‘the texture of a body’

It’s always great to see & hear poets I don’t know, poets I’ve never met before even socially. So I was eager to get out to Brock Hessel’s Deep Impact at Glad Day Books. Brock out together this evening for two poets visiting from Ohio. Elly Rasile and Nick Kostas Kratsas by creating a fun frame work around the summer blockbuster Deep Impact – which was projected onto the ceiling. I’m not sure how I would have felt with the giant face of Morgan Freeman looming over me as I performed.

Up first was Sara June Woods with some letter and list poems. The letters were to inanimate objects: i.e. Dear Drapes. Funny, tender and full of images: ‘fire words that could keep us warm and kill us all at once,’ ‘a room of dead wasps I have to put into drawers,’ ‘sure he has a cute head wound .’ Her list poem What Being A Girl Is Like told us it was like ‘burning down the tallest bank in your home town & helping people escape.’



Next was Emily Izsak with surreal pieces about relationships & family: ‘we build pornographic snow sculptures,’ ‘ cactus rebels host string quartets,’ ‘cat call clavicles,’ ‘watch out for potholes when you skateboard down McLeod’s lane.’ She was followed by Oliver Cusimano whose pieces were even more surreal, rather Dada in fact with his experiments in form – using limited, selected source vocabulary & also letter play so that letters in words in each piece also spelt out the name of bars, flowers etc. The results were a bit jumbled but the images were startling & abstract: ‘no longer could our views hold stones,’ ‘a finger to the corner of the bedside view,’ ‘when rain was syntax,’ ‘blue handle waving death’ & my favourite ‘addiction seeks translation by isolation.’


baby blues

After a break Jordaan Mason presented a set of sweetly romantic, funny & emotionally resonant queer pieces. ‘we walked in circles until we were swans,’ ‘I want us to climb separate trees then look at each other,’ ‘can I pull this colour off?/ Can I pull this colour off my skin,’ ‘the texture of a body near my body,’ ‘we exchanged clothes instead of kisses.’


horse reconstructed

Elly Rasile lead the out of towner charge with a set of emotive, wry and open-hearted poems about relationships, expectations & sex: ‘a sweater sleeve trail leading to a box of my ex’s stuff,’ ‘he didn’t get hard because he was thinking about what to do with his eyes,’ ‘I only sound convincing when I say I might phone.’

Nick Kostas Kratsas wrapped the night with a emotionally accessible set of pieces – one about being a middle child: ‘avoid eye contact and roll with the punches.’ His writing is filled with clear, if slightly off kilter images: ‘heard hum of an expression’ ‘wet pallet to the white noise,’ ‘skin burnt to gold,’ loved: ‘bedroom eyes reduced my field of vision.’


toy for emotions

A great night & the astroids that survived the deep impact spun down the Glad Day stairs and back into the reluctant night streets of Toronto.



He gives me a call

a peace offering

an invitation

an offer

to nail my left hand

to the floor

but he has no camera

he calls

on days

when his memory

is fading

the echo of the moon

in an old well

he speaks

French threats


of vague violence

I cannot resist

I cannot confront

direct violence

I have a fear of pain

pain as a fear of his echo

facts to face

I am afraid

of enjoying the nail

of relishing each thud of the hammer

I remember

the bite of his teeth

even when I cannot

recall the feeling

of his lips


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