SCREAMING INTO A PIANO
… The pictures captured a mood of as much astonishment as joy; it was as if the delegates could not quite believe they had succeeded in reaching an agreement of such significance.
- Amitav Ghosh
Recalling decision 1 / CP.17 on the establishment of a room
wide enough to hold your imagining. Like the moon
fallen onto the field, new
& mistaken by my aunt for a spaceship. Also recalling
relevant decisions to respond to everything by screaming.
Rain lines. Parts per million diluted
light. Each acre along this river
& if there are still children blowing tufts int o
iv e n
the adoption of planned repairs for the south
entrance north alley west gate. Recognizing that
even in crossing towards it I would stubbornly
remain a parallel incident. Reimagining no one
there. Back bicycle wheel spinning
hillside. Throwing the moon.
Acknowledging that agreeing to uphold & promote
revisions ought to be enough
this time. Singing.
"Screaming into a Piano" previously appeared in a chapbook Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press Oct 2019)
Emily Lu earned her B.Sc. at the University of Toronto and her M.D. at Queen’s University. Currently completing her postgraduate training in psychiatry, she lives in London, Ontario. Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press) is her first chapbook.
The aesthetics of environmental erasure—of what goes, what remains, and what is brought back to us on the tide.
Kevin Adonis Browne is a Caribbean American photographer, writer, and speaker. His award-winning visual and written work exist at the intersection of fine art, documentary, street photography, creative nonfiction, and memoir in what he calls: A discourse on the legacies of light as a way to understand the poetics of Caribbean culture.”
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, he attended Presentation College in the southern city of San Fernando. In 1990, he emigrated to the United States, settling in the Bronx and Brooklyn. In 2003, he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Medgar Evers College (CUNY) in Brooklyn, later earning a Master of Arts in English in 2006 and a PhD in English in 2009 from The Pennsylvania State University. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Syracuse University, and Bentley University. In 2017, he returned to Trinidad and Tobago, where he teaches at the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine). He is co-founder of the Caribbean Memory Project and is the author of two books: Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean (2013) and HIGH MAS: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture (2018), which won the prestigious Bocas Prize in Caribbean Literature in 2019. Following a successful launch in the streets of Port of Spain, Trinidad, he has had solo exhibitions in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Carleigh Baker is an nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân /Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ilwəta peoples. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Essays, The Short Story Advent Calendar, and The Journey Prize Stories. She also writes reviews for the Globe and Mail and the Literary Review of Canada. Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil, 2017) won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction, and the BC Book Prize Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. She is the 2019/20 writer in residence and a 2020 Shadbolt fellow in the humanities at Simon Fraser University.
“Wailsong 4 Sydney” collects instances of a novel form of found poetry that I call the amput(ransl)ation. First, a random string of alphanumeric characters is typed by hand into Google translate, which misinterprets this string as a legitimate entry in one or another language (often, but not always, recognizing it as Arabic script). Then, one or more characters are iteratively excised from the string, producing a descending sequence of alternate translations, until not much more than a stump is left.
While perusing this form, on January 10th, 2020, in the midst of the Australian bushfire crisis, I happened upon a sequence that spoke of Sydney, Australia, of greenness and heat, of smoke, and of payment. Delving a bit deeper, I identified the sequence in question, and explored various permutations of both the string and the type and order of character excisement, ultimately producing this sequence of found poetry, which serves as a dirgesong for the bushfire crisis currently underway in Australia.
It is typeset here in Australia, an open-source typeface designed by Denver Ross that "takes inspiration from the arches of the Sydney Opera House to the waves of Bondi Beach."
Franco Cortese is an experimental poet living in Thorold, Ontario. His poetry was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize and has appeared in Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, filling Station, ditch, and others. His recent chapbooks include aeiou (No Press 2018), uoiea (above/ground press 2019), and teksker (Simulacrum Press 2019). He also has leaflets, booklets and other poetic ephemera out through The Blasted Tree, Penteract Press, and Spacecraft Press. His work has been published both within Canada and internationally, and has been anthologized in Concrete and Constraint (Penteract Press 2018) and Science Poems (Penteract Press 2020).
Becoming Rock (2018)
Video excerpts from a series of 13 video performances (02:57)
Becoming Rock: Road Rock (2019)
Video still image from performance series ‘Becoming Rock’
Becoming Rock is a series of performative videos that explore the relationship between body and earth through the repeated action of becoming a rock within the landscape. Although it is physically impossible to merge with the land, Jessica Slipp sees the exposure of each repeated attempt as an absurd, awkward, yet genuine and honest gesture to engage with the land.
Jessica Slipp uses rocks as a form and means to compact earth and time. She is interested in what rocks contain and how, when deconstructed, they return to tiny particles of matter – the elemental component to the fabric of the universe and where all of life began. With concern for planet Earth, she looks to Donna Haraway’s rethinking of the Anthropocene and use of the term Chthulucene to describe our current epoch. This encourages the process of thinking, making, and being with all living and non-living species. In this time of ecological crisis and global climate change, it is vitally important to shift anthropocentric modes of thinking about the world to thinking with the world.
Jessica Slipp is a Visual Artist currently living and working in the unceded Indigenous land of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal). As an interdisciplinary artist her work investigates notions of place, uncovers new perspectives of land & landscape, and challenges the way we exist within the world. She is interested in the the ways that place and identity are embedded in the land through geological, ecological, and human histories, and the intrinsic connection we all share with the world — from the particles that randomly composed it, to the very nature that we embody. Through her artwork she attempts to repattern perspectives towards a more caring and compassionate engagement with the world, and seeks to find new ways of rekindling the fundamental relationship between body and earth.
When you leave, take with you the way light shimmered
gold in the river,
how the weight of what you loved swirled into filigreed
gold in the river.
That was how it felt to me, as the eventide of the
when I first crossed into illumination at the
threshold of the river.
There were mapmakers before me: their footfalls fade
tender on the earth.
Like you, they brought palms of amaryllis, asked to be
consoled by the river.
There's a pond in the forest whose water only ripples
where you weep.
But here, all ruptures. Let your heart flood,
uncontrolled, into the river.
Listen: the saga unbraids. Loyalties shift, fish-dappled
in her surge.
You can no more submerge a story than you can
hold a river.
Carry all you can into the world, a tributary. But
pilgrim, linger a little.
Sit a while beside me. There are renderings still
untold in the river.
* This poem is from Sharanya Manivannan's second collection, The Altar of the Only World (HarperCollins India, 2017).
Sharanya Manivannan is the author of five books of fiction, poetry and children's literature, including the novel The Queen of Jasmine Country, which was longlisted for the 2019 JCB Prize, longlisted for the Mathrubumi of the Year Award 2020, shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2019, and the short story collection The High Priestess Never Marries, which won the 2015-2016 South Asia Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity (Best Book – Fiction).
BY STEVE MCORMOND
DARK CLOUDS (ANOTHER APOCALYPSE)
The clouds rolled in and never left.
Lightning in them but no rain.
Life, as Auden observed, went on
disinterestedly. There was the tuna
casserole to keep from burning, the dog
whimpering to be let out.
Panels of experts convened on TV
to discuss the subterranean rumblings,
the preponderance of messianic cults.
We perked up at the gory bits,
the jumpers and self-immolations,
rituals involving goat’s blood.
Accustomed to instant gratification,
we wanted our apocalypse now.
How many times could we say goodbye
before we grew bored, turned a blind eye?
We had fetishes to attend to,
money to make and spend.
Years since we’d seen the stars,
they ceased to cross our minds.
What advice can I give, my fledglings,
my little vanishings, as you pack your things
and prepare to leave? Everything is fine, the sky
has been falling a long time. My wisdom in short
supply, these words must seem vague and kitschy
like the Lord’s Prayer painted on a grain of rice.
Already you are better than me. Each generation
is and should be incomprehensible to its parents.
We will want to go quietly. Don’t let our grey hair
keep you from meting out the judgment we’re due.
Love immoderately and permit yourselves rage.
Anger makes things happen. The mob is gospel.
And to those who claim it couldn’t be stopped:
At every point along its path, the arrow is still.
"Dark Clouds (Another Apocalypse)" and "Envoi" from The Good News about Armageddon (Brick Books, 2010).
Steve McOrmond is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Reckon (Brick Books, 2018). He lives in Toronto. www.stevemcormond.com
THE BLUE LINE
La ligne bleue (maquette, 2013)
Inkjet print on paper, 44 x 85 cm (17 x 33.5 inches)
The Blue Line Project proposes to draw a line of blue light across the night skyline of Lower Manhattan. Positioned at 65 meters¹ (213 feet) from the ground, the height of the glowing line will correspond to the projected sea level if all of the ice on the planet were to melt. Such a scenario is symbolic rather than realistic, since it does not relate to a scientifically predicted event as such, but acts instead to strongly promote environmental awareness.
This image represents an ambitious project that solicits the cooperation of building owners and managers as well as residents, tenants and their employees in a visually contiguous series of buildings in the Financial District. The project constitutes an invitation for a collaborative undertaking to realize a striking and poetic visual art work. At the same time, the simple fact of participating will engage those involved in a pertinent conversation about sustainability. In this context, the choice of artistic intervention is one that operates from inside the urban architecture, creating a visual effect that engages the public space of the city outside.
1 Bamber, J. L., Aspinall, J. L. An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets. Nature Climate Change 3, 424–427 (2013)
Aude Moreau holds a Masters in Visual Arts and Media from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and has developed a practice that encompasses her dual training in scenography and the visual arts. Moreau’s work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2015); galerie antoine ertaskiran, Montreal (2015); Galerie de l'UQAM, Montreal (2015); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2013); Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2012); Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain (2009); and the Darling Foundry, Montreal (2008). She has received awards including the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, Montreal (2011), the Powerhouse Prize from La Centrale, Montreal (2011) and the Prix Louis Comtois, Montreal (2016). Her work is part of the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2013) and of the Canada Council Art Bank (2006). Aude Moreau lives and works in Montreal.
She is represented by Bradley Ertaskiran.
I am from Nunatsiavut (in Labrador). We Inuit have always been known as “Sikumiut; People of the Sea”, meaning that we lived and survived by the sea ice as a means for subsistence, travel, traditional cultural practices (as well as contemporary). In the four Inuit Regions Nunatsiavut (in Labrador), Nunavik (in Arctic Quebec), Nunavut and Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Western Arctic, we see the most effects of ice loss due to climate change.
Each year it takes longer for ice to form and as a result, hunter and trappers and community members are not able to go out on the ice or land, leading to less food for both hunter and community. Our Ice is melting and we are all at fault (humanity). We have no one else to blame but us and humans are contributing to loss of practices, changes in animal migration, traditions, community well-being, less time on the land and less interaction with the environment.
As an Inuk living in Ottawa, I ask myself, do people really understand the potential and real risk of climate change? How is it affecting our regions, our lives and our environment. Do we understand the consequences and effects associated with melting snow and ice; natural disasters, time, awareness, funding and polices or lack of them. Who is talking about it, who is concerned about it, and what are we going to do as a result of it? The images selected from my Ice Works is an attempt to bring awareness to and of climate change and global warming from an urban Inuk artist’s perspective.
Below are selected images from De-Iced photo series, on-going project
** Two of the photographs from the series, Policy Gone Awry and After the Melt, are part of the upcoming group exhibition Qautamaat | Every day / everyday at the Art Gallery of Guelph
Barry Pottle is an Inuk artist from Nunatsiavut in Labrador (Rigolet), now living in Ottawa, Ontario. He has worked with the Indigenous arts community for many years particularly in the city of Ottawa. Barry has always been interested in photography as a medium of artistic expression and as a way of exploring the world around him. Living in Ottawa, which has the largest urban population of Inuit outside the North, Barry has been able to stay connected to the greater Inuit community.
Through the camera’s len, Barry showcases the uniqueness of this community. Whether it is at a cultural gathering, family outings or the solitude of nature that photography allows, he captures the essence of Inuit life in Ottawa. From a regional perspective, living in the Nation’s Capital allows him to travel throughout the valley and beyond to explore and photograph people, places and events.
He believes that the concept of Urban Inuit is relatively new and for the most part unexplored (compared to other Urban Indigenous groups in Canada) so as an artist, he seeks to articulate this. “The camera,” he shares, “allows me to explore connection and continuity with my heritage and culture especially with regards to the contemporary reality of being an Urban Inuk.”
Barry’s photos have been published in a variety of magazines (Makivik Magazine, Inuktitut Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly) and he has also contributed images to a number of community initiatives.
I NEVER GOT OVER 60 LIKES
When hasn’t life been expendable?
Another train departs
tossed on a heap of disposables
Cell phones plastics mountains
There is no law
Only the monied
This too shall pass
We already know the ending
We’ve seen it
Left before the credits
“I didn’t think it would be such a downer.”
“This sucks, let’s leave.”
“Why did you unfollow me?”
“You unfriended me bitch”
Like that’s the end of the world.
Just one click
In a darkened theatre
We stay to the bitter end
The price of the ticket
To see what might happen
Any surprises plot twists
“I didn’t see that one coming”
The oldies the goodies
The good guys show up
Oft times even only one
To set the captives free
To take down the evil ones
Shot in glorious black and white
Light projected a fresh stream
the cup of one’s hands
When there was free water to drink
“Can I have a glass of water?”
“Water some water please”
“My daughter needs some water.”
You only think you’re tired
The entire tired sick fucking world is
It sucks to be tired
tired of this all of this
Maybe I’ll message Christopher
See if they’re tired, too.
KIRBY’s earlier chapbooks include Cock & Soul, Bob’s boy, The World is Fucked and Sometimes Beautiful, and She’s Having A Doris Day. Their full-length debut, This Is Where I Get Off is now in its second printing (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019) and currently being adapted for the stage. Kirby is the owner and publisher of knife | fork | book. www.jeffkirby.ca
An anthology of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
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