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Sheila Murphy, Michael Boughn

Sheila Murphy
(Ink on paper, digitally treated)

Sheila Murphy
(ink on paper, digitally treated)

Michael Boughn, a selection of poems from  Great Canadian Poems for the Aged Vol. 1 Illus. Ed. (forthcoming from Book Thug)

The great white north

Ishmael’s whale could barely hold a sperm

candle to the hump of that sudden thought

spreading out in undulating arguments

of vast intemperate breached limits. Lack


of definition is the name game that brings

extensions of shadowless defiance

to destinies of vague wrapped up

national yearning’s character’s fold into


thought of eventual glory. Mad trapper

prophecies fall into all too scrutable

renditions of what after all is just

a moment of singular syllabic


kinetics, tho phonemic proliferation

undoes any meager hope for regular

fixes opening the limit in ways

infinitely intimate adjustments


of weather lead to song. H.D.’s intensity

was rooted in concatenations

of etched words thinking against white

field. Supine reckonings of clarity’s a perpetual


whine of overworked moral engines

in the vineyards of broad human endeavours

toward continuous dispersion lurid of displays

in moose like vocalic excretions


wage war on everything with all the light

subject positions yearn to bring midnight

to sun’s evasive yet ample declaration

that bookish has yielded it rethinking


of extended dimensions leaving

them flopping for want of a decent

milieu. It’s green around here now and yellow

lilies have popped but white still lounges


in eyes’ propensity to cling to distant

references to all too common senses

of origin’s wild busting out beyond

Emerson’s world we think up again into


old heart but as if  it has to begin just

there in that utterly blank exfoliation

and chiseled nada indicating truth

and beauty out on the town unable


to keep their hands off each other as a sign

of possible inroads by ancient breaches

in hills formerly known as two solicitous

extensions into geographies of thought.


The mad trapper of Rat River


Most people engaged in either extraordinary

chase associated with normal forms

of etiquette or some other enforcement

of regular outcomes will find the whole thing


impaled on assumptions of closure’s infinite

grace. The names have been eliminated

to perform evasions of severe paralysis

arising from expectations of a statutory


dénouement where Rose Marie rides

to the rescue claiming divine inspiration.

Failure to declare appropriate test results

in issues of further objections. But when 


distances return time to previously

infested untenable nicks,

regulatory horsemen enter ready

to shock the recognition of alien i.d.s


into writhing unknown figures on the floor

of cagey interruptions. Never

knowing his name is a state associated

with actual disorientation which often


resembles visual deregulation as it

emerges in landscapes notable

for white. Tracks lead into deep instance’

accumulated drifting and then just


as quickly are gone trailing nothing

in the most emphatic of gestures. Madness

then indicates a certain willingness

to walk into it. It’s not that walking into it


is not the same walking into it as this

morning, but knowing that returns

to another time. Last seen in Dufferin

Grove Park is another instance of


horsemen in doubt about the possibility

of always getting things to be what

has known to be required pursuant to

knowledge that all avenues of egress commandeer


the great white north and Jimmy Stewart

from other poems to subdivide the arrival

lounge into trackable versions of otherwise

disparate evasions of fading renewal.


Walking woman


You can’t get much farther from snow

bound retreats into mountains, moose

and Mounties than where walking into endless

walking leads you. Walking while standing still


is another trick associated with

irresponsible identity violations. This

indicates a new range of mountains

walking away from the world making


a figure displacing her into a limited

number of elements. It doesn’t take

much to measure the difference

a step makes almost, call it


a pedestrian commensuration,

ordinarily determined unsuspecting

increments of invariable

abstraction. One or many is never


a question she entertains, tho

she might buy the drink when it hits

bottom. Her bottom indicates Canandian

in the light of posterior art. From behind


resembles a rod but lateral realities

remain operative in shifting

extensions. Each example is a moment

of intense exacerbation disguised


as original motion, though origin

no longer stands for tea time among

rhodendrons. Bastions of decorum

are also walking, but not like Hecatean


Angelos phantoms searching

among the moony ruins of royal

watering holes for improvisatory

clamour unfolding in the harsh


light of the midnight oil. Origin

would then not recognize the burden

hoisted on it by anxious attempts

to cease phantasmagorical garden


extensions beyond  once upon

a time into beauty’s over and over. Over

and over walks by but not the same

over, nor is it ever over


unless it’s over the sidewalk on Bay.

If that is considered original

the mountains shift left or right

and then are to be found further along


in the woods than we had walked

before flakes of sunlight off the lake

danced in a dense green weave surrounding

them with a kind of laughter


Grey Owl goes AWOL

It had to happen once upon a phonemic

misprision into seductions of the fittest

in the name of incessant crippled

chiatic excursions and looming


appropriations breaching the need

for meaningful exclamations. The search

for identity is not amused, but crowds

love it, art splays perfection’s joint


stock arrangement’s seamless formations

in claims of costumed authenticity

and genuine headdress arrangements. Who

knows the best ways left behind in passages


of purple prose knows an absence for sweet

titillation receding calls to understand

abandon in the bush. Figure that out

and the world opens into propositional


operations of extreme consternation

unable to resolve identity into judgments

of coagulating terminabilities. Canoes

ply it pacifically and while justice


engines roaring in the sour air

expel protestations of essential

fixations resulting in same old

same old attached to a pediment


of soaring interruptus, the nation can claim

no greater invention than its own

quicksand anchorage, if only the domestic

harvest it brings to considerations


of daily bread could escape into unsuspecting

angels. Clinging is determined

by the next note, a vine, say, or then again

a lover. Other currents are not so kind


sweeping away constellations

of invisible earths in determined lock

downs of loosely assaulted repetitions of am

piled up to defend familial arrangements


of necessary effusions of fatal

lack of understanding. Poorly functioning

command posts butt into complicit

crux introducing crucial slippages


of national identity into waiting

quagmires of orange coagulations. Knowing

who pulled the trigger may demand singular

obsession resulting in grayish resolve into black.