On the Roof with Death
When sawdust rolls like marbles under our boots
on the newly sheathed roof three storeys up
we talk of falling. It’s like butter boxes, Dale says.
We could slide real good. Only hurts when you land!
He yells this suddenly
as if to warn the neighbours.
Dale is a journeyman.
I am his apprentice.
You know the people who live for the moment, he says,
laughing. They yell “Whee!” all the way down.
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I parachute into man’s country,
hoist my beer in the bar as if native.
Cool, I talk shop, stand as they stand,
not quite sure
of the cocky swing of hips,
lift of the glass in a loud bass,
This is the world of the knowing.
It’s only a small slip into a minor key
when I turn left to go to the Ladies.
The image of me out there – Ice Man –
it’s only image. I don’t want to show
how it all comes from the blood, from inside, you know?
I only tell you this now because I’m drunk on sound.
Tomorrow I will deny it.
Blood? What blood? I am Bach
Co-edited with Sandy Shreve
This exciting, comprehensive and groundbreaking anthology explores Canadian form poetry from the sixteenth century to the present day. The result is more than 40 forms and 175 poems that will appeal to poets and readers, teachers and students. A section for each form with a brief introduction, outline of how to write it, and examples, including variations, encourages readers to pick up a pen – or just enjoy.