Spotlight #1: Amanda Earl

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series will appear the first Monday of every month beginning in June.


First of a series of poems that takes language & imagery from the work of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton. Dealing with the physical & mental effects of entering menopause: hot flashes, cold flashes, temper tantrums, menstruation, sex drive, sleep troubles, creativity. Subjects a woman is not supposed to talk about.

two poems from “MacEwen’s Electric Garden”

Certain Dark Things*

she will drag the moon
from the midnight ink
of its sky, hurl it across
fields & plunge it into
unfathomable seas
holding it down
holding it down
this intensity is fermented
in the red depths of

electric, a garden
 every rose she
 tends will crackle
 wither shiver
 after her heat
 has passed

she is a lover, yes she is
a lover of these flowers
but her clench stunts
their growth shreds their

entangled in the
 gargantuan vines
 of old fairy tales
 that led skyward
 she, a young girl
 had different dreams
 of lightning of thunder

& how she didn’t want the
handsome tulip w/ vacuous
smile but rather the stinging
nettle its wild brambles
to tear at her flesh to stir
her nature to match her
thorn for thorn

*Title from Neruda’s Sonnet XVII

Peri — shed

“Self, I want you now to be violent,
 and without history,”
 Gwendolyn MacEwen, The Thing is Violent

this bloody paradox destroyer
of the pet elled body resistor
to harmonies of egg &
cell if a lack but river
courses through a gush
monthly of wrath a poison
of platelets eye of temper
pinch of bitchery bubble bubble
toil & trouble stirs up
a boiling ocean of highs
& lows a two-year old’s
tantrum reborn in the shredded
violet the mulch of scarlet a mad
symphony of string instruments
competing w/ sobs a cacophony
hysteria inferno of the heart

Amanda Earl is a Canadian poet, publisher & pornographer who likes to think of herself as a trouble-maker. Her books are Kiki (long poems: Chaudiere Books, 2014); Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl (smutty short fiction: Coming Together, 2014); A World of Yes (an erotic novella: DevilHouse, 2015). Her latest chapbooks are firstwalks of the year (In/Words Press, 2015) & A Book of Saints (above/ground press, 2015). Amanda is the managing editor of & the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. For more information: