Rogue Sparks & Other Poems

Rogue Sparks

Coming this way is cigarette ember,
put out on metal
receptacle ridge, wetted down with
ocean air and admiral fell
promises of evening balm,
of little flickers in pyre
wood, piled delicate between
sense memory of excitement
tied up with whipping chords
Of four-walled days, drawing
sense coming back metallic,
distorted, watery, no longer recognized.
To go out chasing,
the skywriting of surprise,
bowing to boot wash
But glowing there a
second more, the same
as ever.

 

 

Accidents & Emergencies

We met in ward light,
hands bandaged from climbing cuts,
scaling places we couldn’t control,
with paper and pens and violin trills:
world seemed so sharp, without graces.
But we spoke like prisoners, batting away
winking sunshine, locked in jabbing
rhythm to see which gave first:
my flat regionalisms, your wordly
cross-splendour.
First things handed as struck metal,
a running of corridors we get let
on, as careful dancers do when they
can’t face a breaching of light,
a cutting of fabric sheet.
Then it was open, warming song
of jumping fumes from open street
air, covered pound notes in cooling
of August fabric, but something
more than that to melody
of scamper-flashing ambulance lights
you could be heard to say:
“Is this in A, is it in E?”
“No, both.”

 

 

 

The Unfinished Country

I draw the lines, they trace themselves
straight, true to paper scaffold
crackling up against a vision
Of lands great and beyond sky’s reach,
sumptuous, possible and laid before.
Too coloured from rain to grip
quills again, if I weren’t
so sullen I’d do it
myself without a moment’s
Mulling over the shape
air makes over borders.
As if skipping lightly, traversing
taps through boiling last lances,
my shapes are not so undefined;
capitals have roots to road,
set down on high, from distracted hands.
In that they weren’t so different,
in delirium tremors,
Than the last time I stepped
out into newfound soil,
terrain yet to be overrun with
razor wire and shadow figures
That rode and came along
through buses and Buicks to be here.

About Carter Vance

Carter Vance is a writer and poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada currently resident in Ottawa, Ontario. His work has appeared in such publications as The Vehicle, Contemporary Verse 2 and A Midwestern Review, amongst others. He is a 2018 Harrison Middleton University Ideas Fellow. His debut collection of poems, Songs About Girls, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in 2017.

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