It’s a shame we haven’t seen any work from Toronto writer Denver Jermyn before now. His sparse, self-deprecating narrative voice and use of verbs that stretch out beyond bearable limits mesh together to create a whirling psychological tension. For example, in “after all that it’s lost”, the reader weaves through a Woolfian journey from an attic all the way down through “the cracks of the sidewalk,” slowly falling into unconsciousness or depression. The structures and objects in Jermyn’s poems are constantly in a state of decay or destruction, summed up best in the final line of “yarn.” You’ll just have to read it to find out!
Jeremyn’s poetry has also appeared in Vallum, In/Words, parenthetical, The Cadaverine, and others. He hides in buildings, but prefers rooftops.
after all that it’s lost
smoke swirls in attics,
from the embers burning late into the night,
and departs through the gaps in the boards
licking out into the haze of morning
where all the bungalows that tatter,
invisible in numbers, become a blur
in passing car windows as each one gets
to where it thinks it needs to be getting,
rubbing the asphalt like a lamp.
in all of this pursuing of a shape
to fit into the puzzling uniformity
what’s shaved off from the edges
drifts down into the cracks of the sidewalk
never to claw again for the surface.
arriving and departed
I tear at the strings
teasing down from the ceiling
and outside also from the clouds.
I pace through the day
with outstretched scissors
snipping away at possibility.
it’s as though each decision
forces rivers to ice, or else
for me every solidified thought
calves off and floats away
into the afternoon.
is it tasteless to spread
thinly into many corners
unconcerned with backing out
or to keep looking
past the platform of the station
at the tracks that keep going
although you’ve just arrived?
having slept less,
shadows stay longer
sewn to the sidewalk
and the low sun hangs
its glow on the walls
like the paint
that’s always peeling.
aching recedes into the
afternoon that stretches
out instead of crumbling
and night tentatively falls.
in no small way
do we all expire
with a ball of yarn
still waiting to be