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PO Box 609, Stn P
Toronto, ON M5S 2Y4

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  • Ontario Creates
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Canada Council for the Arts

John Clare

From Brick 92

Brick 92
Now I remember

I wanted to talk to you
between your Selected Poems
and the punk rock music
playing on the radio

Between the blue irises and the Mexican lawn service

The skaters and the dragonflies

Do you know what it’s like here

Scared beneath trees
the light on the one rose
is the one light

The sun keeps going

Tell me something between the yellowhammers and the leaf blowers

Between a worm getting pulled out of the dirt into the sky and a worm eating the dark


Children play in the past
in pastures and now I remember
7-Eleven parking lots
skateboarding through
black fields

Cows move through the fields to the fence and don’t move again

Cows move
through the parking lot
toward a bike rack
in the heather

Black tongues
park out front and idle their engines

Daisies chain and unchain

In the morning someone hoses down the hot concrete and insects crawl through your name


The dogs are shy and snap
chew through chain-link
each other and now I remember fur
and won’t let go or be beaten
to death by kids

Let the fur fly!

The boys ollie over the dogs
in their dreams

In dreams
some of the boys
kiss them on the mouth

Their mouths are clean and their noses are pink

All the dogs I grew up with are gone

They were someone’s sweethearts shitting on the sidewalk in the sun


Flowers call you on the telephone
and the rain passes you notes
none of us will ever read
now I remember every line
a pine needle
falling at your feet

Can you name the flowers in your own backyard

Peonies drip onto the ground
making long-distance calls
person to person

The car alarms sound like roses

There are roses peonies and giant white papery things the size of your face and ferns

Ferns ferns ferns

The loves of my life


Birds are never lonely next to you
in neighbourhoods and wings clear the air
and are gone
into holes of sunlight
and leaves

Now I remember

There are holes all around

Holes in children
Holes in trees

Holes in the water and in the teeth of small animals if you can see that and can you see that

And wasps
eating entire families of deer


I wanted to show you

Michael Dickman was born in the Pacific Northwest in 1975. He has written two books of poems, The End of the West and Flies. He also wrote half of a book of plays, 50 American Plays. The other half was written by his twin brother, Matthew. All three books were published by Copper Canyon Press.

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