Baptists — Bushcraft (Southern Lord)
Because erosion is a gradual process, we assume that it is gentle. Water palming rock, handling it until it is worn smooth. This record reminds us that while sometimes rock is shaped by wind slipping against it like a shawl, just as often it is scourged. The scouring of dust blown at gale force, water as searing as acid etching. That just because something takes a while doesn’t mean it isn’t violent. That times makes a desert of us all.
Saint Alvia — Static Psalms (Union)
Chewed for luck, a flush of cool between cheek and tongue. Spring raised to your health or salvation. Common or ornamental, culinary or hallucinatory. Tubular calyx or bell-shaped, without bearded throats. Two lips, three-toothed, cleft palate. Stigma or stamen. Your smoke can clear a room, broom away bad energy, or turn the brain inside out. Dissociative and psychoactive, a native of cloud forests. Soft as a lamb’s ear.
Fake Shark, Real Zombie! — LIAR (Light Organ)
Let us consider the zombie shark. The already dead, doll’s eyes of the shark milked over and even more alien. The skin, mucousy sandpaper gone weirdly soft and pliable, as though your hand were in danger of sinking in. Salt water would not be kind to the decomposing body, thick chunks of muscle and fin constantly claimed. The structure of the thing would fail too, for while most zombies are kept shambling by their skeletons, sharks are all cartilage. Their only bone is the teeth and jaws. How long until a zombie shark would be nothing but roving, ravenous mouth?
Magneta Lane — Witchrock (eOne)
A found poem.
1. Spirit waters power may be enhanced by drinking a small glass of Sambuca before retiring to bed.
2. Leave a glass of spirit water beside your bed as an offering for the spirits or invitation for an ancestor.
Drink your glass of spirit water before sleeping.
3. Toss away the contents of the other glass when you awake.
Ron Sexsmith — Forever Endeavor (Warner)
Not all hulls are spaceworthy, but this vessel was always trusted. Built from structural spares, forever patchwork but no less capable of exploration. Followed the greatest disaster in NASA history bravely. An orbiter named after another great vehicle of discovery. Some wear and tear, retrofitting was required, a new airlock. Survived a sister ship’s disintegration, learned from mistakes. Thermal protection system second to none. Capable of surviving extreme atmospheric friction.
Natalie Zina Walschots is a poet and music writer based in Toronto, Ontario. Her second book of poetry, DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains, was published by Insomniac Press this spring. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieZed.