i am stoked to be able to announce that i have a new chapbook released this week! the grass is a yard now, again has been published by Apt. 9 Press and will be launched this friday at 7pm. more details about the event can be found on the Apt. 9 website, but i do know it will be at Raw Sugar (on somerset just west of bronson) and that it will be spectacular. i’ll be reading from the book at the launch, along with Spencer Gordon and Rhonda Douglas who are both also launching new books. anything Apt. 9 does is pretty much amazing, so it’s definitely an exciting opportunity to have this chapbook published.
more on the chapbook, from the Apt 9 Press site:
“the grass is a yard now, again considers the relations between certainty and uncertainty, between the expected and the unexpected, and between different reasons why narratives are constructed. jesslyn delia smith, as she has done across a series of chapbooks in the last five years, writes poems about the mundane and the everyday that locate the moments where we slip and grow. These poems are unassuming, and thoroughly disarming.”
that i might have lingered, if not
at your feet then in memory,
if not on the skin of your lips then
in history, but seldom your shell
was where i understood
you. you saw me
the saddest i
now i think “this is stupid”, and stop writing, and go camping, again and again it’s the same.
we rented a house by the canal for august first. only a block away. this is going to be very good for any and all new writing. i have a lot of plans.
including a plan to buy myself a congratulatory new writing book to celebrate finding the house (which, by the way, is absolutely perfect).
also, sometime in the next few months i expect to publish a new chapbook, currently untitled. i’ll have updates about that as well, which i’ll probably post while i sit on some awesome canal-side bench less than five minutes from my new home.
we said “at least
it’s over”, talking about the move,
or the ten centimeter
snowfall in my new city
or the edge of the end
of a week, a quick fuck in
the back of a truck
between friends, a dream
you’ve been having since you
were eighteen and we met,
or talking about your
new now-ex girlfriend, or the
tension between you
or you thanks to us
that we are sure isn’t there
or splitting the cost
of our drinks
it’s been a very long time since i’ve posted any writing on here, but i plan to do that again soon. i’ve been working on a chapbook to be coming out this fall so i haven’t really had a lot of time to write anything that isn’t going to be in the book.
but those poems are now written and i’m starting to edit, so i’ll have some stuff up on my site in a while. i never post any poems here that i actually intend on publishing or that i have a strong connection with. i haven’t been doing a lot of “aimless” writing these past few months. but obviously that won’t always be the case.
plus i never write a lot in the summer. plus i’ve been looking for a house to rent and that’s been taking all my free time. plus i’ve been drinking a lot, a lot, lovely wonderful summer beers. so that’s what’s happening with that.
the disconnection is refreshing.
i feel better, but i still feel worse than ever. at least it’s summer, and i have cigarettes & lucky beers.
when i was eight, nine, ten years old i had terrible nightmares that you would die in various train accidents. there were no trains in our quiet village; the trains ran below, in dundas, along the sculpted ridge of the niagara escarpment.
and now you actually are dead.
how can that be true.
my best childhood friend died on christmas day. he was a boy, but he was my best friend. my family went to the visitation back home, but i couldn’t be there. i loved him deeply, very strangely, and first. sometimes i even thought that when we grew up, when we were older, in high school maybe, we’d date. i remember a time when he was the most important person in my world. by high school we’d drifted apart of course, and barely spoke.
still. his death has broken me in a way i can’t describe to my family, or friends, or boyfriend, or anyone. only he would know the things we shared as kids that we promised would stay important forever. the things that didn’t.
i miss his existence.
that’s really the most i can say.
i have not stopped recalling
a february you, a lit
face by candles and dim desk
lamps in your pale bedroom
power hungry, and yet a
spooked horse, a man of little
knowledge and impossible
timing, dashing through torn
fields of grass and thistle
because you thought it would
repel me, propel me harshly
from your back
outside city hall we
rolled a basketball back
and forth between our weathered heels
i pretended, walking on the
curb, to be a model
we pretended that no one
had accidentally pierced anyone’s
foot with a needle last night
you pretended to not
see me fidget, let the ball drag it
self to the gutter
you said i really could be a model
if my eyes were more blue
and less grey, if i had
eleven more inches