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Sonnet L'Abbé
Surrey, 1976 Previous Transitive Functions Next

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glinting in the endless, scrolling
river of my feed

a shard of hatred cut me
when all I meant to do was read

I saw angry men raise heil salutes
in a conference room somewhere

and wondered who could soften them
with bleeding or with care

but blood is what they hanker for
our howl pleases their ears

so in bloodless flint of document
I hiphop all my fears

muzzik

Shame is a wire cage
around my muzzle. My hairy lip
is curled in a snarl

of hatred but it is a hairy
lip and so you win.
I was too little for razors.

But not for the news,
the good news, of the deal:
shave off the mature animal

and be domestically kept,
well-husbanded.
In my head, I was plucked

before I learned to speak.
In real life no conscious
husband plucked me,

I was left fruiting on the
vine of story,
heads full of teeth

never fully climbing from
my womb. The swirls
above the fontanelles

firming into unformed
births in my walls.
The hairs on my lip still

hoping they are harder to see
through the metal gridmesh
over my mouth.


Sonnet L’Abbé is a poet, songwriter and public speaker, and winner of the Bronwen Wallace Award and the bp Nichol Chapbook Award. Their first two poetry collections are A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, and in their most recent book, Sonnet’s Shakespeare, they overwrite all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Quill and Quire called Sonnet’s Shakespeare “one of the most audacious volumes of poetry to appear in this country” and named it a Book of the Year. L’Abbé was the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and was the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. L’Abbé currently teaches creative writing and English at Vancouver Island University. Twitter/Insta/FB @sonnetlabbe


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