BC Poetry 2016: "He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car" by Arleen Paré (Caitlin Press)

Nine reasons to prefer the pear

a single longing   tear-dropped
from its stem    almost
lost in yellow leaves
three upright in a bowl   
the bowl is blue   the air slowing  
as though they were breathing
paired on a plate  
their blushing skins side by side
for company   two knives
mothers-in-law prefer pears
to plums   such snobs
but they know their fruit
more than six is too many
unless they’re poached in wine
in wine no number is too many
a pear is not hurried   a pear
is not fooled   unlike an orange
a pear knows which end is up
pears hide their stone cells close to their core 
a cool gravitas   in water apples float  
pears swoon beneath

pears belong in porcelain   as do tulips
bananas belong in lunch bags  
pears on purple silk
when an apple’s offered   it comes with caveats
when a pear is offered   red barlett
anjou  forelle   can love be far behind? 


Arleen Paré is a Victoria poet and novelist, with an MFA graduate in poetry from the University of Victoria. Her first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award for Poetry and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize. Her second book, Leaving Now, a novel, was released in 2012. Her Lake of Two Mountains won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and was nominated for the Victoria Butler Book Prize.


He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car is elegiac, lyrical, ironic; a series of reflections, recollections; a collection about relationships. To leave a face in the funeral car is to fall out of time, to fall into history, ponder dust, the quiet records of suicide. This is poetry that covers the strangeness of everyday life buoyed by the solace of language, the pleasure of song.


Arrived September 1st, 2015.


Book Launches: N/A.

Purchases: From the Caitlin Press website or at your local bookstore. $18.


Dust pondering.

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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