Billy-Ray Belcourt

This Wound is a World

Griffin Poetry Prize 2018
Canadian Winner

Book: This Wound is a World

Poet: Billy-Ray Belcourt

Publisher: Frontenac House

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Billy-Ray Belcourt reads Love and Heartbreak are Fuck Buddies

Love and Heartbreak are Fuck Buddies

love and heartbreak are fuck buddies who sometimes text each other at 10 in the morning. today, love asks: is this what the living do? as he tries to shit but can’t because he doesn’t eat enough fibre or exercise regularly. it’s the little things that’ll kill me, he adds. heartbreak responds, ignoring the first message: you emptied your body into the floorboards of me. they creak when i am lonely. if i am a haunted house, then let’s make up a theory of negativity that notices the utopian pulse of sad stories like ours. well fuck, love types out. he deletes it. he sends a selfie with the caption: how’s this for a theory of negativity? heartbreak laughs. true, he quips. love doesn’t respond right away. he thinks there is something queer about leaving loose ends untied. love is a native boy from northern alberta who decided almost everything he does is an attempt to repair the brokenness-of-being that is indigeneity. last month, love fucked a security guard in the basement of a parkade at midnight. locking the door behind love, the security guard joked, don’t worry, i’m not going to kill you or anything. love wonders if it is the possibility of being killed that partly animates his desires. that’s fucked up, heartbreak tells love when love tells him this story. love hypothesizes that the parkade basement might be a metonym for the world. heartbreak thinks out loud: how do you know when the world is not that basement anymore? love answers: my kookum and mooshum don’t use pronouns or proper nouns to address one another: they made their own language. that is how.

From This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt
Copyright © 2017 by Billy-Ray Belcourt