Mind Control

A woman in pain will forget 

to be kind, or clean. She will probe

the folds and ripples of her 

cerebrum, she will feel

her brain floating like a large grey 

plum in a crater full of spring run-off. 

When the road rises to meet her 

and rains down stone by pitted stone, 

when the bullhorn roars,

she will unscrew the light-bulb of her 

head, reach in and palm 

the cerebellum like a scrotal sac. 

Squeeze. Consider the intimate 

maze of cognitive fiction. When in 

doubt, apply pressure.

Tanis MacDonald is the author of The Daughter’s Way (WLUP, 2012), a study of the female-written elegy in Canada, finalist for the 2013 Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian literary criticism, and a contributor to The Memory Effect (WLUP, 2013) and Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory (Oxford UP, 2014). She is also the author of three books of poetry, most recently Rue the Day (Turnstone, 2008), and a once and future Winnipegger. She is associate professor of Canadian literature at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.