the poetry that matters

Blair Trewartha

Blair Trewartha is a Toronto based poet, whose work has appeared in Carousel, Misunderstandings Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, InMyBed Magazine, The Saving Bannister, The Maynard, Guelph Speaks, and various online journals. His work is also forthcoming in Contempory Verse 2. He is a contributing editor for Misunderstandings Magazine, and an active member/co-host of The Vagabond Trust Reading Series. His first chapbook, Break In, was published by Cactus Press in 2010.

Coming Down

Blood-red numbers on alarm clock
flash the size of transport brake lights,
the furnace hums

My forehead burns like welder eyes,
t-shirt drenched through to sheets,
leaving me shivering
in the paradox
of breaking fever

She holds my scorched flesh,
gathers the most fragile parts of me
in the hopes I’ll sleep
before delirium 

In the morning I wake
in the puddles of body,
calved from whatever beast
held me last night—
skin tepid as pond water,
bones sober and cold


Fungus Gnats and Facial Hair

Tonight I spray the houseplants
                                                for fungus gnats
                                                                        until wings glue to backs
                                                                                                            and bodies lay motionless
                                                                        and drowned.

Abandoned, white larva embed in soil,
                                                twist and writhe into death
                                                                                              as thinly curled hairs
                                                                                                            fall black from my chin
                                                            like leaves.

Sanitized, I brush my teeth,
                                   contemplate the intricacies of growth,
                                                                                    facial hair and insecticide—
                                                                                                            flies swarming my bedside,
                                                                                                                           flightless and bald



3 days in a Korean Hospital

and my optic nerve
swells like the worms
of rotten potatoes
we call eyes
Tongueless stranger,
symptoms aphonic,
speech seeps 
into walls and windows
the way mold pulls colour
from spoiled fruit

Faceless, voices bend
behind curtains and gurneys,
flustered nurses
mutter in Hangul,
shot-gun prednisone—

a smile of sorts
sweeps across my face 



Hesitant hiss,
a muffled puff of flame,
            the hairs sprouting
                        from your knuckles – singed.

Inaudible fuck
clenched between throat and palate—
                        hand cooling beneath tap.

It’s dangerous,
this suppression of reflex,
            things we should have said
                        but didn’t—
                                     patterns imprinted on the brain.

And it will end this way –
syllable unvoiced,
            contraction of flesh and tongue—
                        a pain you will try to ignore.  


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