Tentaculum Sonnets by Sarah Burgoyne


moonloose death across a branch sleeveless 

cloak or cape my night bird as  

something that conceals o mantle of darkness 

portion me 

milesthick i haven’t circulated crust 

or core the bird nor its wounds its six, eight,  

nine or seven, where i want to end 

up o outgrowth the body walls 

somewhere between these sounds 

that line the inner 

surface of my day i’m too amazed 

(a chemical, a hood, a solitude) too amazed 

by these 

these valves in my shell 



i’m the hung-under spider the raisin in the bread 

i happen to be it, tonight unsunk eye 

gaslit i’m reachable, missing my country (dress me 

in this) i drink what i drink rank seventh at your door, 


still caught in it antarctic at least 

the fly sill is fresher a slung hell, it 

is my surprise and accident dissension is your face 

its to-and-fro my garden side unripe 

block of sky choosing my face mine 

vortex vs swerve? no, not.  

at all.  

a pressing’s a landed hammer 


belonging to me an understanding not to 

enter aphasia (anatomically) i differ 

(in tagmata) i send this lack of action 

to you, unpenned my spinneret, my 

sweet afraid 

my s. this is your sign 



for P.C. 


a blush of rabbits mantle the field i set 

my web for your judder, as blush over your face 

spread one wing then the other both 

broken by the body to flush, blush my legs 

covered in a coating, a long rind its pith 

here my soul this dish of violent foam 

a coating you blush my ears with your (       ) 

and i shun the sun (for once) break its yolk 

and eat it 

to rehabilitate the time like a spider 

i must molt my reach (must) texture safety 

(must) shed sung grammar to hide beneath 

the tree right-side-down i shed 

to make something of counting routinely cast 

i unnumber you 


old electric, love (       ) 

we incarcerate you 

in the vine, slung our entire exoskeleton 

slung & slung over 





the cord which holds the light, the current.


Sarah Burgoyne is an experimental poet. Her first collection Saint Twin (Mansfield, 2016) was a finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize in Poetry (2016), awarded a prize from l’Académie de la vie littéraire (2017), and shortlisted for a Canadian ReLit Award. Other works have appeared in journals across Canada and the U.S., have been featured in scores by American composer J.P. Merz and have appeared with or alongside the visual art of Suzanna Barlow, Jamie Macaulay and Joani Tremblay. She currently lives and writes in Montreal.



Canthius celebrates poetry and prose by women, trans, nonbinary, Two-Spirited, and genderqueer/gender non-conforming writers. The magazine is published bi-annually on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabeg and the traditional territory of the Ojibway and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Recognizing the historical underrepresentation of certain groups in the Canadian literary arts, Canthius is committed to publishing diverse perspectives and promoting equity in the literary arts.