Zigzag is now A Brief Relief
My debut book of poetry is forthcoming, hence the new name and direction
My debut book of poetry, A brief relief from hunger, is forthcoming from Gordon Hill Press in fall 2023.
(I’m excited. How excited? The-Roughriders-just-won-the-Grey-Cup excited.)
The book is about my experience with addiction, British Columbia’s overdose crisis, stigma, and hunger.
The name change of this newsletter from Zigzag to A Brief Relief reflects a new focus on my book and its topics. Going forward, expect previously published poems from the manuscript, new essays on addiction and drug use generally, and updates on A brief relief from hunger.
Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy the new direction!
A brief relief from hunger is a collection of poems about the yearnings of a young man—cocaine, human connection, fast food—and the ravenous world in which he lives. In Vancouver, the speaker binges Big Macs after attending rehab while others consume fentanyl-tainted drugs. Growling bodies are everywhere, including on Facebook where people post cruel comments about drug users in the face of British Columbia’s overdose crisis. At the heart of the collection are poems that respond to these comments from the perspective of the speaker, now sober but still hungry, whose friends are dying from the contaminated drug supply. Hungry, too, are the birds that call British Columbia home. Robins catch worms, crows gobble French fries, and owls ingest poisoned rats.
Using both traditional and experimental forms, the collection asks important questions about hunger and desire. Who gets to “eat” in public? Who must hide in shame? The speaker knows at least one reliable source of contentment: Grandma’s kitchen, where, at his lowest points, he finds cabbage rolls, acceptance, and a tenderness he wishes to absorb into his masculinity. “Let me be a man,” the speaker proclaims, “who cools that which is too hot to slurp, / a dishrag hung on my shoulder.”