Arrow

by Jake Byrne

Jake Byrne is a queer writer whose poems have appeared in PRISM international, The Fiddlehead, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, The Puritan, Plenitude, and Poetry is Dead, among others. His first chapbook, The Tide (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2018. He is a settler based in Tkaronto, in the territory subject to the Dish With One Spoon covenant, so-called Toronto, Canada.

with a line modified from Tolkien

Toxin in the air
Safe loud script
My index finger
There are other wills
Re-ascendant fascisms :S
Long` bypassed its use
So pestersome
See the arc of the
Loosed overhead
Under it every
Belongs to Death’s
We could feel it
And time and space
We could grab the
Holding days
By agony’s
My sanity sliding
Cracked out my brain
Every hero must confront
Death’s desert air
To the laundromat
The script of the tree bark
Life singing its song
In agonies we do not bear
One’s culture in the eye
Songs of a massacred people
We could sing daily
Arrow piercing clearly the
As a cock does when I
But opening

Put your dukes up
Mandoline claimed its birthright
My gnostic sufferings
At work beyond the will of evil
Shame’s tutelage
I am seized with an erection
I ought to weep
Arrow
Tracing a rainbow
Living thing
Twilit kingdom
Moving through the air
Crystal under it
Orbs of testimony
Propelled into time
Clarifying energy
Out my eye
A yolk
DADDY in the rainbow province of
It is time to rise
Into the breach
Colonnades of pollen
In registers we do not stop to hear
To carry who could look
Bear to applaud the earth singing
Song of the many other possible songs
Rising to meet the
Sphincter in my brain
Arch my spine and think of nothing
Up to the light that is thee my lord


Jake Byrne is a queer writer whose poems have appeared in PRISM international, The Fiddlehead, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, The Puritan, Plenitude, and Poetry is Dead, among others. His first chapbook, The Tide (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2018. He is a settler based in Tkaronto, in the territory subject to the Dish With One Spoon covenant, so-called Toronto, Canada.

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