Waterline Immersion

Poetry, Quartet 2019, Recent Releases

By Conrad Scott

ISBN # 9781927823972
Author Conrad Scott
Pages 100
Size 6 x 9 inches
Binding type Soft Cover with Flaps
Release Date September 17, 2019
Price CAD$ $19.95

Diversely interwoven with threads from the Norse creation myth, to colonial Contact with North America, to personal stories about his grandparents, Conrad Scott’s Waterline Immersion asks the fundamental question of what it means to understand a place. The writer’s genealogical lines join in the river valleys of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada — the cartographic point where the North and South Thompson rivers meet and meld on their journey away, to the Pacific. Yet Waterline Immersion is not only a foray into this surface geography and personal history, but delves deeper into cultural stories and geological processes that formed the waterways present today.

Conrad Scott is a graduate of the 2010 Spring Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Freefall Magazine and The Enpipe Line. Conrad is currently a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Alberta, where he contemplates the dystopian and environmentally apocalyptic zeitgeist of today, and remnants of our places and spaces in those futuristic settings. His creative work takes a step to the side and urges us to look askance at our society and our sense of place in the world.

Forgeland

We did not set out for the borderplaces
armed with foresight,

yet we girded ourselves with words
                                                          of infallible logic,
sharpening some, stoking fires
for a marriage of ironboned tongues
and carbonfused bodies—
      words to tongues to bodies,
      a molten beat of blades across water—

searching for bog iron leachate deposits of language
            Point Rosée, L’Anse aux Meadows,
maybe even coastal Qikiqtaaluk

The sharp, carven prows passing between
shoulder blades of surf

a forceful ease   of killing time
how we pass through
                                   to becoming.
                                   The rite, the ceremony of passage.
                                   spit   spray   wash
                                   a huddle against ship curves
                                   as Odin watches our conquests.

Our craft aslant, reluctant
beneath the beat;
our language a hesitant
elocution   of silences
beaching the backdrop of a empty land
                     a land teaming sea to shining sea
                     a land teaming shearwater to skylark  
                           —all our pelagic ones—
                     buffers of wingbeat around
                     cultures older than distant pyramids.

Memory a hall of hammer falls
where taletellers stalk
the firepit, rail against a night land
only populated by monsters and heroes.

That node of uncertain narratives.

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