Excerpt from Twoism by Ali Blythe


Good Morning You’re Awake

It’s umbrella weather
in the leaking plywood
tunnel of the chest.

Good morning, my unattractive
tendency, I’ve made coffee.
I guess I’ll rouse you like a nail

then hammer you back in.
Nobody eats breakfast anymore.
Would you like some juice?

I unplugged last night’s power
tools. Their shamed orange tails
drip and spark. Sometimes you

look so small, askew, held together
with one pin
I’d like to spit across this room.

You remind me of an article
in Animal GQ, “How to Stay
Beaten Broken & Beautiful.” It says

the real fun is use and abuse.
“Start with a skin you love then
wear it to the ground.”


In the vast ocean
of repetitive

my thoughts part
for you and keep
a you-shaped hole.

I take the hole
and put it
on my face.

From this deeper
I’m watching.

A Small Dress

You push open the door
I smell coffee and wake
slowly telling you I dreamed
you were a small dress
of infinitely breakable sticks.

I am going to try you on
, I said in the dream.
Even knowing what patience
and care it took to piece you
together last time.

A bare bulb made cagey
shadows of you as you
were lowered over me.
I tried not to move too much.
It wasn’t a dream, you say.


Finalist_Blythe, Ali
Ali Blythe 
is the editor-in-chief of The Claremont Review. His poetry collection, Twoism, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Prize earlier this year. Blythe completed a residency at the Banff Centre and a writing degree at the University of Victoria, receiving the Candis Graham Writing Scholarship from the Lambda Foundation. He lives in Vancouver.

Twosim 2015 Ali Blythe

This is an excerpt from
Copyright © 2015 Ali Blythe. Published by
icehouse poetry, an imprint of Goose Lane Editions.
Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher.
All rights reserved.



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