Carol Shillibeer


So you’re going along the road. Neat and Tidy describes the day so far. Cars stop when you ask and they all go where you go. Everyone talks nice but then you notice that this one is speaking       but        that yellow            glow fizzles slower           light around head shrink      a slug on a salt trail      so you get out because you       know and you       make it to the elm tree arms before               ground flat nose and the warm pepper           the blue between brown wood                see                prebef sut                 the blue over there turned shoulder to the sun silver polish with chicken curry            fra nitcha         the light inside head pin            identity wings              throw up on knees and heave       postinch dur albesto         who feeds them and keeps them alive             grazzled arn uptomica in distranching               the ants that climb to clean                the forest floor        roll over and over and on back the blue up there           cur umpo pleestimuch           kinder than the silver in here           the woman on the neck’s dock                   is a mess her hair is on fire and her shoes are boulders                       but then silence moves into a recognizable                            shape and the woman ascends                                      black rock feet first


:::::fog is coming:::::


head                 frayed curtain on a windy day

the little lantern got its door closed.

The blue returned to the alcove and the woman closed the door behind them. You remembered your bag this time so you pick it up and fall like an ocean back into time. The first car stops. It goes where you go. The talk is nice. The yellow glow is steady. Neat. Tidy.





When contemplating
the concept of the golden
age one finds



Here on the coffeehouse patio with caffeine and a copy of Et in Arcadia ego, this soft happy square banked by verdant yew, this small eddy in the day’s morning rush, poisonous red berries, their small round mouths unclenched from stems have dropped from the lip of the world to its chin

like the famed leaf of autumn,




this red moment
suspends itself
from grey
artisanal concrete




Cars river and the skytrain rushes wind. The vacuums over at the detailing station, a herd of bovine-bellows. Car horns : cow bells.




low blown
cruise ship shakes
the sky with its leaving


Black potted flowers tumble the hovering blue, the floral eye pregnant with yellow and orange. The high gloss of ivy barks at every passing moment.

What work has there ever been but perception?


The day goes by.

our daily bread

a street dweller shepherds her shopping cart
around the coffeehouse
                          corner and down
into the green shadowed alley,
             from these vast caverns    her living

and because of it, this day turns blue

an egg cracking

tomorrow into the pan


querying the relationship between the world and linguistic entities

In the turbulent edges of fast moving traffic

a chickadee tumbling under air’s whirl

the window open, page clipped by the wind and creased, books—feathered text, spine pressed against the steering wheel

under the still verdant barberry, between the pulled-over car and the slope down to the river, a rabbit tail flicks in muscular flight

blut blut blut of traffic streaming past, up to speed since the last light turning green, hand on the page, finger on poetry wars, marking without a pencil Common Author’s splut splut splut of dismay

have to google that later—in the tree-break down-trail a deer startles

slipping through the reader’s reputed lack of pedantries, the gothic mind of a Common Author: loyalties to worlds, words and their pleasures, ideologies of certainty

forest’s scars, the tissue of its past, wooden platform peeping over river’s traffic, and feet, the overlook, chasms through rock and wood, histories carried by water to the downstream

& deer reading the state of the grasses
doppio espresso in a little paper cup, sweet and bitter by preference, the book spine up on the dash,

the chickadee recovered and chik-a-dee-dee-dee-mapping the depths in a pre-flight check

another car winging by, ruffling time’s feathers, engine in a flurry, the light
just turning yellow, the front passenger is reading a big yellow paperback

green leaved insight, and under the trees ochre shadows, the page, open again, takes on each, one the left, olivine light of sinister, another, the adroit and golden phrase

down at the river the stream-side of the white-tail glimmers like an ink and watercolour painting; the forest-side buckskin—the way a Rodin makes shadows solid

a reader both hands on the book, buffeted, but holding course

the turbulent renewal of requisite thinking

Carol Shillibeer lives on the west coast of Canada. Her publication and awards list is at

Editors’ Notes (Posit 8)


Welcome, readers and viewers! We’re delighted to ring out the end of 2015 with the extraordinary poetry and prose we’ve gathered for this issue of Posit. It’s an honor to publish such a rich mixture of innovative verse, short fiction, and poetic prose by literary masters at all stages of their careers, to wit:

Doug Bolling’s Scalapino-esque “…words carried from a valley a stream a mountain / just to be there cherished, fondled” by gorgeous metaphors creating “a poem of unknowns / a Magritte refusing all margins;”

Susan Charkes’ wry compendia on Practicing Panic (“adopt aroma of freshly cut cucumber” and “elude infinity”) and Unreachable Planets such as the PLANET OF CONSTANT DOWNDRAFTS (“Gravity: not an issue”);

Norma Cole’s ferociously beautiful narrative fragments of a fraught nation kept together and apart by the ‘Surface Tension’ of an iconography of sentiment and violence, in which golden angels and grandchildren eating butterscotch sundaes give way to women sleeping on sidewalks, Halloween “or some / other masks beheading,” and “the mortars again;”

Christine Hamm’s magnetically surreal texts, in which “You said the antlers in the bucket were part of you, asked me if you should burn your necklace, the one with someone else’s name;”

Zeke Jarvis’s masterful short story about art, artifice, and free enterprise, Las Vegas style;

Halvard Johnson’s disturbing ode to The Art of Deference with its haunting last line, complemented by the resonant compression of 14 Interventions, in which “poem grenades,” like “old leaves,” “turn to / reservoirs of life;”

Carlos Lara’s virtuosic excerpt from Several Night, a “monologue of another destroyer” “ready for whatever’s next play” and populated by “numinous projectile clouds” as well as “music looping the dream archer of dreams;”

Anna Leahy’s “exacting forms” “pregnant / with possibility of motion” mirroring the beauty and menace of nature as well as “the spark of brazen imagination;”

Christina Mengert’s mind-meld with Spinoza, yielding remarkable hybrid philosophical/poetic ‘Definitions’ “by virtue of mental trampoline, / bouncing into idea as a consequence / of grace” via a collaborative “intelligence / conceived through something / more itself / than itself;”

Carol Shillibeer’s magnificent “loyalties to worlds, words and their pleasures…” posing the question, “What work has there ever been but perception?”

Danielle Susi’s brilliant juxtapositions, in which “Volume sleeps on my tongue today / because teeth can sometimes look / like pillows,” provoking us to wonder “When two sides of an abrasion stitch / back together, what do they say?”

and Derek Updegraff’s haunting and suggestive story Café, “about him and her. That’s all” although it somehow manages, in 350 words, to open itself to the far reaches of the universe.

As always, thank you for reading.

—Susan Lewis and Bernd Sauermann


It is my pleasure to introduce another wonderful selection of painting, photography, sculpture, and video in this issue of Posit.

Meryl Meisler has been taking photos since she was a teenager, chronicling her youth in Long Island and young adulthood in NYC in the 70’s and 80’s. Her keen eye has captured moments that are funny, moving, and offer wonderful portraits of an era.

Helena Starcevic’s carved and fabricated sculptures reflect a distinctly modernist sensibility. Cool and stripped down to their essence, these are elegant objects. Working with a restrained palette, she conveys the beauty of the form, using the contrast between matte and shiny surfaces to allow light to caress the contours of her sculptures.

The haunting videos of Pierre St. Jacques delve deep into the psychological realm of human relationships. The Exploration of Dead Ends, from which we present an excerpt, as well as still photographs and video installations, is a beautiful portrait of a man caught in the endless cycles of his life. The result is visually stunning and deeply moving.

The sweeping gesture of Heather Wilcoxon’s hand can be seen in all of her energetic and evocative paintings. Strong and committed markings typify these works. Human and animal forms live harmoniously amidst swirls of color and form in compositions dreamily reminiscent of a life lived near the sea.

The sumi ink drawings of Katarina Wong are bold, thrilling and often a bit frightening. She brings us face to face with an Inferno of emotions that swirl and whirl across the page. Recognizable human and animal features emerge and then sink into the energetic darkness.

I hope you enjoy!

—Melissa Stern