Excerpts from Skyward from the Self

by Gillian Wigmore

Gillian Wigmore’s first book, soft geography, won the 2008 Relit award. Her work has been published in magazines, short listed for prizes, and anthologized. She lives in Prince George, BC.

1.

the face of a fish, a trout, a weighted thought, lived for years in the black lake, for years, from fry to broken flesh and this is no revelation
firm, thick bend of flesh, flex of meat, heavy, unblinking, slick, fish of dream, plato’s fish, this smacked body-flinch—from life to death
not a poem of sorrow, not a flick of regret, the flash of water flung in the sky, the burst of lake skyward from the self-preserving tail
and this perfect morsel, this unblemished self, this scathed or unscathed, scaled green, gold, blue, black, pink, orange, grey, white, embolism of existence
cracked once, twice above the gills, centred thump on the hill above the eyes like so—cease
the ode, it’s supper time
beyond the silk gut, the gorgeous spleen, the sated crows hanging around on the beach, the memory of a weight in my arms, first as I pulled it forth and then as I held it close
the evening glare off the fading shine, the dried slime, the filet knife catches the flash of light, the after-image of the rod held high

 

5.

gleam of flat light off the water burst when the sun breaks through
air between prow and water
a moment in which I am aloft

arms high surging higher

 

10.

and this perfect morsel, this unblemished self, the unscathed one
gone
beyond, the satisfied crows hanging around on the beach
and me with the memory of a weight in my arms
first as I pulled it forth and then as I held it close
the filet knife catches the flash of light

I held the rod high
the image of a fish, a trout
and then? a weighted thought
but no revelation, no poem of sorrow, no flick of regret
instead the flash of water flung skyward
from the self-preserving tail

heavy, unblinking
slick fish of dreams, oh
sing the ode, it’s supper time
the evening glare off the fading shine

 


Gillian Wigmore’s first book, soft geography, won the 2008 Relit award. Her work has been published in magazines, short listed for prizes, and anthologized. She lives in Prince George, BC.

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