Spotlight #4: Jason Christie

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.


Hi rob,
These days, I find, I want to write and read things that don’t have an overt agenda, things that are small, fragile, imperfectly formed, gentle. I want to write poems that are something instead of being about something. I prefer to drift where before I might have followed a strict rationale, to go alone instead of with the full weight of a community, tradition, or subject supporting me.

The poems I’ve shared with you are the result of my wandering, doubt, fear, isolation, hope, joy, and curiosity. They do not solve any problem, they don’t address any issues directly, nor are they overtly political. They don’t fetishize a subject, or mine it, to increase the awareness of my brand. I recognize I’m fully inside the narcissistic trap. This letter, with its artificial construction, summarizes that whole mess quite well.

I wish you and your family good health,


Two poems

dumb material

A reverse chalkboard
Slate inside out, graph-
Ene will outshine as-
Bestos for miracle sub-
Stance of the millennia
To be then or to have
Not dissimilar water jugs
No pan select to scan
The whatever-horizon
As if a poem made
From dumb material
Inert gas station att-
Endant or noble rot-
Ten fingers and ten-
Se middle ground
To battle or leave be-
Reft when language
Denies audience in an
Absolute act of suspended
Disbelief, ignorance
Fenced in by mania

by prince, we mean

I cannot imagine what will not save me
Into against instead bounding: we say
Aloft again as a formal reference occludes

The thing which unannounces itself.
I say, rejoice in the hands of who loves you

Slacken tide and timbre frames window
Panes and unglossed languages, bud

What I started to say in the beginning
In the front matter at the start of it all

Light light light shown house shapes
From the darkened forest path, we
Find glass, metal bits, and wood
Strewn as we walk hand in hand

Jason Christie is the author of Canada Post (Snare), i ROBOT (Edge/Tesseract), Unknown Actor (Insomniac), and a co-editor of Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury). He has four chapbooks from above/ground press: 8th Ave 15th St NW. (2004), GOVERNMENT (2013), and Cursed Objects (2014), and The Charm (2015). He is currently writing poetry about (being) objects, and exaltation.