Doyali Islam's second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from this lyrical and innovative collection have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and Best Canadian Poetry, and have won several national awards and prizes. Doyali serves as the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and lives in Toronto. In 2017, she was a guest on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition. Recently, she and Anne Michaels discussed language, form, beauty, and empathy in CV2 magazine (Spring 2019), and she and Forrest Gander discussed grief, art-making, and poetry ethics in The Adroit Journal (Issue 27).
poem for your pocket
what my pockets have kept over seasons: beyond reason to one mass grave, one mass
silence. still, one silence his overcoat
coffee change. house keys. ttc tokens.
pocket would not keep: eighteen months
emptiness and silence and my ungloved passed before his wife unpacked that pocket
reticent hands. poems. thoughts of miklós of earth––rifled through corpses, clothing––found
what remained. it was love. love rifled through
radnóti––he who hid in his pocket
miklós's silences––love gave his damp
a thin notebook on his forced march towards last pages back to sunlight's keep. oh yes
death in some unallied forest. yes, it was love announcing in him, i
forced will find my way to you, i will come back.
after w.s. merwin
i'm listening to a youtube interview the moon of his forehead, hair white as the
of the poet w.s. merwin. ermine whose fur belongs to winter's own
two davids are with him as he recites coat, i know i will rewind this over
"homecoming"––the one about the plovers, and over––by which i mean re-wind it.
half their weight gone to get them home, heaving for a moment, the kitchen has stopped
their yearning and as the notes rise from his its cleavings, the tv from afar its war
throat like dark, curving, plangent wings against and oil, hunger and fire. hunger, and fire.
Excerpted from heft by Doyali Islam. Copyright © 2019 Doyali Islam. Published by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.