Sarah Tolmie

The Blue Clerk

Griffin Poetry Prize 2019
Canadian Shortlist

Book: The Art of Dying

Poet: Sarah Tolmie

Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Eve Joseph reads from The Art of Dying


Spam is dead, great Spam is dead –
Will be the epitaph of the internet
The day it powers down and we go back to skinning goats.

After it goes rogue and kills us all, almost
And we huddle on the ping-pong ball of the burnt world
And re-invent the printing press.

Poets and cave painters then will rule
Holding fast our simple tools.


Finally, as I age, I get big tits.
Hurray! I’ve waited long enough for this.
There they are. Boom boom. I love it.
Cleavage. Some notice my face above it, yakking away.

But these guys come with a use-by date.
(Yes, mine are guys. Okay?)
I cram them in line in their corsetry,
Thinking of mom’s dual mastectomy.

Like Angelina, perhaps I should just lop them now –
Pre-emptively? But where’s the fun in that?
We don’t get to enjoy our fat?

Hormones, drugs, anxiety, bacon, wine,
In ascending order bring me to my time.
They bought the boobs and they may take them back.

From The Art of Dying by Sarah Tolmie
Copyright © Sarah Tolmie 2018