waste knot, knot away by Dale Tracy

Poetry Pause spotlight with above/ground press

Name: waste knot, knot away by Dale Tracy Poem: They can’t decide on the final step. For Away Knot, they find a coinbox telephone. In the coin slot, they place the end of a red thread and hit the coin return knob until the phone is woven a new heartline, swerved inside its circuits. They pull the second end from the coin-return bucket and tie it to the armoured cord. They hold the handset, push the buttons. The call cannot be traced. For Waste Knot, in an alley they leave sacks of buttons—wooden, gilt— carrying cut threads in knots and ends. In exchange, someone will deliver the message. We have your paisley. End of Poem. Credits: reprinted from The Mystery of Ornament, above/ground press (2020) Dale Tracy, a contract faculty member, is an assistant professor in the Department of English, Culture, and Communication at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. She is the author of With the Witnesses: Poetry, Compassion, and Claimed Experience (McGill-Queen’s, 2017); the chapbooks Celebration Machine (Proper Tales, 2018) and The Mystery of Ornament (above/ground, 2020); and the chapoem What It Satisfies (Puddles of Sky, 2016). She received an honourable mention in Kalamalka Press’s 2019 John Lent chapbook award contest, and her poems have appeared in print and online publications like The Goose, Touch the Donkey, The Week Shall Inherit the Verse, Gatherings, Dusie, and Chaudiere.

above/ground press is an Ottawa-based poetry chapbook press edited/published by rob mclennan, now celebrating twenty-seven years of continuous operation, having launched its first titles way back on July 9, 1993. above/ground press has produced more than one thousand publications-to-date, including some four hundred-plus single-author poetry chapbooks and three hundred and fifty single-poem broadsides, and currently produces the quarterly journal Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], and occasional journals The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T [a journal of guest editors]. Over the past decade or so, the press has been managing some seventy single-author chapbooks a year, providing an exciting mix of Canadian and international authors, emerging and established poets, and experimental and visual works alongside the more traditional lyric, mailing irregular packages as part of both a subscription base and as individual orders. There have been two full-length decade roundups produced-to-date as trade editions—Groundswell: the best of above/ground press: 1993-2003 (Broken Jaw Press, 2003) and Ground Rules: the best of above/ground press: 2003-2013 (Chaudiere Books, 2013)—with a third anthology scheduled for 2023 with Invisible Publishing. The host of The Factory Reading Series, founded January 1993, above/ground recently extended its reach into a new online venture: periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics and ‘virtual reading series’: https://periodicityjournal.blogspot.com/. The press moves where the editor/publisher’s interest move, as well as where his energies might allow. Where might we go next?