Flux by Joe DenhamFlux by Joe Denham


byJoe Denham

Paperback | October 6, 2003

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Flux is everything a significant debut should be--the arrival of a fresh, confident voice with an extraordinary range of form, direction and style.

From a sequence that captures the art and vocabulary of commercial fishing with careful precision, Denham bursts into a free-flowing and varied narrative based on the angst-ridden and picaresque life of a hitchhiking, cigarette-scrounging West Coast university student. Between these poles, Flux draws on Denham's broad palette of expression to evoke the various shades of urban life: house fires, street life, garbage strikes, disturbing and life-affirming revelations of young love, and friends and relatives possessed by drugs, child abuse and suicide.

All of this leads to "Two Waters," Denham's brilliant long poem painstakingly laying out the natural beauty and geography of the small coastal town he grew up in and its transformation into "Memories rippling/ On the periphery of vision between clean new buildings . . . Stripmalls. Traffic. Suburbia's/ Low-swell panic moving in . . ."
Joe Denham is the author of four collections of poetry, including Regeneration Machine (Nightwood Editions, 2015), which won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. Denham is also the author of a novel, The Year of Broken Glass. His work has appeare...
Title:FluxFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 7.5 × 5.25 × 0.25 inPublished:October 6, 2003Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889711941

ISBN - 13:9780889711945

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Read from the Book

NIGHT HAULI etch ephemeral sketches in flat, black water,swirling the pike pole like a sparkler wand,the steel spear tip igniting fairy-dust krillas we drift in to haul up our catch.An industrial gramophone, the hauler churns a music of creak and moanover the rumbling whine of diesel and hydraulics, the echo of our exhaustion.We sit astride the gunwale, hunchedand awing at the swooping arc of green the line bends below the surface,tugging the boat over the set -till traps stream like marine cometsemerging from the depths in a burst of glowand morphing back to bare utilitywhatever beauty we've begun to imagine.MENDINGBlack mesh torn by the rock shelf's clingingresistance, its gnarled-tooth gnawing, this trap's become a sieve all but octopus, Dungenessand dogfish slip through. Between strings I take the mending needle spooled with green twine, stitch the gaps the way my skipper sealed the gash in his own palm when a hook embedded in the line hauled through his hand and ripped it open.Everything out here is sharp-edged, broken. Half our time working with holeswe've no time to mend. I take each spare moment to tie frayed ends: reef for tension, knot the twine, and cinch down tight.SNOWSCAPEIt was December. I'd never seen a sub-zero winter.I must have been struck by the absence of green, spindly trees thrusting branches of nothingup towards thin overcast: a mirrorimage of the snowed plain, trackless, without frame.I can't say why it was I left the contourof my huddled family watching father lift a frozen coyote from steel jaws and wandered into that veiled expanse -Nor do I recall the crack as frail ice splintered beneath my feet,or the gust of awareness that rises when life turns precarious -just the plow of my quickened legs through the snow, crustrasping against my knees,and the chorus of cleft voices rising to the forecalling me back to the familiar shore.

Editorial Reviews

"Joe Denham writes about the sea in a manner at once lyrical and refreshingly unromantic... There's a pull here between natural and artificial landscape that gives this collection a real spark."
-Chris Knight, Canadian Book Review Annual