DEAR PRINCE OF MELTING ICECAPS,
Bliss has escaped me.
I went down to our beaches.
The oil-sheened, the skinless salmon, the dead
algae, the greasy rocks.
We are in a state. A State.
The moist bliss empty, the air chemical.
The rat on the roof (the political).
The call was internal, societal--
I stood up from a gold chair
in the dank back room of a bank;
you climbed out from under thousands of pennies
piled in a cellar.
We were recently human,
we endeavoured to cycle, we wanted to juggle,
we had only just learned how to play.
The State blew out our candles
and we were in a gorgeous dark,
directing foot and bike traffic to the bridge.
I have ten headlamps, community,
and you have this hunch
we might get along, get along.
The sea coughs up cell phones
as we build our boats.
A kind rat with a human face helps me
carve the oars.
I vaguely remember
a polar bear's story, the fluff
Is it the red sky or the sea?
Jen Currin was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes. She did her schooling at Bard College (B.A.), Arizona State (M.F.A.) and Simon Fraser University (M.A.). She lives and works on unceded Coast Salish territories (New Westminster, Surrey, and Vancouver, B.C.), where she teaches in the Creative Writing and ACP Departments at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Jen’s first collection of stories, Hider/Seeker (Anvil Press, 2018), was one of The Globe and Mail‘s top 100 books of 2018. She has also published four collections of poetry: The Sleep of Four Cities (Anvil Press, 2005); Hagiography (Coach House, 2008); The Inquisition Yours (Coach House, 2010), which won the 2011 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (B.C. Book Prizes), the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry, and the ReLit Award; and School (Coach House, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2015 ReLit Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the Pat Lowther Award. Her chapbook The Ends was published by Nomados in 2013. Jen was a member of the editorial collective for The Enpipe Line: 70,000 Kilometers of Poetry Produced in Resistance to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal (Creekstone Press, 2012).
Watch Your Head is an online anthology of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
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