Three Poems

by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis is a poet, editor, and professor. His many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books, 2008), On the Material (Talon Books, 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), To the Barricades (Talon Books, 2013), and (with Jordan Scott) DECOMP (Coach House, 2013). He has also written two books of literary criticism, a book of essays on the Occupy Movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books, 2012), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug, 2013). In 2014, while involved in anti-pipeline activism, he was sued for $5.6 million by US energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers read his writing in court as “evidence.” His forthcoming book is Reading Wordsworth in the Tar Sands. He lives near Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territory, and he teaches at Simon Fraser University.

The Long Regime

A small bird
Outside my office
Window turns itself
Inside out over
And over again
The sky the
Colour of the
Inside of a
Large jar quavers
As some large
Hand perhaps grips
And twists the
Planet though I
Don’t believe in
God it’s more
Likely just capitalism
And the travails
Of small indistinct
Birds living under
Its long regime

 

Into the Frame

Seems like
Furor
Off the temps
Inside of us or
Against half of us
Gun petal archery
No longer to arch
But to practice
What representation is
Is a winter of
Spent enclosures
Unspecified seams
A firth or
Gorge broken
Open I give it
Spatial egress
To walk into
There’s all of us
Now grow

 

No File

I cannot
Forthwith
The mechanism
Some clouds
New wind
All the change
We’d enable
Comes out
Carnage too
Often abrupt
Like shellshock
The hope of
No hope
In a file
Called “no file”
We cannot open
Or close

 


Stephen Collis is a poet, editor, and professor. His many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books, 2008), On the Material (Talon Books, 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), To the Barricades (Talon Books, 2013), and (with Jordan Scott) DECOMP (Coach House, 2013). He has also written two books of literary criticism, a book of essays on the Occupy Movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books, 2012), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug, 2013). In 2014, while involved in anti-pipeline activism, he was sued for $5.6 million by US energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers read his writing in court as “evidence.” His forthcoming book is Reading Wordsworth in the Tar Sands. He lives near Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territory, and he teaches at Simon Fraser University.

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