from by Jill Battson

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for bill bissett

there is a smack of palm on dried gourd skin
as the spray-rain rattle fills the air
his rich-toned voice clear
a blue remembrance of Pyramid Lake
hot spring peyote warrior

and a damp hug on a humid city day
when impossibilities overwhelm …
box of rolled canvas splashed acrylic red
yellow winds, a single eye
the airport looms transcanada living

and sliced oranges on a china plate
sweet citrus, his gentle spirit
enigmatic history a felt hat away
black and white west coast photo
in still frame, movie clip, a brain catalogue

and where poems layer the atmosphere
like songs, like chants, like incantations
a body politic, the night dance
fresh spindrift of life and salt
words curled from his tongue
forming a column of energy, a splash of stars

and his spirit, unfettered in the emulsion of the living …


from gratitude songs, released June 17, 2013



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Jill Battson Toronto, Ontario

Jill Battson is an interdisciplinary poet. She has written several plays as well as the libretti for two operas and produced an electro acoustic sound art project. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in 2010 and was published in book form. Her new collection, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, was recently published by Guernica Editions ... more

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