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Desi Di Nardo

Desi Di Nardo is a writer/artist in Toronto whose work has been published in numerous journals including the Literary Review of Canada, Descant, The Globe and Mail, Carousel, The Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad, the National Post, Canadian Woman Studies, Fireweed, Black Bear Review, Lichen, 13th Moon, and Rampike.

Desi's work was also performed at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for International Women's Day. Her poems were featured in Poetry on the Way on the Toronto Transit Commission, on the Parliamentary Poet Laureate "Poems of the Week", and in the Feminist Caucus 25th Anniversary Anthology.

She is also included in the University of Toronto 's Library of Canadian Poets. Her poetry has been presented in English classes in high schools and at the University of Toronto . Desi’s poetry is presently being showcased at Grassroots in Toronto for National Poetry Month in April.

Her writing has been translated and published for literary and cultural journals in Iran. She occasionally conducts poetry workshops in schools. Desi has previously worked as an on-air entertainment host/writer and English professor.

To see more of her work visit her website:

Curiosity is Female

The last thing you want
is to write about the same things as last year 
or to think about the person you used to dream about 
twenty years ago
when modernity had already begun 
[to suck you deep into a gopher hole]
and whenever it was sunrise, burnt toast was in the air
not love, like the songs says
and the old man at the end of the block
wanted to make it with you for being so beautiful
deliciously ripe
so you made love in the shack your father built in the yard
your pet rabbit thumping at your ears 
like a starved heartbeat
to bite into old skin
freckled and weathered by the sun 
you swim to your mother who hasn’t told you everything 
keep your mouth fixed
hold it until you finish writing 
wait for it
and gasp like it was your first breath

Forget You Not

She wants to address you
With a word, something with a clean ring to it
Not too many syllables 
One that won’t take all her effort
In a way that does not reduce her to a grain of sand again
She wants to say volumes
To tell you how she doesn’t rest easy in bed
That for years she’s walked like an alien
Misplaced, lacking the chemical necessary to float 
Her blood to her veins
She wants you to know she still grinds her teeth at night
And that she won’t get over you, in spite of yourself
Holding the wood lattice to her tiny frame
She wants to stay like this, vigilant
Waiting for you in the humiliating dark
Signaling with her hands
A simple sign language 
To shred your simple name

March 8

for one full century it rained
and you, with a bag over your gentle head,
did not see the drops fall or melt with the ocean
but you felt her on your naked feet
goading you, teasing you with blades of grass
caressing your neck with her mind
it was your laugh, 
your kind, sorrowful laugh she hears now
when she spreads out in the sun
her guilty face
warmed by the southern sun
she wonders if you blessed yourself
did you say to yourself,
“the demons know me, my love,
it’s too late now”

Demise of Her

below me
sidling stealthily
is a small, sullen speck
rearranging pictures of me
replacing me with shadows
perfecting most of my poses
slithering, slinking, slowly
she is frivolous, and fierce
she spies at the window
slyly, smugly by herself
snooping, staring
she is below me
sticking to walls
singing and smiling
consoled by her voice
sullying my space with
her serpentine presence
she will never know
she can never be me
because way down
below me, she
doesn't exist

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