The 2019 Anne Szumigalski Lecture Notes from an Archive of Injuries by Billy-Ray Belcourt! New works by Christopher Graham-Rombough, Jess Woolford, Claire Kelly & more!
This issue also features a memorial tribute to PF's long time Editor Andris Taskans by Neil Besner.
Neil Besner—Remembering Andris
Billy-Ray Belcourt—Notes from an Archive of Injuries
D.S. Stymeist—Two Poems
Jason Purcell—Kris Knight, The Flying Monkey, 2014. Oil on canvas, 24x18 inches.
Nicole Baute—Goodnight, Catalonia
Claire Kelly—Two Poems
Marlene Grand Maître—Four Poems
Marisa Coulton—The Things My Children Will Not Know
Linda K. Thompson—Two Poems
Marika Prokosh—Two Poems
Susan Olding—To Autumn
Jess Woolford—Two Poems
Chelene Knight—the window of the #20 bus in Vancouver
Wendy Donawa—Two Poems
Christopher Graham-Rombough—The Bull and the Stone
John Wall Barger—Two Poems
Jonathan Greenhause—Three Poems
Lisa Alward—Orlando 1974
Joanne Bealy—We Work
Rebekah Rempel—Late Call-Out
John Wall Barger
Marlene Grand Maître
Linda K. Thompson
THE BUS DRIVER LEAVES ME ON THE SIDE of a dusty Spanish road. There’s nothing but a small sign in the brush, an arrow pointing downhill. The drive from Barcelona was an endless series of on-ramps and off-ramps, and with my basic, unidirectional Spanish, it wasn’t clear I was heading in the right direction. Even as I follow the sign, suitcase on its side, feet slipping slightly on gravel, I’m not sure I’m in the right place.
I can’t help but think my mom would love it out here. Succulents and sunshine. The mountain above me is brown, solitary. From the bus it looked cohesive, like a giant man, curled up and sleeping. Now I see it’s a series of vertical rock formations, hundreds of distinct, erect mounds coalescing into a whole.
In sleep’s hospital
the day staff has been taken
hostage. The night nurse
a vixen, prowls the ward
in soot-black stockings,
red cross dark at the shoulder.
DAD PAUSED THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. “Can you believe that some people spend their whole lives trying to get to the sea?”
My mother and I looked at him. I raised my eyebrows. We were at my favourite part, where the main character finally fulfills his lifelong dream of visiting the ocean. I couldn’t understand why my father had chosen such a critical moment to bring everything to a standstill.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Some people spend their whole lives trying to go on vacation,” Dad said. “They make it a mission to go to the sea. The sea, of all places.” My father shook his head and un-paused the movie.
My parents had grown up in Jamaica, mere steps away from the one thing that many Canadians yearn for. I opened my mouth, then closed it, because I didn’t know what to say. I felt jealousy bubble in my gut. For my parents, the sea was an old, familiar friend. For me, it was a mere acquaintance.
It is possible that my future children will spend their lives chasing the sea. One day, I may pause the television only to have them stare back at me blankly, able to conjure images of the sea only from movies, not from memory.