Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Artist - Poet Weyman Chan, Governor General Literary Award Finalist

I'd like to thank poet Weyman Chan for accepting to appear as a guest artist on this blog, and to share work from his own artist's studio, in a parallel art-literature.


Weyman Chan (CAN) is a Calgary-based poet whose writings have appeared in many Alberta anthologies over the last 2 decades. He won the Stephan. G Stephansson Award for his first book of poetry, Before a Blue Sky Moon.

He was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Acorn-Plantos People's Poet Award for his second book of poetry, Noise From the Laundry

His new featured book at Wordfest is entitled Hypoderm, a collection of occasional apocalyptic verse. When he is not writing poetry at night, he is an electron microscope technician by day.


I paint my tree
into the wind.
The plot wishes
to release an
exuberant moth.  A citizen of common allegory.
I’m fascinated by ignorance, all its hopes and refusals,
and moving restraints
in starlight:  we’re
ever pushed back
just when we think
we’re near.


A young embittered face passed me by on the snowy walk.
The cold narrowed our frames.  Last year.

We had to time our breaths before we intersected on that narrow pass
so as not to breathe each other’s cloud.

Something about personal space and its visible
effect.  Bitterness.  I realize

I’m still judged somehow by myself through her eyes
clasped back in despair.

Knowledge can’t remedy this nor distance.
Maybe all she and I have is time.  Nothing

I thought is worse than bitterness
that wears its stroke on your face.


Administer the sycophant
to a glossary of sucking noises.

You can shill pink manifestos of
flaccitude, or pluck

money power off the Neruda flower,
that still smells of white guilt, aboriginal

problems among aloof barons.
Nation obfuscates nation.

Maple sugar logjams my throat
when we call representation fair.

Everyone needs an animal spirit
that can stand up in court

before the judge turns into a
cat.  I too would love nothing more than

to trick out these paws
with pounce.  Let the sun lick my nuts.

© 2009-2010 Weyman Chan

On Weyman Chan -->link


  1. "Everyone needs an animal spirit
    that can stand up in court..."

    Wonderful lines!

    Thank you for introducing the poetry of Weyman Chan, Irina.

  2. I have to admit that the same lines you are quoting Conrad, have also got my attention when I first read the poem.

    They are a pivot, a turning point in the entire poem - a surprising transition/ ‘turn of events’ in the poem which cascades into the poetic tension in the end.

    In musical terms,I would describe this poem’s ending as “sostenuto”.

    Thank you for dropping by..