Geomantic riposte: 'Combustion'

Originally from Western Canada, Lorri Neilsen Glenn now lives in Halifax and spends her summers in Saskatchewan. She served as Poet Laureate for Halifax from 2005-2009 and she has producing award-winning scholarship and creative nonfiction. Her popular workshops on memoir and life writing have been held across Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, as well as in Ireland, Greece, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. Her critically acclaimed forays into poetic memoir form include the poignant Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry, which explores Neilsen Glenn's awareness of poetry as a model of secular compunction that serves as a form of prayer. Her collection Combustion was longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Awards and here is what poet par excellence Daphne Marlatt indicates about this text:

These are poems with a wonderfully long reach, honed through an awareness of mortality and time’s looping returns. …Neilsen Glenn’s ear is contemporary, her humour mordant at times, her lyric radar open to dark silhouettes of absence and moments packed with the phenomenally joyous. ‘Clutching a piece of the brink,’ she nets lives with a clear eye and a precision of image that is startling. This is a collection that points us remarkably to our being here. 

Combustion by Lorri Neilsen Glenn (Brick Books, 2007, Page 19)


The rest of my life is right here. Opens the box, grey rocks the size of a

woman’s hand. Haven’t seen this, I say. Guy in Labrador ships it to me. A

wonder, this rock. The texture of the coastline from the plane—ragged,

sharp, banking off the sea. Blunted. The sun is tentative outside the shop

window, wants to crawl inside. Tools on his workbench waiting, placid.

Look now. He has sprayed a piece with water, holds it under the light

clamped between us. Blue, silver, violet, green moving in sheets, and I

hold my breath under the smooth blade of his voice. The Northern Lights

in there. That’s where I’m going.


Geomantic Riposte: Conceptual

(courtesy of Aware House Books in Cathedral Village - Regina, SK)