A Poem by Jami Macarty




at maximum ebb—

how goes the world

that nonpurposefully

runs your ship aground


horizontal hulk afloat mud flat

lies across wind

a dissonance that is there

but we don’t want it to be


alien afternoons the penalty

we don’t know what you know


how about this aseptic room

you don’t open your eyes in

every day swelling more tubes

tracheotomy questions


whose nurse’s hands

these are on your genitals


how you are unbroken

beyond what this is


one day every day

we keep thinking we will wake

from this tanker, its conspicuous

gloom filling the center


and you won’t be in that hospital bed

and the sea will be a magic again



Jami Macarty is the author of Landscape of The Wait, a chapbook of poems focusing on her nephew, William’s car accident and year-long coma (Finishing Line Press, June 2017) and Mind of Spring, winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award (Vallum October, 2017). Former Executive Director of Tucson Poetry Festival (1996-2005), she teaches contemporary poetry and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, is a co-founder and editor of the online poetry journal The Maynard, and writes Peerings & Hearings–Occasional Musings on Arts in the City of Glass, a blog series for Anomalous Press A recipient of grants from Arizona Commission on the Arts, Banff Center, and BC Arts Council, among others; several times a Pushcart Prize nominee; a finalist for the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award, and the winner of the 2016 Real Good Poem Prize (a 2,000 purse!), her poems can be read in American and Canadian journals, including Arc Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Drunken Boat, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Prism international, Vallum: contemporary poetry, Verse Daily, and Volt.


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