Slipping off the Side by Allison Grayhurst

Slipping off the Side

Never holding, always holding
up, down, back
past the white-light knockout strike,
the broken dishes, the failed vision.
Always guilt as agency – sweet sun
out of reach, when reached, just a hot huge
stone that must be released. Watching the reptilian
garden diggers, the small-soul claim joy in evil,
sit on the hay stack, seeding its throne
and start a royal lineage.

Entire bloodlines behind bars – Children hated.
I see the same name on all my friends’ faces.
My insides have become strewed.
I have only a guiding breath breeze in
a state of blindness, dialectics, repetitions
saying “Do not be attached”. Out of the box
then back in again.

I would make a casserole if I knew how.
I would connect everyone
with a wink if the power was mine, if the cracking
double-take shame would release me-
moult and moult until it was small, easy enough to crush
and smear on the pavement.
I have shed these chains twice, maybe more,
maybe their returning power is just an illusion,
a phantom captivity.

When I was in the blue room with an entrance to the attic,
entities ripped into my skull when I slept,
channeling their destructive vocations.
I prayed on the forest floor and burned pages and pages
of long-hand. That was when
I stopped swimming and learned how to ride horses, before
I almost joined a neighbourhood,
whizzed past neighbours on a bike, leaving a mark.
I wish I was caught in the loop of simple competition,
knew my place at the starting line,
claiming trophies at the finish line,
climbing tall chunky trees in the summer or
racing up and down fire escapes for the fun of it.

Allison GreyhurstAllison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1200 poems published in more than 475 international journals and anthologies. In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay. More on Allison Grayhurst can by found via her web site by clicking here…

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