Slam Sunday: “Justin Bieber Owes Me a Toonie” by Matt Loeb

Back in 2005, in the humid, sweat-between-the-shoulder-blades Ontario summer, I gave a toonie to a little blond busker out in front of the Festival theatre in Stratford. Was it Bieber? I can’t be certain.

Matt Loeb, who recently guest posted on my blogwho recently guest posted on my blog, has a true gift for humor and it shines in this poem about one of Canada’s most infamous artists. Do I like Justin Bieber? Do I hate him? I’ll never tell.

I will say, though, that I kept accidentally typing “Justin Biever” when I was writing this up.

Poet’s website: http://www.mattloeb.com/

Poet’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/thatmattloeb

 

You, Me and a Shotgun

You, me and a shotgun

Six gage rage

Pointed at the floor

Six shots

(loaded barrel)

Two shots

(bang bang in the chest)

One shot

Run.

 

Click.

 

You, me and a shot gun

Revolver

Like a cycle

Revolving, revolving

Like the door I can’t take.

 

Click.

 

It’s a colt

Because I can’t run like one.

 

Click.

 

You, me and a shotgun

Blood in mouth disease

I can taste your screams already

Willing to spend the next 25 to life

Cleaning my life’s carpet

Red from the moment we met

 

Click.

 

Thoughts shift like gears

Exploding like powder

Never, right

I’m never right

Never trust

No, not myself

Click click

We’re going down together.

Slam Sunday: “Something You Might Not Know About Canada” by Ian Keteku

Tongues sharper than genius, that put the punk back in punctuality that bite at whatever, whomever, who care

Welcome to Poetry Month! This month, I will be focusing on Canadian poets. This poem comes from the Strombo show, a talk show from the great white north. In this poem, Ian Keteku examines Canadian spoken word poetry in the way that only a Canadian spoken word poet can.

Poet’s website: http://www.ianketeku.com/

Poet’s twitter: https://twitter.com/ianketeku

 

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My Poetry Journey

Kelsey J. Mills

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”

-Audre Lorde

To extrapolate from Audre Lorde, I believe that to write poetry is to be an agent of change, and therefore to be a poet is to have little metamorphoses over time. Poetry is a journey, not a destination.

Last year I talked about my journey as a poet, starting from the very beginning. I’d like to continue talking about my journey as a poet. And it counts for Canadian Poetry Month because I’m Canadian and a poet. 

goose2 Prepare for geese. That is all.

Like most writing, with poetry one must read in their genre in order to improve. As I’ve grown as a poet, I’ve been reading more deeply into poetry. I…

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Stage.

All the world’s a stage, my friend.

And this is the part where the negativity both coagulates and dissipates.

Where the people who cursed your name and made jokes about your   .

This is the part where they sing your praises

Because everyone else is.

I think the irony is lost this time.

It’s lost somewhere between who you really were and who you pretended to be.

It’s lost in the places in between,

But that’s okay because I know, you lived there.

I know, because I live right next door

And if I look out the window I see the residue on your windows,

You forgot to clean them before you left.

Just like I think you forgot that getting better isn’t just about rehabilitation and therapy,

It’s about tearing yourself open and trying to figure out where the screw loosened and where the wires crossed.

It’s about falling down sometimes but that’s okay.

You pick yourself up and wash the dirty needles and find another place to put them

Because this can’t be the way anymore.

But you can say you tried.

What can they say.

All the world’s a stage, my friend.

And this is the part where the negativity both coagulates and dissipates

Because no one has a script for this.

 

Dedicated to creative people who died by their own hand: may the angels remember you. 

 

My Favourite Poems: “Todesfuge” by Paul Celan

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening
we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night
we drink and we drink
we shovel a grave in the air there you won’t lie too cramped
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are all sparkling, he whistles his hounds to come close
he whistles his Jews into rows has them shovel a grave in the ground
he commands us to play up for the dance.

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
Your ashen hair Shulamith we shovel a grave in the air there you won’t lie too cramped

He shouts jab the earth deeper you lot there you others sing up and play
he grabs for the rod in his belt he swings it his eyes are so blue
jab your spades deeper you lot there you others play on for the dancing

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday and morning we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margareta
your aschenes Haar Shulamith he plays his vipers
He shouts play death more sweetly this Death is a master from Deutschland
he shouts scrape your strings darker you’ll rise then as smoke to the sky
you’ll have a grave then in the clouds there you won’t lie too cramped

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland
we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue
he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margarete
he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air
he plays with his vipers and daydreams der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete
dein aschenes Haar Shulamith
 

I’ve recently been getting into poetry written at the time of the World Wars and the Holocaust, and this is one of my favourites. This poem was likely written by Paul Celan in 1945 and published in 1948. The poem was originally written in German and is based on a form of musical composition called a “fugue”. The poem is not based on the poet’s own experiences, but on stories told to him. It’s about the experiences of Jewish people imprisoned in concentration camps.

My personal favorite part of the English translation are the bits that were chosen to remain in German. I feel that this is a powerful reminder of the reign of terror that committed the atrocities of the holocaust, but also of the German citizens who were slaughtered based on their religion or race.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do.

 

-Kelsey J.