from mantra of no return

Kaie Kellough

copyright ©2019

people arrived from portugal. people arrived from africa. people arrived from
india. people arrived from england. people arrived from china. people
predated arrival. people fled predation. people were arrayed. people populated.
whips patterned rays into people. people arose. people rayed outward to
toronto, london, boo york. people raided people. people penned the past.
people roved over on planes. people talked over people. people rented places.
people planted people in people. people raided plantations. people prayed.
people re-fried. people died and didn’t get second glances. people won
scholarships and vanished. people lived atop people. people represented
people. people drain-brained. people studied for the common entrance.
people paraded. people stumbled and tranced. people took two steps
backward. people simmered and boiled over. people plantain. people orphan.
people sugarcane. people undocumented. people underground. people never
lauded, landed. people arrived but. people             . people departed and
arrived again. people retreaded. people stole knowing. people plantation.
people horizon. people done run from people. people arrived not knowing
their patterns. people arrived riven, alone in the world. people made their
war from time. people hailed from climes. people fanned their spreading.
people cleaved unto people. people writhed over / under people. people
arrived over / under people

Notes on the Poem

Our Poem of the Week is excerpted from the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection Magnetic Equator (McClelland & Stewart) by poet Kaie Kellough. Of the collection the judges said: ““Speaking to Caribbean and hemispheric migrations, the poems in Magnetic Equator recall trouble, hybridity, steep falls, continuance, and elaboration. Taking on influence, place, and racialized diasporic experience as it draws language into geographic drifts and historic collisions, these are voicings that cascade and collect ‘an accent adrift in its second language / over a b-side version of empire’. Singing of exile and scattering, the text negotiates survival and revolt as it moves with the surety and complexity of improvisation and collaboration.” Watch Kaie Kellough from his collecting in this hypnotizing and visually captivating Griffin Poetry Prize video!

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