Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle reads “Momentum”


This trip makes your heart hurt, not that old slow ache, echoes of tires on wet pavement through an underpass, but palpable palpitation, crazed clock ticking sideways through time. A beam swings up a hill, makes sculpture of the clouds carve out the road bulky solid. Things you pass at the side but don’t see properly-stark black weeds and fences, trees and sheds and houses beyond the moving tunnel and the light burrows, signs and neon lights, and your eyes burn dry when you’re this tired and the heater blows its weary breath.

You want to live forever with your family in the space within the passageway carved by light.

The moon a knowing blood orange hovers on the horizon, takes light doesn’t give it. Pulls you on with the same grave carelessness she pulls the oceans. So cold in your warm car you feel the greedy night put its mouth to the windows watching the tousled teenagers curled like cats in the backseat, their mingled breath milkwarm from the singing and gossip, now hushed as you hurtle through the night, moon-mad with memories. You want to crawl inside their pearly skin, peer through their eyes at the world and the moonlight on it.


Frances Boyle, in an orange sweater and a long black necklace of many strands, stands in front of the a microphone on a stand; she has chin length white-grey hair and thin-rimmed glasses, and she looks away from the mic to smile at the camera

Frances Boyle’s most recent book is Openwork and Limestone (Frontenac House, 2022). In addition to two earlier poetry books, she is the author of Tower, a novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions 2018) and Seeking Shade, an award-winning short story collection (The Porcupine’s Quill 2020). She is a regular reviewer with both Arc and Canthius. Raised on the prairies, Frances has long lived in Ottawa on unceded and unsurrended Algonquin Anishinaabeg territory. Visit and follow @francesboyle19 on Twitter and Instagram. [updated in November 2023] Photo credit for headshot: Miranda Krogstad

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