Boy

boy

boy-final

ISBN: 978-1-926710-14-3 • Paperback • 9″ x 5″ • 104 pages • 2012

Paul Wilson and Hagios, again looking, me again finding. This time poems even before Jimmy Bang set in my home-town of Gretna, with a beautiful (still standing) red brick post office with a flag, and a weather station providing temperatures often read on the CBC.

I wrote these poems in 2006, the year Lynn was in Toronto doing her Ryerson/York PhD coursework leaving me with the family dog, Stella, a Husky and a runner. These poems are what I remembered in 2006 of growing up, my old house, my new house, my family, my peers, my wish for a lakeside holiday. Boy is dedicated to my brother and sister, who had to cope with me as an interloper, born 10 and 8 years after they where making lives for themselves, and whose perspectives on those years may well be different. Their books remain to be written. This work is still a little too fresh for cute anecdotes, though I gave a killer reading at the Regina launch in May 2012 with the rest of the spring list.

 

***

 

“In the photo, mother and boy stand side by side, touching, watching the camera; maybe they’re still one. Two older children turn to look at them, perhaps in envy. The narrator imagines who he was, how he came to be—the text bleeds with guilt. His first memory is tinged with culpability; I am bad, I bit my mother’s breast. His second memory is one of fire; the Christian inheritance. The third memory already one of loss. He’s in his father’s garden, yes, but would prefer his mother’s house. What will you do when everything is already lost from the beginning. The end of the world threatens. The boy tries tricycles, tries ponies, but he cannot ride far enough. He finds some comfort in the cowboys cool water; he touches a girls breast. These poems remind me of the poems of Phyllis Webb, in the beauty of  their nakedness, in how little they give the reader, in how much few words can tell. It’s been said of Webb that her writing illustrates the transition of a poet from god-centered reverence toward freedom and self-realization. Surely, in this collection, that is both the narrator’s and the poet’s task; perhaps the reader’s as well. Read these poems; they will shake you.  — John Weier

 


 

Published by: Hagios Press
Purchase: McNally Robinson

 

 

In the photo, mother and boy stand side by side, touching, watching the camera; maybe they’re still one. Two older children turn to look at them, perhaps in envy. The narrator imagines who he was, how he came to be—the text bleeds with guilt. His first memory is tinged with culpability; I am bad, I bit my mother’s breast. His second memory is one of fire; the Christian inheritance. The third memory already one of loss. He’s in his father’s garden, yes, but would prefer his mother’s house. What will you do when everything is already lost from the beginning. The end of the world threatens. The boy tries tricycles, tries ponies, but he cannot ride far enough. He finds some comfort in the cowboys cool water; he touches a girls breast. These poems remind me of the poems of Phyllis Webb, in the beauty of  their nakedness, in how little they give the reader, in how much few words can tell. It’s been said of Webb that her writing illustrates the transition of a poet from god-centered reverence toward freedom and self-realization. Surely, in this collection, that is both the narrator’s and the poet’s task; perhaps the reader’s as well. Read these poems; they will shake you.  — John Weier


Published by: Hagios Press
Purchase: McNally Robinson


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