Friday, April 28, 2023

new from above/ground press: What started / this mess, by Samuel Ace

What started / this mess
Samuel Ace
March 22

What dawn   
what midday   
what dusk
what mid-
length coat   
what midnight   
what midship
sails out
what gone
as the sun
hits 40 degrees   
between knee
and hip   
the midline
of my life   
what mid-senility
would bring
the next word   
what mid-talk
would actually stop   
what mid-breath
would I breathe again    
what simple garden
of peas
what mid-stride
looks back
over the cliff    
falling up then
standing at
the peak   
before the dark
bends toward
the morning light   
what current
takes us
over the tracks   
what desert calls
to what rust
unvisited since
what’s left behind   
what stinking light   
what gathering half-
filled with things   
a yellow couch   
half-eaten jars
of honey   
half-read books   
half-smelled bees
in the magnolia trees   
the half-full reservoir
left to fill again    
what remains
in the rain   
half hopeful   
half a creosote bush   
half pray daylight
comes half-life
into dust       

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2023
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Samuel Ace
is a trans/genderqueer poet and sound artist. He is the author of several books, most recently Our Weather Our Sea and a chapbook of the same name; Meet Me There, Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash., and Stealth with poet Maureen Seaton. Other chapbooks include Madame Curie’s Notebook, The Road to the Multiverse, A minor history / of secret knowledge (all with Maureen Seaton). Ace is the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writer Award and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry, as well as a repeat finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the National Poetry Series. Recent work can be found in Poetry, We Want it All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetry; Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, PEN America, Best American Experimental Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies.

A book-length poetic essay, I Want to Start by Saying, is forthcoming from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center.

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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