Paulette Turcotte
 
Paulette Turcotte has been involved with the arts for more than 40 years as a painter and writer. In 1985, she cofounded the publishing press, Split Quotation with Jorge Etcheverry in Ottawa.

Paulette has been published in various Canadian magazines and periodicals such as Quarry, Anthos, Vox Feminarum, Room of One’s Own/Room, Synchronicity, Waves and a Tree Anthology edited by Heather Ferguson, Ottawa. Her publications also include, The Book of Marecha, experimental prose poems, The Woman Who Could See In All Directions At The Same Time, Barking up the Sacred Tree, which will be available in the winter/2010-11.

She has been assistant editor of Vox Feminarum and has been one of the organizers of the Pacific Festival of the Book since its inception. Paulette is the featured poet in the winter edition of The Tower Journal, 2009/10. Her long poems, fragments from Working Nights In The Bone Yard appeared in Ditch and she has work in the Summer edition of Poemata as well as 2 pieces in la cita trunca/Split Quotation.

In 2005-06, Paulette was “House Poet” for Serious Coffee House weekly open stage with James Kasper MC, Cadboro Bay Rd. This year, the Victoria School of Contemporary Dance performed The Hunt, inspired by The Woman Who Could See In All Directions At The Same Time.

Paulette lives on Vancouver Island where she spends time writing, painting, teaching dream work and drinking tea by the ocean. She is working on her novel, Fire in the Bone, and a book of prose poetry on love and death.
 
excerpt from Agnus Dei
we are stationed here until the last train comes in    

Paulette Turcotte © 2010





I can’t sleep. I lie awake listening to the furtive sounds
of my fingernails growing long,
over the ridge of the finger bone,
by morning they will need cutting again.
so it is each day, I calculate
the cost of time passing at such a furious rate,
a day goes by in an hour,
my dreams burning out in moments,
accumulating, in spite of the pain.
before morning, impossible loves come to me like angels,
reveal themselves to me in the half-light,
before morning the dead have claimed me,
the long skinny arm of a wraith pushing through my slumber,
waving a stick as a warning,

the arm itself is warning enough,
it hovers in the air in front of me,
I can feel the rage as it intrudes on my sleep,
I get up and begin to write,
the wraith settles into the room like a living/breathing mortal
crouching in the corner, watching my labour, jealously,
eyeing the words that appear on the paper.

it is a form of reparation for us.

every night I surrender to these ghosts,
last night it was the forest,
the ones from the trees,
gathering around me
like children, like aunts and uncles,
like every one who had ever left,
returning to me in this moment
in the rush of wind
glancing off the branches,
cedar fronds swaying moodily,
as I watch from my bed,
they have all come here,
to my city, to my house,
to my room,
they are here with me,
observing this strange
circumstance of my dying,

I am glad they have come.
the winter has been long.

Paulette Turcotte © 2010