Two Poems from Helen Guri

Being secret, like a leg brace from childhood.
Not having anything, to eat or worry about.
A bus transfer sailing through seven seas of air. The resting places
of lost raisins.
The lobster, boiling. Surgical procedures to revive the senses of
those born blind and deaf.
Common senselessness, the dripping sponge of it.
Emotions duned like ash from the work week’s smokestacks on a
little side table.
A sudden wind from the patio, its fairy tale.
The cryptic luck of numbers. The ulterior motives of all the objects
in a room.
My little walnut of sadness through clothing. My close-bitten peach
pit of glee. The texture of the legs on all the spiders in the room.
The bath of my senses like several tides around her, the shoal of it.
Certain gadgets reserved like Egyptian artifacts for later.
The island of plastic bottles in the Pacific that is a secret the size
of America.
The wine stain deep in the turning lane of my Pentax-squat.
Why my better half looks so steamed in all the pictures.
Two whatsits cheek by jowl in a kitchen.
She slumped over the bunion of the tuber.
As if the snow globe of the world shook
and they collided, an unlikely set –
Barbie and her jowly pug, heroine and sidekick,
kid at Christmas cradling her rare
albino coal, Madonna and infant
of an irradiated cosmos, shiny as ash.
But it was getting on supper hour.
I cooked romantically – you can guess who lost out.
I cleaned a dozen gleaming sockets
with my peeler’s plover end,


an eye, an eye, an eye.


In time a broom swept through, filtering
the little glints of sight from the tile.
Who knows what anyone sees in anything?


Helen Guri graduated from the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing program, and has taught writing at Humber College. Her work has appeared in many Canadian journals, including Arc, Descant, Event, Fiddlehead andGrain. The above poems are from Match, her first collection, shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She lives in Toronto. You can read an interview with Guri here and here