the poetry that matters

Jay MillAr

Jay MillArJay MillAr is a poet, editor, publisher and bookseller. He is the author of The Ghosts of Jay MillAr (2000), Mycological Studies (2002), False Maps for Other Creatures (2005) and the collection the small blue (2007). Recently he published a collaborative 'novel' written with Stephen Cain titled Double Helix (2006). He lives in Toronto with his wife Hazel and their two kids Reid and Cole, where he currently runs BookThug, an independent literary publisher, and Apollinaire's Bookshoppe, which specializes in the books that no one wants to buy.



Of broken or scarred things:

some love or other is

what we should accomplish. I

guess. And if you happen

to fall may the air

be thin or the ground

be a softer thing than

you imagine. Take this conceptual

sparkplug and close it up

for the night. Tag theory:


You're it. Now you can

chase me down some fascinating

morose umbrage dialectic on toast

mistaken for a mixed green.

Do this or that to

pressure the common fire, take

what we can and move

on through the delicate sunlight's

woven quick kick to the

solar system's dreamy gonad. I


am all that and more,

and so request your love.

Shall it lead me wondering

by the hand to the

assumptions we call home, or

upon an instance slip free

focus into a moment of

mitosis for all? Face the

facts, darling. Anything you say

is guaranteed to come back


and bite you in the ass.

Good thing I'm going to

die. Good thing you're going

to die. Then everything can

get back to normal. This

is an advertisement for a

few friends. Please drop me

a line — I feel so

lonely depressed filter remnants linger

upon my own sense of


unbelievable circuitry: yes, the circular

gates are wide but wider

still are the gutless wonders

who inhabit this town. When

will I feel I belong

with them? Or they to

me? Probably when my wicked

have been lined up and

shot by my gloomy happiness

fascists. But I suppose when


it's cooked it'll look a

little different. If life is

as existential as all that

why must I put up

with such tedious bullshit all

the time? Everywhere I turn

humans are plastic egocentric fuckers

like me — our demands are

petty, small, and extraordinarily pointless —

dry cough of the six


year old in the next

room goes on and on —

he won't drink a glass

of water to ease my

discomfort. O still thy fingers

O chalkboard of normalcy! Imagine —

there is something wrong with

poetry. I am drinking. I

am drinking. I am drinking

black coffee with withered flowers


and I tell my withered

flowers there is something wrong

with poetry. And they wither

away. So I tell my

withered flowers I have nothing

to say. If the gates

of heaven are simply closed

because they are considered cliché

the weight of my sadness

is more immense than the


efforts some conscious being made

to string words together in

a machine. So shut up

already. Shut up and fuck

me — I need something that

has a little how you

say pizzazz in it. Pretty

soon it'll be years later —

I'll be remembered as the

guy who stuck it to


the man — I'll live in

a pit on the edge of

town where it's quiet and dark

and I can finally think.

I talk with what's left

of my god and eat

meals through a straw. Each

weekend I'm visited by my

feelings. During the week I

type poems on their behalf.


Excerpt from:



Lack Lyrics

by Jay MillAr

BookThug, 2007

Used by permission

click here to puchase from BookThug

Imagine the conflictual aesthetic that might arise out of being downsized from what essentially amounts to a dead-end job you don't find particularly meaningful. One day at work you begin to e-mail yourself nasty little messages that accumulate into poems containing all sorts of things you wish you could say, but can't. The only outlet you have is the poem, and you understand how unfortunate that is, how useless it is, but that's all you have. And then one day you go into work and it's your last day, and you shake your employer's hand good-bye, and you leave. And that's it. All you have left are your poems.

ISBN 1897388071; np [40 pages]; Stapled into printed wrappers. Cover drawing by C. Millar.


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