Garamond is a short chapbook comprised of eleven untitled poems soured humor birthed within the confines of cabin fever. Fleetingly, it harkens back to the mobility and travel better weather provides in warmer times and the sights that follow. Written between 2012 and 2016, bounced between thousands of miles (Nashville, Detroit, Windsor, and Sackville NB) it was ultimately pulled together as one in June of this year inside a 200 year old coach house. Garamond in its entirety was included in the play Out of Our Hands, which ran for nine shows in London ON at the beginning of June.

 

—excerptss\—

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The plows came after dark

to deepen the blues, to dig

deeper grooves where cars

were cradled and rocked

from drive to reverse.

The plows came after dark

inching down the street in twos.

Blue strobes gauzed

the red pulse of

Christmas lights,

malicious in the new year’s evening.

Faceless drivers sat behind fogged plastic,

hours after the cursing slowed

beneath the doors of our neighbours.

We sat down for dinner after

the winter dark had slipped over everything.

I knocked over the pepper setting the table.

The pepper scattered like a flock of black birds.

I left the paper on the driveway for the next few days.

I knew it’d be silent on the pepper and the plates.

Everyone has a place they fit

save a few sticking limbs that

skewer any passing accident.

I still don’t know how to say without saying:

they blocked off our driveway to clear a path to the highway.

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One black and one brown shoe

Both filling up like doomed canoes.

My hair parts itself

every record CD tape skips

the talk show host has a stutter.

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A view requires a time and space and a kind of silence.

You could never say ‘look at that view’ from anywhere but Highway 3.

A kind of silence like the silence of a salmon fillet sunset and

the commercials of an endless Motown stations, places you’ll never go.

Take me with you, you whisper to the powerlines and windmills.

The powerlines quiver and bind the skylines.

The windmills don’t make any decisions.

The flatlands are a tense that hasn’t opened up yet.

They’re a budding crop of tomatoes in April.

They’re itchy forearms anticipating black tread of county bikes.

The flatlands divide and collapse like a bent metal fence,

they speak in the tense of retired power lines.

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Tom finds a taxidermied bird under his bed,

wings stiff and lifted.

Cliff diving into Perry Priest Reservoir with borrowed Air Jordans.


A short dumb bio about the author, Norman Nehmetallah: he makes books for a living. After a bit of shifting, he writes, lives, and eats in Toronto, ON.

 

For those interested in contacting the author with kind words (or general words) or copy inquiries: normnehm@gmail.com