BC Poetry 2016: "After All the Scissor Work is Done" by David Fraser (Leaf Press)

The Pick-up Girl

Out of the longest shadows
when the road lay looped and black
he found a girl with a crooked smile
in the headlights of the car.
He picked her up.
She slid into the seat.
She was lipstick, rouge, long legs
and cigarettes, slightly tarnished,
not a lucky coin, and he knew
he was in trouble when
she put her bare feet on the dash.
She flashed some thigh, so he kept
his eyes on the dark ribboned road,
the rocks and brush on either side.
She told him tales of forty pounders,
mornings naked waking on the grass,
how she took the cherries off young boys
and how at night she cried for all the babies
she’d given up. He knew he could’ve
kept her safe, but bought her breakfast,
left on the table a bit of cash
and went to wash his hands.
She took the money,
hit the road, and found
another ride.


David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry, and Tesseracts 18. He has published five collections of poetry: Going to the Well, Running Down the Wind, No Way Easy, Caught in My Throat, Paper Boats, and a collection of short fiction, Dark Side of the Billboard, and On Poetry, a book on poetry and poetics, co-authored with Naomi Beth Wakan. To keep out of trouble he helps develop Nanaimo's spoken-word series, WordStorm. In October 2009 and 2010 he participated in Random Acts of Poetry, a national poetry program that brought poetry to the streets of Canada. David has performed his poetry in British Columbia, Ontario, California, and Switzerland.


The poems in After All the Scissor Work Is Done scrape at the darker shades of human experience.

"Having admired David Fraser's poetry for years as he wonderfully manages to hallow small everyday moments, After All the Scissor Work Is Done came as a surprise. It is as if David has shed a hundred skins, let everything fall away until he could see matters with a naked, raw clarity, speak of things directly and unflinchingly. The sepia of nostalgia creeps like a mist over these poems, yet the sharpness of his memories, imagined or otherwise, keeps the reader from lulling into complacency by asking that we confront, time and time again, our own human frailties and our own mortality. A brave book." - Naomi Beth Wakan


Will arrive at the end of April 2016.


Book Launches: TBA

Purchases: From the Leaf Press website or at your local bookstore. $16.95.


Scraping at the darker shades.

The copyrights of all poems included in the series remain with their authors, and are reprinted with the permission of the publishers.

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