Vallum Poem of the Week: Ashley Hynd, “One Shot Over the Line”

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One Shot Over the Line

— after Kevin Carter

Necklacing: the act of hanging a tire soaked

in petrol around a person’s neck then
lighting it on fire

It gets heavy after a while and they always fall over
crumpled into a pile of human remains in the sand
the smell stays in your clothes
you wash and wash
and wash them
clean

then you never wear them

In twenty years time they will make shrines to me
accumulate all my worldly approximations and
claim I saw more than there was to see
in twenty minutes he’ll stop screaming
and I can start to wash my clothes
clean

 


ashley hyndFounder and facilitator of Poets & Pancakes, a monthly brunch for writers, Ashley Hynd believes in building and fostering community. She sits on the editorial board for Canthius Literary Journal & Textile KW and is a Poetry Mentor with Textile KW’s Mentorship Program. She was consecutively longlisted for The CBC Poetry Prize (2018 & 2019), shortlisted for Arc Poem of the Year (2018), and won the Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize (2017). Her work has appeared in many publications across turtle island and her debut chapbook Entropy was released with GapRiot Press in 2020. Ashley lives on the Haldimand Tract and respects all her relations’ relationships with the land.


Vallum16_1_Cover_web_fixedThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 16:2 Connections.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: Malcolm Sanger | Stone Series

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Malcolm poem


me2Malcolm Sanger is a graduate student in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. Originally from Toronto, he has studied anthropology and literature and worked in restaurants and reforestation.

 

 


Malcolm Sanger is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for his chapbook Stone Series.

 

Stones Series is a group of poems set in Yucatán. They come from ethnographic fieldwork on tourism and migration in the region, work on Maya glyphs and sites by anthropologists Dennis Tedlock and Quetzil Casatañeda, and essays and poems by Charles Olson and Roman Jakobson. At its center is a list of words (or found poem) that someone Sanger lived with wrote down to translate. These words animate narratives and questions around materiality and language, sound and image, archaeology and anthropology, espionage and translation, analogy and parallelism.

 

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: Heather White | DES MONSTERAS

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signal bars | wi-fi | time | headphones | battery

<DES MONSTERAS share | send

We came off the mountain and I
was still holding the stick I’d used to
prod at the fire and as a baton to
conduct us, singing; also to point at
our paths and the solstice moon,
which was up in a cupboard the
clouds kept sliding open and shut.
Down by her orange car, Caroline
asked about the man I was now
seeing indoors. Waving the branch,
still conducting something, I tried to
summon how I felt. I liked a lot
about him but wasn’t sure if he
reciprocated: he was not very
demonstrative. I hadn’t used this
word in a while, but having dredged
it up I kept repeating it, hearing how
it tapped on the core of the issue,
feeling how it kicked at the tires.

…. trash | list | photo | edit | new

.


heatherphotoforvallumHeather White lives in Montreal/Tiohtià:ke. Her writing on art and culture has appeared in Canadian Art, the Brooklyn Rail, Real Life, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her current practice experiments with hybrid forms and memoir, and she’s now at work on a collection about leaving.


Heather White is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook DES MONSTERAS.

DES MONSTERAS records the hopes and humiliations of arriving somewhere new. Composed by phone, torquing formal constraints into solace, its fifteen notes trace both an insular retreat and an impulse to connect during the Montreal winter of the pandemic. The chapbook is a poptimist’s account of moving and courtship that speaks to the thrill of beginnings, the threat of histories, the whims of grace, and the work of candour.

Vallum Poem of the Week: Matt Rader, “Zero + One”

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Zero + One

 

No thing, a zero in the amber of time, then one.
At the edge of the mind a soft rime: then one.

The brook was running clear. Now it’s gone.
I’m here, cried the killdeer, I’m here. Now it’s gone.

Jewels of rain like We’ll grow rich with water,
Like every number were prime. Then one.

We built a small house in the womb of the woods.
Twice you gave birth there. Now it’s gone.

A storm sky etched by lightning, dissolved by light.
Twelve bodies trenched with lye, then one.

My name flashed in your mind, the familiar
Pale specter in the mirror. Now it’s gone.

On the horizon, tank columns, shattered sun.
The force of force is two—a rhyme—then one.

I kept one swan, black, in the cameo I wore
Around my neck like fear. Now it’s gone.

Nine grapes eight windows seven plains six fires
Five priests four dogs three crimes two heathens one…

In the dark eye of the night the moon brimmed,
An incandescent tear. Now it’s gone.

In the meadow of despair grows nothing plus nothing
Plus nothing in knots of brooklime. Then one.

In the morning, the fever broke like a horse.
All your life: a ringing in the ears. Now it’s gone

From the diamond fire walked the eight legs
Of the bodhi spider, numerator, sublime earthen one.

You held your third finger to the statue’s third-eye.
In your mouth a ruby appeared. Now it’s gone.

We made love in the corner of the laundromat.
Many deaths. Many lives. Many times. Then one.

Quietly, the maple tree undressed itself at our feet.
We had something, Matt, my dear. Now it’s gone.

 


2Matt Rader is the author of several books of poetry including Ghosthawk (Fall 2021). His poems, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared widely nationally and internationally. His work often addresses chronic illness and ecology. He lives on unceded Syilx territory in Kelowna, BC, where he teaches Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan.

 

 


18_1coverThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 18:1 Invisibility.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: Sally Quon | Laid Waste

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One More Mountain Sunrise

 

One more mountain sunrise,
golden light, clouds of
peach and lilac.

The forest calls –
I answer.
Road dust and moss,
pinecones and birdsong.

I was going to write a poem for you.

Instead, I chose
one more mountain sunrise.

 


Author Photo-SallyQuon.Sally Quon is a back-country blogger, dirt-road diva, and teller of tales.  Choosing to express herself through poetry, photography, and creative non-fiction, Sally has been published in all three. In 2020, she was a finalist in the Vallum Chapbook Award and The Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies including Voicing Suicide, Ekstasis Editions.  Sally is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets.

 


Sally Quon is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook Laid Waste.

 

In Laid Waste, Sally Quon explores the myriad of emotions that come on the heels of physical abuse.  From trauma, anger, bitterness, loss and despair to learning how to let go and rediscover hope, these poems are a snapshot of that journey.

 

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: Emma Rhodes | Queer/Joy

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Tapas

 

The first time I thought I was queer
was after kissing my best friend in 7th grade.

Or maybe
…………………….. it was when I ate an apple.
……………………………………… The curve of the core and
……………………………………… seed so hidden and
……………………………………… poisonous.

Maybe
…………………….. it was drinking tea
……………………………………… with another friend and playing chess.
……………………………………… The way their lips gripped the glass, the ambiguous
……………………………………… power of the queen. The wetness, maybe

…………………….. the heat of the tea.
……………………………………… That gentle warmth blanketing
……………………………………… my face from the harsh winter air or
……………………………………… fogging my sight. Maybe

…………………….. it was the nachos
……………………………………… when I dated men, the game nights,
……………………………………… the crunch, cuts on the roof of my mouth, trying
……………………………………… not to chew too loudly. Didn’t want

…………………………………………………………………….to be annoying, maybe
…………………………………………………………………….it was the muffins. The freedom
…………………………………………………………………….to throw whatever ingredient in and
…………………………………………………………………….be happy with the taste, still.

……………………………………………………………………………………… Maybe I was queer when
……………………………………………………………………………………… I stopped focusing
……………………………………………………………………………………… on who

……………………………………………………………………………………… what or how I consumed
……………………………………………………………………………………… maybe I was always

……………………………………………………………………………………… hungry



IMG_0626Emma Rhodes is an award-winning queer writer and alumna of St. Thomas University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in places such as Prism International, Riddle Fence, Qwerty, Plenitude, and elsewhere. In 2021 she was the recipient of the Robert Clayton Casto Poetry Prize. She is currently living on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendatg people, where she will complete a Master of Arts in English Literature at Queen’s University.


Emma Rhodes is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook Queer/Joy.

Queer/Joy attempts to define a queerness inextricably attached to sexual trauma, female and queer friendships, body insecurity and more. While it does not arrive at a definition, the collection follows the author’s journey healing from a history of abuse and coming to accept her queer which is fluid and changing.

 

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: David Hargreaves | We’re All Gonna Die Someday

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Postcard from the Ice Storm

— Independence, Oregon. January 2021

Dear N—
Gone to bed happy, one hundred percent
chance of a snow day, they say—

midnight—gun-shot reports
of tree-trunks cracked in two,

ice-glazed oak chandeliers shattering
on the rotunda floor. Utility poles

crushing cars, the arctic insurrection
cuts internet access, freezing assets

and truth conditions. I peer out
from under blankets,

crystal chards crunch
under militia boots marching

past on frozen lawns. Limb-punctured
roofs leak CO2. Winter’s back

is broken. The world is not well.
Anymore daffodil

have no business
in a poem.

We’re all gonna die someday
Yours truly,

.

.


hargreavesLiving in Oregon, born in Detroit, David Hargreaves’ translation of The Blossoms of Sixty-Four Sunsets, poems by Nepal Bhasa poet Durga Lal Shrestha, was published in Kathmandu in 2014. His own poems appear in Comstock ReviewPassages North, Naugatuck River Review, and elsewhere, including The Art of Angling: Poems about Fishing (Knopf)Running Out of Words for Afterwards (Broadstone Books), his first full-length collection, is due out in September 2021.


David Hargreaves is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook We’re All Gonna Die Someday.

Vallum Chapbook Award 2021 Finalist: Pamela Porter | Finding What He Can of his Own Way Home: Elegy of Patrick Lane

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What is worn is what has lived

The wild rose was full with winter birds
settled on the risen snow. Chickadee,
nuthatch, junco.

And in another house, your dying
nearly complete. And the air thickening
with snow, but the birds remained.

How the heart closes a door so silently,
nothing disturbs the quiet.

And you stood up and entered a place.
One that had been prepared for you.
And the present fell away to the past.

Winter mornings you’d wake before dawn
and in that darkness, walked to the sea
where, in silence, in unison, the mute swans

took flight, the only sound in that moment
their wings pushing the air down and down
as they rose out of sight.

And after that, you knew anyone
could rise out of sight.

.
.
.

!cid_89160394875898038472997Pamela Porter’s work has won more than a dozen provincial, national and international awards, including the Governor General’s Award for her young adult novel The Crazy Man, as well as the Pat Lowther, Raymond Souster, and the CBC/Canada Writes shortlists. Among her 14 published books, her most recent is Likely Stories, released in 2019 from Ronsdale Press. Pamela lives near Sidney, BC with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats.


Pamela Porter is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook Finding What He Can of his Own Way Home: Elegy of Patrick Lane.

The poems in Finding What He Can of his Own Way Home: Elegy of Patrick Lane are redolent with swans and wild rose, tree frogs singing into the night, echo both the poems of Patrick Lane and the poet herself, Pamela Porter, who lives with his spirit, as those who loved him do. The poet has “risen out of sight” but those who loved him feel his presence in their lives still. These poems rise also, with passion and compassion, written with love. And what does a loved one become, after death? the flame in the candle the moth at the window, the outline of a body in a chair in the early morning, an elegy, a set of poems that continue to live in the hearts of all readers.

— Blurb by Barbara Pelman

Vallum Poem of the Week: Janine Certo, “Conspiracy Theory”

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Conspiracy Theory

a circle of reason / a proof that cannot
be proved or disproved / a mad mixture /

a template for order / cast, shaped, readymade
and launched / requires immediate

response (response must have no minor
errors) / a distrust, a witch hunt,

an elaborate dance / behind the scenes /
eyewitness testimony / no discussion

of the shortcomings / a lying
song; a hunch gone wrong / the plunge

of an economy; the rise of a demagogue /
lurking, scheming, webbing / it spreads

like famine / birthed from drought /
it’s birther and denier / the death of science /

a plot / a hoax / a code / a cover-up /
it spawns movements / knee-jerk / whatever

works / the uncited / the alt-right /
a need served / epistemic,

existential, self-defeating / off the cliff,
a riff, an election rigged / the rewritten,

the staged, the misplaced / towers that never fell /
a genocide erased / the Evil Incarnate /

the Machiavellian-slick / the mouse’s click /
a spiral into alienation and anomie /

a sense-making in a world otherwise
confusing / otherwise good people.


Janine picJanine Certo is the author of ELIXIR, winner of both the New American Poetry Prize and the Lauria/Frasca Poetry Prize (New American Press and Bordighera Press, forthcoming 2021) and IN THE CORNER OF THE LIVING, runner-up for the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award (2017). A winner of Nimrod International Journal’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, and others. She is an associate professor at Michigan State University.


18_1coverThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 18:1 Invisibility.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.

Vallum Chapbook Award Finalist: Maurya Kerr | tommy noun. “Orion”

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Orion

My boy came into the room and said, Mom, you are
the hound, Dad is the hunter, and I am the

but he couldn’t remember, so stood there, silent. I wanted
to know, but forgot how to speak, form my lips into

language, started to say dear or hart or morn—even though
I knew that was wrong, knew I was messing up words, but

nothing more came out. In the second part of the dream he tried again:
Mom, you are the deer, Dad is the hounds, and I am the hunt

but then stopped, shook his head, started over. No, you are the hunter,
Dad is the deer, and I am—
he stopped again. No, you are

the hounds and the hunter, I am the deer. Then he walked outside
into the woods, the world. In the third part of the dream he was

standing in the yard, his back to the house. It was dark. Too cold
to be naked in the night—he needs a blanket. He was

looking up, still. In the last part of the dream he looked back as if
I had called his name, but I couldn’t have—I had forgotten how

to speak, form my lips into language. He pointed up and I saw him
say, Mom, see it? Orion! How I wanted to know, see it all, but I

couldn’t get past his body—when had he lost his baby fat? Where
was my little boy’s body? In the fifth part of the dream he

flexed and cocked his muscles, agleam beneath the stars and said,
Mom, look, the Hunter! And he laughed and laughed and cried

and wept, falling to his knees in the cold dirt of a dark night.


maurya kerr headshot croppedMaurya Kerr is a bay area-based writer, educator, and artist. Maurya’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue River Review, River Heron Review, Inverted Syntax, Oyster River Pages, Chestnut Review, Mason Jar Press Journal, Harbor Review, and “The Future of Black: A Black Comics and Afrofuturism Anthology” (November, 2021). Beginning fall of 2021, Maurya will be a UC Berkeley ARC (Arts Research Center) Poetry & the Senses Fellow.


Maurya Kerr is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook tommy  noun.

tommy   noun. employs known systems of construction—grammar, dictionary, myth—as anchor to speak to the death of someone too young. What happens when sorrow deluges the capacity, and rules, of comprehension? This collection attempts to write itself into meaning and grace, in the voices of the mourning and the mourned, both human and animal. To quote Lucille Clifton, “When I get to where I’m going / I want the death of my children explained to me.”