Song of a Summer


of a half-crushed wasp: writhing

and whiptailed.


Mr. Venom-Sac

knocked splat.

Dregs of legs.


Nailed, mosquito



No-see-um smeared

across the page:

bleeding eye-slit.


What flies in the face

of good taste

flies apart. Moth, time has run out

on your working parts.


Spider’s good leg

quivers, as if to point

where it hurts.


Fruit flies rave in air

when I lift the plum.

Like watching

my own skin crawl.

Carmine Starnino’s most recent collection, This Way Out (Gaspereau, 2009), was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His previous collections include Credo (2000), which won the Canadian Author’s Association Prize for Poetry and With English Subtitles (2004), which won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. He has edited The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (Vehicule, 2005) and Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012. He lives in Montreal, where he is poetry editor for Vehicule Press and senior editor for Reader’s Digest Canada. Lazy Bastardism: Reviews and Essays on Canadian Poetry was published by Gaspereau Press and appeared in Fall 2012.