The Size of a Bird
poems by Clementine Morrigan

Print: 978-1-77133-457-0
ePUB: 978-1-77133-458-7
PDF: 978-1-77133-460-0

102 Pages
September 27, 2017
New Poetry All Titles


The Size of a Bird poems by Clementine Morrigan

The Size of a Bird is an invocation of desire in times of violence and trauma. Refusing to shy away from difficult topics the poet tackles addiction, abuse, suicide, and sexual violence while infusing each word with a relentless drive for life. Seeking pleasure, these poems navigate dangerous terrain, staying with ambivalence and probing its depths. Queer femininity seeks heterosexual masculinity with varying results. First dates and one-night-stands, alleyways and coffee shops, forest floors and skateparks, these poems reveal a world pulsating with want and rife with pain. Holding both the reality of violence and the persistence of desire, these poems shine light on the pleasures and terrors of navigating sexuality from a space of femininity.

"Can poetry hold /the anxious thoughts of lovers?" This is only one of the many complex and gorgeous inquiries Clementine Morrigan asks in The Size of A Bird. Morrigan's own poetry decidedly holds anxious thoughts, yes, but also desire, and trauma and healing, uncertainty and wanting, undoing and becoming—her second collection of poetry holds all of these and more."

—Amber Dawn, author of Where the Words End and My Body Begins and How Poetry Saved My Life

"Morrigan's new collection uses writing itself as an entry point insisting that what must be written include "the things that didn’t quite fit into the narrative, that didn’t quite make sense." Her poetics and lyric prose make room for miscalculations of excess–sometimes a present tense and sometimes the shape of desire–"the size of a bird." Her desire for our senses to co-simultaneously apprehend the world pushes the reader toward the glut of capitalism, the drugs and razor blades that could be survival. Morrigan's poetic world is simultaneously periphery and centre, violence and desire, evoking lives that remember "divinity," "the impermanence of being," and "terrible promises."

—nancy viva davis halifax, author of hook

"Clementine's poetry is magical, raw, and real, in the best ways, and left me feeling hopeful."

—Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People and Holding Still For as Long as Possible

Clementine Morrigan is a writer, artist, educator, and working witch. Their first book, Rupture, was published in 2012. Her second collection of poetry, The Size of a Bird, will be available from Inanna Publications in October 2017. Their creative writing has appeared in the literary journals Prose & Lore and Soliloquies, and her scholarly writing has appeared in the academic journals Somatechnics, The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, and Knots. They have also written for Guts Magazine. She is the creator of two short films, Resurrection (2013) and City Witch (2016) as well as being a prolific zinester with a current project titled Fucking Magic. Their creative, artistic, and scholarly works consider trauma, madness, addiction, sobriety, gender, sexuality, desire, magic, re-enchantment, environment, and more-than-human worlds. Additionally, she facilitates workshops and guest lectures on a number of topics, as well as providing professional tarot reading services for individuals and events. They are a white settler of Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry living on Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat land. She is a practitioner of trauma magic.

Now, I kiss him on the lips. When I kiss my lips make
a sound. His kisses are silent. So I kiss him, making a
sound. I pull on his t-shirt and I kiss his lips which are a
dull shade of purple. He tastes like coffee and cigarettes.
He is soft and smooth. His breath quickens as I touch
him. I worry I can’t keep up. My desire is slower. It does
not arrive on time. I kiss his neck. His jawbone. I use
my fingers to press on his collarbone, gently, feeling the
edges. There are so many bones in his body, wrapped as
they are in his touchable skin. He calls me good. I say
That’s what you said yesterday. He says You are so good
to me. I have only met him twice. I laugh. I say No I’m
not I just tell you stories about bugs. The cicada is still
singing in the trees. The size of a bird. Do you know what
I mean? My favourite part is when he puts his hand over
my hand. It’s strange what will turn me on. Yes, please,
hold my hand in yours. My hand is like a little shell, like
a living creature, the size of a bird.

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