By Deirdre Maultsaid
//Things I love:
Bacardi drunk young men
still boasting, lips sloppy
pickups that roll out,
up, over, before, still, after, then.
Black ice car fresheners swaying and clacking.
Sulphur, tang, copper, damp.
The lonely sight
of cedar bough underbellies.
Things I dreamed:
Primal brutal damp,
a sick tick tock,
the shock that time was black. Continue reading
//Ruthless, the sun shone:
ironing, scorching root and stem.
Its muscles flared, a genderblind juggernaut.
Suburban, possessed, the lilacs whisper.
In the shadowless nought—
on the soulless gravel—
I could see
the rocket hulk of the red Camaro.
by Deirdre Maultsaid
From This crisis, these blessings: essays by Deirdre Maultsaid (Trafford Publishing)
First appeared in Canadian Woman Studies, Vol. 22, Summer, 2003
I am a washerwoman standing on unstable ground.
I see all in its proper place: aquifer, granite, dust,
sideyard, water pump,
a basin full, my own brawny arms,
my washboard-abraded hands still wringing.
Work is its own reward.
Be careful: contemplation could bring grief.
The world is.
The world does not know me.
Ada Williams says of her work, “The summer I was 15, I went up to Halifax and earned a few dollars. I found a job doing housework, where I had to wash a huge pile of clothes every day while the mistress sat and watched me. I stood it for one week, and left. She refused to pay me anything and was very angry. I went down to the waterfront and got on Cat Weston’s vessel and started for home… Continue reading
//Angel, darling, you have such wakefulness, pacing with your burnt tallow, passing another anniversary watching the clock hands stroke away meaning. I know: all shall perish. Look. There is the shadow of God, the disenchantment of the world, the sharp tools of those who wish to be amputated, to exalt their fake sick and sick love, to tell the stories that Continue reading
//“All I have is sniper thinking;
I am calling out from between the rocks…”
Read poem here
If Nostalgia were religion
Originally published in Contemporary Verse 2: 33(3), 2011
//I would return to that time,
to see my mother, a giddy señora,
holding aloft a baked globe of rare black clay,
standing among bowls all tilted to her kind of heaven,
my brother and sister duned up, wan and thirsty, under the cactus,
my mother’s own black hair, dusty,
her hands honouring a craft
as she always honoured and adorned it.
My mother pointing to a yellow bird in a cage
trilled “high up in banana tree”
so the song was a skirl in my mind.
Oh, so this is joy—
its silly lady heart,
its canary beauty, Continue reading
//As the mist rises on the stony path
we take our bearing on the golden bell tower
the heather our diviner.
We tell our dreamy story.
I am a pilgrim collecting souls; she is a pilgrim
you are there too, gathering light Continue reading
//You could be a true God’s whore.
You could be a Flirty Fish, showing the love,
witnessing, and winning others into the kingdom.
You could halve a pear and paint a still life–bronze and ovoid.
You could haul the slow way down Chuckanut Drive,
the winding highway reminding you
to never eat again for the sorrow and sparks inside,
ending because of the fervorless man,
the blank pear of his face, Continue reading
//”It is not all ripe oranges delicious mangoes…” –> read poem
Deirdre Maultsaid (she/her) is a queer writer based in Vancouver, Canada. Her writing is rich, and provocative.