Le paradis n'est pas artificiel …


posted October 27, 2015

Forty-five minutes west of town is the rez, population
hidden by the organic anti-grid ways that rezes have.
Some of the helter-skelter houses are freshly finished
with new vinyl siding; others are only half covered,
plain plywood bending to the considerable elements.
There are no obvious reasons why the cards were dealt
one way to that family, another to this. There’s always
something amiss here, as though a mere cough might
dislodge something bad from the wood-smoke breath
of the Valley, something better kept deep. Only just last
week some kids who were out quadding tilted up a log
and exposed the decaying body of a young girl. Naked,
like no one else around. It never gets any warmer here
than by the river in spring: full of fish, heavy as children.
Native guys tie each other up and hang above the rapids,
gaffing salmon straight from the unseen. Quick as can be,
waiting kids eat the fish eyes raw: they call them candy.
Then smoke from each ensuing feast fills the air sweetly
–a mix of moose steak from fall kills; of pine mushrooms
smelling of cinnamon; fry bread and berry jam, and grizzly
bear sausage, rich and redolent on the tongue – mouthfuls
of prayer we niido* couldn’t understand, but could taste.

*"White people" in the Wet'suwet'en language of North Western BC.
This poem will appear soon in The Antigonish Review.


posted October 2, 2015

If I have ever
fed you then, yes—and yes, by
you, I do mean you.


posted October 1, 2015

Ravens songs thunder
clearing welkin to listen
from afar lightning.


posted September 16, 2015

I hold still alone
your body as my own — still
athrill with falling.


posted September 14, 2015

Going quiet's fine —
Orion's shoulders soften
above city light.


posted August 30, 2015

Set like the moon on
your eyes' sunken dreams move in
them bright buried blades.


posted August 5, 2015

Under the twinkling
repercussion of stars one
can love nothing more.