Monday, February 18, 2019

new from above/ground press: from Riot, September 2016, an Inside Out Journal, by Dale Smith

from Riot
September 2016, an Inside Out Journal
Dale Smith

Faded leaves hang limp in evening sun. Worried cyclists keep close to curb. Pale sky’s scrim a crib holding no one. Dead things collect in words. To speak of origin brings a quiet rain to ruined global interface. Like messages from stars, light years distant. To grieve or share caravan soul worry. Hold tightly to rafts, the current flows outward, naked, disastrous fool. A beard and exposed torso. Five-days old, born in passage over Mediterranean shame. Image flashes beyond borders. Simultaneity of needs washed clean by hunger’s devotion.
   Stand in trashy yellow field where
   dirty underwear plastic garbage
   eat rations a fate or ratio of
   circumstance the Navigant sun north
   lunar pulse of waves widening long
   mother to love openly sideways
   enter Lesbos on orange life vest already
   squeezed no air lungs like dry leaves grow still
   rocks there are cameras to mediate
one’s digital window. The subway car is overheated. A child cries. Drunk white man covered in face tattoos screams. Beyond one a membrane prevents seeing through remnants of oneself. Not even the color of a concept can restore the ore or ire animating crisis. The dead are not as good. It is not okay.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2019
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Cover image by Stacy Blint

Dale Smith lives in Toronto, Ontario, where he teaches at Ryerson University. His writing appears in Brick, Brooklyn Rail, Chicago Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. He is an editor, with Robert J. Bertholf, of An Open Map: The Correspondence of Robert Duncan and Charles Olson and Imagining Persons: Robert Duncan’s Lectures on Charles Olson. His most recent poetry is Sons published by Knife Fork Book in 2017.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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