Like the forked branches of a tree
Whose trunk rests straight and strong,
Split is the mind divided in decision.
But nothing shakes its core—
It, unlike the wind, is rock.
Only thin twigs tremolo, and snap
Under the might and pressure
Of temporary gales.
Born in Bucharest and bred in the banlieues of Montreal, CLARA NENCU is a twenty-seven year old writer, teacher, and editor with a background in English literature.
launched the player
the instrument the god made
next to the shining
the rocking bridge
the splitting moment
spheres and forces;
the pain of endings.
CHRIS H. SAKELLARIDIS was born in London but grew up in Crete. His work has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Greece, Ireland, Spain and Italy. He co-produced and wrote the motion poem ‘Transmission’ (https://vimeo.com/190275599) which was featured in international festivals and has participated as a reader in poetry events and performances.
What are they good for these claws
Gathering daffodils in Macondo?
Has all this not happened before,
The rearing of cognizance to heights?
Where is the fire of love
That lay beyond images,
Are hands real
If all they do is mirror me
And I them?
JOSHUA S. has been living and writing in Montreal for over ten years. He studied anthropology and history at McGill University. He is the first writer of his family.
I do not like the voice I have
I wish it was originally sweet
Le français, something comme ca
I can order coffee—and cigarettes, too
…with the voice I have
Mais je suis Anglophone;
I’ll never be as classy as you.
CASSIE DOUBLEDAY is a Canadian poet, writer, and journalist currently living in France. She has a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University. Her work has been published in Subversions Magazine, The Canadian University Press, Cult MTL, ForgetTheBox.net, The Link, and others.
You should wear more make-up
(Translation: you don’t look feminine)
That colour washes you out
(Explanation: you don’t know what’s best)
Is it time for a haircut?
(Paraphrase: you have unused potential)
Are you sure you want to wear that?
(Interpretation: you reflect badly on me)
Did you gain some weight?
(Rewording: I want to control you)
You don’t want to shave?
(Revision: don’t make waves)
But you used to look so pretty
(Summary: remain an obedient girl)
You don’t have to look far.
The answers are all there.
Whenever you’re wondering.
Move back in time with me.
MARJORIE SILVERMAN is a former Montrealer now based in Ottawa. She is an emerging writer who has published in The Maynard, Montréal Writes, and Bywords. She is currently working on a full-length poetry manuscript. Marjorie is also a professor of social work at the University of Ottawa.
Some days I’ve caught the universe
living smaller lives
nourished by the breath
giving a low hoarse croak
I’ve been alone here,
heard the sound of flapping egret wings
in slow flight low over brackish wetlands
was not part of a system
was the answer that to
think that it was a breeding plumage
bright green facial skin, yellow bill
informing the lyrics, the night,
done it all my life. Joining the dots
we cared. We’ve swapped roles
renovated aphoristic storytelling
threading carcinogenic city streets
feeling rage, an impulse to howl
dragonflies and damselflies, whirligig beetles,
waiting motionless for prey,
stalking their victim
habitats for migration stopover sites
but what truth would they be masking?
Cut off mid-sentence
Is it posthumous? Dazed and irradiated
white is an absolute silence. List of names. All
names taken from tombstones.
Dancing under azure light of summertime.
THE VOGELKOP BOWERBIRD HUT
I am fond of deer dung
to catch a female’s attention
I sing up the land
rainforests of Papua:
took years to build
completely roofed over
rose purple, carmine, claret
pieces of sea shell
what’s in it for me?
carpet of moss
plainest of the family
olive brown, polygynous
black stems of tree ferns
beetle wings, orchids
do my courtship:
she, a single mother
lays her eggs
while I try to impress
ILONA MARTONFI is the author of four poetry books, Blue Poppy, Black Grass, The Snow Kimono and Salt Bride. Her work has published in numerous journals across North America and abroad. Five chapbooks, Visiting the Ridge, Charivari, Magda, Adagio and Mud. Her poem “Dachau on a Rainy Day” was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. Artistic director of Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop Reading Series. QWF 2010 Community Award.
The phoenix, graceful, lithe
from horizon to horizon
up to the heavens
and down to the earth below.
It is the first fire seen with naked eyes.
The brilliance of the first day
in the Orb placed to receive the light
it streaks within.
Igniting the fire
that will burn
thru all eternity.
LEE WEIMER: Growing up in the Northern Ontario bush country, paper was hard to find. My fascination started early with the printed page. The arrival of the Sears and Eaton’s catalogues was a big event in our little community. I remember pouring hundreds of hours into its’ glossy pages; visualizing myself as the perfectly dressed little girl who had everything; on paper. I’ve been a dreamer and scribbler ever since.I’ve been doing a lot of re-visiting and re-structuring of childhood memories. It comes out in bizarre ways. But I’ve learned to accept the unacceptable.
The Girl with the Pearl Earring
works at the wedding ring counter
Delft 4ever on her index finger
soft, smooth voice
she and Scarlett Johansson resemble each other
like two drops of Smirnoff
Vermeer gets pissed off when she dances
in the bars on Saint-Laurent
with those nobodies
his sketches are filled with spasms
at last call he pulls out his iPhone
and takes a selfie with her
true memories are all on JPEG
*from the collection HOCHELAGURLS, 2018.
AUDREY HÉBERT‘s first book of poetry, HOCHELAGURLS was published in 2018 by Éditions de l’Écrou. Hébert was born in what is known by residents as the Hochelag (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve). In 2015 she finished an MA in Art History on the needlework of the French artist Louise Bourgeois. She is now completing a doctorate. Upon doing genealogical research she discovered she is distantly related to the writer Anne Hébert (although she would have preferred being related to Edie Sedgwick).
DEBORAH OSTROVSKY lives in Montreal where she is an editor, writer, and translator. Her creative non-fiction, essays and satire can be found in carte blanche, Geist, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Tablet, and other magazines and journals. She is the recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Marian Hebb Research Grant, and was chosen by the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s as a Rising Star in 2019. She recently returned from a self-directed writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her previous translations non-fiction by Sonia Anguelova and Francine Pelletier as well as other poems by Audrey Hébert.
When my girl is not in the room
I let myself down and climb
out of the divided line. I psychoanalyze
chunks in my skin, that phase of
my youth; your condescending
glance surveying my paper:
stop using that and which
when you don’t even know the difference.
Obey precocity’s flirt,
prostrate nietzsche at stone’s depth,
flaunt abercrombie stitches.
Meet the boys with white shirts
sipping high london tea, dream
in bars at deep midnight –
dorian tried opium
maybe you should too.
When the phase moves on,
give baudelaire a good burial.
My girl cannot stop the time;
she is gone, gone
through the crowd of loose
bodies, and her eyeshadow sways
music into stillness. He did this too, morgan,
smith; there must have been clubs back then.
There is nothing soft
about the dancing of animals.
When we go to denny’s after
I ask, what does a man amount to
if he only lives for three years?
You take my temperature
and tell me to eat my pancakes.
INGRID CUI is a student at the University of Toronto and an editor for The Trinity Review (https://www.thetrinityreview.com/). Her work has been published in L’Éphémère Review, Half a Grapefruit Magazine, Ghost City Review, and Poetry Institute of Canada.
Copyright © 2020 by Ingrid Cui. All rights reserved.