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By Natalie Zina Walschots


cleverness a cleaver 
slit tine grin
serrated rape trap
teeth maestro

voice box a soup can
sinew strung
rung to rung with vertebrae
gruesome toymaker

smile navel to nose
uncoil like fat lips
drool or steaming tongue
body made mouth

the plate in my head fields fate
pluck the fillings from my teeth
pull the metal form my head
strip mine me bare
proven mettle
every lodged piece of shrapnel
draws me like dowsing

manipulate my polarity
lick the lodestone on my stomach

bristling static
shearing force stop pacemakers, shreds peace
articulate shock
charge transfer
fully conjugated backbone


Natalie Zina Walschots’ first book of poetry, Thumbscrews, was published by Snare Books in 2007. Her newest manuscript, Supervillains, is nearly complete. Her work has recently appeared in Rampike, A4, Open Letter, Misunderstandings Magazine, Last Supper, ditch and dANDelion. Natalie completed her MA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. She has served as the Managing Editor of both filling Station and dANDelion magazines. She also co-curated the Flywheel reading series from 2005 to 2008. She currently serves as a board member for Toronto’s Draft reading series, and as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Scream Literary Festival. She has recently served as a writer-in-residence through the NOW HEAR THIS! (the literacy outreach arm of the Descant Arts & Letters Foundation) S.W.A.T. program. She spends the rest of her time permanently damaging her liver and her hearing, attending metal shows and writing concert reviews for and Metallus Maximus. She lives in a menagerie with a princess, a pirate, three cats and a dog.

Illustrated by Evan Munday.

Excerpted from Supervillains

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