BY ANNICK MACASKILL
Light slow as honey
in its antique shell, rubber stopper
lazy at the end, snarled curl
of the lip ring silver
round glass—yes glass, but thick,
the kind that keeps you guessing,
stretching feeble for the other side.
The way a frenzied starling
builds her nest in May,
one flimsy clutch of twigs
at a time. The light unclaimed
through my delay, seeping in
as if from nowhere, stilted,
clotted as in the white-shelled
tank I saw
one inverted summer day
in Melbourne, where a squid lay
slumped in a corner
like a pile of unwashed laundry,
her eye a steady accusation
before the rounded window
that glimpsed our own grey-glimmer world.
TRY TO HATCH FISH AND STONES*
know what to do
with your chalky misfortunes.
like mammoths, an old
relationship. Await the birth
of a patience, eternal,
yet to be mastered
in any hemisphere. Know what to do
with disappointment. If lucky,
lucky. In the long quest
for an everyday, don’t forget
to revise your expectations.
Protect the charge
that is your wanting. If queer,
what to do
with heartache. Hitch your wagon
to a laboratory. Keep that hope
within your belly,
under the perfect tuxedo flap
of skin, snug
beneath your lungs.
*“Berlin gay penguins adopt abandoned egg.” BBC News from Elsewhere, 12 August, 2019. Reporting by Martin Morgan.
Annick MacAskill is a queer and feminist poet and translator based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq. Her debut collection, No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and shortlisted for the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award. Her second collection, a book of love poetry, will be published by Gaspereau Press in the spring of 2020.
THROUGH ALL KINDS OF WEATHER
They’re down to the final four on So You Think You Can Text? The judges have locked in their scores and Richard is going home. To costal Regina.
The party’s off to a slow start on Orgy Pad. Contestants can’t concentrate. Not with the roof missing. There’s mood-killing daylight in the Velvet Room. And all that blurred-out flesh moves with virtually no enthusiasm.
Flash floods in Fredericton. Wildfires in Winnipeg. Tornados in Toronto, the CN Tower plucked, planted needle-down, piercing a pipeline. It’s Russ and his State of Emergency roundup.
“Is this the end? This reporter thinks so,” he says to empty living rooms across the country. “Is anyone out there? Maybe you’re flipping through the channels, looking for something mindless to take the edge off.”
Russ hits a button. It brings up a banner graphic with his cell phone number.
“Russ is going full telethon. All Russ all the time. Call me. I don’t want to die alone.”
Undercover Brute. In which Rico discovers the smog-related respiratory illnesses plaguing his deadbeat clients. He’s moved to tears. He gives them another week to pay up before he breaks their legs.
Knife Swap. A cleaver for Rita. A carver for Ted. Because it’s getting crazy out there, people.
Russ has the whiskey out. And his clothes off. He’s draped over the anchor’s desk checking his phone for missed calls.
The banner graphic with Russ’s phone number is still on screen.
“Call me. You can’t live for tomorrow. Tomorrow is happening and it’s an arid wasteland. Fucking disease and tumbleweeds. And I want to live. I want to find you and make post-apocalyptic love. So pick up the phone and—”
Adam Giles’ short fiction has appeared in Sonora Review, The Feathertale Review, The Humber Literary Review, Riddle Fence, The Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His story “Corduroy” won the University of Toronto Magazine Short Story Contest in 2013, and other stories have been longlisted and named runner-up in PRISM International’s Fiction Contest, the House of Anansi Broken Social Scene Story Contest, and the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction. His writing has also been nominated for the National Magazine Awards and the Best of the Net Anthology. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife and two children. Find him on the web at www.adamgiles.ca.
WHAT TIME LEFT
BY GEOFFREY NILSON
Geoffrey Nilson is a writer, editor, visual artist, and the founder of poetry micropress pagefiftyone. His work has appeared recently in PRISM, CV2, Coast Mountain Culture, and is forthcoming as part of Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds from Caitlin Press in winter 2020. He lives with his daughter in New Westminster on the unceded territory of the Qayqayt First Nation.
BY TRYNNE DELANEY
our grocery store is out of tofu
o town that runs on beef & crude oil
understocked soy blocks
a sign of hope
when we’re usually just coughing
our way out of smoke this time of year
the amazon’s burning for profit and everyone’s
so scared of death they forget
some of us will survive The End—
mass extinction doesn’t happen in a day!
yap the dinosaur jaws compressing below us
and if climate change is getting you down
you can send a gif of Jeff Goldblum
through a server system
that will burn as much fuel
as the airline industry
it’s all pretty bleak
but you know, uh,
life, uh, finds a way
Trynne Delaney is a Black/EuroSettler queer living as an uninvited guest on Treaty 7 territory. She's currently completing her MA in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. You can catch her bundled up like a 7 layer burrito watching the river and waiting for another chinook.
ALIENATION (THE TRANSFERRING OF TITLE OR OF INTEREST)
BY MADHUR ANAND
Accounts were ignition sources
from within their own perimeter,
but in recent months, climate
without change reduced
the spread of public attention
A media agent increased persistence
but there were no linkages
between abatement and refugia
and park status dropped
below natural levels
The lawsuit may have referred to
the next largest remnant, properties
sorted by size, scattered matrices,
the formation of a complex
as well as the countless gaps
Criterion A: The wood turtle
taken on a voluntary basis
Criterion B: The two-lined salamander
plotted as two single bars
Text created from the following article: Anand M., Leithead, M., Silva, L., Wagner, C., Ashiq, M, Cecile, J., Drobyshev, I., Bergeron, Y., Das, A. and Bulger, C. (2013) The scientific value of the largest remaining old-growth red pine forests in North America. Biodiversity Conservation 22(8): 1847-1861
"Alienation (The Transferring of Title or of Interest)" from A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes. Copyright © 2015 by Madhur Anand.
Reprinted by permission from McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada.
Previously published on Lemon Hound.
Madhur Anand, a poet and a professor of ecology and environmental sciences at the University of Guelph, where she mixes poetic and scientific approaches to articulating current and impending crises
BY D.A. LOCKHART
OTTO E. ECKERT STATION TAUNTS FIRE TO GRANDMOTHER
She rises through
nitrous oxide sunset
greets the Boji Tower,
greets it in persimmon
sky, arrives in the fall
of this late burning sun.
Before her, coiling bolts
of coal cooked air pour forth
into diminishing light,
slip and fade in opaque
whisps. One street over
in a sapling park, several geese
lament the lost Oldsmobile
plant. What song will rise
to greet the final train load
of Powder River Basin earth,
when it arrives to be cooked
up beneath the Eckert Station’s
unfiltered bundle of shareholder
ambition, pleasure, ambivalence.
Landmarks, despite their poison
are missed in the absences before
and behind us, their ends the loss
of measures to our traces left
upon creation. Grandmother rises,
her downward fixed gaze rests
on the steady tumble
of coal-fired smoke
feeding a hundred-thousand air conditioners.
SWALLOWS RUN FRANTIC AT THE WATER'S EDGE
Trace the pathways
of swallows, running
veins atop Waabiishkiigo,
left by minnows,
stalking the same hatch.
Discarded, yellow ash leaves
islands unto themselves
crest and fall on this lake
swollen past temperament
by distant snowfalls,
creation rising to meet creation
Beyond us, northward
our land peters out into
shipping lanes, currents
of sand, algae, driftwood.
Each caress of this lake
refreshes us, slows us
Horizon holds mid-lake
lighthouse, toilet shaped,
blotting out Wheatley beyond.
A lesson that lake freighters,
pleasure boat fishermen,
ignore in due course.
The lake, creation moves
slow. Swallows frantic atop
it, us lazy on this beach,
and the water rises, another
freighter steams past lighthouse
green moves atop high waves.
I come to you as you squeeze
into the cement culvert bisecting
the heart of Springwells treaty land
at fence line you stretch out
to the horizons, beneath lowrise
office buildings, straight as a slash
of a shixikwe bite, still, as moments
after the strike. Know your destination
arrives at an island of fire, constant
grumble of angry earth. Above us
shopping cart rapids slow to glass
top rifle of water, wailing past
weeds, nènèskakw burst skyward
from cracks in constricting shore.
D.A. Lockhart is the author of Devil in the Woods (Brick Books, 2019) and Wenchikaneit Visions (Black Moss, 2019). His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019, Grain Magazine, the Malahat Review, CV2, and Triquarterly among others. He holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University-Bloomington. Lockhart currently resides in the Souwesto region of Ontario where he splits time between Pelee Island and Waawiiyaatanong in Three-Fires Confederacy Territory. He is the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press.
An anthology of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
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