menu Menu
Rami Schandall
Killer Previous Jaap Blonk Next

Upcoast, or, Unsettled

Souls and signs

in liquid language raven recalls
not the haunting, but its absence

tell me black bird
the way to the house of death

the holy vestibule a nave of green
windows on the windowless

I know you were here
by the sunlit pane of grass

by empty bones upright
by treefall and slash

the moss upon carcass
upon moss.


beneath dark density
of forest, of cloud
the white-lipped beach
lines another perfect island

home to how many hands
clam gardening, shell-steaming
meat to mouth, butter-clam
tongue traced

remember: the village danced
ten thousand winters deep
now silent under cedars grown thick
in empty hearths

high on
clamshell rain 

Storm watcher

impatient for the seas to rise
take up with the wind
to thrash the narrow shores
draw down forest and throw it back again

like a pulse and torrent of tide
watching for the calm to break
in the mudflat stinking
below a ruined creek

wild country claimed
just long enough for violence
the colonial project still works
its way through our gums

like shrapnel cutting out
where bones stand
hollow of merit
shards of camp life

decay and decline
each wave of extraction
another gaping wound
slash and screed, silting up 

Her apology speaks

her apology speaks
against the white whisper
he pushes her because
she apologizes

there you are, there

because the woman weighs curves
has breasts she takes
above her fine ass though
knuckles pound her body
pulling hair
because she was nineteen
her jeans
because she is sheets
shaped like a fan 

(“Her apology speaks” is after Kimiko Hahn, “The Akashi Woman Speaks above a Whisper.”)

Rami Schandall is a poet and multi-disciplinary artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her poem, “Timepiece,” was the winner of The Malahat Review’s 2019 Open Season Award. Her prose-poem, “Fernando,” was short-listed for the same prize in 2020. She is interested in the telling and miss-telling of stories, the weird insight available in poetic accident, and cross-pollination between linguistic, visual, and sonic art forms. Currently in development: a poetry manuscript, and a book-length work whose subject is the tragic story of a family that lived on a remote island in northern British Columbia one century ago. 

Previous Next