Lift Off 16: textbook

I accept
(in this “book
of acceptance”)

I accept what
the doctors
tell me—

You, love, are
mentally ill
& our time
so abruptly
done

I accept,
what else
can I
say?

Except that
I still hurt
some days

What the fook
else can be
expected?
Bruised
memories
collide,
bruise
again

And you are
dying daily
within me
by slivers
(like they
said you
would,
such smart
people &
we are
simply
text-
book)

Moving
across its
sheaths
of paper

Though the
slivers feel
like shards
at times
—glass
cutting this
very page
you left
blank

Stephen Bett has had eighteen books of poetry published: Un/Wired (BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, NY, 2016); The Gross & Fine Geography: New & Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2015); Those Godawful Streets of Man: A Book of Raw Wire in the City (BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, NY, 2014); Journal for Breathing Arizona (Ekstasis Editions, Spring, 2014); Penny-Ante Poems (Ekstasis Editions, 2013); Sound Off: A Book of Jazz (Thistledown Press, 2013); Re-Positioning (Ekstasis Editions, 2011); Track This: A Book of Relationship (BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, NY, 2010); SPLIT (Ekstasis Editions, 2009); Extreme Positions: The Soft-core Industry Exposed (Spuyten Duyvil, NYC, 2009); Sass ‘n Pass (Ekstasis Editions, 2008); Three Women (Ekstasis Editions, 2006); Nota Bene Poems: A Journey (Ekstasis Editions, 2005); Trader Poets (Frog Hollow Press, 2003); High-Maintenance (Ekstasis Editions, 2003); High Design Refit (Greenboathouse Books, 2002); Cruise Control (Ekstasis Editions, 1996); Lucy Kent and other poems (Longspoon Press, 1983).

His work has also appeared in well over 100 literary journals in Canada, the US, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland, as well as in four anthologies, and on radio.

His “personal papers” have been purchased by the Simon Fraser University Library, and are, on an ongoing basis, being archived in their “Contemporary Literature Collection” for current and future scholarly interest.

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