the poetry that matters

Sienna Tristen

Sienna Tristen is an artist, poet, and writer living in Toronto, where she studies Linguistics at York University. She works as Assistant English Editor of campus newspaper Pro Tem, and as a junior poetry editor for the literary journal Existere.


An Hour Later I Was a Sardine


He's stupid and lovely for staying up

'till slush dawn, heels dug stubborn

against sleep for five minutes of

warmth too soon torn like paper

middle-distance eyes and

weatherbeaten back

our walls breathe bleary confusion.        

                                'You don't have to.'

I am ripping my body from atrophy—

the salamanders in my back nest in

fresh coals, smoking limbs into motion,

little shivers and sobs leave bite marks

in my strength and run away

with their mouths full— padlock teeth

slam shut and lock entire skull

in place.

                                'I don't want to.'

Still and then writhing in the

fully-bloomed audience of the dark

I feel my faith frost over--

the clock spits its numbers out:

too late to reconsider

too late to follow through

no time no time no time.

                                'Tell me to go.'

A pause; a deep swimming breath.


I drop an anvil kiss on-hand,

slingshot from bed and tumble away.






Chocolate moths cluster in the cracks of gymnasium ceiling. I stare at them as Warrior One makes my muscles tremble. My throat may need scraping with a plastic spoon but my hip flexors will elasticize, in time. At this moment, the WBC Brigade is blazing blue silver, broadswords and dual pistols grasped in supple wrists. They are the finest unit the nation of my body has to offer. Arms akimbo they survey the dripping mess they've made - they remember its second cousins, who had also not wiped the mud from their shoes at the door and who had also been carved up, cannibalized. It is surprisingly Aztec of them. Wet forest smell and pine needle worms on pavement remind me why I love this place - warm wind at one elbow, Jethro Tull at the other, I traipse on home. Minty lemongrass is cradle for my cranium; green tea tongue is limbic lullaby. The WBC Brigade brings out the third battalion. (They are my immune system, if it was not clear.)





What It Looks Like Before It’s Pretty


                ‘never here.’
                ‘run away.’






One Hospital Cocktail Later


I used to walk up to people and try

to start a conversation but

they wouldn’t understand me

                                                                I feel like a vibrator.

                Sorry for dragging you out of bed(it’s fine)—

What if a guy got in a fight with

 an elephant, yeah, and the guy

 impaled himself on it?

                                                                Dress socks!

                E F P T O Z L E D P E C F D

The TRONicle adventures,

Tron Tron Troy LISTEN


                Sometimes I feel like such a burden(you’re not)—

I wanna watch Skins

                I feel homesick(homestuck?)—




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                                                                                                         May 29, 2013