the poetry that matters

Jeremy Stewart

Jeremy Stewart is a writer, musician, and arts organizer from Prince George, BC. He completed his English M.A. with distinction at the University of Northern British Columbia in 2010 and was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His creative thesis—an experimental, novelistic long poem entitled “In Singing, He Composed a Song”—was supervised by Dr. Robert Budde. Stewart’s (flood basement (Caitlin Press 2009), a collection of poems about growing up bad in northern BC, was shortlisted in manuscript for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry (2008), as were his “Indeterminate Accumulations” (2011) and “longing (fragments” (2012). He was 2007 winner of the Barry McKinnon Chapbook Award. His work has also appeared previously in ditch,.

pictures of women at a lake

pictures of women at a lake

paper placemats

“don’t worry,” C#m changes to A
slapped myself in the face so hard “don’t worry”
imaginary meth fiend              vandalized the parkade
the top             floor    you      will find the butts
of buttsmokes scattered without        thought
uneven side

used to be my friend when he had a   real name
girls get together         imagining
Kurt Cobain Burn Victim was his new name, new real name
she wants to work with youth

Northern Culverts       I-IV-V             II-V-I

clean dreams                                                               (like you would a deer

now it’s almost time to write the song
I contemplated it as an instrumental               now I see that is unnecessary
sitting up in bed, playing an unplugged electric guitar
scarcely wait until my time is

lying under the snow, totally dead

not true

black t-shirt     blue     walking           chasm              gas station       TV family
wrinkled, wrinkled clothes     about to out     grow them       selves

sunglasses stare blankly into bare ankles

hot pink day
doing it in the shower, okay? for crying out


cleaning a deer

a pretty girl with burn scars all over her arms
a busy kitchen filled with bloods & knives
soaking the knees of my jeans

don’t want to tempt you tempt you tempt you

heavily fucking armed children
pissing blindly
bicyclists reel in the night       twist handlebars

moldy books in pockets

a voice begins to speak           somewhere in the ducts
you won’t know you’ve been infected

piss on RCMP in the men’s john
shouldered aside         pardon mister
urine mist on plaster                dreaming endless blue tile       white grout      lines

eyes leaking black, expensive tears
to cost you something is what                        I’m talking about

having nightmares about what happened to her
is what I’m talking

“something bad is happening to me”
“something bad is happening to me”

so what if I      build a fire now

fingers getting slammed in the car door & I just have to stand there
having finally admitted that it is a poem I can
cry       & field-strip my AK-47 here at the kitchen table

someday I’m going to write a book about this shit
change my name

cleaning a deer
clean, clean

glowing green car in the vacant night             bandaged man behind the wheel
“he’s the only one I ever dream of out of all my exes”

seeing empty bedrooms fill with ghosts & turn to drug gang barracks
a bored-looking woman sitting in a velvet armchair wearing only socks reading a magazine

(the future of philosophy is the same as its past
& that is prose

what can be done to glorify God
I keep trying—

animals without names chase the horizon
smoking & suffering in an endless chain

swinging on the gate               songs to finish:

bodies rotting inside their clothes
what makes you any different?


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                                                                                                          March 28, 2012