BC Poetry 2017: "Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry" by Rhonda Ganz (Mother Tongue Publishing)

She does not know the Japanese word for anniversary

She no longer sleeps with her husband.
Pick a side he told her, before the century turned
and whatever trick keeps him steadfast to her, locks him 
to his side of the bed, unmoved.

She stops for a hitchhiker on the road out of Sooke—
flannel shirt, the shakes, and a sixer on the gravel at his feet. 
Too much noise in the city he tells her. After my wife died
I moved out to the bush, but the noise followed me.
Sex is not the problem – that’s what afternoons are for.

Come watch the footage this guy in Sendai took from his car, 
her husband calls. He’s found another YouTube variation—
the wall of water forever on repeat.

His need for disaster is greater than her need to avoid it. So
she comes this time, and together 
they watch the unrelenting wave bend
what stands rigid in its path. 


Crime fiction, reality TV and bad dreams inform Rhonda Ganz’s poetry, which has appeared in Rattle, The Malahat Review, Room, on city buses and in the anthologies Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry, Poems from Planet Earth, Poet to Poet and Force Field: 77 Women Poets of BC. A poem of hers was chosen by Harvard Design Magazine for their December 2015 issue “Shelf Life.” She has been a featured reader at Planet Earth Poetry in Victoria, WordStorm in Nanaimo, Word on the Street in Vancouver and at the inaugural Galiano Literary Festival. Rhonda Ganz was born in Kenya. She lives in Victoria, B.C., where she works as a graphic designer and editor. She shares a home with one human and varying numbers of cats. She speaks German and can hold a conversation in Swahili. She has been known to write poems on the spot for people in hotel lobbies, parks and cemeteries.

"There has never been a poet like Rhonda Ganz. What a magician of words she is, what sleights of narrative she performs. The pleasure for the reader is unending, no matter how many times you roll these poems off your tongue. There’s such brightness here, such wry humour, such serious whimsicality. If this is what laundry looks like, the wind couldn’t be happier and I want some on my line.” – Lorna Crozier


In her debut collection, Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry, poet Rhonda Ganz brazenly mixes darks with lights and pegs out the quirky and bizarre, both real and imagined, with all seams showing. From spontaneous combustion to suicide, from psychopaths to pterodactyls, Ganz is obsessed with the way people behave in moments of intimacy and domesticity. With her sharp wit and painterly abstractions, she pairs the banal with the absurd to expose the flaws of love—the frayed edges of belief and despair. Strung up, these poems are an authentic clothesline of hearsay, fabrication, doomsaying and half-truths.


Arriving April 2017.


Book Launches: April 6 (Today!), Salt Spring Library 7:30 PM. April 9, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Victoria 3:30 PM.

Purchases: From the Mother Tongue Publishing website or at your local bookstore. $24.95.


Clotheslining hearsay and half-truths.

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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