Published February 2016
True South, Down
Your tongue found rain on the pulse of my throat
while I came to understand midnight.
My fingers whispered Mockingbird’s made-up love.
Abandoned to the navel, the North Star
guided me true south, down and down
and I yearned to the moon, lapping, gasping
as we convinced ourselves that tomorrow’s a myth.
Darkness owns everything, leasing us to lust.
Me, I’m afraid I’ll find the meanings woven
into cacophony sweat, pang-pang.
You stutter my name like the world must
know, and they must, must, must.
Yet twilight as ever, goads goodbyes.
I stopped searching a vast universe locked
in my mind. Your name is moon, beguiled
by morning. All that’s left of you is rain.
Touch the World (excerpt)
Of course, that’s not what they said they were for. The ads on TV showed fathers hugging their children Beijing-New York. A YouTube video of a patient caressing a beloved cat many miles from her germless hospital bed—that one went viral. But people knew what the gloves were really for and in private the lies died quickly.
I never properly understood the technology. Needless to say, the world has ceased explaining itself to me; it gurgles merrily, murderously along, and I trail behind, trying to look like I don’t even want to catch up. Things pop out of companies and heads and systems. At first the novelties seem ridiculous, then imminent, and then suddenly everyone has one, the future is dislocated into the present, and we must endure their convenience and newfangledness and indispensability. Eventually we yield, or rather we cede. Our load-bearing beams crack and crumble, the old practical things fade and become obsolete or laughable, and we don’t even need to consent to the gadgets, we get them second-hand or for Christmas, or a birthday, those days when time is foisted upon us anyway. We don’t vote for these things, we don’t elect or select them.
baby grand (excerpt)
we were ready to
go, but we stayed
in. you poured me
a glass filled neatly with
fire. in its flicker i saw
right through to the steel beams just
under your skin. i smelled wood polish
and thumb-soft pages. i tasted stained
glass, & listened to it
sliding to the sill,
slow, viscous years of standing straight.
The Waiting (excerpt)
On this particular day, she is waiting for a phone call. Her suitor is already three minutes late in calling. She is certain he knows that she cannot bear tardiness. She is expecting him to ask her to go out with him tonight, so she has washed her hair and is trying to let it dry into unassuming ringlets rather than the frizz that quickly takes over when she fidgets too much before it has completely dried. She has also taken care in dressing for the occasion. There is not much she can do to occupy her time during the waiting that will not endanger her hair or the linen capris and thin Indian chemise, so she perches demurely on the edge of her chaise, near the telephone.
In a typical situation, she ensures there will be little actual waiting time that passes idly. There are always projects on the go: renovations in winter, gardening in the summer, and, throughout the year, endless documents, piled high on her desk, to edit for work. In the single-car garage, there are items in various stages of disrepair. She never discards anything that could be salvaged, but organizes them according to how long they will take to fix. The quick fixes are near her tidy workbench and the most time-consuming or questionable repairs are nearest the garage door, which is in permanent disrepair, due to heaved concrete that has accordioned it dramatically. She suspects the scraggly jack pine on the front lawn is the culprit.
How to Draw a Man (excerpt)
Semi-naked women in tight perms and high heels lounged in catalogue poses. They were artfully draped in scarves and fur stoles but you could still see the crack of a bum, the slope of a breast and an occasional nipple. Even with their clothes off, they looked like upstanding Ontario women, probably homemakers when they weren’t modelling. I imagined them lighting Du Mauriers and waiting for their husbands to pick them up in the station wagon so they could rush home and put dinner on.
Other contributors in this issue: Marie-Andrée Auclair, Simina Banu, Stephen Brown, Suzanna Derewicz, Christopher Doda, Arina Kharlamova, Courtney Loberg, Yoko Morgenstern, Shannon Page, Jason Paradiso, Rasiqra Revulva, Michael Russell, J. J. Steinfeld, and Catherine J. Stewart.