Poetry Collection Cover Reveal

Since I’m self-publishing my collection, I had control over the design. Being the artsy fuck that I am, I made the cover myself!

It has just the right amount of discordance to convey the discomfort that I feel is so present in each poem.

Anyway, here we go! No sense dillydallying.

A grey and blue compass on a green and blue high-contrast marble background that reads "Compasses and Other Ornaments of Direction" by Coryl Reef

It’s just a thumbnail. But I’m very, very pleased with it. I designed the compass by hand from sketches and then to a digital rendering, and the background is from hand-marbled paper that I scanned and messed around with. I’m proud of how the design ties into the poems without being overt.

Next up will be the pre-order links! They’ll be coming fairly soon for both ebook and paperback through Amazon KDP and CreateSpace.

Writing Wednesday: “An Electrifying Feel”

A photograph of a misty cityscape.

A ray of light glitters on the skyscraper
and blinds me on my way down the stairs,
past the sleeping neighbours in my apartment building—
past the doorman—a woman—who nods to me silently,
acknowledging the headphones and wry smile
glittering on my face.

A thick mist blinds taxi drivers for a few blocks,
white and grey on the concrete world,
and sits and rests from its time in the sky
gathering droplets to cover this city on some night
or some day or afternoon
when the cluster of moisture ascends back home.
My walk down the street fills me with tension
but no fear. The haze around me is a repeat
of the moments my eyes and ears opened this morning
to the honking and faded taxi cab on the curb.

My clunky, comfortable boots smack the concrete,
like kneading it for baking, like turning the molecules
from liquid and paste to elastic crumb.
Dirt lines the sidewalk, dry as sand, and sifts under my heels.
these combat boots are not for battle–just for fashion,
and the pounding menace to delight every step
on my way to an okay job that keeps my mind off
who made all these molecules and why.

My cousin waves quickly at me through the bakery window
down the street from my open-concept office
her face and hands covered in almond flour.
She and her celiac disease founded “G-F-Delish”
and though the wheat dominating the world does not hurt me,
her cakes and pies and cookies are divine. I return her wave
and cross the gratefully empty intersection, Work looming
high above, the sky reflecting in the windows.

The office has a single floor in this building
like all the other businesses above and below us.
My job title boasts Senior Information Technician
on my business cards and resume,
but amongst the simple network setup, the modem, the router,
the dongles on desktops without wireless adaptors,
I am the Data Analyst and Bookkeeper for
this beloved startup, in the heart of a beloved city.
At my desk, my computer, my software,
I alter, needlessly, the lines and borders
above and below the numerical statistics on my screen.

The founder works a second job, building this new company
on the side. She is kind and assertive. She hired me on conditions,
not demands or requirements or experience,
out of the pity and knowledge that I couldn’t make rent.
A year into the job and we have grown,
and our finances improved, with the charts in this program,
the numbers from my keyboard, and the co-workers
quietly sipping coffee or tea or water at their desks.
These women around me, with their myriad shoes,
blazers and cardigans, humble their prowess,
and continually build us up—build the business—
build the world.

We are small, like bacteria in the gut regulating acidity,
and we are mighty enough for ourselves,
for the paychecks and satisfaction;
for the clients and customers here and around;
for the clattering of keyboards;
for the joy of production.

Writing Wednesday: “Plane of a Face”

the rhetorical roller coaster throws me for a hypotenuse and I fall

straight edge straight down straight across straight up

a corner…

a tunnel…

a freedom and an insurmountable height, straight ↑

what’s your angle?

turn my face into a light bulb, an onion bulb, a tulip bulb, a bulbous mass of

cells and cellophane

wrapped in sharps, shape edges

a package a packet a pamphlet a parcel

mould me in rectangular, angular, ruler lines

a compass curve — an abyss’s swerve

turn my triangles upside ↓

Writing Wednesday: “Margins”

I exist I exist I exist I exist
and though the world is not my mirror
its people are
pools of water
bits of shiny windows
lenses of a too-dark sunglasses
and I can see myself
in someone’s face

I exist and I exist and you exist and we exist
in glimpses and small fragments
only pieces
compared to our whole mosaic lives
sleek tiles assembled together
to create larger pictures
portraits and murals to stand against
the framed masterpieces deemed Divine and Right

we assemble together
struggle to become large
because under scrutiny
we are nothing;
under a magnifying glass
we are nothing;
under the skin of many hands
we are nothing
up close and personal and individual
a single target in a sea of repeated images
we are puddles to splash in
and distort
at the feet and hands of
small ignorance

but we exist we exist we exist
and we will
unfortunately take more than
a small chunk of reflection
to build skyscrapers as tall
as the ones covering our light

Writing Wednesday 25

Writing Wednesday: “Sentimental Scenic Sin”

Writing Wednesday Poem Sentimental Scenic Sin

Sentimental Scenic Sin

I am a desert cactus and you are an aloe branch
sitting on the grocer’s stand
somewhere in Bangladesh. The vacuum-sealed
bell peppers eyeing me across the aisle
shine for moister air. You are a riverbed
to the Atlantic, where a ship sunk,
four murderers destroyed their innocence, and a ravished
corpse drowned; and I
cook vegetarian curry in an apartment building
with flat-packed cans of tomatoes.

I mailed you
a book covered in ships and a hardbound cover; you will find
the blazon’d trail of dusty graves and
sediment layers which lead to me.
I shoved the map in a mailbox and
you peeled back the tongue-moist glue
too late—I have written a love letter on
the fibres from yesterday’s Amazon. She is a musician and
you are a computer technician in Buenos Aires.
I am a cactus tended beside the balcony door, and you
are aloe consumed by the neighbour’s
blender, for the spouse’s
newest trend in
health food smoothies.

I am a driftwood pipe and you are an ivory tusk
on display in India next to the English colonial
tradition. I sigh against lips of a skilled
flute player who moved in down the street, from
neon-lit streets in Japan; she
studies political science and I will not marry her.
You smack glass windows, angry-fisted,
because the sky cried on your laundry and you have no socks
for your corporate meeting.
You bring in eighty thousand a year and remember me
through the glare as you gaze to a Catholic city, and
I would have married you if you lived on an elephant
because they can swim
better than I.

Writing Wednesday: “Cardiac”


A body is colloquially
70% water.

Bones range in density
and thus in mass
and gravity’s pull.

How much blood and viscera
contribute to my ““obesity””?

Does each mouthful of spit,
each blood donation,
each lungful of
recreational smoke
make me fatter
and heavier
and more attracted
to the earth?

My heart is full
of blood
of guilt
of love
of speed
of necessity.

My heart pumps
weaker than I’d like,
too slow for my lungs to dance with,
and at least I can change
my muscle’s strength.

But the potency of runny red rushing
from top to tail
tip to crest—
I cannot measure;
weak or strong?
fast or slow?
this or that?

Who deserves a metaphor
from a suffering body
unsure of its

downfalls & struggle & weight?

Writing Wednesday: Predictive Text Poem

Yeah I’m sure the best price

online for a few weeks of my own

and a bit more than a year

or more than a year.

I am not a problem with the following:

models and battery life performance

after one of our refurbished Cisco

available to buy and sell used or new

on a map and I.

I am a the the

same time of the most I don’t have to feel for a bit

like to be a good day out out

for the next couple of years.

Writing Wednesday 13

Sevenling 4

He left a voicemail on my new cell phone
and a letter at the backyard door
to tell me he moved out of state.

I called the number he wrote,
heard a message of non-service,
and sent a bounced email to his address.

Our daughter studies abroad.

Writing Wednesday 13

Writing Wednesday 12

Sevenling 3

She wanted to ride the Ferris wheel
and see the pier on the coast
from the bumper cars’ queue.

Her father skimped on last month’s cheque
and gave her balloons with horses
instead of dogs

like I told him.

Writing Wednesday 12