For this week’s edition of Feature Friday, we’re pleased to bring you an excerpt from To Love the Coming End by Leanne Dunic. In this evocative debut book of prose poetry, a disillusioned narrator obsessed with natural disasters and ‘the curse of 11’ reflects on their own personal earthquake: the loss of a loved one. A lyric travelogue that moves between Singapore, Canada, and Japan, To Love the Coming End captures what it’s like to be united while simultaneously separated from the global experience of trauma, history, and loss that colour our everyday lives.
In a review for Full Stop, Aja Couchois Duncan writes that To Love the Coming End is “a lyric novel, a symphony in poetic prose, the work resides in the interstices of poetry and fiction and from this opening, traverses the fragile physiology of bonds and their ruptures.” The Winnipeg-based Contemporary Verse 2 writes that “To Love the Coming End breathes slowly, privately, in the sort of personal moments that are perhaps only possible in a foreign land. Every square inch of blank paper that frames these fragmentary entries conjures the cavern of the unconscious, a world of flickering thoughts, captured shards of memory, epiphany glimmerings.”
We hope you enjoy this excerpt from To Love the Coming End. Happy reading.
From To Love the Coming End
This November features a series of elevens: 11-11-2011. Slender ones paired with their likeness. Posed together and apart, forever parallel. Is one still the loneliest number, or is it eleven? Only you and I can see this significance, the curse of 11.
When you and I were born on the 29th, which one of us said jinx? 2 + 9 = 11. We can’t escape.
November: our birth month. Late autumn, we are. When dark comes early.
Dentist: Do you wear your mouth guard every night? Doctor: These ailments—stress. Chiropractor: Torsion. Tension. Relax. Massage Therapist: You need a counsellor, not an RMT. Counsellor: Not stressed, sad. Heart: The work is too much.
Within me, a gaping crevice. The more I change my environment the more I lose track of myself, yet I traverse. Maybe that’s the point. Nothing is anchored. Today is unstable, easy for people and land to split. Minerals grind a geological dance, the balance of the earth’s axis shifts. Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand, Haiti, Japan. Where next? The unsure crust hectors the Pacific Northwest, evidence of instability buried under substrate. A story, mounds.
In Tofino B.C., a ghost forest. Skeletons, cedars stand in a tidal marsh. Three hundred years before, roots inundated by brackish waters. Sediments underlie. First Nations whisper a tale of devastation on a cold winter night. Cascadia undersea. Land slides. Pachena Bay, no survivors.
Below the marsh, dig. A layer of tsunami sand.
Order your copy of To Love the Coming End here.
Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer. Her work has won several honours, including the 2015 Alice Munro Short Story Contest, and has appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada and abroad. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Leanne is the Artistic Director of the Powell Street Festival Society and is the singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove. To Love the Coming End is her first book. Learn more at leannedunic.com.