Winter Update

Another Look Out the Window, Original Art by Mark A. Harrison

Another Look Out the Window by Mark Harrison

The not-so-secret Poetry/Art Project is nearing completion! Should be going to print by the time we hit the official start of winter on Dec. 21st (although if Peterborough is any indication, winter is already well underway).  We’ll be updating the Project page soon, including a sneak peak of the cover. In the meantime, here are a few shots from one of M’s recent snowy photo walks.




 

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New Spaces / Waiting

Inventing_byMarkAHarrison_med

Inventing by Mark A. Harrison

Don’t know if I can
be myself in here
still trying to find
myself in the noise
The assault of perfume
climbs down my sinuses
but fails to clear them
neatly obliterating
the earlier tang
of frying bacon
This isn’t our place
anymore, but the domain
of a different generation
urbanized, plugged in, born
into a world fuelled by
blue light pulsing through
digital veins, as oblivious
to their dependence on
interconnectedness, as to
the necessity of breathing
The fading cologne clouds
make way for the clamour
of the other senses, the one
persistent metal scream
the slow, endless slide
of a fingernail on galvanized
glass; searing steel fire cuts
through the backdrop of brown noise
riding above the hiss of steam,
the warm up and down rumble
of human voices; a keen knife edge
sharpens formerly soft waves
of jumbled randomness; words
jump out of the melee, singly, or
in non-contextual bursts:
“I’ll pay whatever it takes
to stay a little longer.”
The whole city, it seems,
(or at least, all the 80’s revival
youngsters, rolled up stone wash
jeans and tucked in shirts and curly hair,
all the skinny loft dwellers recently
descended from some lofty discussion)
have all descended around me,
a vortex of motion and indecision;
The cologne waves redouble, spool
and collide, part and subside,
over the seesaw rhythms of upspeak
and vocal fry; the foam coating the bowl
of my cup (black on the outside, because
black is the new black) resembles a forest
softened by sunset fog, or morning mist,
caught on the boundary between
past and present, future possibilities
and the endless sea of ghosts
that linger in the vibrant air.

– T.H. (02.04.19, at the Cork & Bean)

The Enkindled Spring, by D.H. Lawrence

GoingOver_byMarkAHarrison_med

Going Over by Mark A. Harrison

The Enkindled Spring
 – D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

If by Loving

Silhouette_byMarkAHarrison

Silhouette by Mark A. Harrison

If by loving, you mean
conspicuous consumption
of one another’s souls,
devouring each hour
yet hoarding minutes
like secret treasure,
deluding ourselves
that we can keep time
tucked away, safe
in the faulty vaults
of memory – and yet
nowhere is entropy
more apparent, more
glaringly obvious
than in that
which we think
we remember.

– T.H.
(02.13.14)

Ten days later

StudyInFrost_ByMarkAHarrison_med

Study in Frost by Mark A. Harrison

Fall is a tricky season to navigate. Capricious and sly, at once whimsical and treacherous, full of sharp things hidden under blankets of leaves, radiant days of crackling sunshine followed by dark night winds whispering portents of ice and snow – a reminder of unsettling impermanence.

Ten days later, she was still on her own;
I was fast asleep, a thousand miles away
dust floated, thick as rocks
in the belt of Orion.
He wondered,
do we really breathe this?
Two weeks later, she met the road,
covered in dust from
her latest encounter
with the laws of physics;
Mud clung to her thick soled boots
in her eyes, a light, hard
as scorn from a loved one;
She stomped on the pavement
once, twice
dust settled around her in a cloud.
I was eating breakfast,
looking out the eastern window,
the burnt toast flaking charcoal
onto tongue and lips and fingers,
And he said, in characteristic delay,
are you really going to eat that?
Three months later, she clawed her way
the final few feet to the
snow shrouded peak,
Looked down at the world in wonder
and forgot all she knew.
Everyone she had ever loved
vanished in an instant;
she let out her breath in a sigh
of great peace, contentment
and relief.
I was washing dishes
in the light of early evening;
cats bumped my legs,
crying for dinner
while he, sat watching television.
Hey, take a look at this, he said
but as I walked into the room
the walls began to fade,
the furniture grew clear as glass,
the cats became twin puffs of air
and flew out through the
crack in the kitchen window,
and he, and I, passed out
of her mind,
forgotten forever
in the sudden glimpse
of sunset kissed mountain peaks,
an eagle far below;
frost bitten toes
and a sense, finally, of a future
without a past.

– T.H. (2002)

bigger on the inside

MetallicState_byMarkAHarrison_med

Metallic State by Mark A. Harrison

Been thinking about words a lot lately, how they can change from a tool to a weapon, a dirge to a song, a box label to found poetry, depending on how you wield them. This was written a couple of years back, late at night with a cat under one arm, picking words at random from the spines of DVD cases on the bookshelf next to me.

BiggerOnTheInside_byTanahHaney

 

Looking Glass

Harvest-byMarkHarrison-smaller

Harvest by Mark A. Harrison

looking glass

seven years, they said
she had felt it
a lump of hot lead in her stomach
staring at the broken shards
winking in the sunlight
on the linoleum floor
as the summer breeze
curled the toes of the curtains
teased the hair from her forehead

she could see it laid out before her
a pathway not of yellow bricks
but of shattered glass
down which she must walk barefoot
penance, they had called it
she was only seven years old
she had not understood, then
why people would choose
suffering over happiness
but it wasn’t seven years
that was a butterfly’s lifetime
the forgotten turning of a season
a minor fling, compared
to what followed after

she watched wonder falter
death by stagnation
the loss of surprise
a series of slow, dull cuts
she had thought the edges
would be sharper
that there would be more blood
she thought, they must
have meant dog years
the days counted biblically
(and on the seventh
she would rest…)

the cup fell
in the twentieth year
she is washing dishes
on a cold, grey day
when it slips from her hand
it explodes on impact
as if it were made
not of faded red porcelain
but something far more volatile
she stares down at the winking shards
and begins to laugh

in that moment, awakening
fills her like an unexpected sunrise
she sweeps the pieces
into a cracked plastic dust-pan
it was there all along
(a side-path, hidden beneath
a thicket of weeds and brambles)
now all she has to do
is choose
to take it.

– T.H.

Prophet

BeeOnDandelion

Photo by Mark A. Harrison

prophet

the bees are gathering
in the honey kitchen
up on the roof
the buzzing hum of it
fills her ears like sand
she shudders in her sleep
dreams of drowning in sweetness

meanwhile, in Elysium,
snow-covered streets
claim the ocean floor
a submerged amber flash

they are coming
cutting through snowdrifts
scattering nests and tiny bones

pink skeins twine
around her outstretched fingers
cognizant only
of what the future holds
the present forgotten
subsumed
in the elephant’s graveyard

some say she waits for
the end of the world
but I know she waits only
for you

-T.H.