Conyer Clayton

Who I am when I dream

The roof that stained my feet in childhood
is still flat and black, but sometimes disappears

and there is only       a car pulling in

and a terrifying grin      a car pulling in
and a terrifying grin           a car pulling in
and a terrifying grin

Who am I really, if seen from another room?
I cannot recall having ever seen a mirror.
I cannot recall the doorway.

Setting an Alarm

In a bathrobe

Sweet potato sitting soggy
in a doggy bag next to you
and a leftover oyster roll.
You tracked in snow
from spite,
despite my
pushing away. No.
I said, no. I’m busy.
You’re relentless, you know?


And then you brought a cream
and pesto pizza in your workplace
box from across slickened
streets, so thoughtfully.

Moments after I pushed him

out, I begged you to stay.

In Bed

I sleep alone on purpose,
with regret.

Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. Her most recent chapbooks are: Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (forthcoming with above/ground, 2019), Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). She released a collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, in August 2018. Her work appears in ARC, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, Puddles of Sky Press, TRAIN, post ghost press, and others. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize, and was long-listed for Vallum's 2018 Poem of the Year. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor, and writes reviews for Canthius. Her debut full length collection of poetry is forthcoming in Spring 2020. Check out for updates on her endeavours.