February 12, 2013

January 8, 2013


begin start the first
the music of care and four
women saying it again
to circle and stop

the prairie nations carrying generational
the way to the start and the eighth

to circle to stop to
turn off the tap
roots rooting further

the women don’t stop
the place and their will

the fraser, the skeena nations
will stand a circle against lines
stopped up with haste

the round the drum in
hands for a turn—
to circle a stop
and a recreation story

April 21, 2012

toponym 5

the North, a medium-tall scrub
at eye level, the other layers flowing
into and out of
the poem

but for now, the moment
is this line of willows, second-growth

burned-over areas,

Labrador tea against the thigh
and a rustle of being
scrub birch, black spruce,
listening for connection

the thin tree cover wetland
buzzes away the afternoon drowse

soaks though shoes,
holds you here

April 11, 2012

toponym 4

contingencies blend and/
or collide and the root structures
                             flex with input

the political economy
of the space is a             constant
negotiation of flow

the energy of a word’s
motion across paths
of light, water,

the name of the place is
consumed: chewed and changed,
shit on the road,
washed into a gully,

in transition moments or/
and ecotone zones the shift is
a turn and sway and knows
nothing of revolution

the needs of this area
will be met

April 9, 2012

toponym 2

maps lose us
in their          accurate
lines, boundaries of own and
out and here
there and when it was

this separation--the gap
of space and standing
             (a glance around
              for others there too
(and love         love for
you placing yourself
all your relations
defining the next
step, the next
meal          time is land

the measures are story
the place neural
           inaccuracies scrounging for survival

April 1, 2012

Blockade 4

dawn, prescient, bulldozer      |       the flow of resources go also through our mind                                           |              cardboard boxes and broken crates on fire; three white-tails further down                                  the ditch            |               first, what family’s land               | the road, the pipe, the                             terminal, the tanker, the destined port, the profit—all going away and leaving       |                              resting crouched on the ground, feet planted, listening to the sounds of small creatures,                           the air, the rich smell of hoolhghulh powering the ravine, the trickle of water everywhere,                      the place is not numbers, the place is not yours           |         a tourniquet would seem so                      enticing too                  |               enbridging v.  :   to make a leap in logic that dismisses                            all other points of view           |        “nation-building” the minister’s claim staked          |                         what else is a 1991 Civic for              |                 named Tehwehron, named MacBlo                          Brutalist in 1993              |                  this passive act of war, this bodied word

January 10, 2012

Blockade 3

|    you were there, hobo, ostrich-rider            |            a knack for being in the wrong place and a disregard for personal safety            |            can’t stop can’t slow can’t give can’t care can’t live can’t recant can’t not can’t             |            by the sign saying ‘watching for trucks turning’, by the sign that something is awry            |            the territory’s family name            |
sub-boreal spruce and balsam: picea speaking outside the frame                        |            the result is not conclusive, but the intervening language moved back south            | what is it  about the interruption of the normal?     |      wild rose cattail soapberry and raspberry
|            the first bulldozer here 1969 under Socreds     |            gravel from Chetwynd
|            asphalt   |            center line            |            is the message delivered or stopped?    | flows and system analysis concluded that the excess was not accounted for                        |   an oily patch on the way            |            the BC Access Office is where you renew your driver’s license            |            a prepositional phase            |   the reason for the media is a place to record the movement of public emotion            |            can’t go, further   

June 27, 2011

How I Joined the Seal Herd Too

                                                I learned
to let my body give                  it was not I
who controlled the rocks
                                                  Robert Kroetsch (1927-2011)

for an instant                        I thought
of the difference between        air and
without thinking             her flipper
buoyed me                         out of
gender and the institution        was
what                         I forgot

ankle turned       into the fin
I always wanted    to know
something other         than air
float      belly-centered in love

and it was not difficult         this
landlessness                        at the pivot
of our dance                        what matters
what touches      in what language

when the others join                         too
the curbs and spiral stairways
will all dissolve into       swirls
of joy and         breaches

and when I spun          surprised
in the blue-grey     to look
surprised            at her eyes               she
even more   surprised  was
there too       really          really           

the waters were       words mostly
verbs of being       ecstatic     and            
I did not miss                        my groin
at all               sleek we swam         away

iceflows and schools of             ideas
art and movement       through liquid
ease she teases and          swims better
than I ever                        dreamed

another state of         being
intimate with        oneself            water
a wet embrace of care                        full
of promise         loveswirl

and swerve      you            sped
ahead and             I                learning
floundered after       eyes
finding new    colours the shape
of your longing           receding

a moment of doubt         would
you leave        adrift      I wonder
how would I find land again     but
by body knows now      it will not
turn back      arched   
dives                           deeper

where currents meet         and fishes
are rich            we reached       fins skyward
stretching the surface of the
possible           beach pebbles against
skin a sound of                  release

the a waffling wake of        
past lives            land-bound slow
walkers and linear      thinking
maybe you and I        maybe

water riffled around         our discourse
of love bubbling with the             future
my sore ears disappeared      overused
to the inane blathering of news

your paper fell apart        paint ran
books disintegrated into soggy messes of intention
clothes dissolved into            sensation
our house became the many
horizons        became a progress toward

May 28, 2011

on nervousness 2

whining at the door of
ridiculous requests

hoping that the rash
is not related

stuttering on an explanation
with no question

blabbering on about
herbs and balloons

the century that can
shatter the human myth

the man leaned out the driver
window with his bad teeth

all the reasons are piled
against the wall of the artery i keep forgetting the name of but it is an important one and in real life not at all the neat shape you see on hallmark cards and if i gush will i come clean will the toxins spill out into the river and kill fish eggs aorta it’s the aorta i am thinking of and it constricts when i say i love you but is it the climate my aging cells or true

writing and deleting the same
message 44 times

writing a message and sending
it but before you where were ready

chest pains are a sign hung
on the door saying ‘i am still here’

May 11, 2011

The Acoustic North

The word “scenic” stuck in the back of your throat
as you trample the mycelium. The word “wilderness”
as the multiple slime moulds cleanse the spill. The
word “refuge” as the word “recreation” is nailed up
beside the highway. The word “cut” as TFL tenures
cease. The word “resource” as the job ad for customer
relations is posted. The word “plastic” blasts through
exterior of everything. The word “tree” caught in traffic
at Robson and Granville. The word “contour” as a
measure of where you are standing, askance, watching
the subtle movements of a place, its inhabitants, the
busy living that is not you and catching the wave. The
words “joint review panel” sets the stage and lighting and
charges admission at the door and chats over drinks at the
hotel bar, tips big.  The word “compassion” sidles up the
scree slope hoping to the catch the human world by surprise.
The word “road” stretches you from the word “here” to the
word “if” and in between the gravel base rolled tight under
asphalt is a desert. The word “Ahbau” from China—a lake,
a street—and the movement between.  The word that drifts
downstream in the spring, charging the vegetable matter and
spurring the heat coming from the south face of a civilization.
The word “progress” squats at the side of the road too lost to
hitch, too broke to imagine, too tired to wish anyone ill. The
word tugs at the sleeve of the uninitiated, saunters into the
reading like an outsider, dumps her packsack in the corner,
turns to you, asks a question about water. The word 

“bedsprings” dumped in the creekbed and taking on moss. 
Whatever stands in place of something else, a metaphor for 
actual contact, laid overtop or sketched in chalk on the 
sidewalk. The word “echo” choosing to return angles 
etched from machines, windfall, lecterns, and corporate 
manifesto. The word “north” carries you back to camp, 
puts an herbal balm on the wound, tries to explain where 
you went wrong.