~ Julie Lockhart
Calgary commuter stuck in five-lane sidebar
gutters, drumming up business
for tomorrow’s obits.
Office tower mastheads blaze petroleum neon.
Signals flash, but the pedestrian press traipses typos across each intersection, threatening
to leave behind
an orphan or at least a bleed
at the edge.
Tomorrow’s Headline: Journalist Embedded in War Zone
Today’s Breaking News:
Homeless Woman Watches Gridlock from Abandoned Bus
Julie Lockhart works at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. Her poetry has appeared in Dandelion, The Prairie Journal, Freefall, and the Freshwater Pearls anthology. In 2010, she was the University of Calgary’s Poet of the Season.
To read more of Julie’s poetry click here.
this Bic is spent
I carefully tuck it back
in my hip pocket. to cast it off
would tickle my fear, so
with another piece
of permanent rubbish. It’s very dark
on this side
of 17th avenue ( the skid
needs no illumination)
reeking local brew seeps
out the barn doors to guide
all the weary in
against better judgement. Someday
soon they’ll figure
a way to Gentrify this strip
and Fascists will outnumber
for the first time
in the history of Forest Lawn, but
so armed, with dull plastic, no flame
and an enourmous wound
I’m safe among the wasted
to hustle ’til my yellow teeth
ache in delight.
a cheap shot, a warm job
and a cold release
I feel better in the gutter, hiding
from the other side
of this cash-drunk city.
~ j fisher
j fisher lives and writes in Calgary’s downtown core. He grooms greenscapes by day, and mines the underbelly at night.
A tax accountant is giving advice to a client
And my soul is dying
Outside, the sun is too feeble
To melt the snow.
Inside it is cold
If I was a bird
I would migrate.
I’m a poet.
I stare off into space.
To second hand
. . . keep all your receipts . . .
~ Eugene Stickland
Eugene Stickland grew up in Regina where he eventually worked on an MA in English at the University of Regina, which was interrupted when he went to Toronto to complete an MFA in Playwriting at York University. Eugene wrote plays in Toronto for a number of years for the Act IV Theatre Company before moving to Calgary in 1994. While in Calgary, Eugene enjoyed a 10 year stint as Alberta Theatre Projects’ playwright in residence, writing 6 plays for the company in that time, along with others for other theatres across Canada. On leaving ATP, Eugene became a feature columnist for the Calgary Herald for the next five years. His plays have been produced around the world in many different languages. Queen Lear has just closed its second season in Istanbul, in Turkish translation and has been translated into Russian, with a production in Moscow anticipated next season. Eugene is currently working on several new projects, including a volume of poetry, “Nocturnal Emissions,” and a new play, “Those White Things in the Ocean.” Eugene was recently appointed writer in residence at Calgary’s St. Mary’s University College and teaches English at Alberta Business and Educational Services. He lives in downtown Calgary.
To read more of Eugene’s work click here.
In residential districts, the laurel is grown high
and trimmed to a dense hedge delineating
this-is-mine, while insisting
what-I-have: the laurel celebrates a separation
from one’s fellow citizens.
And these flimsiest of laurels you seek
are surely a dim shadow of celebrity:
the worship of vacuous shape-shifters, human beings
manipulated, Photoshopped by paid liars
into products that sell other products. In your case,
less a means to enrich the owners
of this deceit, and more a state-approved oddity
like a pet iguana on a leash, or a neutered or spayed wolverine
that will fetch and carry on command.
Yet what do these laurels sell?
Are your words to be
the stamp of authentication
on the forms everyone is asked to fill in
to justify the arrangements
whereby cash is continually siphoned to the wealthy?
Would you add toy-store magic dust
to these schemes, or sing for a few pitiful coins
of the necessity–or irrelevance–of the expanding desert
between the compensation package of senior executives
and the crowded buses daily hauling their cargo
to the prisons of hopeless diversions and dreams?
Let us abjure authority’s laurel
and with bill cap and hardhat firmly in place
proclaim: we build this world as slaves
scourged by want and need
by the overseers of money. Nevertheless
we build for all, and for a day
when everyone, everyone
are poets, after their own fashion,
so that when at last we can remove our headgear
in homage to our neighbors,
what nestles in our hair
will be their subtle, magnificent,
cranky and hilarious words, telling
of everything their shoes have encountered,
words as material as leaves of cedar or birch,
words that wreathe us in the distinction
of a rich equality: of friends,
~ Tom Wayman
Bio: Dirty Snow is Tom Wayman’s eighteenth collection of poems. He has edited a number of anthologies, including The Dominion of Love (2001). His published fiction includes two books of short stories and the novel Woodstock Rising (2009).
To read more poems by Tom Wayman, click here.
~ M. Waldron
viscous blue winds
drive whitesnakes ‘cross Deerfoot
in front of us and you say:
Sheesh, dude, this
is a cruel day
the heater blows lukewarm
vulcanized rubber fumes
into the cab as the radio plays
stereo Christian Country Classics,
it’s a giddy heady mix,
possibly hallucinatory, you say:
Jesus loves Deerfoot in winter
and whitesnakes forgive
the viscous blue winds
and I think: Man,
are you breathing this in?
the wind switches and whips
back across Deerfoot evicting
the angels clinging
to the rooftops of all good trucks,
they back-flap furiously
lest they too be dashed,
along with the whitesnakes,
on to the jagged black teeth
of the wide Stygian median
we leave behind the Cecil
and the Mustard Seed,
and we head North, North
our horizons, such as they are, are
M. Waldron was born in Calgary, but left for Europe and Asia at an early age only to return with fresh and hungry eyes in 2007.