Friday, February 27, 2009

Shannon Stewart/Phil Hall


I. Cow

Under a Holstein coat
teats drip
perpetual maternity.
In other lands
I am worshipped,
painted, wrapped in silk.
Not stupid at all,
but Bovine –
Mother of Milk.

II. Slut

Because I fuck
and fuck well.
Because one
is never enough.
Because I prefer not
to wear undergarments
or keep the prim
protocols of
ladyhood. Yeah,
I’m a slut. No
if, and or –
Nice butt!

III. Cunt

This grunt
of a word
you cast
at the end
of your line.
Look what
comes up
from the sea;
purple, wet
and manifold.
Get down
on your knees
and kiss it

IV. Bitch

If she’s strong,
smart, thin,
vocal, rich –
she turns canine,
all paws and itch.
Not so long ago,
burned as a witch.

V. Whore

You tell me
what isn’t for sale.
I’m one letter
away from whole.
Take that R and rent
yourself a rope.
See what’s happy
when life’s
lost hope.

-- Shannon Stewart, Penny Dreadful

Me & Morisseau were both abused as kids
both ran by rotgut then sang by hand
of a Canada that deplorably survives
high in the clawed glistening air

our giant muskrat soul kept falling apart
into butchered townships aflame with primal colour
& the spit of the grease was the shared song
of the brush & the pen slicing through forgiveness

-- Phil Hall, from White Porcupine

Norval Morisseau is one of Canada's great aboriginal artists... for more on his art, here's a link.

NB, this is supplementary material for a review of Shannon Stewart's Penny Dreadful and Phil Hall's White Porcupine, soon to be posted in The Rover. My compliments to Shannon Stewart and Signal Editions (imprint of Véhicule Press), and Phil Hall and Book Thug.

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