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Elliot Clarke
George Elliot Clarke

George Clarke, author of about eight works of poetry, is among the best known Canadian poets. He is a native Africadian, a Nova Scotian of African origin, and was honoured with the Governor-General’s Award for his narrative lyric suite, Execution Poems (2000). Other works by the poet include Whylah Falls, a verse novel (1990), Beatrice Chancy, an opera libretto (1999), the poetry and photo book, Illuminated Verses (2005). Clarke has worked with music to locate much of his poetry in performance or musical theatre.

 Four Poems
  Desolazione Cosmica

Unsheathe your slick, urgulous instrument,
Pickle it in that snacking gash; sink black
Twixt its two coral halves – like a raven
Chipping at a dripping watermelon.

Enterprise, dip, slirp, raging, feverish –
As if you’ll never again taste such fruit,
Fleshy, drooling, until your eyes dirty
With tears, and elongated arrogance

Withers, a-wallow in oblivion.
Nature is vigorous in withering.
You ravish it; she kills you completely.
Yes, you rise again, raven, out her cave,

But, ravenous, return to trap – and meal…
You perform, you eat, are eaten, deformed.



Sloppy politeness ends;
A peppery rumpus starts:

Not gingerly, but gingery,
The voluptuous tumult smells.

Limbs link and unlink –
Reptilian, snarling.

White negligee angles down white skin.
White sheets undulate sleepy luxury.

But ambiguous hardness chinks
Soft marble, taps lacustrine dew –

Or tears –

Next, Demerara rum careens into Carrara marble.


Eva La Venere Selvaggia

Our fingers mingled; our tongues twinned, twisted;
We writhed; we snatched at each other; we sighed.

I had to grapple that rippling, skittish mist;
My torrents had to bust her ice, scald her flesh…

Kisses unfolded like – like – a spreading plague – with ardour
(I felt – admittedly – conspicuously harder).

Her purse needed feeling – but not with gold,
No with spanking, black iron, stainless, and light.




Love – yield love – while the body’s ripe.
Don’t sag iceberg-like. Flame volcanic!
Wail as if a drum; never fall silent –
Save for wine-sodden sleep, uninterrupted.

Naked and aflutter in a four-legged bed –
With a coddling body opposite, charming,
The sun’s never slight, never extinguished.
No matter how fat clouds crowd it from sight!

What good is chastity – if it’s for good?
That lover crumpling under caresses,
Is a saint moon-luminous with amore.
Jangle the bed! Shake it! Splash the wine!

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