Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle

Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle

by Jessica Hiemstra


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Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle by Jessica Hiemstra

Painters use the term “fugitive pigments” to describe those colours most prone to fading after a brief exposure to light. In Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle , poet and visual artist Jessica Hiemstra uses the idea of fugitive colour to explore the grieving process; whether her subject is a lost grandparent, language, child, painting or cat, Hiemstra renders the fleetingness of life with fine, delicate strokes.

“The poet listens, tastes and remembers, senses afloat, dipping into the past and then surfacing again, drawn by a perfect but fleeting moment.” — Descant

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781926845906
Publisher: Biblioasis
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Jessica Hiemstra is a visual artist and writer. She is also the winner of two Malahat Review Open Season Awards (2011) and the Room Magazine Annual Poetry Contest (2009). Self-Portrait Without a Bicycle is her second full-length volume of poetry.

Table of Contents

October (the destruction of construction paper)

Looking at the sky through dahlias (remembering remembering my mother) 10

Well, the cat's dead 11

Visiting the heavens in Toronto 13

Antony Gormley is a hypocrite 14

The Boogie Woogies are on their last legs 15

But the Boogie Woogies are going to disappear 16

Four versions of Jacob 17

I expect Castro will be dead by the time you read this poem 18

november (the trick of two worlds)

George, the year you carved your howl 20

Mom rescued Alex Colville from the library 21

I learned about guns from Alexa Colville 22

Alex won't be here forever 23

Misquoting Albert Einstein 25

Clover sickness and the disappearance of bees 27

In my mother's house when we said sorry 28

I get the email too- 29

At 4 a.m. I lifted Timothy from my nightstand 30

The most beautiful things I've seen in October 31

It-is-having-a-long-neck 34

I'm afraid, and it's not just the disappearance of bees 37

The day Mom failed to rescue Icarus from the Dutch 41

The dessert comes after the ham 43

Out with a whimper 44

The physical properties of light 45

Some people sit behind a curtain to talk to the Lord 46

december (a bowl of strawberries in an empty room)

I wonder if I'll be like Georgia, rummaging 48

I was painting a door when my sweetheart's drained face 49

I thought the sky would be different 50

Mom and I, sunk on the brown couch 51

A bowl of strawberries in an empty room 52

I told my first stranger I was pregnant 57

january (it's impossible to put my finger on that bird)

The first movement (adagio with seabirds, perhaps the Beck's petrel-thought to be extinct but assumed alive) 60

The second movement (allegro with finches, most likely yellow in great number) 63

The third movement (to 31 minutes and 19 seconds of Marais la Nuit, Neko's spring peepers) 64

february (browsing frog and toad together)

Browsing Frog and Toad together 70

I visited an online forum, Kathy and Ottawa 72

I wrote about fading Mondrians (and it was after that) 73

Fire, earth, water, bicycle 74

march (a denouement with bicycles)

Oma's at the sink, though I'm told 80

The sand tiger shark is tougher than me 81

There's an albino pigeon that lands from time to time 83

They dissected the bullfrog and revealed a belly full 84

It's the small things that save us 85

The extraordinary feat of calling my mother 86

Notes 91

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