We’ve recently received the work of Toronto poet Allison Grayhurst, a collection of vivid imagery and gripping enjambment that puts the reader in a spiralling world of despair. By using language to express the human conflicts of inner turmoil and the way in which our past burdens interact with the subconscious, the self and the world around us, Grayhurst sculpts poems that are revealing and confessional, as well as technically adept in their formatting and diction. Check out her impressive resume and poems below:
Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 370 poems published in more than 190 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay.
For more, check out www.allisongrayhurst.com
Peeled of my own death,
entering a corridor of dawn,
heat without fire,
a staircase into the void,
buried in the gas furnace, this
guest that never comes, eats bread
or slips into the cradle of a comfortable
home. Pen and beauty, an inevitable
loneliness that victory cannot solve,
a transitory opera, bird songs, fragile,
almost breaking, vibrating at a desperate
but soft speed.
A woodland to walk through that inherits
a shadow canopy darkness. Walk through
regardless of doubts full-blown,
regardless of scrapes across your tender surface.
Love is just an image
as you walk,
sound are menacing but
never reach crescendo,
never sustain the heavier beat that leads
to ecstasy’s blackout.
Leaves become teeth.
Impressions are unkind.
Your husk is broken
and your blood is a heap of
dead violets crushed
in a celebrated summer.
Days that dismantle
Days that dismantle
of ‘may I?’ ‘give me’
and ‘I deserve’
Days that hold the devil at bay
and pinch the flowers off every lapel,
of angels under the bed sheets
and smiles in the afternoons,
of dreams that form, fade, then form
again. Days I will try to treasure like a
jar full of fireflies,
when I will not give in, not
give space to the dark pit within.
Days that mean more than money, and more
than the power that it yields.
the day was raised
and laid out
a tablecloth or like
someone’s grand and meticulous day dreaming.
I never opened my mouth to alleviate the
darkness, but instead I took offence
at the lack in others, not seeing that offence
as my own withdrawal.
But I am changing. I am ending like childhood
ends, and I am
not so sure of myself
It will take me over,
toss me like a weather balloon
and put me on the brink of a high fever.
It will know me and place me
in hot water madness
like a tune just out of reach or a clothesline
pinned against a fence by overgrown branches.
It will take me into the drug store.
I will be spared nothing, but I will feel nothing
of pain or of thinning. Because
I was bribed by the demon and I released
the bribe, and with it, the demon. Because God is with me
like a black cat who follows me from station to station,
is gentle and existing with tenderness and solidarity.
The flies have left my rotted corner, and all that remains is
I should have held it in –
a nut within its shell
prolonged its freshness to ward-off
its rotting. I wish I kept my breath,
said nothing until the hallucination passed
and I was hard again and not so
revealing. If I could swallow, quench my
emptiness, restore the day of mercy
then I would, but the strike has torn, though
it was meant to mend. And the night moves on
as sleep beckons me
further into isolation, lacking the promise
of rest or resolution.