the poetry that matters

Josh Stewart

Josh Stewart is a Mississauga writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Carousel, Existere, ditch, The White Wall Review, The Nashwaak Review, Jones Av, and others. His chapbook Invention of the Curveball was released with Cactus Press in 2008.

Telephone Sickness

words wrinkle and twist                                         static through bruised wires,
            as the gap between                                                      transmission and reception stretches,
our breathing deepens                                           and this connection gives us nothing
            but faint, echoing signals --                                     like nerves gone numb
not enough                                                                  to keep us going.

            do we return to                                                            the comforting loss of
the dial tone,                                                               memory turned to rust,
            and the final confession                                            missing in this tangled coupling.
somewhere in your voice                                      there is an apology for
            the distance between                                                 our dreams and our lives
our visions                                                                   not colliding
            the illusions we cherished                                       dissolving like a murmured goodbye
spoken thoughtlessly                                              before the click of disconnection.

Blazon For Language

words fray like                                                         tendons rubbed against the smooth
            tendrils of ragged meaning,                            intersection of joints,
a fluttering tongue snaps uneasy                     bones of vague significance
            syllables in the air                                              like an ex-ray’s haunting glow.

then there is connection                                     between the body’s symmetry and
dense, unyielding folds of                                   substance, new constellations emerge in
            language rising to                                              clarity like a face breaking
the surface,                                                               a sudden smile.

despite the shift in meaning,                             the bruises punctuating skin
            there is no doubt the gaps                              remind us of sacrifices made
between feeling and expression                      and the wounds that words inflict are
            beginning to fade like                                       old scars,
sentiment                                                                  and grievance.


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                                                                                                                                      May 7, 2011