Congratulations to Shane Rhodes, who won Gold in Poetry at the 34th National Magazine Awards for his poems "The Body" and "Pearl". Both poems appeared in our Winter, 2010 issue (#173) . This marks the fourth year in a row that The Malahat Review has won Gold in Poetry at the NMAs!
Excerpt from "Pearl" (published in Err, Nightwood Editions, 2011)
Pearl with its “ear” and two dangling lobes named for pears or hams the shape of them worn about a woman’s wrist. It’s like that, the stalled movement in Vermeer’s painting of the woman with the pearl necklace – she holds the pearls up to the mirror (glass melted, hammered and cooled in Nürnberg) as if two luxuries compared. But the pearls, so white, reflected in oil paint, must have been fakes, konterfei, made in France with varnished glass
or beads filled with fishscales and wax. Like white skin over wounds. Like where her mother burnt her with a lit cigarette – four in the back, two on each arm and nipple so the nipples, though hard beneath the touch, felt nothing. Her eyes rolling back into her head until only the white remains, mother-of-pearl like sclera. And, with images like this, I’d love to turn to something one could paint but her mother must have smiled at the smell (tobacco, light down of hair, a quarter inch of skin) of burning a hole through her daughter.
Excerpt from "The Body" (published in Err, Nightwood Editions, 2011)
so doc what do I do?
every time my fear of getting aids
is so intense
(too much soul pain)
iam a 25yr old guy
(from a very small town
and moved to the city for a better gay life)
gave fellatio to a Thai lady boy
(i had my curiosity, i aint gonna lie)
we met through web chatting
hand jobs in the cafeteria
her mouth in the theatre
(last 1 minute, ejaculation
I believe the fear of AIDS
is remorse when sex is bad
(trans , girl that I dont like
and that is not very serious.)
I would like an advice from you
on how to manage death :
Is it acceptable to be with trans girl
that he does not like?
I kissed her sucked there nipples
Could this be late conversion?
Note: “The Body” was written using, as source text, pre-existing discussion threads and questions/answer forums from a decade of archives from the HIV/AIDS web resource The Body, which is the world’s largest electronic source of HIV/AIDS information.