Posted: Wednesday March 25, 2020
We are so pleased that BC and Yukon Book Prize–winner Mercedes Eng’s new book, my yt mama, has arrived in-house. my yt mama is a collection of poems that considers historic and contemporary colonial violence in the Canadian prairies, a settler geography and state of mind that irrevocably shaped Eng’s understanding of race as person of colour born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
In a recent paper edition of the Globe and Mail, the Paper Hound bookstore recommended my yt mama, writing, “[h]er books Mercenary English and Prison Industrial Complex Explodes are sharply observed and incredibly poignant/personal long poems; her latest title my yt mama just came out and is, predictably, quite brilliant.” If you’re in Vancouver, call the Paper Hound at 604-428-1344 to order your copy; if you’re outside of Vancouver, order at talonbooks.com/books/my-yt-mama.
Here, we are sharing a three-poem sequence from my yt mama.
how my father saw my yt mama
unlike my dad’s mostly realist copper engravings
don’t ask’s surrealist imagery perplexed me as a kid
an emaciated male figure holding a set of scales
rides a skinny horse across a vast desert
lines of longitude radiating out to provide perspective
an oversized broken syringe
an hourglass in the foreground
the vanishing point a ballerina, my yt mama, pirouetting
at the base of a castle-topped mountain
my yt mama the vanishing point
my yt mama the muse
how I saw my yt mama
while in group therapy for drug recovery we did a lot of art
and one exercise was to create an image of our moms
a feminized figure composed of puzzle pieces outlined in red
a big question mark at the centre of her head
how my yt mama saw my father
I think my mom saw my dad like a lot of women saw my dad
well proportioned and fit as fuck
long thick straight black hair
sharp cheekbones wide smile
easy laugh charm for miles
tattoos that said I got a story you wanna hear
a visible lack of underpants that said I’m ready
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