Geomantic riposte: 'Kerosene'

Recipient of the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, Jamella Hagen grew up in Hazelton, BC and has lived in Vancouver, Brazil and South Korea. Her award-winning poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies across Canada. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a former editor of PRISM international. Hagen teaches at Yukon College and makes her home in Whitehorse, where she is an active member of the Whitehorse Poetry Society. Her first book of poems, Kerosene, exhibits a sharp lyric sensibility and attention to detail that moves the reader through the rural interior of British Columbia and far beyond.

Kerosene by Jamella Hagen (Nightwood Editions, 2011, Page 67)


This hotel room. This porcelain

and plastic, this painted sailboat

and singed grey sea. The way notions

of home overlap each other,

like fine layers of shale. If you crack

the whole thing with a hammer,

the pieces come loose

in your hands.


Geomantic Riposte: Pieces


The stranger is still staring

at the ceiling    Marvelous,  moved

piece   by piece,   all of this       It is

cold and bright and peaceful

where you are not because one

really gets used to seeing       no one

no one     interrupting those anxious

screaming pieces     moving

      them  about after

                         implicit curfew