Beginnings of Poetry
Because the tangerine floor,
trap door, closed entrance.
Because of solitary rooms and a love of the hermetic.
Because of bullying.
Because it was never forced or encouraged.
Because of art school’s salient critique.
Because loud and garrulous.
Because the throes of images.
Book after book.
Because New Orleans, Dominican Republic, Horseshoe Bay.
Because early internet; insomnia.
Because the Free Times Café.
Because of momentary angels, accidental lightning.
Because of fallen matchsticks, cigarette ash and morning breath.
Because of music’s cruel abandonment at concert’s end.
Because it is more elegant to wend desire through symbol.
Because language invents me: the pulse of throat, tickle of heart.
Because corrosion happens.
words in braille.
Because Pluto was demoted from planet.
Because the cosmic microwave background.
Because photons dance off my palms
past the fry pan.
Because eating a double chocolate scoop of the universe, whole.
Because I coalesce, then contradict.
Too small to fit inside the seasons.
Because the harbour turned me away.
Because of eyes dipped in silver, watching over the bedside table.
Because essential to abrade surface.
Because tenacious near death, hovering above my body.
Because of surgery.
Because the twist.
Copyright © Clara Blackwood 2013
I recently sat down with Patrick Connors over a pint to discuss Arcana and my upcoming event at Origo Books this Friday, October 28th. Here is the interview:
As mentioned in the article, I’ll be giving a talk on tarot, reading from Arcana and giving short tarot readings free to anyone who buys a copy of the chapbook. Below is the link with all the details.
I’m happy to announce that my chapbook of tarot-inspired poems “Arcana” is available for sale at Origo Books. Origo is an alternative and metaphysical bookstore filling the gap left behind by the Omega Centre. It’s a great place to visit if you’re in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.
It’s been a long while since my last poetry feature. Tonight I’m reading at an art, poetry and music event at the Secret Handshake Gallery: 189 Mutual Street (upstairs). 6 pm. I’m not familiar with the space, but I like the masonic-sounding gallery name. In planning my reading I picked out a number of tarot poems including “The Hierophant” since I envisioned the inside of a masonic temple when writing it.
V. The Hierophant
He inhabits a secret
beyond the black and white
between two grey pillars.
Around him are the masks
of misrule, the faces
Lion, bull, man, eagle –
he knows them all.
Friend of the blue Venus,
this hushed speaker
halts the unprepared
with one hand held in symbol.
To the seeker
he grants two golden keys,
but will not tell
what they unlock.
Copyright © Clara Blackwood 2011
There seems to be a zeitgeist around submission calls for supernatural-themed poetry. I hope the trend continues as I love reading and writing poetry with this dimension. Recently I had three poems accepted to the online journal Cyclamens and Swords (based in Israel). Two were written while I was in Scotland earlier this year.
Also this month, I was happy to see my book Subway Medusa on a recommended reading list “The 31 Books of December.”
My 5 Questions interview for The Toronto Quarterly blog is now posted on Open Book Toronto. Darryl Salach asks some good questions.