Rosenblatt, Joseph

Canada, (b. 1933)

The Dream

  1. The dark liquefaction of evening
  2. seeps into my dream; stars
  3. are hot coals in my brain lighting up
  4. a grey-brown rat of the self.
  6. In that tremulous world I nestle
  7. into a waterproof bed of old flesh
  8. while exterminators grunting like warty hogs
  9. swarm into the culvert with raised pitchforks.
  11. “He’ll make a lovely truffle,” chortles the pack leader
  12. “let us return to the stars …”
  13. My ventilated body is flung into a nameless hole.
  15. Illumed in the animal warmth of infinity
  16. the rat rises to the surface
  17. as the last clod is tamped down.

© Joe Rosenblatt. Joe Rosenblatt Reader. Toronto: Exile Editions, Ltd. (1998).

It Was Late in the Afternoon

  1. all day the rain sang
  2. & the piglet silence drowned in the mud
  3. it was late in the afternoon
  4. when a small boa put on a smart necktie
  5. to amuse the midget hogs grunting.
  7. drops formed into tadpoles with blue eyes
  8. to witness the spawn of Creation blooming
  9. like fat glow-worms after a sunset.
  10. the boa turned away from his reflection
  11. loosening his necktie, he was all sex
  12. stuffing a slippery mind into a circuitous vision –
  13. the day was hot, he would wear trousers cut low
  15. it was late in the afternoon
  16. & the virulent tadpoles were tired
  17. from mesmerizing cats in the angora sky
  18. who drifted away purring their strength
  19. to a forest radiating green scripture.
  21. harbor lights from heaven burn
  22. in the brittle eyes of reptiles after a rainfall
  23. when valves open in the black earth
  24. absorbing … absorbing …
  25. when the warm tendrils caress the moment
  26. curling in its shell to sleep the escargot of sleep.

© Joe Rosenblatt. Joe Rosenblatt Reader. Toronto: Exile Editions, Ltd. (1998).


  1. Small green boa swam the high branch
  2. for he’d heard there was pig on a limb –
  3. tubed out in transit – hot for fast romance –
  4. motioning sylph, birds, & neighboring kin.
  6. Pushed against moons: sweet meats, diseased –
  7. blooming more shine than Devil’s own Compost,
  8. ‘Only the Beginning,’ he wheezed thru jujube leaves;
  9. submerged in deep felicity. youth raged at meadows
  11. where cool tubes sang to spreading sparrows
  12. who fell into pools: – slumber their song, & food,
  13. while under soil Desire snouted truffles; sorrows
  14. inched, grew into stone – fate of its brood –
  16. leaving a memo for svelte reader, but no moral – anywhere:
  17. ‘… dry here in the well, little boa, could you spill a tear?’

© Joe Rosenblatt. Joe Rosenblatt Reader. Toronto: Exile Editions, Ltd. (1998).

About the Poet:

Joseph Rosenblatt (born December 26, 1933) is a Canadian poet and painter whose line drawings, paintings, and sketches often illustrate his own and other poets’ books of poetry.

Rosenblatt has written more than 20 books of poetry, several autobiographical works and his poems have appeared in over thirty anthologies of Canadian poetry. He has traveled widely giving readings of his poems in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Rosenblatt is often praised as one of Canada’s most imaginative poets for his fantasies exploring the secret world of insects, animals, and plant life. He is thematically concerned with innocence versus sin, and says of his work, “My poems never devour the reader; instead, by the use of comic situations, they anesthetize him.” [DES-07/14]

Additional information:

  • Welcome to the online portfolio of Joe Rosenblatt, Governor General award winning poet and visual artist

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