“National Poetry Month” #5: Nicole Markotić

Adjectives and Adverbs

Seven Monks with European accents kneel blessedly on the even stone, weep regularly beside the last corner, sigh

Protect the vital months, pause gayly at the beginning of the second page, wait for a new pronoun in the mirror-tricked corridor

Include the bent people who only bend their knees one at a time, rule the bee multitudes who lap at honeycombs, who lap buzzingly at combed honey

A buzzing indicates comas that are beginning, or ending
No way to reach the body in time

          Adversaries and Objectives

Seventeen souls march away from the hell-mouth, the hell-tongue, hell’s retainer, march blithely, march determinedly, march madness          soul or spirit?                    sprite or sprang?

Protein is vital, be sure to remember more than languidly, more than umpteen times, more swiftly than a border mammoth

Inches from the edge, I reward you gorgeously, colossally, gargantuously

A B C – weighty matters matter. Call at the final end or the momentous finalé; nobody reaches the end without great undo suffering; paying one’s dues, finally, on time, surprisinglyly

– NICOLE MARKOTIĆ


The above ‘pronoun’-ced frolic is taken from Nicole Markotić’s 2012 collection Bent at the Spine, which contains poems that audaciously teach “you” how to read them as you read.

NICOLE MARKOTIĆ is a fiction writer and poet who has published two novels and two books of poetry. Her first novel, Yellow Pages: a Catalogue of Intentions, was a prose narrative about Alexander Graham Bell. She has also published two books of poetry, Connect the Dots and Minotaurs and Other Alphabets and a chapbbok, more excess, which won the bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award. A former resident of Calgary, she now teaches English Literature and creative writing at the University of Windsor. Dr. Markotić specializes in the subjects of Canadian Literature, Poetry, Children’s Literature, Disability in Film and Disability in Literature and she wrote a critical book on disability in film. She is also the Managing Editor of the chapbook series, Wrinkle Press.

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