aesthetic response: unsettling – found poetry

[This is my aesthetic response to class’ reading materials. I chose 10 sentences from each article that I felt drawn to, and wrote down on a flip chart paper. I then circled the words that speak to one another. I created this poem by reorganizing the words. Materials include: Madeline Thien “Port Hardy, Vancouver Island, BC”, from My Canada New York Times  ; Leanne Simpson “My Radical Resurgent Present” from As We Have Always Done, Stuart Ross, “The Plastic Container” from Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, Alicia Elliott “The Same Space” from A Mind Spread Out on the Ground]


we’re here, in diaspora on our own land
century old legacy of resistance
persistance and profound love
the place where we live
and work together

what the “we” are we talking about?
this is not a history
I learned in school

hunting and fishing
ricing and sugaring
our presence is our weapon
this is our strategic brilliance

choose your own adventure
I should camp, alone,
3 days in the woods
I learned how to fake intimacy

place your hand over this neighborhood’s heart
the landscape we know as hom
would be almost unrecognizable by our ancestors
concrete building cover our teaching rocks
your home will change without you
you will change without your home
don’t forget like this city forgot

unbuckle your uncomfortable past
pack it tight in a box
shove it in the back of your closet
in an ice-cream container
a catfish didn’t have to make as many decision

eagles descend over corridors of evergreens
time passes and spaces change
whether you’re here to witness, or not
don’t make the same mistake
this city keeps making


By Gracelynn Lau (Sept 19, 2019)


Original artwork and poem by Gracelynn Lau, Sep 29, 2019. Kingston, ON