BP Team: Natalie Wee’s Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines


The Broken Pencil team is a motley crew of artists, writers, activists, and stapler enthusiasts. All of us love putting together Canada’s magazine for independent and DIY arts and zine culture, and it’s because we all have so much going on in our lives outside of BP that we can bring different stuff to the table. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to give a shout out to our Associate Fiction Editor Natalie Wee for her new book, Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines from Words Dance.

Natalie’s poems deal with the mess of affect and others, the contradictions of corporeality, the queer ways of words. She’s got a soft severity to her poetry — like she’ll sing you a song telling you why you fucked up at being, then give you a bowl of ice cream to eat while you think over how to make it better.

Do yourself a favour and check out Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines or some of her poetry posted up at Metatron and The Rising Phoenix Review. Or, enjoy this poem, originally published on The Missing Slate:


In the Unlikely Event of the Apocalypse

I will drop everything I am holding.
I will steal the first car I see &

chase the kite string down to your hand.
Perhaps by then I will have forgotten your face.

We will not recall events beginning with a curled eyelash
& ending in grocery lists of what we could have done

differently. You may go by a different name in a new city
wear a life carved out in the shape of my absence

or make a bed with someone else.
But when the alarm sounds I will cross every border,

skip every checkpoint & dodge all bullets in memory
of what we would once have done to discern

the exact form of desire. I will come to you, gasping
& dry-mouthed as before, wearing the future around

my neck. & nothing else. I will not care if you bring
your new bedfellow or a dog hell-bent

on alerting treasure hunters to signs of life.
It does not even matter where we are headed.

There is no pain like the pain of a gulf blooming
between two sides of the same hand. There is no grief

like praying to a ghost that refuses to stay buried.
The earth fissuring each time I put you back

in it: splitting image of how the planet shuddered
when our first escape routes converged. The same way

it surrenders, now, to the unfathomable. These
crevices are nothing like the graves we built

for each other. These fires cannot touch us when
we have perfected the art of immolation. How even

death is a shadow of forgetting. We have worn it
like skin, offered the fresh peel

at our first meeting. At our last. & now the afterworld
as we know it: beyond our invention. As it has always

been. You’re not forgiven, but neither am I.
The world is ending

& we have been here before.