Conversations with Niton, Have you ever fallen in love with a day by Selina Boan
2020 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist
Selina Boan made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist for Conversations with Niton, Have you ever fallen in love with a day.
You can read Conversations with Niton and Have you ever fallen in love with a day below.
Conversations with Niton
"We knew that our language came before the world" - Terese Marie Mailhot
this forest has the lip ring of ur teenage dreams
spun moss so metal it hurts
u grind ur teeth hard
battle urself like pikachu versus pikachu
electric shock that burns everyone
except the grass
language is a mosh pit
it spits shoves grins
sweats rivers, pulls hailstorms
it is push of aster, lake grunt
in memory before memory
u learn, nipiwahcāw
the ground is wet
like the middle of u
all ur failures line up as teeth
familiar and necessary
like leaving ur body for a time
u believe u are not enough if ur not loved
watch a woman undress at the lake
unbutton jean shorts, slip morning off
near empty slurpee cups, leftover
brain freeze, u swallow
indecent in ur missing of other lips
a lighting strike between selves
rare and unforgiving
like the taste of armpit sweat
a boiled egg
lodged in the throat
cooked in an inch of reservoir
water, u drink
ur grief holding
like a day, inside
prayer for endless sky
tumble and fling
language like a lighter
like a flame turning to dance
Have you ever fallen in love with a day
that senselessly beautiful way light filters a forest all gold body, all quiet sway
so soft on the inside u get drunk on it
pine cones hanging from ur brain
a shelter from the teeth of animals morning ice love's shadow
ur learning ur language on twitter
googling the weather in Nehiyawewin tānisi ê-isi wêpahk
how is the weather being flung?
copper wires of rain heaved like a body touching itself
over this day drowning all undershirts and sorrow
most days u hate urself play online poker with the currency of skittles
enter anonymous chat rooms to meet other women
u leave band-aids in the river cut ur roommate's hair
with gloved hands on the back porch
ends scattering like body glitter like rain
if sadness is a legacy, so is joy
and so, payipāstêw the sun shines through a hole in the clouds
and in this forest moss crawls up ur legs tinted with heat curled like eyelashes under metal
how to be as loveable and dangerous as the sun?
how to love like a day? not endlessly but with care for every forest or room you touch
every spot there is light
- alley/bird/ally by Hiromi Goto
- Tickling the Scar by Matthew Hollett
- Learning to Count by Emily Riddle
- Adipose Glose by Andrea Scott
About Selina Boan
Selina Boan is a white settler-nehiyaw writer living on the traditional, unceded territories of thexʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. Her debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours, is forthcoming in spring 2021. Her work has been published in The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2020. She has received several honours, including the 2017 National Magazine Award for Poetry and Room Magazine's Emerging Writer Award. She is currently a poetry editor for Rahila's Ghost Press and is a member of The Growing Room Collective. Boan made the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist with her poem In six, the seasons.
The poems' source of inspiration
"These two poems reach towards the challenges, deep reverence, shame and joy that accompanies the process of my (very slow) learning of Nêhiyawêwin. These are poems about land, language, and the body. They tangle themselves up in the messy, powerful, unromantic learning process.
These two poems reach towards the challenges, deep reverence, shame and joy that accompanies the process of my (very slow) learning of Nêhiyawêwin.
"There is an inherent tension and violence between English and Nêhiyawêwin; I am mindful of the way my body holds both and the responsibilities I carry as a white settler-nehiyaw. In my poems, I am drawn towards the way language and naming informs identity, yields power, memory and cultural knowledge. It can erase, it can empower. It imparts how we construct and view the worlds around us."
The winner of the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.