the poetry that matters

Sandy Pool

Sandy Pool is a writer and classically trained theatre artist who lives in Toronto. Sandy holds a degree in Theatre and English from the University of Toronto, as well as a Master's of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She is the winner of both the Constance Rooke Scholarship In Creative Writing and the Sharon Drummond Scholarship in Creative Writing. Her work has been published in many literary journals across Canada including The Antigonish Review,The Capilano Review, Contemporary Verse 2, dANDelion, The Fiddlehead, Filling Station, Grain, and Sub-terrainShe has been shortlisted for the Matrix Lit Pop award and has been recently supported by a Writer's Work In Progress grant from the Ontario Arts Council. She has also been anthologized in TOK: Writing The New Toronto.

Sandy also writes Opera librettos, and has been comissioned by Tapestry New Opera Works. Currently, Sandy teaches writing at Humber College, and is also working as a voice-over artist for productions in Canada and the United States. Her fist book of poetry "Exploding Into Night" was released with Guernica Editions in December. 

The Tick

Here is swiftsuck of tick. Bloodthirst;
fractured cells of light. Blastula empties
itself of your tirades, presses into
soft pluck of skin. Never
satisfied, the hollow seed case of bone
forces her out, enrages her impossibly
ruby hull. The excess of calculi
drives her forward. Copernicus, abetted.
Abysmal heart thud, undeniable thought
of excess, or death burrows her further. 
All contradict, lumbers to the only home
she knows; swift drink, thin shock of iron. 

Catholic dinosaur coliseum. The kind of place
tick likes to find the time before they
go under and away, where their watches
still tick. Inevitable chivalrous hearts
finally stopping all together, moving aghast
against the light, dying. Butterfat critter
moves in, centering between asilomar antennae,
stopping to evaluate loose folds, multiple
horizons. Milky landscape of dreams, leans
towards the small of the back, breakwater spine,
smells decay and all the life
sucked out. 

Here is tick, mutinous and strange. 
All bone and body, sucker and 
seethe, serious as a conjectural
acrobat, canny as a croupier
dealing and not dealing the cards. 
She seduces with puckered lips,
hiss excruciating; you were going to
say perfectly rhythmic abdomen
scent of frangipane sweeping
air. She knows something
about the quick lunge, empty as

At night tick dreams tick dreams, the kind of
dreams of Baghdad belladonnas; wars fought
to save from the inevitable crush; demise of
hesitant vampires. All  salt and suck, nights
of crawling out and away finding only
seersucker suits, endless waves of cotton.
Consternate bulrush, the dull throb; unmediated
anchor of recurved teeth, cutting mandible. 
When tick sleeps she is only briefly asleep. 
Night mare-ish as an argument. When
tick speaks with the universe she says:
I take only what I need, no more.

A Study of Bird Song
-with text incorporated from A Study of Bird Song,  published 1963


Bird Utterance as Language

                   To recognize a rival by its song. 
                  Graceful as a neck, makeshift
                  plumage. Do not tell me about love,
                  augmented sound. It’s syntax
                  I want,  gesture, the old territorial


                                                                                             Belligerent threat.  One cock
                                                                                             crowing. No response.

Acoustic Communication and the organs involved

                  To sing, whole-heartedly and without regret. If
                  evolution has followed this path we may suppose
                  that song, like visual display, is the product of
                  conflicting impulses. Song and display

                  may be


                                     as resultants

                                     of the
                                                             transference of conflict

                                                                                         from the environment to within.

                   amateur birder

                                                can note the difference,

                                                                                                                 the predatory


(iv)       Vocal Mimicry

               There are many imitations. To deny
               this would be denying the existence
               of God, thin brush of wind. Your
               terrible silhouette retains  its outward
               notions, honest as a killdeer, pleading.

                                                  Apparently, birds may learn mimicries not only
in a state of emotional rapport but in the contrary
                                                              emotional condition.

Songs For Haters

Let us imagine ourselves differently.
Our hearts, primordial. Small as stones. 

Shuck the past, sleepless as dead skins, 
sunken ships. It is not love so much

as the evaporation of despair,
the sudden unchanging tune ;

I cannot forgive
I cannot forgive
I cannot forgive

May the city bury you alive.


             a pillar of salt. 

                                      Let me make this

             perfectly clear:

                         I never worried about

                                                   the outcome.


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