Wednesday, May 24, 2023

new from above/ground press: Toothache, by Joseph Donato

Joseph Donato

I’m Scared of the Tooth Fairy
Dentist in the orchard
trades pennies for apples,
plucks the branches bare
Liquorice gums and
milk teeth,
burnt matches
on latex fingers
Caramel leaks
through gaps in my smile,
pillowcase stained
My treasure chest empties
but its ghost weight lingers,
candies and apple seeds
in my mouth
I want my cavities back.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2023
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Joseph Donato’s Toothache yanks sense by the root. In this collection of taut, imagistic poems, Donato laces things tight, wiggling short character studies out of drippy cavities. Toothache pours the surrealism of Richard Brautigan or Stuart Ross through their own caramel. Toothache leaves your cheeks stuffed.  
    — ryan fitzpatrick, publisher of Model Press
as someone with teeth, i can say that toothache hurts just as it should.
    — Isla McLaughlin, author of girl, online

Toothache is a hit, a masterpiece. The author should be praised and adored and given money.
    — Joseph Donato, author of Toothache
Joseph Donato is super cool and popular. He is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Block Party, a Toronto-based magazine and press. Apart from writing, Joseph enjoys illustrating, buying CDs, and Tic Tacs. Toothache is his debut chapbook publication. 

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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