Monthly Archives: May 2013


Today I walked North


Rae Desmond Jones

It is Autumn in the South of this tiny marble as it spins,
Seas of glass & shreds of cloud & smudges of mud on fingers of gravity –
Although it’s cold the world is getting hot.

Today I walked North to the shops, which are quiet & sit drinking coffee,
Watching teachers shepherd children from the Primary School
Spilling over the footpath edge, into the future.

It should have always been like this –
Indians & Muslims from Pakistan hold hands
With broad shouldered Islanders while two Indigenous girls
Move silent watchful eyes & the Irish still want to rebel,
The Anglos shuffle (I can tell the Chinese want to pull out cards)

Part of the great sprawl that is us they laugh & talk & nudge
& push & the teachers cannot stop them.

Cars bank along Smith Street & almost invisible fumes
Form patterns, sprites of gasoline dancing in air.

I think of you, the long range of your spine, those spars & angles
Of your elbows & smooth buns & bumps so pale
But you too must decay.

In my imagination I stroke you & kiss the down of your nape
Offering silent thanks for having lived


David Brooks


I wake, late at night, it must be 4 a.m.,

and the words are back, demanding attention

like a murder of unwelcome crows

shaken loose by a dream, a young boy

broken into the house, the wild kid

from down the road. At last

I corner him and lock him in

while we try to decide

what to do with him.

                                   I should

call the police, I know, but know I won’t, this

wild boy with the mad drunken mother

and that car-thief friend who treats him like a brother

which he may well be, both

trying to steal what she can’t give. Nothing

about a dream, they say, that isn’t

in the self somehow: crows, wild boy, car-thief, mum.


a leaf remembered from Susquehanna



Ellie Ma, 馬慧敏



the path
is a puzzle
of autumn down drifting

our steps on
the orange chatter of leaves

you pick up
intend to make a bookmark

I follow
hold it in my hand
and let go

a leaf
of the moment
kept in your book

I didn’t have a pen
but now there’s the poem of the leaf
rustling through my head

that’s how
a leaf lives







Ellie Ma, 馬慧敏





























Andrew Burke


plumbago blooms

in blue autumn rain.


first things last,

picket fence welcomes

a breath of fresh air.




speaking on Oz radio

ancient Japanese forms

remodeled to suit:


single lapels with

tuppenny turnups.




keep the matter

simple     as dirt does


this muscle distorts



matter is




she says, swamp

I say, lake


Thoreau says, pond


in the wetlands

ibis peck in dry reeds




I warm my cold arse

where she has sat


… whirled re

volves a

round my senses



Holden fans wave their flags

in Ford fans’ faces


The automobile is a wheelchair.


Balinese drape gods

in checkered cloth




we are numerous

as Oppen said


singleminded & focused


poems change up

minor to major




all poetry is derivative


no tradition without

revolution throwing over

the balustrades


ant’s a centaur in his dragon world





(‘The automobile’ quote is from Nicanor Parra; ‘ant’s’ from Ezra Pound.)

Jill Jones


Hard, soft, anything

can be construed long

or not


colours dry slowly

it’s not exact

or a picture


the sound slews

with the southerly

sounds like growing


consonants to choose

speed or change

machine mistakes


at a door, on a path

climbing through the curtain

to gain

Jill Jones


When you go together

tempered in sway, air

dark’s sound, sky

dirt, the length of it

your skin absorbed


when cats are no longer

cute, night birds and

traffic are clear when

reason does not equal

clarity, or death time


when hunting time’s

cast of the moon, heat

absence when fences

don’t matter, remembrances

rain as penseroso


when being human is

not the point, the world

fills with water or

darker materials doubles

impossibles forgot



Lawrence Upton


A boy writes his name in sand; then goes back to his holiday home.

The sea covers the boy’s name: it learns the name, and erases it.

Next day, when the boy is walking, he hears his name called from
beyond the shore, finds a way down to the beach and writes there the
sea’s name: sea.

The sea touches the name. “More, ” it says from along the water’s
edge, as if it has no image of where he is. So the boy teaches the sea
the word “see” and the rhyme “the sea sees me”.

“More, ” says the sea with a gurgle of small stones.

The boy tells it some colours – the colour of the sea at that moment,
of the sky at that moment, of himself as he believes, of some plants
he has learned to recognise.

“Ahhh,” says the sea, as if it had drunk when thirsty.

The boy goes home and other children come to play; but the sea does
not converse with them. It knows the name of someone else; it knows
its own name by that someone else; it knows some colours.

It tells its knowledge to itself ceaselessly.


Lawrence Upton:

Poet; graphic & sound artist. Recent publications wrack (2012); Memory
Fictions (2012); and Unframed Pictures (2011). Co-edited Word Score
Utterance Choreography in verbal and visual poetry (1998) with Bob
Cobbing. Commentaries on Bob Cobbing (2013). Journals: Artist’s Book
Yearbook, Book Arts Newsletter, Emerging Language Practices,
Experimental Poetics and Aesthetics, Journal of British and Irish
Innovative Poetry, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Readings,
Sounds Rite. Second solo exhibition “from recent projects” September
2012 St James Hatcham. Makes text-sound composition with John Levack
Drever, Benedict Taylor and Tina Krekels. AHRC Research Fellow Music,
Goldsmiths 2008-2011. Currently Visiting Research Fellow Music,



some details of pictures in
Imagens de Nada / Pictures of Nothing at All

Galeria do Salao Medieval
Largo do Paco, Braga, Portugal























Victor Hugo

trans. Tracy Ryan


I was not dreaming of Rose!

Rose came to the wood with me;

We said some things, I suppose,

Gone now from memory.


I was cold as a marble frieze;

My steps uncertain;

I spoke of flowers and trees;

Her eye seemed to say: What then?


Pearls the dew offered,

The undergrowth, parasols;

I went on, hearing blackbirds,

And Rose, nightingales.


Me: sixteen. I looked morose.

Her eyes shone, at twenty.

The nightingales sang Rose

And the blackbirds whispered me.


Rose, stretching from hip,

Lovely arm shaking to pluck

Blackberry from branch high up;

But I did not look.


Water ran cool and deep,

Over velvet moss-buds;

And nature in love asleep

In the great deaf woods.


Rose undid her shoe there,

And innocently put

Her small foot in pure water;

I did not see her bare foot.


I didn’t know what to say;

I followed her through the wood

Seeing she smiled on her way

And sometimes sighed.


I didn’t notice her beauty

Till long after we were out

Of the woods. Forget it, she told me,

But it’s all I have thought about.


(written 1831; from Les Contemplations, 1856)

rob mclennan



She makes the bed,

unmakes, precisely


in that order.


Sometimes, sleeps.





Swedish meatballs, and


we exit

Ikea, finally,


safe as houses.





Let down,

let down


the blinds.


A musical

high-pitched tone.





Her mother sends the recipe,

so we


no longer have to.









Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at


Follow us on LinkedIn