Four Poems by Jonathan Ball

New Work


The sun comes on your face. Arise, for a bigger better burger.
Incubus pillow. Bombs away from home for the first time.
A pearl necklace for your three-hour anniversary.
You have never slept if you have not slept corrugated.

The homeless as an important source of fibre.
This city is a regular landscape. One hundred
Percent Albertan beef lips ground against hips.
Lasso whips. A popular vote on a modest proposal.

My way: the highway. More or lest. Tits or that.
I’ll have the special, crotch filling with hope.
Oil-slicked dick, chicken-licking good.
Wood chips, now oven-flavoured, fire-roasted.

To assemble: insert epiphany, swallow chirping.
Gone to the ends of. Do I get fries with this?


There Is No Poetry

There is no poetry in line at the grocery store.
There is no poetry sleeping in the alley.
There is no poetry when the heat shuts off.

There is no poetry in the mail with your credit card bill.
There is no poetry when your daughter lies to you.

There is no poetry in the hospital.
There is no poetry at the court hearing.
There is no poetry after a twelve-hour shift.

Elsewhere, the ocean mocks boundaries.
I think I left the tap on in the next room.



There are monsters
and they
hide from us.

From the clatter
of rain
on the paragraph.

There are serpents.
On our maps,
in our skin.

Their words.
What the centre
will not bold.



I want my poems
to be knives.
Not to be like knives.

I want to open you.
To have letters
spill out.

I want eyes.
Back and forth,
bound to blade.

Eyes that notice
when muscles

Post a Comment

Your email address is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Jonathan Ball

Jonathan Ball, Ph.D., is the author of Ex Machina, Clockfire, and The Politics of Knives, which was recently shortlisted for a Manitoba book award. Visit him online at