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Two poems by Antony Di Nardo

The Animal

could be a fox, a fawn, a neighbour’s cat,
coyote creeping closer,
could be just a thought I had
to feed the birds.

The animal
conjures meanings
for ubiquity, match and metonym
for things that move, neat prints

in the snow.
I talk to it and it changes
where I stand, how I fit.
I deliver tropes to it, walk with it, poster it.

The animal in my grave comes at the end.
After years of writing the same poem
summed up in the bead of its eye,
the dart of its face, its

forepaws gripped to a legend,
Ted Hughes-tested, quick
of fur and fire, the animal
bolts again across the page.

 

Monday Thursday Wednesday

All manner of things can be forced into a poem.
Some poets begin with a ring or an open mouth
             the size of forgetting.
Sometimes they slip on the ice and catch at a cloud
             to steady themselves.
Some try their hand at obstacles, like a day of the week
             out of place.
I once pushed a bus into the very first line of a poem
             but it wouldn’t go.
And I’ve found fried chicken on a road trip to Chatham
             doesn’t taste quite the same on the way back.
The leaves at this time of year are a splendid display
             of forest green, of a sunrise happy and useful.
Downstairs, the TV’s turned on to the poetry channel,
             live-streaming 24/7.
Everything I can think of has a purpose in a poem,
             even the colour of lipstick.
On the other hand, reality, like a table and chair,
             is the best place to hide.

 

Antony Di Nardo’s most recent book, SKYLIGHT, includes the long poem suite, “May June July,” winner of the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize for 2017. His work appears in anthologies and journals across Canada and has been widely translated. Born in Montreal, he divides his time between Cobourg, Ontario and Sutton, Quebec.

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