Jude Dillon presents: M. Jay Smith
M. Jay Smith is a Toronto-based writer and poet originally from Edmonton, Alberta. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals throughout the continent. Although she quit formal academic investigations into experimental poetry and aesthetic theory with the birth of her daughter in 2005, she continues to pursue these avenues of enquiry in her creative writing. She is presently preparing a book of poems that investigates the poetic intersections of feminism and the Albertan landscape.
edmontonia (excerpts in the key of e)
wordless flat lands
in these fields
by the sky.
rs are grain
it’s a literary
this carapace of place.
the combine ate
the Indians spoke
all over my
the prairie took
we make homogenization’s bright
antidote, smearing language
over the lay of the land. this
terrain is home, verbosely.
see shepherdess’s lively stock.
a river spilling tongues
through an emerald valley. it is
scenic, our pastoral mode.
our poetry’s map devours the land,
meticulously. we etch
our mentality half-way
to the midnight sun.
we hold paper in our
triumphant fists. the prairies
of us all.
we have reveries
of tall buildings:
of superlative functions &
sky scrapers. in a dream-
marbled blue sky,
super heroes buzz about
an urban skyline
concrete thinking. thick
thought-residue stands up
to the tyranny of time,
as for me & my house,
than the bodies can flee
(read: the architecture of
reclaimed: i can
list generations of
house: sod house, log
cabin, shitty leaky bungalow
on a drained mckernan lake, condo
overlooking the river valley.
of the twenty-oughts is
burning down old edifices
boom / bust:
money is a faster current
we build up
is human & story
is society, then
the aspen parkland is
the epicentre of
impermanence (the subject holding
the moment, the here-and-now between
the teeth) stands in
• elocutionary acts
or a seashell put to the ear,
the missive from the eastern centre:
the country is so quiet; the hinter-
lands have such clean air; you can feel
the lungs clearing out and the mind
laxly rests on wordless things.
: nature morte
of us all.
on creationism: seven poems for gabi
28 september 2009
g: mom, what are you doing out there?
m: i couldn’t sleep; i’m trying to work.
g: i’m going back to sleep because i need to go to school
tomorrow & i don’t want to feel tired.
(she is 4 years old today, or will
be in about fourteen hours and five
a vision is our land-scape bespeckled with shining
words, supernatural words, ammolite-words, chromatically-shifting
words, green grass running water words, glistening
words; words in the valley & words on the plains; words on the
shining stripes of re-cycled glass highway signs, on
our way out of town:
iridescent & every-
where. & where i touch my pro-
it is creationism, the vehicle for
all terrains of prairie.
how some still clench secret desires,
w/ bibles belted tight in the resonant
consider the hermeneutics of
this effluence, whizzing out
from range-road enclaves,
hiding beneath barn
roofs crumbling. how oblivion
slips out in
straw-talk accents. no silk
in that sow’s ear.
// in the pocket // beneath the bales // in-
side the mechanisms of tract
eschatologies that whisper:
make me ladders of
straw, help me
today, i will not name such attendant
hatred, how it emerges into the world fully
formed, sprung from the torturous head
ache or the thigh torn
open how it evolves or does
not, with or without dinosaurs; today is a
bliss-thick thing; today is
the secret out pouring from
not those god dessly fearsome sorts, but
the anti-colonial glory of sending
things out, giving life a way.
the radical radicle, yeh !
swollen cunt to dirt; o’er a bed of
boughs, a gesticulation
the first exodus
/ wild /er
& in between the
self & the lush
the milky secretions
vulcanize as language, the shingles
are slipping down &
coated in this
white stickiness for
rebounding words. i fall back onto a
bed of false unicorn. used tradition-
ally to prevent miscarriage. not
actually native to alberta. but i
believe in false unicorns. &
belief means plenty b/c
& in the end, i am not
lounging in the pastoral
bouquet. i am not waiting for
the effect to be felt, deep in the
inside glove of
life, in the absence of full
nectaries. i bounce back.
ah, the beautiful repercussions of
my florid life.
we grow hives on our tongues; we buzz merrily
merrily on our way. the object clots
between the dots. it grows
too big for the mouth; we nod our apexes to the
world. mild discomfort. pressure. stretch-
ing. an epistolary moment emerges:
the libraries in toronto put clarice lispector
beside borges & garcia marquez on the windowsill. now look
how we can sing in vast voices! there is such a torrent
on our tongues! listen: & four years a-
go i split apart where cleaves of flesh are meant to
separate & i squeezed a white-slick thing out;
words lick memory to the peristalsis
of pain & wonder & now
the kid has decided to get up w/ me.
she is practising her letters in her own note-
book, she writes messages
she says she makes up her
self: e FOMW /
divination is this,
holding trembling offerings, wordy
things scrawled to the sense of upwards,
to the bigger cerulean
blue sky, looking through the hole-