$18.00 CDN / $18.00 US | Trade Paperback
The Portuguese word for “hummingbird” is beija-flor—flower-kisser. In Aztec mythology, Huitzilopochtli is the hummingbird god, the bloodthirsty god of war, requiring nourishment in the form of constant human sacrifices to ensure that the sun will rise again. In this book, Barger documents his recent itinerant years in closely observed, honest, and sometimes surreal episodes: on a filthy street in Delhi, inside a statue of Buddha in Taiwan, and on the back of a Vespa in Rome. The hummingbird is a territorial, aggressive creature whose life depends upon its quest for fuel, compelling it to taste up to one thousand flowers per day. Its pulse, as it flies eight hundred kilometers across the Gulf of Mexico, can rise up to twenty-one beats per second. In these gritty poems, the furor of the hummingbird’s desire to survive and the roving spirit of the poet merge to compel a reading of life in flux that is at once breathtaking, agitated and fragile.
Shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award through the League of Canadian Poets.
“gritty, innovative work written with great impact, skill and mastery.”—The Chronicle Herald
“Anyone who writes with the flourish and intensity of John Wall Barger deserves to be read and re-read. His ability to linger over a scene, to ruminate over its history and give himself over to the poetic impulse is complete and genuine.”—The Malahat Review
PRAISE FOR JOHN WALL BARGER:
“Barger has an ear, so all pieces have that musical buzz, the rig-a-jig of craft.”—The Malahat Review
“poems sing through a maze of faceted opalescence that tends toward brilliancy.”—Prairie Fire