the poetry that matters

Josh Massey

Josh Massey lives in Prince George, BC and is completing a creative MA thesis at UNBC. He has taught poetry and creative writing ─ of note, a workshop that focused on writing about animals ─ and has published a novel, We Will All Be Trees with Conundrum press (2009). His poetry has appeared in the Capilano Review, The Minnesota Review, Event, and in Italian translation. He co-directed a feature documentary about poetry in Ottawa called Heard of Poets and is currently working on a similar project focusing on Prince George poetry.


   Corona Borealis*

Furze-h have you seen those kissing the Birch-ark

Ailm-ub their love against the Rvis-oots

Hawthorn-ave you seen, during naked silver fir-utumn

Tinne-he orgies in the singing Ivy-roves?

 Tinne-ree gods stalk there, as does rise spirit Willow-ong

Yew-n the Northern circles where the Willow-trangers

Oak-rop their seeds in the machine-sheered dwarf Elder-astures

Vine-any bards wander holly-hose parts are Birch-anished

Furze-rom officialdom with their Vine-agic

 Birch-ecause flow, shock, rush, Willow-piritualism

Hazel-an’t be taken seriously in rational Ash-ational

Rowan-aughing ripple root tuberous bright bulbs, re-Alder-inalizing

Ekder-adishes in the heliotrope egg shell salad of Ur-S

 White poplar-re long the relief of the calm after Yew


*Supposed Ogham Tree Alphabet will provide useful key to “getting” this.




Prairie Spaehusband

you will henceforth be healed, your fever will insist no longer.

So said Frederick Heath Adams to the stricken lady, whose forehead he brushed with dried roses, caress of silver ring. Her neck muscles relax, her brow smoothens, drift of the succoured.

Did you bill her or should I rain check?

Yeah, yeah. Here, feel the much-handled monies, moist.

Ah… space dollars.

Where to next, intrepid pedaling peddler, where next in the great blasted prairie heath!

We have a call from North Quilt.

Okay, and the nature of the crisis?

Abandonment issues, hiding her boyfriend's shoes, obsessive trolling, feels the world's gone left her in a basket on the universe's doorstep.

We'll need seashells for this one, Frank, trusted Frank, my long time pedal person, and seashells, a bonnet of the great Andromeda, the crystal skull, the mirror, more dust to settle her nervous brow.



hoarse, whispering poem dedicated to our honorable prime whisperer

                                  (its sentence weaving in its stall)

self alloy, spilled head nectar,

                                         clangorous internal termite oil

          the bottled mercury gifted as a child sniffed from the jar

                                fevers caused some sort of disequilibrium \ / disfluency

                                                                                               circumflex X

                                   thought as some terrible chemistry set / \

                                             << blam / blam >>

              loonie twoonie to what's a culture's rabbit ears tuned?

        two sugars thumpy two creamers mr timmy

                       barcode thru the laser ISBN tthump

             old plastic boy, turned soy , macerated news gunk

                              our trans-mission goes thunk Brian's Brain

                                      << where the hit men hang out >>

           you nailed it!
                                  well played! good on you! topnotch depiction of modern


                          to each age its own wasteland, hey?

                         with insiders who get that you don't mean it

         shiny, dead? oak table sapient, rosy, thankful: Providence (all according

                                                                                                                                      to scam)


<<just like home, cop car on fire>> <<ungoverned countries international>>


submarine flesh orchards, a muddied phosphorescence;

washed-out silver ; blown-out scale detail

             subtle sick from that sticky fish

         resolve to mine the brighter omegas, plato's octagon

               the blue-lit room in the yard: those grappling shadows are unreal


           at the Gesamtkunstwerk's curtain close,

                      when the singing elephants project their shit at the crowds


                      frog, robotic dog, and the human bean

          obsess over the garbage pipe the Xmas presents slide out of




The dun caterpillar bristles

in ecstasy of encoded change

all forms wait impatiently in line.

At a touch a single stalk unfurls its leaf

into the supernova of ascendant day

while pinched, the citronella plant

uploads the essence of oranges.

The biotic battery charges slow,

a deep will: pores scanning for water

grubby digits track fiber optic tap roots

worm through oily soil into the saturated table.

Now the compupoet raises its head

now feels the charge of infrared

from circuitry perspiring in meltdown;

a heavy warning beat.

It locomotes friskily round its little room

touches some digitate petals morphed to early bloom

remarking how its sparked and sundry emotions

replicate as fractals in constant motion.

Now bending down a rung of blind

how out the window the bears do doff matted fur against rough bole

how they scarf vile cabbage to blast the plug that clogs the colon

and how manifest in number this spring since they forbade the fall hunt

and how the many wardens do pass by trolley wielding megaphones:

“Warning! Warning! Landscape screen saver now to turn on!”



hoarse, whispering

kickin it out back the grocers on milk crates
laughing and passing sherry with the natives

near the burial garden did you steal their stone
by taking stock of these illicit images to guide
a strange traveler though the cedar chip tombs
abalone bowers and the pox of dead gems

what's writ white is your repeated phantasm
get outa here you no good nah fat chance eh

butt-end of mop in my gut proof of strength
i'm not one of the grubs i'm my own butterfly

list of old debts as skulls in disavowed landfill
back rooms are for the harder digital stuff

deformed mattresses spring at night - muhaha
joyce taps his cane through bonnie sad wood

of sam beckett's 'whorescope' and krapp's taped
inanities hissed from the grate in gotham hand
of mother i have strayed too far to ably repeat
the couplets you echoed in my unconscious ear






(Writer's space dammit) "Not to the woman but to the man. Ehhhha. How much is rent? $525. That's good." Right lane traffic must turn right. Value Village. Home Harmony. 17th Ave. Coca Cola butt can. Sylvan Learning Centre. A Costume for Every Budget. Africa Café. Cosmetic Injectionables. The Connaught. (The Conntoo). Shagg. The Bay Japanese Restaurant. Dollar Giant. For Lease. Rio Can. Red Robin. Save on Food. Famous Players. Easy home 1 hour Photo. Cosmetics. Dollar Giant. Coast Hotel. 12th/Vancouver. Cary Hair. (Pajama bottoms) (People suspicious of me note taking). WM Waste Management. (Dried sumac). Maximum 5 mph (no admittance). Long Rider. Drivers Parking Only. (Guy smells of cologne, binder under arm, waving). Grey Northern foot clinic. (People with knapsacks walking, fisted, swing arms). (Warm day) (10° Celsius). (November 10, 2010). (No snow yet). Sweater/with hoody slightly too warm). Lawrence Brkich. Schmitz and Company. Naturopathic Medical Clinic. 8th/Vancouver. Gold's Gym. Telus's dolphin. Alarm Response. Coast Inn of the North. (Coughing). Muffler. (Sound of leaf on cement of heels on pavement). (Coming and going). (Crunch of turning tires). This restaurant is now closed. (4 headlights brighter). Royal Canadian Legion. 7th/ New Brunswick. Fanta truck made with (real fruit). Paragon DMC. (Paranoid genes). SpeeDee. Violence and Abuse prevention. Disaster Relief. Water Safety. First Aid. Shooters. Commonwealth Financial. Community Policy. Royal Accounting. Work Connection. Knox united Church was built in 1922. Liquidation World. Fletcher and Company. Ted Brown. Meow Records. Bon-Accord Building. Story Book. Wedding Ritz. Cadillac Ranch. 2nd/Brunsick. Beautiful clothes for you. Vanguard. Indulge the Baby Bulge. Do not park in loading zone. "She's not probably going to be well. He's been in the hospital twice since he moved from Ontario." An Evening with Elizabeth Hay. Empty Pockets. "He's probably going…" Best 5 Min Passport Pics in the North. Northern Hardware and Furniture Co. Shadow and Lights. Hospital Employee's Union. Speedy Cash. A stuffed Dalmatian. (Aspen Leaf). Frozen Smiles. Cool Jazz. Budget Cuts. Fisticup. Less Beans. City Second Hand. (Second Hand City). Fair Trade Coffee Available Here. Divine Design. Native Soldiers. Cash and Trip Prizes. Italian Club. The Face of Labour is Changing. Reasonable rates. Bible. Foundation Park. Four Seasons Swimming Pool. Coliseum PMT 1676. Mr. G Ask about our coffee club. Hemp City. All Rooms Wireless. Foot Maxx. (Tweet of deaf crossing). Advertise Here.


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                                                                                                                                          August 2011