the poetry that matters

Margaret Christakos

Margaret Christakos is a writer in Toronto, originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She has published seven collections of poetry and one novel. Her poetry includes: What Stirs (just out September, 2008), Sooner (2005, nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award) and Excessive Love Prostheses (2002, winner of the ReLit Award for Poetry), all from Coach House Books. Earlier collections are Wipe Under A Love (Mansfield, 2000), The Moment Coming (ECW, 1998), Other Words for Grace (Mercury, 1994) and Not Egypt (1989). Her novel Charisma (Pedlar, 2001) was shortlisted for the Ontario Trillium Award. She has also authored several chapbooks: Something Inside Me (In Case of Emergency Press, 2007), Adult Video (Nomados, 2006), Retreat Diary (Book Thug, 2006) and My Girlish Feast (Belladonna, 2005). She was Canada Council Writer in Residence at the University of Windsor in 2004-05. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program of the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and has on occasion taught elsewhere, with WIER, Glendon College and OCAD. Since 2006 she has facilitated the cultural project “Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon.” A short film based on her poem Girls Girls Girls was made by filmmaker Shana MacDonald in 2007; in recent years she has been involved in other collaborative and interdisciplinary projects and events. She lives with her partner and their three children in Toronto.

There is no we.



While I was waiting, you may think I have forgotten you.

In this case we hurriedly move to efface the words you and I.

After the past festers imaginings built on its purity.

Everyone slips.

There’s crust.

Fortunately cities are large striped with busy.

Few speak of crosslights.

Or are these critics?

Recently I heard about writers who intend to disappear in their texts.

Another wanted to mount a novel civilization.

Both feel regal.

You may think I have forgotten you.

Is memory assiduous?

Is an image named you only the efficient clamp in whose tough metal I insist my own gloss?

For example I see you at the market with one arm raised to manage the weight of a bag of onions.

The seller nods and with a slight push passes.

Very economical.

See how closely I spy how promptly I reappear.

Does a beloved matter?

You load your onions into a dark cloth knapsack and from now on you are carrying significant organic yet hidden weight on your completely darling spine.

I was such a shit I mince and observe from the rear.

At the intersection strangers produce near-eraseable gestures of notice.

One’s iris squeezes as if around the post of an earring.

One’s lower lip demi-lowers.

One’s suck.

One’s freeze.

Then forget it everybody jerks and walks their ear plug cords bob spritely.

It’s not that I need to meet you.

Why would I need to meet you?

Possibly affection crusts over.

I pay with my bank card at the confectionary no one resorts to speaking.

There’s a statement in the mail.

Such good bedtime stories.

Transactions recoverable for ease of.

But somebody must snooze.

Imagining’s slips.

So the thing is while I sleep even my head is silent and we have no record of what or how I may have dreamed of you my revenant.

Onions are anguish, that’s common coding.

Me piling such on your spine, ever wishful.

Off balance.

You just slice them up to cook.

I have forgotten.

It’s all that’s needed.

There is no darling we.





Few speak of crosslights.

Sometimes it is kind.

Crusts of bread slush up the curb.

I have ardent cramps.

For anyone who doesn’t this can be ridiculed.

Will you participate?

In ridicule?

Have you asked this of your own torso?
So one day the weight of very nice onions slowed you in the bike lane.

Somehow a kid stumbled.

This was in a video game.

Near collision.

You braked to avoid forming a we on the black pavement.

Suddenly ohs.

Suddenly eyes ricochet crazy.

There are writers who record the appalling actions of the G8.

Another one excavates.

One gouges.

Some of them really like metaphors for their main course.

We hurry to lift the boy back into his sneakers.

Imagine the strange violence of the virtual moment these shoes dislodged.

Can you resume your bike route?

I hurry with my panier half-open.

Of course if even a little it is open.

So how I hurry involves an open panier and a wind entering.

In this way me.

Adequate force is even breezes.

I feel this and no one else has to feel this ever or in the video game for me to feel this on my face.

There is no required we.





Cubed then translucent.

It’s luck.

Slips to particles.

Hidden under a bed and dust which is pretend in Sims City.

I pretend a lot of stuff about you.

Rotate your earring posterior.

Somebody retaliates with a cross check across the kneecap.

I push my credit card into a stranger’s fly.

Ismem or yassidu.

Yes perhaps it is all right to admire sestinas.

One counts vowels.

One’s grammar.

Gut real irrelevant in the mailbox for several bucks.

Forget we averaged how I waited, all my waiting for not you but some images of you I like to pretend are congealing in the bar fridge.

That’s the main confession.

Traffic lamps flicker seem to lick.

It’s most obvious production.

We is no enigma of note I get it.


Torso your.

These are only onions.

This was even compost.

Larding is the event of we.

But you will gather.



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