About Richard: Originally from Ottawa, Richard-Yves Sitoski came to his senses and moved to Owen Sound in 2010. Since his arrival he has performed frequently throughout Grey County as a spoken word artist. He holds an M.A. in Classical Studies from Queen’s University and is the author of one collection of poems, brownfields (Ginger Press, 2014), and numerous scattered fragments. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Grimm Magazine, The Maynard, Eclectica Magazine and blue skies poetry. He is, along with Owen Sound’s current Poets Laureate, Rob Rolfe and Larry Jensen, a member of the Métissage collective. He is also Arts Editor of the Thornbury Paper. In his spare time he writes songs and dreams of Guatemala.
Aid Convoy Bombed in Advance of International Peace Day, September 19-21, 2016 poets write of human aspirations slants of late summer light hitting the leaves just so and meditative silences filled with the sound of personal epiphany all the while out there others are caught in the sound of something else not the sound of people asking obvious questions and giving obvious answers but in the silence before the questions are asked and the silence once the answers are given in other words in sounds only the dead have ever heard & from this sidewalk where the worst thing that can happen is a flat tire and the vegetation is a green tending toward the brown and free of all connotations of spring comfortable urban houses block the plumes of smoke rising from the burned out Syrian trucks leaving me to mumble to myself inarticulate and seeking epiphany just to write some obvious lines about the oblivious dead & if church bells filling the morning with reassurance can teach me anything it's that poems written on scraps of blasted surgical scrubs half buried in sand and the slag from a charred ambulance where fig and date trees used to sway providing the living with a honey- scented locus for contemplation will never be read by those who will only know epiphany by asking and answering their own obvious questions Blood Recollection it's not healthy to be inspired by first love it's a bad habit in youth & begs dishonesty in age yet there you have it Algonquin Park up to our knees in a pond legs whiter than foam cups & just as intrusive we had just done it beneath the poplars clumsily ending mere minutes before the MNR truck rolled in and when it came time to leave the water you jumped you'd never had a leech on you much less found your calves sprouting vampiric black buds & with nothing to burn them off you nearly panicked as I plucked each from its Mercedes-logo grip but see I know I've remembered this wrong we had sex after swimming you didn't panic and I wasn't your first love & the truth comes back as I'm making dinner and cut myself while chopping onions & the memory wells and drips where I nicked my finger becoming a lake so broad it has a tide Poem for My Son the moon creates the evening the unique stillness of a darkened house the room-filling quiet of a street once the screens are off Chinese poets wrote of sundered couples romantic leagues apart united in its light no need to belabour it looks down upon our works at a safe remove as we sleep on ways to ruin ourselves forests brutalized the ground picked at like a bleeding sore water turned to molecules with foot-long names and everywhere bankers extending credit & all the while I want so badly to give you the only real currency the one which has the weight of a gull feather lost in a tussle for a crayfish and though you joke of bears outside your window while you sleep how long can they visit you imparting wisdom when they themselves don't know what's coming? if I could I'd find your bear and give him the sorry news we blew it sure as capital causes cancer but I can't shield you or prevent you from learning all this on your own only soften the pain of landing by inspiring you with a few cubic inches of pure air atop the Escarpment gazing at birds from above & with the fields near Kemble spread before you and giving you the feeling of having your own set of wings it won't stop the death squads the diamond mines put a moratorium on building in Dubhai bring back to life the passenger pigeon or do a lick to halt the sick momentum of the planet but it may be enough to prove that's not all there is you don't have to buy it there's still a modicum of authenticity left in the world & you can find it if you keep your wits & though learning from example is the world's hardest thing it's a challenge I'm up for if it kills me because while this night the distance between us is as great as the moon's from the sea nothing can stop me from stretching an arm 200,000 miles to grab the water and draw it closer if only by a foot