Karen Solie

Karen Solie (born 1966) is a Canadian poet.

Born in Moose Jaw, Solie grew up on the family farm in southwest Saskatchewan. Over the years, she has worked as a farm hand, an espresso jerk, a groundskeeper, a newspaper reporter/photographer, an academic research assistant, and an English teacher. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.

The Corners The Corners

Where the question are you alright usually finds one very much not alright. Cellphone at the bus stop, cellophane, wind, Hasty Mart in its collar of pigeon spikes. With smokes in front of the sports bar, careerists mid-shift lit at dusk by the inner light of cheap bottles of domestic. Like payphones, cords have been cut that tied them to the world. Let me off here, the primary neighbourhood, I’ll walk the traffic’s bank, its decorative plantings and contradictory signage, the current, I can’t brave it. Fortunes approach right-angled in their vehicles of delivery, hearts beat quickly in anticipation or dread inspired by the landmarks. How long have I traveled here in these years of gentrification and not realized they’re gone—the inconvenient, inadequate, or taken for granted? The psychic welcomes no more walk-ins in this life. Time is short. Though a timeless sublegal entrepreneurial spirit flourishes over which laundromats preside geologically, with deep sighs, belying with the state of their drains their adjectives. No one can be alone like they can. Pedestrians, obey your signals. On the boulevard of a two-stage crossing he reads in her an imminent change in direction. We were here once, hand in hand at the intersection of the cardinal and ordinal, blessed with purpose, and the Star of Poland still in business.

Jul 29, 2014 / Books & the Arts / Karen Solie

Ode Ode

Blue jay vocalizes a clash on the color wheel, tulip heads removed one by one   with a golf wedge. It’s something in the frequency. Expectations are high.   There’s a reason they call it the nervous system. Someone in bed at 11 AM impersonates   an empty house. Dear god. The sharpener’s dragged his cart from the shed. His bell   rings out of the twelfth century to a neighborhood traumatizing   its food with dull knives. A hammer creeps to the edge of a reno and peers over. Inching   up its pole, a tentative flag. What is the source? Oh spring, my heart is in my mouth.  

May 4, 2011 / Books & the Arts / Karen Solie