Poetry by Jordan Mounteer

Read More: A brief interview with Jordan Mounteer

Chinese Teapots

Her father is dying and the sky
has become a fissure in November,
pounded light’s long excisions carved
into upended canyons. And rain,
it hasn’t stopped raining for days.
Stalking down tiered cedar boughs
like wet fingers on an instrument.
Under the joisted ceiling of the teahouse,
bundled in grey wool blankets in his wheelchair
he hates, her father struggles with the tea.
Steam brushes up his arms, tenuous as the other
scents that play off his skin, paraffin
and the lingering lye of soap, bookended habits.
Things that ought not to occur to him, do.
Letters from dead friends under lamplight
in fire-towers up north, of his own father’s nest
of linen in a foreign hospital, and of a girl
he took to bed in Rome. How they made love
in the bathtub and her terra-cotta skin
that changed color when wet. Over the bank
poplars wobble, scrolled trunks softening
with the season. Osprey buzz over mudflats,
decaled wings glazed against the brown pottery
of the world. Like hundred year old teapots
you’d think the flavor of these moments
would settle, at last, after a thousand uses.
The aggregate of ritual imbued so fiercely
and so often in the clay that to steep the tea,
you merely boil water.

 

untitled

Rituals (II)
Mindo, Ecuador

Dragons of cloud belly through
the valley. Puddles clotted
in the cobble-stone alleys,
ruddy with local clay. Under
his arm sweet-bread wrapped
in newspaper. He fetches each step
as if the next might wake
some fear he has let slumber.
The slow amble of a man
who doesn’t care when he arrives
because he knows what is waiting for him.
Past the cement soccer court
where men in crisp felt hats
lay bets, past the crippled dog
at the edge of the curb who lifts
his head like a marionette.
Back in the cabin he strips off the wet
snarl of his shirt and thinks of all
the Spanish heroes who inscribed
the names of their lovers with a pin
on the petals of camellias.
The room huddles in one corner […]


Subscribers can read the full version by logging in.
Not a subscriber? Sequestrum is a pay-what-you-can journal:
Our rates are variable so that everyone can enjoy outstanding literature.
Access this and all our bi-weekly publications (and submit for free).

Subscribe Today



untitled

Lessons

My father leans over the kitchen counter,
spit-wets the flat stone and demonstrates
the back and forth scrape of sharpening.

Later we will sit on a downed log by the lake
and slit the bellies of rainbow trout
early-dead with eyes unlike all animals
because they do not follow you after death. […]


Subscribers can read the full version by logging in.
Not a subscriber? Sequestrum is a pay-what-you-can journal:
Our rates are variable so that everyone can enjoy outstanding literature.
Access this and all our bi-weekly publications (and submit for free).

Subscribe Today



___________________________________

Jordan Mounteer has been published in numerous Canadian and American publications including Grian, Prairie Schooner, Arc, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, existere, and subTerrain. Mounteer has won or been shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review Open Season Award, The Montreal International Poetry Prize, PRISM international’s Poetry Prize, and the Adirondack Review’s 46’er Prize. His debut manuscript liminal is forthcoming with Sono Nis Press.

Read More: A brief interview with Jordan Mounteer