the poetry that matters


a.rawlings is a Canadian poet and multidisciplinary artist. The recipient of the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing (2001), angela has worked with many arts organizations, including The Mercury Press, Lexiconjury Reading Series, Theatre Gargantua, and the TV series Heart of a Poet. She also instructs text and sound workshops for the Toronto Public Library, Learning through the Arts, and Ryerson University.

Working with derek beaulieu and Jason Christie, angela co-edited Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury, 2005). Her first book, Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006), was featured in The Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of 2006; it went on to receive an Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Wide slumber was recently translated from page to stage for Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects in Toronto.

angela is currently researching sound, text, and movement, with special emphases on vocal/contact improvisation and acoustic ecology. She lives in Toronto.


for matt



Common names               Unable to sleep. Trouble falling asleep. Asleep. Dreaming. Disturbed

sleep. Waking up.


Taxonomic names          Insomnia. Dyssomnia. NREM. REM. Parasomnia. Arousal.

Size Wide.


Habitat                                On the floor of clover and lucerne fields near orchards and sallows,

willows and woodsheds. In attic beds and chairs next to communal webs.

On ground covered in bramble, raspberry, rocks.


Collection                           Polysomnography and paragraphs.


Range                                   Almost all night; often migrates.


Similar species                  Somnopterist.


Description                        a vocalized or unvocalized inhale on ‘uh’

hoosh ha vocalized or unvocalized exhale on ‘hoosh’ and ‘ha’

fl pronounced on unvocalized exhale, may be done in rapid succession

lu pronounced on unvocalized inhale or exhale, may be done in rapid


ch pronounced on unvocalized exhale, succeeded by sharp intake of

breath (or sucking in of spittle) ending in an abrupt plosive

ft.mp pronounced ‘ft’ on unvocalized exhale, pause, ‘mp’ pronounced as

vocalized swallow

x pronounced as ‘ks’, with the ‘s’ ending in an abrupt plosive

y pronounced as ‘ee’, with the ‘e’ ending in an abrupt plosive

z pronounced as ‘z’, with the ‘z’ ending in an abrupt plosive

vt pronounced on vocalized exhale, short and powerful explosions of air

tadra uh tadra tadra pronounced as vocalized exhale, unvocalized

inhale, unvocalized exhale; almost an alveolar trill and as

rapid as that

tup pronounced on unvocalized exhale, extremely rapid like a high hat

rOro pronounced as low growl on drawn-out vocalized inhale, ending

with a quickly punctuated high note








for lori nancy kalamanski



Hypnothrum of nightwords on lips, lips on thighs, legs twitch.



Deforms of sleep click of a switch sleep. Are we rounded or inhaling to sleep? Do we tail off the

hindwing? Count eggs to uncontrol. Count morphemes epsy epil narcol disp. Are our edges with

ropped isturbed angled sleed? Hypnagogia descension.noise agognee dena? deruid po tiw sero ra.

sidloc lippem pruot. nuos oc? niwila wo? elsot linre ra. elsiw fo els fo smod




Cryptic promin irregular nustle bodies nustle twisted, dead leaves eschen bodies left eschen

flattened bodies for the purpose of nustle being left cataplectic istle purposefully collapsed bodies

istle immobility nustle camou.nowac eltsnu htilipowwi eltsi seiqop qesballoc hllnfesobrnb eltsi

citcelbatac tfel guiep eltsnu fo esobrub eyt rof seiqop qeuettalf ueycse tfel seiqop nehcse senael

qaeq ‘qetsimt eltsnu seiqop eltsnu ralngerri uiworb citbhrC




Colortango. Bandoneon. Love-heat. Almosst ( )lit. Velvet. Drunk, so drunk off rotten fruit

couldn’t wake. No one, take two. A one a two. Slow slow quick quick slow and very slow

appendages verge on pale green, golden-spot. Body. Os and Ds. A rip a run, body outside body.

Humid-thick. Thirst. Consume. Ocho. rigt dim obedi tuo nur pira ... opsne gnee gela noe ... rev

segapa wols rev nawols ciu ... ciu swolsowt aenoa eka tenoone ti, ti ur tor foknur ... osk nur tegt

sumk, nur tevlev il ... somlatsae hevol noene na ...

trolo noen###

excerpts from:


B-side: rarities and remixes from Wide slumber for lepidopterists

by a.rawlings

published by Belladonna* Books (September 2006)

Bookmark and Share