Apr 4, 2017
April’s snapshots are brought to you by Molly Cross-Blanchard, and examine facets of family, art, and war through three different subjects: the mother, the father, and the child.
Molly Cross-Blanchard is a Winnipeg poet and playwright who will be pursuing graduate studies this fall. Her work has appeared in CV2 and The Malahat Review.
A Bedroom of Searchlights
In A Bedroom of Searchlights, Joanna M. Weston has interwoven violent notions of wartime in Britain with vibrant images of nature in order to elegize her mother, a diametrical woman, who “melts Neapolitan / between red lips” while the speaker merely “tongue(s) / plain vanilla.” The way Weston has interspersed the imagery throughout these poems mimics a speckling – or spattering – of paint on canvas, paying homage to the Mother’s hobby of choice. There is a deep admiration here for the type of woman who channels her rage against a disloyal husband and an unstable nation, allowing her anguish to “flower on canvas / as scarlet tulips.”
On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood
Wolsak & Wynn
These poems take place after the dinosaur extinction, after World War II, after 9/11, after Saddam’s execution, after the Alberta flood of 2013, after the ashes were found “in a box of books... above the waterline.” They have a history – lived and imagined – a backdrop of tragedy and poetry which Harrison seems to present as one in the same, “as if downstream / was another word for heaven.” Using humour, candid voice, and the quirky unpacking of everyday conventions and concepts, On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood explores the relationship between father and son, father and dementia, and father and art. The speaker holds his father’s memory out and up, studying with reverence “the beauty / of a man who found beauty everywhere but in himself.”
Tell Them It Was Mozart
In Tell Them It Was Mozart,Angeline Schellenberg offers readers an honest delving-into motherhood, into the feelings of guilt, of wanting to run away, wanting to “slap,” wanting to abandon; but also feelings of absolute and all-consuming love, an “ultraviolet awe.” The speaker has coined her two children “The Diminutive Professor” and “The Imaginative Child” after their particular characteristics, which the speaker finds both magnificent and paralyzing in their own rights. She explores ideas of motherly expectation, judgement, and self-preservation in the face of words like “Asperger's,” “genetics,” and “diagnosis.” This whirlwind collection of mistakes and triumphs, of flushing campground toilets with gusto, reminds readers that no two encounters with parenthood are the same; “There is no sin in the stumble to surrender.”