Two Poems

by Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald is the author of three books of poetry, including Rue the Day (Turnstone Press, 2008), and of the non-fiction study The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies (WLU Press, 2012). Recent poems have appeared in The Goose, Alyss, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and Iron Horse Review. She is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Manifest Density


*

Expand outward. Be complicit that
this hand is your hand. You are the fist
on this vertiginous soil. You are queen of
all you surfeit. Create your motion. Pant
your lag and lace off your acres. Frill the empty
hand with laughing chilblains and
nettle the wild. O pioneers!

*

Expulse windward. Be confident that
canned is your brand. You are the theorist
of soiled gin. You are clean of
all you unmade. Berate your nation and flaunt
your stag. Race off your aches. Bill the empire
blind with leaking chiles and
settle for mild bandoliers.

*

This band is yours, man.
Tweet zero dark tourism. Fill your sentry
stand with coughing children.    

 

Green Belt Buckle

The thin membranes of borders dictate
there will always be a brisk traffic
in pets and parts and a shifting
cadre of underemployed shuttling
between workplaces on the nation’s
most dangerous commutes while spines

atrophy and sciatica cripples them
just enough so lifting a pile of ungraded
essays becomes a blackout situation
but not enough to stop working.
The cyborg professor feels her
steel-cut oats. She meets her creator

above the Arctic Circle to test out
the repressive hypothesis and argue
for the sleek speed of the animal
mind: leopard sentience, reptile brain,
survival of the fittest in an admittedly
dry cold, controlled reproduction.

Trophy politics: even a rabbit will sprout
antlers if mounted at the right angle
and with the requisite amount of force.
The Green Belt has a shiny silver buckle
that leaves nasty welts on the back and
buttocks. Fill the Blue Box with bubble wrap.

Animals come in and out of season. Crows
fall from the sky like unexploded bombs
planted face down in snowdrifts, wings
spread in a glossy arch. The tiny possum
tracks in the snow: the handprints of babies.
Most hunters are conservationists.


Tanis MacDonald is the author of three books of poetry, including Rue the Day (Turnstone Press, 2008), and of the non-fiction study The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies (WLU Press, 2012). Recent poems have appeared in The Goose, Alyss, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and Iron Horse Review. She is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

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