Sunday Poems XXI

Sundays are sometimes for sitting at the window of your favourite cafe thinking about how many times you’ve written the word Sunday in the last six months. Time sure races by. Tomorrow is the last day of my residency, and today is the last Sunday of my residency. I look forward to Sundays more than I used to. I have a day of the week dedicated to poetry and I know many of you reading have joined me in this ritual. Thank you, it’s meant a lot to me.

It’s difficult to get paid to do art. Whether you’re a dancer, an actor, a singer, a painter, a sculptor, a performance artist, or a writer, making art is fairly rarely aligned with the economic values of our society and despite the fact that a good number of us value art with so much of heart, so many of our favourite artists are starving.

Going out of our way to find ways to pay artists is a political act. Artists being paid normalizes artists being paid. I urge you to find ways to support the people doing work you find meaningful, because if you don’t they may eventually be forced to leave their work behind in favour of something which can buy them groceries.

One of the resources which has emerged in the last few years to help support artists is Patreon. Patreon recalls patronage, the support that Kings, Emperors, the Church, and other big institutions would provide to artists to create work which would elevate the culture of their society, but twists the notion to create a platform where fans of a artist’s work can make a monthly pledge to enable an artist to keep making work independent of the support of larger institutions.

I’ve been using Patreon as a supporter for years, to try to support those writers who make work which is dear to me, but which possesses sadly little commercial value. I’ve decided to see if this will work for me and this project, Sunday Poems. If Sunday Poems has been meaningful to you, I humbly request that you visit my Patreon page and consider pledging to its continued existence. As little as a dollar a month from you, will in aggregate contribute to me being able to continue to do Sunday Poems for a long time.

Thank you so very much for reading. As always, I’m here if you need to talk. If you find the following poem inspiring or useful, please, share it with a friend. Maybe this is a good week for you to write a poem as well.


removal

the new future

what have we seen
climbing down the mountain
through clouds?

figure out how your brain works

flowerbeds
trapped in a space
for long enough
to be worshipped
(I have so much work to do).

i had a vision:

plants on every surface
vines reaching out like tentacles from behind the couch
a squad of cephalopods hang in the air.

gone really paranoid now.

attached are notes
on your position:

i’m anxious as a doll
at play beneath a candelabra.

nothing is the matter!

the absolutely true

you shower and you shave.

yesterday felt like nothing, you see?

quietly again. Here’s a secret:
it’s your birthday, and
we were quiet for a few days.

falling apart—
we used to perform
falling apart.

i could kiss you until we fell apart—
quietly. we used to perform there.

like ghosts.
wearing the same socks every day.

i would remove my skin

but what could I replace it with?

i could be something else

i could trust a lover
to rescind my flesh.

baked atmosphere

the air looked like mud
and I tried to scoop it into a bowl
to make bread.

no one picks up the phone
because they’re all melted.

somehow we can remove something
a knife opens a vine,
plants filled with milk.

i can see

what does dying look like, what path do the vines take
and why?

you and I lift our hands
to a prairie ocean.

we will be late

to being covered with water
when it rises
we know it’s rising.

we stand on mountains.

fortunate: but guilty.

it chokes us

we sleep.

another day
we feel our bruises
and soon we feel our skeletons.

someone asks me for my skull.

something breaks.

i consent to a removal.

we eat each other alive

i love you
you are a lettuce i rip leaves from
in pattern.

we needed water to grow.

we used the water for the oil.

always bearing a glowing flat thing
(i don’t remember what it was for).

we are made of fire:
do not chew or crush.

clicking of green

i’m a plant
you’re a plant.

something broken
something clicking
between 7 and 8.

we ask ourselves
out the window.

the brain

in front of a colourful mural
ah, I know the person who painted this.

they had long yellow hair
and they cut it off
and I heard it made strange noises.

they used to ride a bike
down the stairs of a pedestrian overpass
something I can’t even walk down
without seeing my own death.

smoke filling an otherwise empty room

but life is long.


This post was originally written on February 28, 2016 for Latitude 53, while I was their Writer in Residence.