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From the archives

Referendum Trudeau

He campaigned in poetry but governed in prose

Rinkside Reading

What does hockey’s literature say about the sport?

Alarm Bells

Fort McMurray and fires hence

Vanity Fair’s Lucian Freud


marathoning into the night — only so many brushstrokes

left — terre verts mixed with umber — swift swipes

of flake white


brushwork — deft and layered — smooth around the man’s

shoulders — crusty and impassioned

along the arms


every twitch of facial muscle — caught — every bulge

of subcutaneous thigh-fat — whorled

rippled, smeared


soft sable — swapped — for bristly hog’s hair brushes

snipped to nubs — the middle son of the youngest

son of Sigmund Freud


not nudes — his insistence — but naked portraits — “best

realist painter alive” — fathered — with six women

fourteen acknowledged children


there is only — long scarf knotted — so much hypocrisy

rakishly at the neck — I allow myself — work ethic

on overdrive


selfishness — gobs of palette knife wipe-off — is what —

like seagull guano — it takes to make — his studio walls

coated with — great art


my work — big canvases — purely an attempt — unsparing — at a

record — autobiographical — of myself —

and my surroundings

Ruth Roach Pierson taught women’s history, feminist and post-colonial studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto from 1980 to 2001, and European and women’s history at Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1970 to 1980. Since retiring she has published three poetry collections: Where No Window Was (BuschekBooks, 2002), Aide-Mémoire (BuschekBooks, 2007), which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award in 2008, and Contrary (Tightrope Books, 2011). A fourth, Realignment, will appear from Palimpsest Press in 2015. She is the editor of the anthology of film poems I Found It at the Movies (Guernica Editions, 2014).

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