Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Teacher and the Peach (Plus 1)

Morning, folks. Today's Poems of the Day come from Josh Trotter, whose snort-rippingly good debut was called "a miracle of meter and meterology" by Poetry magazine. Not faint praise! Canada of course also broke out the love for Josh, withAll This Could Be Yours listed as one of the National Post's best poetry books of 2010, and "The Teacher and the Peach" doing double feature in Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, as edited by Sir Zachariah Wells.

In other news, briefly: Malarky has been featured as an Editor's Pick for the month of April on amazon.ca. Get 'em while supplies last!

The Teacher and the Peach

from All This Could be Yours (2011)

"If you weren't bursting," her teacher informed her,
"you wouldn't need patience." - Philip Roth

The sky holds thunder as a swimmer
gone under holds air, holds the first
of panic inside the chest like the first
flush of rapture reined-in, the way grammar
exploits the onrush of language,
the way skin grasps flesh about to burst,
the way lust is engine, all piston and breast
as a dam yokes the river's surge--
What drives you here? What drags you back
to displace again? What, if you catch it,
pulls you face-forward? What lull, what lack?
Wait, he says, don't say it. Save it.
I won't touch it. Don't need to know.
Be full fruit. Fall ripe. And never let go.


The hoard of hoots and chirps outgrew my archives
so i rationed the air in which they flew.

I hauled the wind through tubes. The rain, with gloves,
I hammered into lynchpins, flywheels, screws

and skewered the quivering thing to earth.
To thankless jerks it was a jungle gym.

To me, it was a triumph of great girth
worth every small coup, every calculation.

Is it luck then, or detailed engineering
that sparks the lack of interest in my work?

They cruise the park and park beyond the ring
of lights to curse and mock me through the dark

where hidden mikes squeeze every squeak and squawk--
taunts and all--to a file marked Birds: In Song.

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