Asparagus
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
3w ago
spring’s sentriesshrill with chlorophyllrubber-banded phalanxesfill farmers’ market stallsadolescent stalksspindly impudent spearswith their scaly fauxhawksthose rebel yells out in force–the first sign winter has lost the fightor, echoing snow,arrive deliberately albino–inexplicably bunkeredby exuberant Germanssparkling over April’s Weißspargel, then shipped out in glass cylinder galleriesstolid in citric lymphaching for a hollandaise duvet Bio ..read more
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Sunshine Cinema
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
2M ago
I went there once, nose first, on a date with a high school teacher I’d met at a communist bookstore— revolutionary communist, to be clear— to see 12 Years a Slave. I don’t remember the neon yellow Sunshine above the black marquee or the mostly-black graffiti splayed out on the urban beige brick or the ..read more
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Unmappable
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
3M ago
“make a map,” she says and already i am lost. i understand what's being asked; i don't know if it's possible to make a map of feelings. diligently i assemble a list of parts: title, scale, orientation, legend, border. it's a representation of something or of some place in relation to some other thing or ..read more
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Historical Redress: Entre Rive and Shore by Dominique Bernier-Cormier
Arc Poetry
by nina.drystek@hotmail.com
3M ago
It is often said that an essential quality of poetic writing is its immunity to translation. As Dante wrote in his Convivio: “nothing harmonized according to the rules of poetry can be translated from its native tongue into another without destroying all its sweetness and harmony.” Dominique Bernier-Cormier would, I think, agree with Dante’s image ..read more
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Serious Play:  body works by Dennis Cooley
Arc Poetry
by nina.drystek@hotmail.com
3M ago
“Serious art is born from serious play.” This quote from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way epitomizes the poems in Dennis Cooley’s latest book, body works, in which he continues to write with a playfulness that has produced a rich oeuvre of poetry spanning the last five decades. Built from the machinery of the body—its clicks ..read more
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Vancouver, 2023
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
3M ago
you speak to me in skylines| the techno of concrete walls| | cacophonies of light & noise collide| with glass & | asphalt | | instead of ocean chants | & mountains. the wind can’t tell the | difference. it scales | the heights of scrapers| |shoves us around the corner of Burrard| |and Hastings ..read more
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Coach Neurologist
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
4M ago
You set the board, a field of alternating black and white squares. Multi-level, like Star Trek, to consider time, space, all dimensions. Bolt to the boundary of the table, stay in the lines, ignore the teeth menacing at the edges of my field of vision. Shift to the rook, you circle, gaze down with one ..read more
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“like mother like daughter like matter like water”:  Fire Cider Rain by Rhiannon Ng Cheng Hin
Arc Poetry
by nina.drystek@hotmail.com
6M ago
Water flows throughout Rhiannon Ng Cheng Hin’s remarkable Fire Cider Rain, with the book’s four sections, titled Evaporate, Condensate, Precipitate and Collect. Water features in many poem titles and in the poems themselves, ranging from omnipresent ocean to storm to “water on tile” (“Seamelt II”). Fire cider, a spice-infused tonic, comes down as precipitation. In ..read more
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The Jewelled Pomegranate: Kim Fahner’s Emptying the Ocean
Arc Poetry
by nina.drystek@hotmail.com
6M ago
Kim Fahner’s Emptying the Ocean is a feminist narrative modelled on Irish immram tales traditionally featuring men. Men in immram tales are often expelled from monastic communities for violent acts like rape or murder. Their chance at redemption comes through pilgrimage across the ocean to distant islands, whereas women banished to sea are often being ..read more
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Overburst I
Arc Poetry
by Chris Johnson
6M ago
Popping tar bubbles in the middle of the road on the cul-de-sac in summer. Lava cakes, molten licorice stucky hillocks, overburst of what lies, lives beneath. My four-year-old thumbnail makes crosses in each, pressing for tension, testing for what is at the ready, ripe. I move in. Ear to asphalt, I connect to the wellspring ..read more
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