Line Break: ‘Hit’ by Ali Blythe

Today there is nothing
on the radio in my head
but the hotel radio is playing
“Drops of Jupiter” as my nausea

waits by the tracks for the rush-by
to stop. Being in a train or a Top 40
is like being caught in a lion’s
mouth that is still moving very fast.

I know I can’t really put on
a body other than my own.
And I know I can’t wear you forever,
sick blanket, or you, animal coat.

Children and doctors
are precise with their removals
of the heart and other
unmentionables. I am,

after all, alive, with a hint
occasionally of their fluttering
knives. When sense stops
coming through and the station

overruns with static
I get a rubbed-the-wrong-way
backlit feeling that is high
and whipping like the wind

reading Monday’s paper.
Not much in it if it comes at all.
I hope something is about to
pick me up in its mouth and run.


Ali Blythe’s poetry has been published in multiple literary journals and magazines including Descant, PRISM International, The Malahat Review and This Magazine. ‘Hit’ is from a first book of poems, Twoism, forthcoming with Icehouse Poetry at Goose Lane Editions on September 15, 2015. It can be pre-ordered at and CBC named Twoism one of the hottest Canadian poetry collections coming out this fall.

Ali is a friend and former classmate of mine in the writing program at the University of Victoria. Ali’s poetry blew me away from the first workshop we had together, and I’m honoured to feature the work here. Ali, thank you and congratulations on Twoism!


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