Janey Loves To Falk

September 8, 2014

Rachel Zolf’s fifth book of poetry is Janey’s Arcadia (Coach House, Fall 2014), an aversive, conversive reckoning with the errors of ongoing Canadian...

How the sun shines here in Winnipeg! A total blood
flame. Dem Kanader Konsul conducts a strict examination
to identify ver es iz yoh a farmer. Foams and diaphragm
creams taste so bad, one drinks it in like wine J•after ^...,
use.^...or odd. J:) Winni^j^buj has something western,
something southern, something quite her own. My
neighbour’s leathery paws put my soft white hands to
shame. More than one Yidn refused a visa. We don’t need
shit-ass dogs like A LOond£r(u(. nman ^o^cij. I had to
familiarize myself with the practices and implements,
accumulate abissel farharteveter shtoyb under my
fingernails. How far around the world do I have to go?

Winnipeg is a city of young men, and youth is ambitious,
sells her cunt the nights. The ‘bull’s-eye lantern of
the Dominion’ and ‘the buckle of the wheat belt,’ this
kid’s beyond human law. The only thing beaver saw
was the white morning sunlight. We only use maple syrup
in the cookies with maple in their names. There are filthy
homes obtained by lottery across the river. Deigning to step
on the dirt y6j6uu you oohose larqe prick is Cuu7ft in
Janets coot soys to Janey, ‘I love that my eyes are sound,
my teeth strong, kholileh, no disfigurements.’ Go to the
sewers. We use your words; we eat your food. These are the
days of post-women’s liberation. And how the bells ring!

Winnipeg is a hard-voicedUhtn suffix be.q\nscity.
Pimps and hookers swagger the northern border, too
burnt out to be anything but ikh zikh hartzik war zone.
Nebuchadnezzar eats grass to change affliction from wood
to stone. She never wasted nothing, not a thing did she waste.
The children don’t know to be puzzled or frightened. ‘What I
like,’ says an American, ‘is the eternal spunk of the place.’

Oh, somebody been givin my name. I’m got on Sophie’s bodie
and it’s too tight. This is how poor people transform into hamburger
foo(Jr.) 5s>UThe wise men did come from the east, mind. Now’s
the time it comes is in the springtime. Nothing of the milksop
about them. The only thing he heard was shower water falling
coi'th ciafe.(/)I clean forgot, he says, like the sound of a man
who wields an axe and tingles with looman in every vein. His name
is Mrs. Bear. Surely the West is the golden tht of smell Jo. jHe
drinks life from the pines and ozonized atmosphere every time
I get the chance to feel a tongue on my cunt,$>I choose the shabby-
looking purse. Forest blood ever runs hotly. We’re not got no time,
but brutality is a sign of grotesque azelkhe meshune dikke tenuos
strength and health. She wasn’t havin to pay a cent, you! When
people become soft they become prey, just like Astumastao
who got away from a horrible green sea-monster. Just like
a Bacchante drops dead from endless drinking, drugs and sex
on sweet soft grass, the syllables standing around waiting.
The nations that will live long in the land, light delaying
the world (here unreality bin wackin up): and whose children
will be cast in manly mould (long beams your eyes revealed)
are not those folds slocked by the light who have been polished
till all the fibre is rubbed – and stab a few with my spear –

Rachel Zolf’s fifth book of poetry is Janey’s Arcadia (Coach House, Fall 2014), an aversive, conversive reckoning with the errors of ongoing Canadian settler-colonialism. Other publications include Human Resources (2007), which won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Among her many collaborations with other artists, she wrote the film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women's Picture, directed by New York artist Josiah McElheny, which premiered at Art Basel Miami 2012. She has taught at The New School in New York and the University of Calgary, and has recently returned to her hometown, Toronto.