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Shining Like An Apple On Fire

Shining Like An Apple On Fire


From Mintos new EP Days Gone By Engineered by Hayz Fisher, Produced By Minto and Hayz Fisher

Foot of St. Georges Avenue

-by Russell Thornton

The boxcars couple, they shunt into the railyard, 
their wheels cry all night, they play. The late work 
at the dry dock beneath the hull-filled vault, 
at the grain elevator, at the shipping terminal 
where the freighters lie up against the pier 
and the tall cranes lift floodlit containers, 
at the crossing where I chewed car-spilled grain
and made a rough gum - is play. No one sees
beyond what he sees when he runs, swings, screams, 
no one knows more than a child knows. A boy
will look up, call for a father to put
a crashed electric locomotive back 
on its perfect circle of rails. He will see no one, 
and leave the room to look up the rest of his life. 
The tracks laid down along the pale insides
of a man’s arms gauge the same loneliness. The train 
makes its pass the way his blood makes its pass. 
In the festering he will focus on it, 
in the hole he tears he will find it, the one
thing that is real, and any memory kill - 
the slamming of boxcars into a vein. Now he can go
anywhere he wants in the night. The train
will take him, the switching will never stop. Below
the city block where my balcony hangs 
and the avenue ends, the work keeps on. I don’t know. 
I don’t know how it is that paradise is so wide, 
the junction in the head so narrow. If you shut 
your eyes, in the dark behind them you will 
watch while eyes are riveted into you. 
If you listen to the coupling, crying, clanging 
continue down through you, it will become a chant, 
and that chant, what you know; and whatever you are
will be forsaken then finished. The sleep
you crave yet fear will come, the sounds and lights
die into what rises within you. A ferry
sits in fittings, a freighter rests, its deck loaded, 
boxcars stand still, ready to be hooked up again.
What you dream, what transpires while you lie there, 
is the beginning of the day you will wake to - 
a world assembling itself, both workshop and toy, 
a Christ entering metal, never to return.

My Hands Are On Fire. A new song by Mark Davis. Performed by Mark and Alice Kos.

Aug 9


Aug 5


-by Elizabeth Bachinsky

for Michael Turner

For you, I’ll recall

walking to the barn to ride my horse Biscuit.

1991. I wore a white blouse

that tied at the throat

and mom’s brown leather coat

with tangles of suede dangling from the sleeves.

I was thirteen.

             See the camel-coloured

jodhpurs, the tall black riding boots,

my brown hair tied up in a pony

tail, and me taking big steps

through the suburb?


It didn’t take long to cut out

to the fields where mom boarded the thoroughbred.

I went there after school,

but sometimes I’d arrive and realize what I’d forgot,

so I’d tack him up and ride him back

through the subdivision where horses couldn’t go—careful

not to leave a hoofprint

on the neighbours’ lawn.


I’d tie him to a streetlight

and go inside.


For you, I’d like to take

a picture of that. The empty

subdivision at 3:15 in the afternoon

on a Wednesday; those rows

of identical homes, brand new as

they all were then; and

those pastel colours (you know

the kind) and the beige

vinyl siding and the brand new green

lawns like postage stamps

licked and stuck to the earth out front.

No trees, just a razed cow field

where developers built and

we moved in.


This picture is huge.

Pull back.

See my bay tied by the reins to the street lamp?


From here, he is small, impatient,

wanting to snip at the grass

with his enormous flat white teeth—

but he can’t, he’s caught up.

He lifts one wide front hoof and

brings it down on the asphalt,

a clop like two heavy blocks

coming together in an auditorium—

then stamps that hoof again

my big dark horse, waiting

for me to come on back



-from Liz’s new book  The Hottest Summer in Recorded History.


Aug 5

Birthday Poem, 2012

-by Elizabeth Bachinsky

The birches went a long way back.

You couldn’t see past them.

They were planted in rows.

We’d better look out for that bull,

I thought. My sister agreed.

We could see it stamping one 

cloven hoof way off in the distance.

Just a little brown bull, far off.

Then it came charging.

A bull is a terrible creature.

It’s horns are terrible.

It’s eyes are terrible.

Its solid flesh steams in winter air.

We’d better get behind this tree, I thought.

My sister agreed and the bull got bigger 

as it came closer until it slammed into us, into our tree—then 

that furious thing 

backed up and started over again.

I’ll admit I was frightened, 

but my sister was laughing. The way you might in church 

or a particularly earnest high-school 


It’s not her fault.

I am my sister, the forest, the tree.

I am the bull 

and the still-frozen ground.


No sound.

Shoulders moving

up and down.

-from Liz’s new book  The Hottest Summer in Record History.


Tenement Song

by Gillian Jerome

Sing the song of centuries
Sing the song of ninety-degree summers
The song of syphilis
The song of electrical storms inside us

Sing the song of seagulls
Sing the song of doors slammed
The song of bosoms in our shirts
The song of drunken parrots

Sing the song of cauldrons bubbling
The song of our daughters filing past
The song of school kids revving their engines
Sing the low song of wolves sharpening their teeth

Sing the song of the living
Sing the song of mail in their hands
Of marbles, keys, envelopes sliced open
The song of shoes shuffling past

Sing the song of sneezing and coughing and changing direction
Sing the song of Theseus’ madness, midsummer
The song of hard-working, of happenstance
                         of some tinker’s reliquary
The song of tsunamis

Sing the song of pigeons scoring the wind
Sing the song of obstacles, of evergreens
The song of our liturgy, the song of the answering machine
The song of the alcove, the lean-to
                  the chlorophyll bright in the trees

Sing the song of Apollo, of Agamemnon
The song of Cassandra, the loneliest woman in the world
The song of the swan gliding in swamp water
The song of the clavicle, the cave dweller

Sing the song of our small breastedness, our bordellos
Sing the song of our nightgowns, our decrepit teeth
The song of our hips, our split feet
The song of our thirty-three sails in thirty-three un-
                                                   sailable waters

Sing the song of Cecil nailing the shingles to the roof
Sing the song of mist hovering in the button trees
                                       of Caesarean sunset
The song of hydro bills, of snowstorms
The song of bottles, of algae, of billy goats

Sing the song of Mars, of Mercury, of the Americas
The song of our finger bones tapping the locks
The song of the pale bow of the moon, the sun
Slipping into our song:
                                          Dear Landlord,

-Tenement Song is from Gillian’s debut collection Red Nest. 

Dove Creek Hall (Formerly Swedes’ Hall)

-by Matt Rader

The children play their fiddles so slowly I am sad

For the old wooden hall among the cow patties.

Who cut the rhodo blooms and set them on the piano?  

They bow tiredly through every tune. Even the cows

Have wandered away from the music to the far side

Of the pasture. All the Swedes who built this hall

Are dead now and the women they married are dead

And the pastor who married them and their friends.

But the children do not know this or just how sad

Beauty is on the last day of spring with instruments

And young players making music beneath the rafters.

They play along with mistakes and embarrassment.

Tell me, who hung the hand-stitched stars on the wall?

Who hung the evening light from the windows?

—First published in Arc, Winter 2012

Unspeakable Acts in Cars

-by Matt Rader

It’s the first day of summer and we’re so happy

To see the sun and the satchel of colours it schleps

All those dark kilometres. The sky is so blue

And the sea is blue and the small islands in the sea

Are blue also. How our sun must love blue.  

We have beachgrass and bull kelp and lion’s mane

And we love them all because we love the sea

Which is cold and buoyant. Friends now of seasalt

And knotweed, the mountains know all about us

And who we are when we are most ourselves.

But their blue haughty distances are no help.

We are who we are with mock orange and wisteria.

We’ve nothing to bitch about. The high cirrus

Can’t touch us. We been alive just long enough.

—First published in The Fiddlehead, Autumn 2012

The Dead Poet

Al Purdy
From:   Beyond Remembering - The collected poems of Al Purdy. 2000.

I was altered in the placenta
by the dead brother before me
who built a place in the womb
knowing I was coming: 
he wrote words on the walls of flesh
painting a woman inside a woman
whispering a faint lullaby
that sings in my blind heart still

The others were lumberjacks
backwoods wrestlers and farmers
their women were meek and mild
nothing of them survives 
but an image inside an image
of a cookstove and the kettle boiling
— how else explain myself to myself
where does the song come from? 

Now on my wanderings: 
at the Alhambra’s lyric dazzle
where the Moors built stone poems
a wan white face peering out
— and the shadow in Plato’s cave
remembers the small dead one
— at Samarkand in pale blue light 
the words came slowly from him
— I recall the music of blood
on the Street of the Silversmiths

Sleep softly spirit of earth
as the days and nights join hands
when everything becomes one thing
wait softly brother
but do not expect it to happen 
that great whoop announcing resurrection 
expect only a small whisper
of birds nesting and green things growing
and a brief saying of them
and know where the words came from