Jenny Berkel is a singer-songwriter and poet from rural Ontario.
In between playing concerts across the globe, Berkel studies at Western University.
Her most recent album, Pale Moon Kid (Pheromone Recordings), released in April 2016. While her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Literary Review of Canada, Occasus, and The Puritan’s Town Crier.
Want to know more about Jenny and her music? Check out: www.jennyberkel.com
You describe your body like a tick
microscopic view everything giant looking
for a way in
As if it is a thing meant simply
I want to pluck this
out of you crush it
between my fingers
The blood of your embarrassment
bursting beneath my thumb
Back when south meant oranges
and alligators and twenty-one long
hours in a boxy blue minivan, gas
stations springing up like oases
on the side of the I-95. A shift in
temperature with every stop, something growing
succulent in the air. Back when the bridge
arced across the border in a promise.
Back before oranges meant juicy
chemicals and alligators meant viral
videos and twenty-one meant legal
at last. Back before the north sprang
up like a star again, a shift swinging
at the wind again, something growing heavy
in the air again. Back before the border’s
underbelly claimed fingers and toes.
Back when we were still small
states in the country of our parents,
separate but the same.
Drink up. Drink down. A low light curls
around the building’s snow sloped roof.
The slatted blinds, the lines of time,
the grit, the thick, the half drunk cup
your hands around the coming hours
drink up, drink down, these holy flowers
that lily bloom in winter cast
of low light curled in slow white pearl
of petal trembling in the wake
drink up drink down the news it moves
all through the rooms the speaker croons
and casts itself in winter hues.
Drink up, drink down, drink up drink down
Up, down, up drink, down, up, down drink.