Blair Trewartha currently resides in London, Ontario where he edits poetry for the collective Anstruther Press .
He is the author of two chapbooks: Break In (Cactus Press, 2010) and Porcupine Burning (Baseline Press, 2012), and his first collection of poetry, Easy Fix, was published by Palimpsest Press in 2014 and shortlisted for the Relit Award.
Blair's most recent publication, “Breach,” received honourable mention in Arc’s 2016 Poem of the Year contest.
Beaches Park (Victoria Day, 2015)
In crumpled leaves, gnats gnaw the backs of burnt necks
waiting for fireworks. We don’t worry about an eclipse
yet ‘career’ is a hurtling rock we never counted on.
Fear of overcast, constant tease of rain.
Everything sealed above will always hold,
but it won’t let us stray far from store fronts and awnings.
You worry about burn out and the intangible,
that we’ll never have a normal night again.
But that’s what saves me from my imagination,
that circus where it locks, where we ride cabs like battering rams
to hospitals, long swords singing the wood-splinter of our entrance.
Soon in this park, they’ll begin to blow things up.
Families will keep their kids up too late to watch that first crack
and flare—waves flopping onto shore, dark blue long gone
from the water. I think of that beach in Newfoundland that’s losing
all its sand. Shadows we can’t angle without the sun.
On those darkest nights to come, meet me outside the NICU.
Or let me hold you in front of our hatchback when you lose the keys.
How many nights will you open someone up, pull fresh hands and feet
into the room with you? How often, when everything goes blue,
will you return something no one even had yet?
The first one is lit. Spiral of yellow buckshot—confetti fire
snuffing out across the lake. I read somewhere that Orcas are learning
to beach themselves for a kill. Two weeks each year, their bulging bodies
breach a mere sand-dune away from suicide, wiggle back to blue-depth
before they’re trapped. I’ll bet that’s a trick we could learn
if it comes to that.
Year in Review
I don’t know where to turn stones
or make faith, but I ache too.
We’re a YouTube clip away from lockdown,
those polyester boys are watching
body parts flop in the dirt,
montage of punched-out pedestrians,
the man from Montreal who pulls
his lover apart like Play-Doh.
The night belongs to frat boys now.
Hallelujah, a pregnant pause
in a church service. Things that fly
are never hollow until they hit the ground,
a billboard from an office window, reading:
jus ad bellum. Across this continent,
a thunder of batons. Brass raining down,
everyone caught holding umbrellas.
I’ll give you snow, but that’s it.
You can love it like a jug of Javex,
the only thing we’ve got
that cleans up everything.
Just remember your daily commute,
constant refrain of the streetcar at dusk:
sick as a dog, off meth for two weeks,
sick as a dog, sick as a dog…
I too want to preserve something beautiful,
but art and fossils are like Beanie Babies
and copper wire, the root and loot of plunder.
It’s the only thing we’re good at.
Time Lapse of a City
Across the city someone wraps
a lit apartment around their shoulders,
reads a book until
the last word is sleep.
A doctor grips the steering wheel,
pulls a scalpel from beneath the seat
and prays for the next red light,
a sudden traffic jam.
An engineer spreads his wings
and jumps. Telemarketers still
dial their Mothers’ numbers
at the start of every shift.
Somewhere a man forgets
his address at Starbucks
and sits for hours, body
pressed up to the window
until he’s baptized.
Somewhere loud music hits
and the city becomes a flock of pigeons,
cooing. An entire world
with its ducks
in a row. Feathers brushing
against feathers for warmth.