A poem for probably the most unique voice in Canadian poetry, Joe Rosenblatt, who died March 11, 2019.


slipped into the bridal stream, the fishy brides
he dreamed gliding among the reeds, joe working
long ago for uncle nathan on the blood-gobbed
sawdust floor, clubbing the living ghost out of
a pickerel, all slimy parts, lungs and hearts, that
violence and the betrayals of family, mother
and the bearded ones waving him away from
the table, the tired rebbe with his drink and
venerable smile, and night came, and the waters
were dark where he learned to cast his line,
him walking on ruined feet through feral fields
of serpent bird and muse, bard of the fantastic,
the shadow of a dragonfly hovering over him,
briefly, then gone, and now he is unmarrowed
and untenacled and, yes, he has slipped away
to marry the alluring brides.

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