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From the archives

The March of the Cheezie

Our snacks as a history of ourselves

Model Behaviour

A Haida village as seen in a windy city

Beyond the City Limits

Diversity and rural Canada

some words can make you weep,
when they’re uttered, the light rap of their
destinations, their thud as if on peace, as if on cloth,
on air, they break all places intended and known
—Dionne Brand, “Inventory”

there is magic, of course, and among the many magics there are
words — spell binders, but there is also sleight-of-hand,
and the magic of herbs, which perhaps a shaman
knows for healing, words
do not necessarily heal, they as easily arouse or wound
even when unspoken, their mere thought can cause hope
or despair to enter your soft heart
cowardly lion behind your rib cage,
some words can put you to sleep
some words can make you weep,
some without warning can make you laugh out loud or stun
you into silence, deafen or
dumb you
their abracadabra can weave spells,
change matter, make manna of it
it is as if words were
physical, which of course they are, sound waves,
they are not emotional in themselves,
but I suspect they care
when they’re uttered, the light rap of their
consonants, their vowels in place,
their very spelling important to them, I feel sure
they have their morphology as
you do, they insist
behind closed doors, felt-lined,
on tilde and circumflex, that there is worth
in orthography and there is worth
in geography as well — for words, that is
words correctly spelled have, in truth,
destinations, their thud as if on peace, as if on cloth,
is so quiet, so light the heart could turn to stone
from such unbearable lightness
only shamans can know the magic of weights
only shamans the exact order of letters in a name or a place,
how to spell them right
but when the words have flown
as if they were birds
or a child’s kite with a tail on a string,
or when they float down
on air, they break all places intended and known

P.K. Page writes: “I find the glosa form intriguing, from the initial search for four stealable lines, to the almost crossword puzzle-like execution of the poem itself. A new book of glosas is my ongoing project. I have recently published a book of essays, The Filled Pen: Selected Non-Fiction (University of Toronto Press, 2006) and a book of short stories, Up on the Roof (Porcupine’s Quill, 2007). Forthcoming: Jake the Baker Makes a Cake, a children’s play in verse.

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