blueberries (2) // emilie kneifel

a scribble-column about how words taste. like blurbs, sure, but bluer. by poet and critic emilie kneifel.

book of mirrors

bára hladíková

“accustomed to the / shock of strangers' faces / on the street,” she can see-through. in bed, translucent, her time splits. “a body or a memory,” “i expand over / the entire earth to feel anything like / feeling alive.” here to there, floating, soaking, “is the same relative thickness as an eggshell to an egg.” “the remaining / coins.” “who i wanted to be yesterday /crumbled in the kitchen” — but everything can become part of a home-making.“hold the bowl of my pelvis / like a flower.” “hold your grief like a fruit.”this is a different kind of day span. “weightless, i watch clouds / upside down in blinds,” “dream of singing / like reeds in water,” “lose myself in a blueberry.” “knots swirl / tangle with the waves” as “ribs stitch themselves together.” 


nisa malli

(Bára asks, “have we always been here, young and old,” “as i burn my palm / over candles / because it is a pain / i am in charge of.” Nisa replies,) “you have always been here. they have always been here.”“nerves / so blunted i burn / a layer of skin / leaning into the oven.” “good// girl shaking // keys,” “i was a bad worker / of my own body” (“your own /falls. your own fault. your own fault”). “your dendrites / like tumbleweeds,”“axons left hanging, blinking quietly.” not “a doctor / or a priest,” the “angels move / like refracted light between the aisles.” they know you / are waiting,”that “you are well / versed” in “axe-split / kneecap,” “swollen / hope.” like these precise folds, “you want / to fold yourself in to a paper / envelope.”but there is a fused lumbar, a body’s “unwillingness / to be bent like a bird.”“with what mouth do you name” “falling hard / over everything”? “lightning in the soft / bellows of your cheek.” the “sparrows [that] tumbled from my throat.” 

wordscrack, my broken brain

rosemary xinhe hu

“yesterday i saw a man on the bus / with these same blue socks, these socks that dye everything / next to them.” “when i swim now …i let the blue … press release / engulf me slow / fast whole.” this world is protractor sharp—“the sum of your hand cut and copy,” “90 degree angle kitty corner cut across from the tip of my nose.” wide-eyed, zoom-in zoom-out, all of the thrashing. collecting cheap cologne in her lungs, “black glitter in cheeks,” “dark gold glitter / on your outer edge eyelash.” drip drip / drop /dropped.” wanting to cup a baby, her father, the stranger who picks up a coin, from all of it. “we are all ways three days between Sunday / and being hurt again all the time.” all ways three days between Sunday and a rainbow for dinner (“except for blue because / there are no blue vegetables”). “no one said it but some things have to be true.” like how “i hate / missing the light on /the water when i drive across / a bridge because / i’m not supposed to die yet” can become, impossibly, “i can be safer tomorrow.” 

“blueberries” features books by marginalized canadian authors, with a special focus on chapbooks. do you have a chapbook? a chapstick? a blue berry? email queries (and berries) to [email protected]

emilie kneifel is a poet/critic, editor at The Puritan/Theta Wave, creator of CATCH/PLAYD8s, and also a list. find 'em at, @emiliekneifel, and in Tiohtiá:ke, hopping and hoping.

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