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Atlantic Books for the Holidays

Turnstone Press

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Excerpt

Foreword a going back a return to old stories that left us with what we see on main street no longer whole before narrative blurred returned broken down seen a/new recognized an open eyed Angelus flying looking backward and for/ word beginnings citings

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Postmodern Weather Report
Excerpt

A Beginning Sky Report: at Night

 

Egotistical gaseous ghosts, trying on dresses: Northern Lights

neither impressionist nor expressionist. Though anger is

rarely bright nor happiness heavy together: an epiphany.

There will be a birth through it all as soon as impatience

appears unappreciative before longing, here, in the parody

of a pilgrimage the advertisement, encountering (truck stop: convenience store)

mild creativity, reaches

Dresses made of theatre curtains, shifting

old Gods trying to make a come-back like Classic movies

or clouds that came over from Europe, decadent tardy

apologies. Imagine they have brought songs,

foggy sycophants...They warn, but in using rhyme

give all away: how do we address the following longings--?

 

Let your butterfly-utter fly: wings,

abstract, lose a pillow fight for sky/ the victory

is for an emanating butter medallion

strung on high/ like a culminating fact...

 

The Gods watch our cars drive away, their inversion

of the stars, as we rush home to watch Canadian Idle.

Imagine how narcissus would feel in outer-space

--besides being unsure of when he was drowning--

 

And I am somehow certain that if he did drift it would be

exactly static, he would be such a perfect representative

of "us," thinking we are beyond all psychology, a new

disorder removed by a meltedsilverspoon scalpel, eaten by a

wealthy philistine, assuming it was a "growth" to fill the stomach

 

Like the dandelion of nostalgia, as when finally entered

a planetary atmosphere, it would not need to have "life" :

 

The thickness of the gases that suffocate, pillow-wielding murderers.

We would have abundant chemistry kit and it would be enough:

and for hope he knows beyond personification

that a fossil is not a momento mori it is more important

to imagine nature outracing all our technology a silent burr

in the terrible chill of the silk fabric of space / time: mutation

in the fortified seed.

Could not the gender of the Gods go off to an abstract war?

They must combat the voids, vast statues who shower in meteors.

The cherubic faces of planets: shields to which the Gods' intentionality

are alien fingers pointing, groping at hidden interiors

gasesous spills sensationalist wills if only telescopes were neighborhood

window sills.

If galaxies were only bloody, perversely, there is/was life out there?

This seems like the version of God that emerged in history

not refined by curiosity--yet, this is a projection steeped in irony.

 

But the stars have "reached the point" where our metaphors

need far greater sophistication: the stray satellite

will earn its rust badges, the dead ears of pure space.

Instead, consider the phrase of a literary physics its non-reality:

Mere/ age in (the) dis-trance (a child thinks this, looking out home window)

 

So that when we think of life, we imagine we are still moving...

Here on the prairie, we walk through the graveyard's

strange parallel happenstance, a crash test dummy's speed bumps

 

The retreat of space into its own victory yet, when we think of time

liberated from our own aging...a new sense of time emerges.

In the house, is a winding star-case:

The skylight in a child's castle ceiling opens to a combined space:

Forbid the bureaucrat of stars, stick it notes on making constellations

On-the-page-poet, but only briefly.

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Excerpt

Twisted on top of a stack of granite and limestone boulders are S-s-sam and S-s-sara. The pair of snakes are made of rich green and yellow tiles and were built in 1985. Every spring, Inwood Manitoba comes alive as tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes emerge from their winter hibernation.
There are so many snakes that in some places, it feels like the ground is breathing. Narcisse Snake Dens is an international, natural phenomenon that hosts the world's largest collection of snakes in one location. The park has beautiful packed gravel walking trails that wind through natural prairie and trembling aspens. You can choose how close you want to get to the snakes. So, even the most hesitant of visitors can brave and experience this yearly event.
Look for where limestone pits meet dry prairie and you'll see countless snakes surface and mate, before heading to their summer homes. Make sure you stop and listen as you witness hundreds of snakes moving along the sun-kissed rocks. Professor Bob Mason, from the University of Oregon, has been studying snakes for the past
35-years. His specialty is animal reproduction. Though the garter snakes are small, Mason said this is how larger snakes like anacondas and pythons also mate. Here at Narcisse, there are so many snakes that they form 'mating balls' - large groups of males all fighting for the attention of a single, larger, female. He says they come from around the world to study this spectacle. Along highway #17 there are small green barriers and culverts strung alongside the road. These snake friendly paths were built by the community to direct the animals away from the highway and save almost 20,000 snakes a year. The snake pits are a great way place to have a picnic and kick-off your summer activities.

Tall and proud on the rocky shore of Lake Winnipeg stands the Viking. A tribute to New Iceland and the Icelandic settlers that helped to develop the town of Gimli and the surrounding area, he's an impressive and powerful sight to behold.
The park he calls home is full of trolls, hidden people, and secret messages.
Paving stones wind around him stamped with family names and runic messages that only the most curious, intrepid visitors can solve. Nestled under the great Viking is a small fairy garden full of Manitoba wildflowers, each one carefully chosen and planted in hopes of attracting butterflies-- and fairies. If you look closely you might just see a fairy house or hear the giggling of the mischievous Huldufólk that live in town. The Viking's park is surrounded by giant boulders representing the volcanic environment of Iceland and are meant to be climbed, sat on, and explored. But be careful, as boulders are where trolls live. Make sure you do not wake one of the sleeping giants.
On your way to explore more of Gimli--its historic New Iceland buildings and seaside attractions--take a walk along the small, beaten path that leads you past Betel Personal Care Home to the main beach. This is the breakwater. Constructed in 1957 to prevent shoreline erosion, it protected the settlement from the strong currents of the lake and once marked the edge of town. Since then, Gimli has built up the ground and stretched beyond the breakwater, establishing the large park of the Viking. A special space on the shoreline that has come to represent the town, Viking Park is central to Gimli's Islendigadagurinn, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, a yearly event celebrating Icelandic culture in Manitoba. In 2017 the festival revamped the park to ensure its draw for future generations.
The Viking is a storyteller.
Spend the afternoon exploring all he has to say and try to find the clues hidden within Viking Park. Gimli is a unique, magical place where everyone can find their inner Viking, eat amazing food, and learn about the impressive Icelandic history in Canada.

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Death Becomes Us
Excerpt

A Sense of Direction

 

Compass points

 

The music rattled
and shook the radio while
a crowd of people talked
I watched your eyes
like laser points
track me down
with a view
to paralyze

my mind wandered
to my afternoon bike ride
gusts of wind from the north
made mountains
of the plains

the sense of your lips
on mine a sudden diversion
of my attention
and I am surprised
with the newness of a world
that senses the gentle
caress of the wind

north is only north
you whispered
when you know
which way the river flows

Meet me at the church at midnight

dancin' in the heat of the
parking lot
dancing in the soft hazy
silvery air
we're dancing to the radio
billie jean from the car
music filters through the
nectar of the night
rumbles over us and bursts through
honeysuckle air

semi trailers bump and bruise
their bulk they bounce
a beat to match the bass
staccato note from the grind of the
distant train
brushes our bodies bumps
me into you
sparks form in the air
heavier now with pockets of cool
fireflies flicker now here now
distant
flashes of light in rhythm
to our dancing
painting the sky
close around us now
air vivified with the earth's sweet
sweat a current thick
we slink and slide inside
the summer's salt and
laugh wave
to the man in the moon
harvest moon
his full flat face
looking down
you laugh
looking up
the man in the moon sheds a lonely tear
lands on my cheek
you
brush it away
turn up the music
just so
we dance

Break & enter

The door is unlocked
so it can hardly be called a
break & enter

now you are here
sitting on the couch
feet on the table
you drop crumbs

so this is it
staring me in the face
love a presence
in my space

you water the plants
in my absence

your farts linger
in the air
smell of your sweat
tickles my nose
in the bedroom

I open the windows
in the coldest of winter

Sunday in July

I dip my toes into pools
of sun glowing in the grass
shadow serpents
tickle my soles

I tilt my head
into your chest
drift in the space between
the beats of your heart
steady as if
time could be tamed

clouds in the sky
now form into an owl
curl about and now
perhaps mittens or
an ice cream cone
melting
into the breeze

I fall asleep
my head resting just so
your fingers tapping a drum solo
in my hair
kittens' paws whisper
in the flower beds

when I wake
heat has pressed in
the clouds have thinned
sun dapples and dances
swaddles us in
these soft grasses

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