Winnipeg Arts Council

Ars Poetica

A mirror in the angled light becomes
a slow weapon. This is the best of all
we try to do: pull closer detached light

make it closer heat. At our best, we burn
what needs burning. We say the silenced thing,
again. We speak about the silencing.

Art held me like a note. It translated
a language I did not know I was speaking.
It asked and asked again: what is the use

Of comfort? Who is still aching? Who’s braced
against the blade? What hands hold the handle?
There is no point to this without pointing.

Saying there I am, there you are, we were.
There is what’s true. Here is how far we need
to go. That is what I meant. It is what

I mean to have said. I won’t split any
room from the safety of the pedestal.
I will do it in among you. When I sing

free my people everywhere, all I mean
is all of my favourite poems are sung
in a chorus, fists holding up the sky.

Presented at the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts
June 13, 2024