Self-Portrait Embracing a Fabulous Beast (Downloadable PDF)

by Jim Nason

Self-Portrait Embracing a Fabulous Beast explores the need to connect at a time when getting too close to another person could cost one’s life. The poems in this collection delve into the unsafe zones of COVID-19, climate change, and the love-hate complexities of a dangerous relationship. Yet, for Nason, there is safety and redemption through language. He urges readers, through the exploration of an uninhibited imagination, to become “master of fire, slave to flames.” The title poem embodies the victorious epiphany—the poet’s ecstatic transformation, as he becomes fiery loins/ pulsing mind/ a strutting/glorious/line-scribbled day.

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Jim Nason

Jim Nason is the author of seven previous volumes of poetry, a short story collection, and three novels. He has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award in both the fiction and poetry categories. His poetry book Rooster, Dog, Crow was Shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, and his poems have been included in anthologies across Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, 2010, and 2014.


Spring, the long sunrise
across a row of daffodils

before rain took them, headfirst

to the ground. Chirping came back
to the trees we passed, settled

low-grumbling into naked branches.

You were slow moving

Forgive me. I was reckless.

I am to blame.
You embodied fire,

breathing earth.

You were spring’s throaty promise,
You had a retractable jaw.