
in the basement of our car.

the basin of the underbody tank
thinly swayed with dorsal fins.
towards the light and shallows
of the carpet one trout was stiff.

I thought it was dead. its eyes
were closed. when I lifted it back
to the water, it slowly reanimated,
blinked, then shifted its peduncle.

with a caterpillar's grace it came,
pectoral fins as elbows sauntering
towards me. then we saw on the
thick liquorice lip of the trunk

the bat examining us. no, it was
a Curl-Crested Manucode Bird
of Paradise, his long trachea fluting.
he began to puff his mating hop.

the trout's eyes widened, pulling
back bewildered, commando-crawling
backwards towards seats, windshield,
the sanctity of the all-trout-world.

Pearl Pirie has coordinated the Tree Seed Workshop Series in Ottawa since 2009. been shed bore (Chaudiere, 2010) and Thirsts (Snare, 2011) for completists are complemented by chapbooks published by Corrupt Press, AngelHouse Press, above/ground, and obvious epiphanies press. She runs phafours micropress, which is currently looking for squirrelly poems, in one sense or another. Visit

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jason Heroux


It’s easy to breathe if you’re breathing
breathe all you want the air is too old
               and weak to run away
your life is a gift with your name on it
your life is a word there’s no word for
breathe all you want it’s easy to breathe
               if you’re breathing
the air is an all-you-can-breathe buffet
it’s hard work cheering up sad machines
it’s hard work cleaning a number’s cage
all your heartbeats are amazing staples
               holding you together
birds sing like kettles boiling song-water
your life is a gift with your name on it
and your life is a word there’s no word for
breathe all you want breathe all you want

Jason Heroux is the author of three poetry collections, Memoirs of an Alias, Emergency Hallelujah, and Natural Capital (all from Mansfield Press), and the novella Good Evening, Central Laundromat (Quattro Books). He lives in a house in Kingston. He takes out garbage every Tuesday. His most recent publication is the poetry chapbook In Defence of the Attacked Center Pawn (Puddles of Sky Press).

Monday, April 1, 2013

Jim Smith


By Gandalf’s shoes cese la represión!
On alternate Tuesdays cese la represión!
Using French declensions cese la represión!
You who knew me cese la represión!
In black ink only cese la represión!
Loblaws has a sale on cese la represión!
Whoever walks down Atlantic Avenue cese la represión!
Earwigs, raccoons, dumpers of the garbage cans cese la represión!

Ocean liners shaped like dead men cese la represión!
Turning the ignition cese la represión!
My dog loves black dogs cese la represión!
And I love all dogs cese la represión!

Cese la represión is back for another season!
Óscar Romero’s cese la represión!

Jim Smith’s Back Off, Assassin! New and Selected Poems (Mansfield Press) was longlisted for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and hit #7 on the Chapters/Indigo 14 Best Poetry Books for National Poetry Month 2010. During Jim’s visit with antipoet Nicanor Parra in Las Cruces, Chile, in February 2012, Nicanor advised him that translation is “treason.” In 61 years, Smith has published some 15 books and chapbooks of poetry, ran a small literary magazine and press, went to law school late and litigates for a living in Toronto. His most recent book is Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra (Mansfield Press, 2012).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sandra Ridley


It’s absurd what Craig was saying about consortium sycophants who do no wrong
treading crude slicked water—girlie—it’s a wicked situation when the blue sharks
get set back in the Carib once we’ve cut their fins—that wounded way they try to
swim—it’s only a matter of time and it was inevitable our albatross crash-landed
in that landfill some ten thousand kilometres off kilter—having flown up the old
majestic river—it must be some kind of joke—believe me Craig said—that bird
was near death—alone and habitually stressed—he wasn’t optimistic for survival
—we do what we can—refill these feeding tubes—it’s coffee time and the more
I stay away from you the better—of course even I have VERY limited experience
with visitors up north in cottage country but for wolf howls and the occasional
iconic bear suffering from weight loss and water deprivation—all bone and gall
bladder after days with his head stuck in your bait bin—coax him up your pitch
pine and then dispose of him like your disposable plastic SORRY—this is hardly
encouraging—please orchestrate a quick release or place me in a daycare with
the remaining thin-skinned seniors—oh I know we all need some respite so rest
me deep in peace—beloved in loving memory—always in the heart.

Sandra Ridley is the author of two books of poetry. Her first, Fallout, won the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing and was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second, Post-Apothecary, was short-listed for the 2012 ReLit and Archibald Lampman awards. Also in 2012, Ridley won the International Festival Of Authors’ Battle of the Bards and was one of ten poet-participants in the University of Toronto’s Influency Salon. Her third book, The Counting House, is forthcoming from BookThug in 2013.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jay MillAr


Stop in Toronto
Knowing you’re alone
Even if you’re sitting there next to the phone.
Why – the phone is obsolete you moron! Get with it!
But feel alone as long as you can, it’s important
With that community attached to your hip
And the ideas you imagine really mattered
Left like breadcrumbs
Scattered for the birds.
Then go out and attack the trees.
They will forgive you, but only because
They never held it against you in the first place.
Not like everyone else.
This is the birthday poem I meant to write for years,
The one in which I look back
After reading barely and widely the works of
Whatever happened to come within reach:
“If you are a poet at forty it is because you are a poet”
And here we are, um, yeah.

Jay MillAr is a Toronto poet, editor, publisher, and virtual bookseller. He is the author of, among others, the small blue (2007), False Maps for Other Creatures (2005), Mycological Studies (2002) and The Ghosts of Jay MillAr (2000), and more recently esp : accumulation sonnets (2009), Other Poems (2010) and Timely Irreverence (2013). MillAr is the shadowy figure behind BookThug and Apollinaire's Bookshoppe. He teaches creative writing and poetics at George Brown College and Toronto New School of Writing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peter Norman


Staples, I can see you from my home.
Distinct against the dusk, your logo blazes.
Let me list the stuff I see from here:
you (Staples); the steeple of a church;
the naval docks; a grove of highrise banks
(TD and RBC and Scotiabank);
a few hotels and other sundry sights
you might expect in a city of this size.

Staples, you have plied me with supplies
I may not need, or may, which help me work
and sometimes help me in my hobbies too.
You’ve given pens and printer cartridges
and paper by the sheaf. That sort of thing.
Your staff have been so helpful and so svelte.

Peter Norman was born in Vancouver, and has since lived in Victoria, Ottawa, Calgary, Halifax, Dartmouth and now Toronto, where he works as a freelance editor. His first poetry collection, At the Gates of the Theme Park (Mansfield Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Book Award.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dani Couture


for Robert Earl Stewart

So many deaths that summer
that sometimes I showed up
and there was nothing more
than a stretch of empty road,
a flipped car, a body curled
up like a comma beneath a tarp.
Some passerby’s offering
of decency before leaving.
Last year’s final dressing —
dried deer blood and hair
still clinging to flapping edges
in hard heat, panting.
If it bleeds it leads, and
our ditches are brimming
The grid designed, if not
for nothing, to bring us
together. Every four-way stop
a lottery of indecision, a place
where first pages meet obituaries.
Either it’s something wrong
with the design, or it’s us.
For a year of college
midnights, I made seat belts:
the gentle shrug of poly webbing.
I’ve done my share of saving,
now only tuning in to the scanner
nightly, a redux of ten-codes:
the newspaper before it’s written.
The body propelled through
molared window, ejected.
We all have places to go.

Dani Couture is the author of the novel Algoma and the Relit-winning poetry collection Sweet, which was also nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She is the literary editor at THIS Magazine. She lives in Toronto.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Joel Lewis


Foggy St. George sleeps the sleep
of late morning sloth
& there go the men with boyish haircuts.
Now a cop car parks on Slosson Terrace,
idling for those possessed by hidden agendas.

“The sun never enters my dreams,” says
a woman to her daughter clutching
a Top Tomato bag as they board
a Totenville bus. A peddler hawks
mini-Ganeshas in front
of the browning field minor league stadium
in advance of an evening festival.

Big orange Ferryboat Marchi drifts into Slip 2.
Two hours before: a Mesopotamia of advancing ankles.
Now old gents eat their pizzas into relief maps of Crete
before tossing them into the harbour.

The flags atop borough hall flap
to the beat of a new round of breeze.
I’ve been out here a long time
mildly defending the honour
of minor characters & their mild situations
& now moving along in the face of need,
cattycorner from the old lighthouse depot.

Joel Lewis hails from the Newfoundland of the United States — New Jersey. He's perched on the Hudson in Hoboken trying to continue an alternative poetics tradition that ranges from Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman, Newark's Stephen Crane, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Alfred Starr Hamilton, and Joe Ceravolo. Recent books are Surrender When Leaving Coach (Hanging Loose) and North River Rundown (Accent Editions). He edited an anthology of contemporary NJ poets for Rutgers, the selected talks of Ted Berrigan, and the selected poems of Walter Lowenfels.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Souvankham Thammavongsa


I was sitting in the car counting the black flies

They had come in through the open window

There were four

One was on the rearview mirror

The other three were perched on my left hand

I heard a gunshot by the barn and thought nothing of it

We were at a farm

I saw a cow come charging forward with half its head gone

A man with an axe came running behind it

He hit it once

Once he hit it

And it fell to the ground

Everything was eaten

Its eye appeared in a soup that night

Everything was accounted for

Souvankham Thammavongsa won the 2004 ReLit prize for her first poetry book, Small Arguments. Her new book will be released in September 2013.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Andrew Faulkner


What’s not to like? Days coast in
and then coast out on a frothy surf,
as if surfing from one foam latté
to the next was the good life.
If coasting’s got us this far, then surely
the truncated garden hose dangling
from a gas tank like a necktie
will get us the rest of the way.

Up here in the rafters—and stop me
if you’ve heard this one—I’ve staged
a small pageant to sort our various passions.
The resemblance to a smokestack is uncanny,
obnoxious, an accordion that hugs

its inner turmoil and wheezes.
What a production, music,
how it works you like a pro.
And by you I mean me,
and by me I mean I’ve tried to be good
to you in my own way, carried
you with me like a flask in your time of need.
You with your airplane heart and me,
a bad mechanic, leaving a wrench
like an extra bone in your landing gear.
You’re so cute by the light of the evening news,
fuselage scattered desperately across a stretch of asphalt
like sun-starved foreigners on a beach.
Oh, the bodies of sweat that drip from us.

Andrew Faulkner co-curates The Emergency Response Unit, a chapbook press. He is the author of the chapbooks Mean Matt and Other Shitty People and Useful Knots and How to Tie Them, which was shortlisted for the 2009 bpNichol Chapbook Award. His first full-length collection, Need Machine, will be published by Coach House Books in April 2013.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jennifer LoveGrove


A puncture in the sun’s eyelid,
one ice pick at a time. A blister
on each of our enemies’ heels.
A new ulcer we may
or may not have requested.

We create small, affordable paradises
that crumble and shift
into mousetraps, mazes,
cameras in the rafters.

All day long, sharpening the right tools,
signing the right forms, waiting cold
in the proper hallways, while
everyone else billows
their impossibly white sails.

For once, I should try something different:
light a candle, wear a dress,
crack open the windows. Stop staring
down the road. Counterfeit
shadows. The bears won’t come.

A fistful of press releases
patch the holes in the sun.
Enough with the suicide notes,
the pre-nups, the warranties.
Bring us the glockenspiels
and peppercorns.

I'll throw the curtain wide,
zip up this ball gown,
blow out this match.

A friend of a friend is having an affair
with the next door neighbour.
He has a pool. She says
she’s bored. She is often ill
and no one knows why.

Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of poetry collections The Dagger Between Her Teeth and I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel, and is at work on a new manuscript of poetry. Her debut novel, Watch How We Walk, is forthcoming in 2013. She is currently accepting submissions for a new issue of her literary zine dig. Visit her at

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Peter Dubé


Turn up the volume everywhere. In each and all the rooms you frequent let the sound expand of radio, the telephone, of stereos. In corridors, and corners and the cars you ride all day, each day fill all untaken space with sound, and different sounds at that: the chatter of pundits molding the world’s work, the chords and phrases of bright melodies, the hawking, squawking keen of salesmen in the agitated marketplace with names and virtues of a thousand products on their eager lips, the static laden with the possibilities of noise, the flickering fading of the signals as they course between the city’s towers and yet more. Fill every place you move through with the most unyielding of their incarnations. Stand amid them all and trace the sorrows of a failed, a fading adolescent dream, the insurrectionary ardors of a band on the globe’s more distant side, its other face, that far away demanding unknown profile. Remember dreams of revolution in a city too removed to be accounted for by you: the news, the news of things unseen. Go on with rigorous listening; absorb them all; fill every vein with it – the flowering glory of sound – and wait enfolded. Sit stirred with noise and fantasy for days until you quiver, all but covered by the pulse and until every word in the cacophony feels clear, is clear, is limpid, lucid, perfect and perfectly meaningless, is emptied utterly. And then get up and go. Go out into a ready and anticipating city filled with novel speeches you could repeat in sleep without the loss of a sole syllable, alone, such words as you’re enamoured of. Release them at the tip of tongue and hold the eagerness that comes to you, to heart. And watch. Be heard – anew.

Peter Dubé is the author of four works of fiction: Hovering World (DC Books 2002), At the Bottom of the Sky (DC Books, 2007), Subtle Bodies (Lethe Press 2010 — a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award), and, most recently, The City’s Gates (Cormorant Books, 2012). He is also the editor of the anthologies Madder Love: Queer Men and the Precincts of Surrealism (Rebel Satori, 2008), Best Gay Stories 2011, and Best Gay Stories 2012 (both from Lethe Press). Conjure, a collection of prose poems, is due out from Rebel Satori Press in 2013. Peter lives and works in Montreal. Visit

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Elyse Friedman


My heart, I feel, is counting down.

Trees surge from the floor of the city. Crazy-veined. Claws.

The gas station glows. I can hear it glow.

Elyse Friedman is the author of the novels Waking Beauty and Then Again, the short-story collection Long Story Short, the poetry collection Know Your Monkey, and a heap of screenplays. She lives in Toronto.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nick Power


except for myself and an old man in the bulk food aisle
and maybe my ex-wife coming across a field
and the other woman from my dream
I’m homeless in my own home awakening on a borrowed raft
a savage pianist playing in my head

outside a cicada rends the air like a manic machine
I fear what I hear
until I peak through the keyhole
a grand opening that throws my idea of far and near out the window
it’s like that old TV game show where the announcer says ‘what the studio audience doesn’t know is…’
I don’t know, you see
I’m almost as innocent as a horse

Do I really have to go out there?

real spring accumulating
surfaces already having shapes
whales moving in pods, vast arias of love
about to be arrested for excessive public prayer

and for once I do not regret the passage of time

Nick Power has published in Descant,, and His recent chapbook, No Poems, from Battered Press is part of a series of five-line poems based on Japanese tanka. You can find more of his poetry at Nick works as a psychotherapist in Toronto.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sarah Burgoyne


I have the problem of falling in love
with everyone. Even the measliest, smallest
flies have won my affectionate approval;
the artist down the street, the myriad pigeons,
the neighbour’s cat. At least the birds
have learned to skirt around the issue.
Preening, they ask, “How many times can a person
pledge her love to one being or another?”
The flies rub their hands together muttering,
“There is much work to be done.”

Sarah Burgoyne grew up in the West Coast but is currently residing in Montreal doing her MA in English and Poetry at Concordia University. She has been published in LAKE magazine and put out a small chapbook through Oak Press. She has been a featured poet in Rolla BC's Sweetwater 905 festival and her favourite animals are moths.