September 21, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Chris Goldberg photo



Penn Kemp







Urban smoke: what’s cracked up as

diesel exhaust and me(n)tal fatigue–

twin assaults on the boundary of the possible.


Tires tread. Wearily worn

down by constant cycling, I am

tired. And exhorted to register anger,

mobilize resistance at Arts Cuts,


funding losses. The Government

has forgotten tourist revenues and taxes

it claims from cultural workers. As if we

can support the flailing system. As if

Art were a frill, not a necessary art/

iculation of response.


Wresting something out of

nothing, that is something

even the gods must rest from.


Even I am not too tired to jot

this poem down. Truly tired and it

would have just







What’s the shakeout? More than a moment,

more than a movement. The momentum of

change at last. At least, we hope so.


We are cast into the future

without awareness. We activists want to

change the world one word at a time. One

whirl. What has changed? What is static?


When does #metoo become inclusive, #us-

too. That means you, guys. And you. And,

yes, you there, hiding behind the computer

screen. I see you.


What is possible? We shall see. But we can’t

only see, we will







Mary McDonald photo

Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor.  Her latest works are Local Heroes, and the forthcoming Fox Haunts. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women. See www.pennkemp.weebly.com and riverrevery.ca.

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