Ad Sanctos (The Martyrology, Book 9) by bpNichol

By bpNichol

'All of Nichol’s paintings is stamped by way of his wish to create texts which are conducting themselves in addition to in context, and to take advantage of oblique structural and textual units to hold which means. In The Martyrology other ways of conversing testify to a trip via alternative ways of being. Language is either the poet’s teacher and, via its a variety of diversifications, the dominant 'image' of the poem. The [nine] books of The Martyrology record a poet’s quest for perception into himself and his writing via scrupulous awareness to the messages hidden within the morphology of his personal speech.’ – Frank Davey

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Sample text

Whose control? Body writing: the torturer’s hand or memory’s balm: One badge of honor. One hideous scar. Who writes and who is written upon. m 36 m Today in a city where she hopes terror can be kept at bay Yosef ’s granddaughter Eli shows him his numbers on her young flesh. He bends to kiss the bridge of memory. m 37 m Intimately Defeated Meditation on ex vice president Dick Cheney’s heart transplant. He wakes with the new master muscle in place but something is wrong. Years of synchronizing heart and head, the lust for power coursing through both in syncopated symphony, greed on the battlefield keeping perfect time with corporate greed and the baton he wields within his family or on a friendly hunt.

M 44 m Every Equation Up for Grabs Mesas stretch their purple fingers across sands that offer withered cholla arms in tentative embrace. The monsoons are late this year and cactus aches to plump green flesh with sustenance. Dull blooms pale the exuberance of wetter years. Piñon and sage sit staunch. Yet the snow pack is high and deep and as it melts rivers rise above their banks. Furious currents carve new arroyos, rain arrives to save the chile crop. North and east: sandbags cannot keep the water from nuclear reactors.

A decade later we were two women from different worlds, mirrors reflecting unexpected images, challenges we couldn’t know in full, so we placed our trust on the scales and walked through embers hot enough to banish doubt. m 55 m A quarter century later I touch the definition of your arm, waist, thigh. My older body still proud, grateful to hold your lean strength and unwavering commitment in the still bright glow of memory very slowly burning out.

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