Ghosted into Submission

All the poems are writing themselves.
Flipping inside out.
Growing a second heart beat.

Another eyelid
and you are almost human.
The leaves are frustrated.

Each year their
falling cannot be stopped.
A letter unwritten, a message

paralyzed. Breeze
camouflaged, silent,
stirred into mourning

for what was never there.
But somewhere the ocean is leaping,
becoming something else entirely—

moths that roam in places we can’t enter.
At the pool table, eight-ball skimming
where the heart can’t feel—

like every home we ever left,
broken figurines untangled on the floor.
Air cemented with glue,

with taped mouths and curtains
ghosted into submission.
Old clutter cutting shapes on walls.

Now we’ve come too far: Patagonia,
The Nazca lines heaving and untroubled.
A slope of words where ink forgets to imprint.

Even this will be erased eventually.
Blistered with light. Feral. A burst of activity
attaching vein-like to the side of buildings,

our skin; a closed lid so quiet breath performs
the same surgeries around
us a bit longer.

Questions and Answers

Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?

I would write the occasional rhyming poems in school but didn’t write my first free-style poem for fun until I was seventeen. I started writing short stores first, and then one day, while sitting in a hotel lobby, I decided to write a poem. I wrote in a quick, unconscious manner without really thinking about what I was doing. I felt such a sense of excitement and almost empowerment. I was hooked ever since.

How/where do you find inspiration today?

I often write while listening to music. Music brings me into a certain emotional state. Other than reading as much poetry as possible, I sometimes find inspiration in a newspaper headline, book, story or movie. Certain people may inspire me. I tend to have a person I’m writing to or for.

Do you use any resources that a young poet would find useful (e.g. books, films, art, websites, etc.)?

I always loved the book 15 Canadian Poets x 3 [edited by Gary Geddes]. It was one of the first poetry anthologies that exposed me to a wide range of contemporary Canadian poets.

As a published writer, what are your tips or words of motivation for the aspiring poet?

Read as much poetry as possible, and don’t overthink while you are writing. Let the poem shape itself and surprise you!

This poem “Ghosted into Submission” originally appeared in 60th Anniversary Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 239 (2019): 29-30.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.