Thursday, February 29, 2024

new from above/ground press: Some Failed Eternity, by Pete Smith

Some Failed Eternity
Pete Smith


We gather under the banner of plurality & wait for
trickle down—as if we was a pyramid, I a dividend

As residual tickles pleasure down our collective
past is, we declare, an open & shut mummy

If it’s all the same to you, with your penchant
for song, we’ll take the descant & run

Kingdom come reigning down over Boswell Field—
one end of the panto horse unzipped a wicked grin

A ghazal does not give room for us to stamp
our authority, lick our prerogative, frank our maleness

We lack lustre but make up for it with
shine—always the reflection never the source

Vertigo, he said, is the only way to go. Vortex,
she said, we have the horizontal & we’re holding

One gender, solo, created an onanian agenda
kept the minutes for years but slid into as usual

We lather under the banality of plura—there’s
safety in numbers, but First Kings is torture

As one who has sired but never harboured, seeded
but not enfleshed, I’ll assume the position. Outside

At the tap-tree of osmosis we hold our breath
to be self-evident, enough for one constitution

A host of feathers in a down of Pentecost
flaming imposters burn us at every turn

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2024
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Pete Smith
lives on the unceded land of Tk’emlups te Secwepémc. He has published poems, reviews and essays in the likes of jacket (1st series), Crayon, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Alterran Poetry Assemblage, the Fortnightly Review, Capilano Review, et al and the book Bindings with Discords, 2015, from Shearsman which collects six long sequences. He was short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, 2015, Malahat Review’s Open Seasons Award, 2017 & Arc Poem of the Year, 2023. Recent ventures into translation, from Osip Mandelstam’s poems from the winter of 1933-4, are in Snow lit rev #s 9 &10. He has three previous above/ground chapbooks & works in Touch the Donkey, periodicities & G U  E S T #23. Much gratitude to rob mclennan.

This is Pete Smith’s fourth chapbook with above/ground press, after Strum of Unseen (2008), A New Love/An Aching Stone (2016) and S i n g ... d e s p i t e (2019).

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

No comments: