Waking in the Preceding by Ali Blythe

Hello my forever ago, don’t worry,
you won’t be reading this much longer.

You will have already returned
in the body of a snowcloud

which is suggestively, fashionably,
only ever one second old.

Yes darling, it’s me, it says as proof
that in space, though there are many

silences, fleeting isn’t the opposite
of infinite, but its perfect match.

Stanching the muscle to work it.
A memory among many I hold

is you and another death-being
drinking cold windowsill

glasses of water, causing shivers
up and down the once two-thing

we say goodbye to by slowly undressing
from the wonderful softness of our own

gendery animalia. Let’s light
the end of a candle

with another longer candle
while we drift in the old ways

like these Jovian diffusions.
Remembering, remembering

your gathering body framed
by the door I ogle daily

as part of my reality of starving
on flowers and realism.

Though not wishing to answer
anything that thrusts too readily

toward any subject, I was once
helped to choose to never again use

I in which
I is not my first person.

Everything permutes
faster than you can imagine.

But in this kind of blindness
we will no longer surveil

we will no longer widely steer
toward avoidance, we will become

happy, satisfied and uplifted
communications professionals

like the back-of-office sunbeams
that set the cover to glow.

not constrained, by the past.

Childhood I might enter
if I could confiscate the adult sadness.

Adulthood I might enter
if I could confiscate the childhood sadness.

Outside this type of weather
the hare sharply dodges the dog then lifts

over the answer to the physical reconcilement
of its own questioning. Are we the physics

of our dreams? The ones that keep using
sadness for erotics. That isn’t said quite right

but I think you understand.
In the movement anyhow.


Copyright © Ali Blythe. Winner of the 2017 Vallum Award for Poetry and originally published in Vallum (15:1 “Memory and Loss”).


Ali Blythe is the author of Twoism and Hymnswitch. Blythe’s poems are published in literary journals and anthologies in Canada, England, Germany and Slovenia. He is the winner of the Vallum Award for Poetry, finalist for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award, and recipient of a Dayne Ogilvie honour of distinction from the Writers Trust of Canada. He lives in Victoria, BC.

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Vallum: Contemporary Poetry is a Montreal-based literary magazine. Founded in 2000, the biannual magazine publishes poetry, art, reviews, essays, and interviews by writers and artists from around the world. Our magazine and contributors have won some of literature’s highest honours, including Pushcart Prizes, the Governor General’s Award, National Magazine Awards, and more.

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