Creating space for transformative conversations


By Jordan Scott

This poem was commissioned by Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue in honour of Chief Robert Joseph, recipient of the 2014 Jack P Blaney Award for Dialogue, and was originally presented at Vancouver Public Library as part of the City of Vancouver's Year of Reconciliation.


A shell finds
the woods
untamed head
in a piece
of light


the mouths, the violets
red mouth violence, the wolves
the fish, red mouth toys.

That what touches
never stops that
never body
within a body, hole
in sense reswallowing
nature to our throats.

I’m exhumanistically, sorry.

My crown of teeth, my dazzled teeth
scatter necklace as in Skeena leaps
from I to genera, blood to
taxonomy dwelts
quiet rivers be
quiet bodies;

I’m all esophageal; instinct arrives as a mountain.

And I am here as a necessary walk away from sleep

as woods are warm stages under nations
as little treasure I wish to keep:

anguish portal; nurselogs.

Moving forward into blue overhead.

There, there, in disrepair.
There, there. I said it:

and praise words
with no intention
whatsoever to stop.

I’m all esophageal; instinct is falling dogs like sails

of cloth dogs falling 
unthinkable till
the end running out
of voice and hissing
musculature sans
skeleton sans
bodies there’s
still airspace
there’s still
bodies on their backs
in rows, in ranks
in exploded view:

dog-ear anything
that’s vacant

red and
skin anthill
hunger is
speech is
reddish eye
color lost

Pasture women, children too.

Folk absence; mythologically missing.

for absence from
sun portage
to grid search
what bodies
full pity soil
what currents do
a floating body.

Leaf women, children too
are luxurious 
strewn forests

lost in the woods of myself.

I will go on and try to avoid revenge.

This is a new county, fields
endless but visible behind
every field.

There there, I said it:

the earth seems the bodies’ insides 
all blood relational
and paralyzingly lunar

when who is the kind of people we speak for
are understudy, internodal and interleaved centuries ago.

I imagine blood as being what a void would do

as meaning bloodhounds
unsome idiom of
full animal
of gods
and detritus and
leftover remains
of maybeings

outside the Costco or other pavilions

they’ve gone over

landscape and found that

things get missing; shit happens.  

In other words, chunks of chalk.

In other words, endless fields are galleries of beings.

In other words, I’m for the children but the problem is structural.

I’m all masterminded shareability; instinct is luxury

dew-points, crisp interjecta
quiet, cuneiform
pure is sleeping air.

Is erasure, yes. But it’s only atmospheric.

Only quietive, platelet
elegies thread a person
hanging like a wisp of straw
dog faces of a dream
or some black water
for the moment, say Hazlitt sleeping
blather of crimson umbicular tress.

Let us follow desire; it deteriorates.

It’s always the little ones first
as text stuffed within digressive episodes.

A body repockets itself.

Tits and teeth to floor as a system of waves; these familiar positions

one long sentence

will last only a moment.

We’re in a history of moments.


I call it, the more our bloods warm, the more languages touch some unleavened dough
then light biscuits and cream with ground almonds.

Cinnamon eloquence; guilt clinamen. 

Even the desires were stupefied.

It’s a landslide, out there

if the eye comes, gushing.

If the I were the documents read:

disinterested dysentery; mini is malnutrition.

Even desire was like, what!?

The river as an open belly; the lot an enormous tongue.


as only chest kept

language is non body

not lexicon and no mouth is

beyond premeditation.

Even desire opened-up slightly; stupefied lures

the mouths, the violets
red mouth violence, the wolves
the fish, red mouth toys.

Like each of them transience and dust. And arrhythmia too is chest noise of trapped
swallows of what whole words and don’t. Of what is hidden would remain hidden = what is lost would not return = what is distorted does not undistort.

It is a trap: this land, the dead, surviving.

Said again, witness is autodivisible.

Whiteness is documents.

The word begins with a crime

this poem; my little lips

breed tense into another body.

Ashen I semantics in a gush, say, Similkameen.
Of what is urged but not
sung hormonic
rivers god a levee
before poems.

I puke or evoke. An advent made to me.

This nature of harmony that loves to hide

off land
bent head
off words
sorry, off sound

and sound is
moving survival.

And sound is
missing abuse.

Even desire was hunting; watch desire replant the woods.


a forestry of good intentions.


Even the desires were stupefied.

I genera before fucktterance, say, some Nechako for a make-believe alphabet laid
serenely white. This blanket statement: my body, is to give it a rest already.

Phonology, I am sleeping.

Murals and intentions like animal bodies weighing outlines, weighing hiding places.

I dark until teeth as brilliant as eyes. My dazzling teeth.

In short, they presuscitate.

I’m alchemically, sorry.

And this is the day

when erasure feels less threatened with abandonment.

Ache poems; blood acres.

I ace in the hole of a stolen everything

sonorous geodecimals; unbrilliant earth

sans risk

sad poems

find in copying that anguish is certitude

is the body as always the body of another

sacrament bombshells; bivalvular sucking.

Even desire became a system of waves, as in the Nass, right to the end

where history becomes a fable

singing to the nerves: NATURE IS LABORATORY.

Unthinkingly grammatical; unwillingly pigfarms.

Yours truly,

Packed-in on a trail from within.

The women and babies; the magic or science.

Even desire was a little sleepy.

Like all operations these days.

Pixilated groanology

windows and their blossoms

torso parasails

glittering like thirst.

The little ones, if a door opens to the sun

are unhinged hummingbirds’

colored hearing

the mouths, the violets
red mouth violence, the wolves,
the fish, red mouth toys.

Or Crayola Chinooks

in the middle of a blue

like words before drowning

talcum surrender; women woven thereof.  

Finally, I think the horde is a poem

for words for eating crow.

Too tomb; too echo; too young

after all

sensate horror



And anguish sometimes
never stops forest
puzzle and sand
draws to itself
our tides and
sentimental itis
almost said
don’t wash away
a sound - soul would
imitate a field
skin smell of
lighting and clouds
drifting atmosphere
small bones
singing back
gallop stars
and swan
their vertigo
as if I press my ear
hard against all
blood laced
in text glitter
form arbor
rhythm creatures

Showed me the holes
in everything

like a column
never whole again
hidden light
as if a shard
within a wave
is a form of forgiveness
but can’t make a single sound

I’m here for
indexical roe
crumbs bygone
pastoral eyes
come back
all the way
dis color
head full
culture ilium
ill but
all words
waiting in the mouths, the violets
red mouth violence, the wolves
the fish, red mouth toys.

Gleam departure
dew gleam waiting
then gone
heavy steps
making sure of rivers
turn to come
foliage of sphere
frenulum foils
gyrate luminous
eat that empty sky
one star solemn in
empty sky
songs seem
to stir
songs of black spaces
or stars held in suspense
waiting dawn or robins
wait to sing
to slip cheeks
close near backs
and fern
spines in
a little bit of rain
filled moon
and eyes
filled with suspense
without anyone seeing
thin itinerant hearts
through some muscle
then reminder of whatever
forms need

Like all the ancestors
we have in our bodies

Wrung tongue
wrong, language
it’s sometimes not
a mouth but
small gasp
forest effortless
in spine image
nation heart
like a whale knotting
more commotion
than form of collapse
more reckoning
tracks from

I know
the holes I have

nibble shade shallot
hung distance
small empty nouns
discover that speech
is never simply single
but co-pastels
thirst for startle
and stare out rubble
ways to meet
an opening
in mist-morning
monoglot noon
now to swoon
foreground waste
here, aporias
for doze wild
value creep wild
to live in
this world
with closure
as if books and
bodies close
waiting its
water folding
off surety prowls
lounge out whole
mouth to touch plaything
you, history and
grass in twists
of light and
words, free

Jordan Scott. March 2014


Companions: Marie Annharte Baker, Robin Blaser, Clark Coolidge, Lisa Robertson, Jules Supervielle, Broc Rossell, Jen Curin, Stephen Collis, Paul Éluard, Jason Christie, Summer and Sacha Scott, Cecily Nicholson, Dan Beachy-Quick, Donato Mancini, Michael Nardone, Donald Barthelme, Srikanth Reddy, Aaron Tucker, Ted Wisniewski, Jason Starnes, Lissa Wolsak, Helene Cixous, Fred Moten, Harryette Mullen, Ken Belford, Jocelyn Saidenberg and Chief Robert Joseph.

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