Brick Books, 1995

Goodreads | Amazon |

“[Year Zero] explores with extraordinary depth and intimacy the boundary line joining the creation and loss of life, affirming the ‘insistence of things’ in a language that transcends the differences between thought and feeling, word and thing.” -Glenn Wilmot, The Journal of Canadian Poetry



Sample Poems from Year Zero

Earth Ward

          (for Kyra)

Unfinished, the centre still gathers
to scatter

Bees unzip the tropic of afternoon

and through weaving heat lines
the ear thinks space: worlds
wavering in and out, urth-
ink: hot colours

pushing from inside the seventh month,
August, and I am listening, listening
at the door of your house,
my ear to taut skin

The whirl of the heart, your thinking
beginning now to bud, as I
grow down to wood, to bone

You spill toward your human hearth
with the speed of darkness, a whir
outward, earthward

I can hear you
readying your shining cry


Bulbs of lungs that do not breathe,
huge saurian head, fierce

with Jurassic time, you rehearse
the archaic, invisible, unseeing

or looking inwards, you are
parasitic in the floating world

you’ve created, with enzymes
you’ve dissolved tissues to get bloodfood

The brain glimmers through
translucent skin, the delicate tree of veins

Organs migrate through you
you’re imagining
a different order we have already
placed ourselves within
and are busy being changed by

Tail, ribs unfurl, condense to bone
you raise a big head

Who can recognize you, already
remote, already human, your heart
a balloon on a string
oh little one?

               (For Adrian)