Excerpt from Somewhere to Run From, “Objects of My Affection”

Objects of My Affection

Your girlfriend’s rib cage cracks, bone against headboard, when you fuck her in my bed. In every poem she hits her head. Her small body breaks uncontrollably under your hot hand. A broken girl cannot cry. I am left here.

A tree house. Three new vines. Expired birthday balloons. Raw cane sugar. Remnants are just that: reminders. My hand is stamped with a stallion, the paper store, tiny icons remind me of you. Everything else small I Anna.

Your mouth on her makes you forget lyrics, the song you chose your name from. Makes you think about girls marked with black ink tattoos, thousands of miles down the coast. The song the radio played (the day you thought your life might be important) led to a crush on a deadly-wrong girl.

Your heart faltered over a dead dog.

When the song I loop tells me every little thing she does is magic, I think about older men and awards shows. We have an amicable conversation about pop songs and the girls who cover this one. It is stark, naked and maimed. It is also Anna. The girlfriend who still wears your bruises after three and a half years. You stole her youth, though you are the same age.

I want Anna’s health insurance, to get me through the night. Her warm whisky offerings. A prescription to cure me of her cold.


For more information about Somewhere to Run From or to purchase the book, please click here.

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Somewhere to Run From | Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

Somewhere to Run From, by Tara-Michelle ZiniukISBN: 9780978335182
Pub Date: 2009

Longlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk’s second collection of poetry is dangerously sarcastic, Toronto-local, bitter, sweet, and bruising in its honesty. Challenging the notions of what a girl runs from, both literally and figuratively, Somewhere to Run From takes on complex settings from which to depart: poverty, pop and sub-culture, madness, and normative sexuality among these locations.

“Tara-Michelle Ziniuk produces another undeniably readable, attractive little book of spare, plainspoken poetry… chock full of sarcasm, cleverly slurred confessions, and the broken-bottle-sharp perceptions of a hurt, vulnerable narrator.” Spencer Gordon, Broken Pencil

“A wonderful example of the range of contradictory thoughts and feelings Ziniuk’s Somewhere to Run From will inspire”—goodreads.com

Click to read an excerpt from Somewhere to Run From.

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based author, performer and activist with an extensive background in community radio. She has been published in magazines and anthologies across North America and is a regular contributor to NOW, Broken Pencil Magazine, and Herizons as well as writing for This, $pread, HOUR, and others. Her first book, Emergency Contact, was released with McGilligan Books in 2006 to wide critical acclaim and was taught through the English Department at York University.

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