Walking Through Turquoise launches Sept. 19-20

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Walking Through Turquoise, Laurie MacFayden’s third book of poetry, continues to explore the secrets and flirtations mined in her previous titles, White Shirt and Kissing Keeps Us Afloat. The sweet, clumsy intricacies of relationships; things you want to shout from rooftops but can’t; that tickle in your gut the first time she calls you honeyMacFayden ponders a one-way trip to Mars, the turmoil of clouds, the majesty of moonstone. ‘How can desire survive the tragedy of human aging?’ she asks, never losing sight of the joyous, wet, throbbing hallelujah. Walking Through Turquoise is a celebration of the glorious, swirling twine that binds us to things of this earth and beyond.

 

can you be buried in a canoe?
can you paddle on through
and come out the other side?
if the dog jumps out will the vessel tip?
at the bottom of the lake
will your toes find mud or bone?
between the shore and the floating dock,
whose sad, lonely cry swims you home?
— excerpt, red canoe

 

Published by Frontenac House, Walking Through Turquoise is part of Quartet 2017 which also features A Tincture of Sunlight, Vivian Hansen; The Riparian, Lisa Pasold; and This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Calgary launch: Tuesday, Sept. 19, Wordfest space, Memorial Park Library, 7-9 p.m. Author readings and refreshments.
Edmonton launch: Wednesday, Sept. 20, The Almanac, 10351 82 (Whyte) Ave., 7-9 p.m. Author readings and refreshments.

the map of our world has no beginning or end
our cartography tells us not where we’ve been
or where we need to go, merely:
where we are joined is at the chest,
the welcoming corner bone of hip,
the intersection of dusk and constellation
joined by alchemy, spirits of the woods,
by hobo roads and caution stones
— excerpt, world map

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we wanted to let love come in

after hey, that’s no way to say goodbye
for edmonton poetry festival, birds on a wire event, april 2017

remember what our bodies craved, when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea,  that sleepy, river feeling
we mapped out tender places, stolen moments for the taking
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we wanted to let love come in, what made us so afraid?
the girl inside you sang back then; my sad piano played

we found a quaint discreet hotel, without much of a view
we left the maid our morning sheets, they smelled like me and you
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
for me that was your blessed skin, your freckled upper back
for you it was my winter eyes, you said they saw right through
you said they made you realize we can’t always be true

you opened me like beaujolais, and sipped until i came
and when the chimes of midnight rang, i cried out your old name
i paid you back in poetry, i paid you back in rhyming
yet despite how deep we loved — we loved! — we always blew the timing
we tried to set up house in greece but never got it right
dinners began with sambuka and ended in a fight

i want to be your hero knight, but i can’t be your man
we navigate the distances the only way we can
i asked you once, where did you run? you said we’d meet in france
now that it’s time to part again, you still owe me that dance
the clock is set for leaving, is there something i should know?
you’ve made it so damned clear to me, you’re really gonna go

we found a thousand crazy ways to make each other cry
you couldn’t be nobody’s wife; i had to paint the sky
still, remember what our bodies craved when we were newly healing
blueberries and honey tea, that safe and floaty feeling
no greater gift than kissing you, sweet lover, upon waking
we fed each other’s hungers with the morning gently breaking
we wanted to let love come in — like light, it finds a crack
and now you’ve gone, but hey, i’ll never stop wanting you back

© laurie macfayden, from Walking Through Turquoise, Frontenac House, 2017

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‘That Laurie MacFayden, she’s a howler’

KKUA cover FINALLovely review of Kissing Keeps Us Afloat from Michael Dennis over at Today’s Book of Poetry.

And when I say lovely, I mean fan-fucking-tastic.

Some highlights:

kissing keeps us afloat is a sustained torrent, a laughing rush, a relentless scream/yodel of passion. This red boat has no oars as it crashes against the shores of love, breaks up on the rocks called desire.

Fearless, charismatic, funny, elegant, eloquent and frequently so horny you’d think the sky was falling before her final possible hump. Laurie MacFayden has done something wonderful in the dazzling kissing keeps us afloat.

And we love, love, love the joyous title. Around the office it won the poll for best title this spring.

This collection is a “page-turner.” You really can’t wait to hear what MacFayden is going to burn up and turn red next.

(A poetry page-turner? Blush.)

What MacFayden has done over the course of kissing keeps us afloat is to romp ribald, I mean Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Erica Jong rutting – and like those excellent writers, reach so much more of the reader than simple erotica ever could. In these poems love does not always win, passion is not always requited. That’s not the point. It is the celebrations, the joy you remember that gets you through the dark. The promise of joy that brings us to the threshold of another dawn.

All that jazz and more is in the keen, crisp kissing keeps us afloat.

That Laurie MacFayden, she’s a howler. An Allen Ginsberg howler, celebrating hope and hard love.

(Takes one to know one, methinks, MD)

Today’s book of poetry thinks MacFayden’s kissing keeps us afloat steps up and delivers big time. Love isn’t all sweetness and light, she knows everything.

You can read the full gorgeous love letter here.

(Michael Dennis, can I offer you a ride in my red boat?)

Advance praise for Kissing Keeps Us Afloat

Honky-tonk tunes, swinging & searing verses, meditative narratives,
and catalogues of favoured things (including what lovers bring — or leave behind),
all merge to make Kissing Keeps Us Afloat a book for tongues and lips to sing.
MacFayden knows painting and music, and she loves words and women. The
result is art without limit, craft without regret, and poetry that faces trauma and
embraces the erotic.

MacFayden tells us, “some days,” a poet “will swagger home with roses; / some days, she will stagger home with thorns.”

KKUA cover FINALBecause her heart and mind are open to hurts and salves, the poet both suffers and exults. She sets her eyes — and sights — directly on bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, beaches, forest glades, motels, streets, and all the passion plays and comedies enacted in these places. Thus, she shows us that home is where the lover is, and home is where love is born, “hidden … in mitochondrial strands” or even in “the intimate seams of some underthings.”

MacFayden’s poetry is both red-hot and cool-blue, white lies and film noir, memory and truth. In the supposed mundane, she shows us, transcendence awaits.

— George Elliott Clarke

Kissing Keeps Us Afloat launch info