ditch,

the poetry that matters

Emily Paskevics

Emily Paskevics is a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal. Her most recent publications include essays in The Future of History and Imaginat(ions); short fiction in Young Voices; and poetry in Ascent, The Claremont Review, McGill’s Read This!, Shorthand (via Toronto’s Diaspora Dialogues), carte blanche (via the Quebec Writers’ Federation), and Black Heart Magazine. She has also collaborated with McGill’s “Poetry in Performance” project, and is a recent fellowship recipient for the Summer Literary Seminars International 2012.

Libra

“Motion and stasis gaze at each other in equipoise.”
-Annie Dillard


Breathless,

transfixed –

the scale tilts, shifts.
It won’t take much, now
to lose, to gain.

Equipoise, then,

or counterpoint? A fine
line, precision’s thread,
this threat

of tipping

right over the edge.

So don’t take more
than your fair share –  
measure

for measure,

find that reckless balance,
find the moment


out of time.





Counteract

A refusal of blood-rites,
denials of necessity
and pure reason.

Obedience,
this gagged sound.

Another cracked
glass. Stolen spoons.
A licked knife.

So the mind degrades.
The body

takes matters
into its own two
hands, open

mouth, and
insists silently
defiantly

on health.






Beneath the Clock

Pre-
       ponderance. Grim
eminence. This
            circumference
is familiar, first sketched
            and now paced. What
have you made here,
            and what have you made up?
These facts. The details. Shapes.
Predict

and preclude

these small things
long forgotten
            by an old memory.
Or are you about to say
            that you know something
I don’t? I think
            maybe not. So don’t speak.
You must never speak to me
            of what is lost.
And here I am,
            vigilant
beneath this measured absolute,
            this project defined
by the wide angles of time.
            The effect
            is a slow circuit
of clockwork particulars:
            the history, the momentary,

and now

the wait. The wait. The waiting
            here, for this 
for the last word        
                          on a life.

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                                                                                                                     June 16, 2012