Every time she breathes
the muscle hisses, a sharpness
of tissue refusing its shape. No
position is comfortable, all
hold the weight pressing
her shoulder onto
the bed. Still
she lies there, counting
on her breath to draw her
into the present, fluttering up
to the ceiling then down
as thoughts float past
unattached. Or so
the theory goes. But she
likes theory, can carry
it with her on the bus, use it
to close her mind’s anxious eye
against the crowd and feel her toes.
Show them which goal is theirs
and which goal
they’re supposed to score in
I journey to nameless shores to wrestle glass balloons from other women. We eat potato salad and meaty gooseneck barnacles that slip out like socks from boots. We tease each other about love and lust and drink black coffee from steel thermoses. Along the beach there is sand, driftwood, grass, a spine of rock, snakes of kelp. Beyond that there is the ocean, the wind, the firmament, and the circular current of our prized balloons.
subsumed: 1 + 1 = 1
she had no socks
so she wore his
that left him short of socks
so she bought him more
The honourable mention in our 2009 poetry contest, judged by Sachiko Murakami.
I am standing in the middle of the ragged highway that passes my home when a wildlife officer offers me a seagull egg sandwich. The road winds its way northeast from Yellowknife for seventy-five kilometres, then just ends. If you don’t heed the giant stop sign, you’ll drive into a river that parts the sub-Arctic forest in all its stunted, natural glory.
At first the idea of the hat might have been a cover-up,
a need to move through the world without being seen.
But down deep, I know that wanting led to it
and not the other way around.
The hat became a strange kind of mask, like some feathered piece, a
a frontispiece for a new beginning.
It held me in place, a marker, a divot for the spirit.
The idea of it wilder, greater than the actual hat could ever be.
Do a dry run on the bus a week before you start, at the right time of day, carrying the right amount of stuff, in the stiff uncomfortable black shoes you can’t run in. If you don’t own such shoes, buy some. Don’t get paint on them.
Congratulations to the winners of Room's 2009 Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Non-Fiction Contest!
Thank you to all who participated this year's contest. Look for first and second place winners in issue 33.1, coming to newsstands soon!
Our winners for 2009:
Currently on Newsstands
Room 40.4, Let's Make Contact
Edited by Chelene Knight
In this issue:
Kate Balfour, Selina Boan, Chelsea Comeau, elaine corden, Nancy Jo Cullen, Ariel Dawn, Harjit Dosanjh, Jann Everard, Jiyoon Ha, Gili Haimovich, benjamin lee hicks, Edythe Anstey Hanen , Claire Miller-Harder, Kyla Jamieson, Amanda Kelly, Cara Lang, Ashley Little, Andrea MacPherson, Rowan McCandless, Hajer Mirwali, Barbara Rosini, Sheila Sanderson, Taylor Stewart, Anny Tang, Susanne von Rennenkampff, Aisha Walker, jia qing wilson-yang.