Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ongoing notes: a series of Glengarry & other questions

While on the farm, I’ve been digging through boxes (as I usually do), & finding piles of interesting items that I haven’t gone through in some time, or simply never got around to going through at all, including boxes of forgotten chapbooks & little magazines in my archive, & pulled out various things to take back to Ottawa with me, including a short story collection by Kent Nussey, In Christ There Is No East or West (Kingston ON: Quarry Press, 1992), Maureen Medved’s The Tracey Fragments (Toronto ON: House of Anansi, 1998) that I don’t remember reading (it came up on someone’s meme lately), as well as the Stories from Blood + Aphorisms Volume Two anthology (Toronto ON: Gutter Press, 1996), edited by Hilary Clark. Why didn’t I read these when I got them?

I’ve read the most brilliant things by Nussey since, whether his other collection of stories or his non-fiction pieces in Brick: A Literary Journal; he should really have them collected in a book somewhere. Why have I hidden all this fiction away in boxes? & will I actually start reading the Peter Carey novel I brought with me from the library? I’ve been digging, too, through boxes to put together more copies of Missing Jacket magazine, the visual art + writing magazine I made five or six issues of in the mid-1990s; I keep running out of them at home, & so many are still in boxes unfolded. It would be nice to get more of these out into the world, considering some of the content, including interviews with David W. McFadden, Judith Fitzgerald, Ken Norris, Christian Bok, cartoons by Greg Kerr, & piles of fiction, reviews, poetry & other features.

Thanks to Jacket magazine (& my father’s printer), since getting here I’ve been reading a pile of essays from the Zukofsky conference, celebrating his centennial, including pieces by Vancouver critic/publisher Peter Quartermain, New York poet/critic/teacher Charles Bernstein & American poet/critic Rachel Blau DuPlessis. I’ve got an edition of Zukofsky’s Collected Shorter Poems, but haven’t yet found A. I’m very interested to get a copy of this new selected they talk about, that apparently came out this year. So much to keep track of.

I didn’t actually get around to going to the Highland Games yesterday; too many distractions, disseminations, etcetera. Spent the day wandering the county by car with my lovely daughter, collage artist. Spent the day in random conversation about a whole pile of things, casually spoken between us, in the car to & from the Dairy Queen in Alexandria (we try to get there every day). At the bookstore in town she bought herself a novel by Moon Unit Zappa that (apparently) she’s been wanting for some time. I saw a book on a history of cheese factories in eastern Ontario that came out last year, including Stormont & Glengarry counties, but didn’t have the $15 (what an odd thing to actually want to read, don’t you think?). Today I’m across the road at the log house my sister & partner Corey own (in our family over a century; where our father was born), at their annual day-long bbq. Brockwell threatens to come by, as does Jennifer Mulligan, & a pile of Kathy & Corey’s friends & our families (it’s only the sixth family gathering we’ve had since the early 1970s that hasn’t involved a funeral or a wedding (not that we’ve had one of those in a while) & this is the fifth annual that my sister has held. Will this be the year I actually play the guitar I keep bringing?).

Here’s another line from a short work of long progress, "report from the emptied city"
love is a pretty name for what we almost do
Will the poem itself ever get finished?

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