BC Poetry 2017: "Linger, Still" by Aislinn Hunter (Gaspereau Press)

Despite Our Best Attempts to Catalogue
the body breaks into pixels, machine failure–
aches, pains, a dimming.

What once thrummed 
now flashes Error–

so that whatever philosophy 
you sailed in on,

whatever two-minute film of 
‘a day on the beach in June’ that said

this was my life to you,
comes stuttering to a halt.

Then, a silence, a proclivity
to witness,

an anonymity that wants nothing
but to linger.
In this last lick of light
before the day gives out, listen:

there are masterworks painted
by the wholly forgotten and unnamed,

and there are Rembrandts and Bruegels
so wasted and decayed

no semblance of art history
can remake them.

That is us: the dust in the room
where the new paintings hang–

but oh, the music 
in that sweeping.


Aislinn Hunter is the author of six books: two books of poetry, three books of fiction and a book of lyric essays. She is a contributing editor at Arc Magazine and has contributed to numerous anthologies. She has a BFA in The History of Art and in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria, an MFA from The University of British Columbia, an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics from The University of Edinburgh where she has just completed a PhD in English Literature. She teaches Creative Writing part-time at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and lives in Vancouver with her husband Glenn and two Border collies.


Aislinn Hunter writes of impossibilities that somehow function; of the tenuous interrelations that comprise our experience. Grounded by the questions "how to be good, how to be," Hunter's field of inquiry ranges across domestic, ecological, literary and philosophical subjects. Her poems are exclamations of recognition in the midst of caginess. This collection reaches for, and grasps, "what lists under every pose: the hope / that someone will love us".


Arrived April 2017.


Book Launches: May 4th, The Main, Vancouver (w/ Catherine Owen!)

Purchases: From the Gaspereau Press website or at your local bookstore. $21.95.


Exclaiming in the midst of caginess.

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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