National Poetry Month Day 19: “The Sturdiness” by Sina Queyras

By

The Sturdiness

For a long time I was thinking that I had to do more.

The way a dancer looks away from the camera.

I want to be a direct leap, not a hesitation.

I like the sturdiness of gladioli. As flowers go, they are a good investment.

Ironically, many people who are protesting the tar sands have investments in them.

The postmodern moment is not to take delight in one’s own destruction, but to unconsciously facilitate it.
When I think of Gary Cooper I think of socks.

I probably would have fallen for a young Pound.

I have no idea why so many intelligent people choose to devote their lives to poetry so early and so exclusively.

Not all joy is simplistic.

If Pound were a contemporary I might have asked him for some sperm.

I would rather have asked Gertrude Stein but I don’t believe she had any sperm.

There are always things to worry about: not being the next big thing is far down the list.

I think of Lisa sleeping in my small office in Philly, worrying all night that the bookshelves might fall on her head.
Later I thought my books were probably up all night too, rigid with anticipation as to whom she chose to read.

I don’t mean to animate my library, I just do.

The first book I owned I stole from the Hudson’s Bay on Portage Avenue. I walked home across the river with it under my parka.

The covers of a book feel differently after being read by others, more open.

The scents that linger are too intimate.

I still regret that book. I suppose I didn’t really own it.

I let myself worry about being followed and caught out but the truth is I am a terrific thief.

-Sina Queyras

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Sina Queyras grew up on the road in western Canada and she has since lived in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia and Calgary where she was Markin Flanagan Writer in Residence. She is the author most recently of Unleashed (BookThug), a selection of posts from the first four years of her blog. Her previous collection of poetry, Expressway (Coach House 2009) was nominated for a Governor General’s Award and a selection from that book won Gold in the National Magazine Awards. Lemon Hound (Coach House 2006) won a Lambda Award and the Pat Lowther Award. In 2005 she edited Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, for Persea Books. She is contributing editor at Drunken Boat where she has curated folios on Conceptual Writing and Visual Poetry. She has taught creative writing at Rutgers, Haverford and Concordia University in Montreal where she currently resides.


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