ongoing notes – early September, 2007
So here I sit, broken-hearted. Okay, maybe not. Finally in Edmonton, finally in my office, trying to get work done yet still feeling completely overloaded (hence the lack of reviewing lately); did you see the nice stuff that Amanda Earl wrote about me on her blog? Also, I’ve started an interview project that started on the Alberta blog and seems to have bled through into three different blogs (apparently it’s been noticed by a few folk there and here; including this note on various reviewers for that Chicago poetry anthol…)? What surprises me most is just how many people have eaten pears lately…
Did you see this article on me in yesterday's Edmonton Journal by Todd Babiak?
Edmonton AB: Part of the fun of being in Edmonton at all is being able to get to the Olive Reading Series [see the interview I did moons ago with then-organizer Adam Dickinson], now run by T.L. Cowan, Jeff Carpenter, Thea Bowering, Douglas Barbour, Jenna Butler, Maria Chen, Meena Gupta and K.L. McKay, with featured reader, a free small chapbook by that reader, as well as an open set. Last night, the first reading of the new season was Edmonton poet Bert Almon, with his chapbook Waiting for the Gulf Stream.
It might not be the kind of poetry that jump-starts any part of me, but his reading was pretty entertaining (and it was a packed house, which was pretty cool). He also launches a new poetry collection alongside Ben Murray with Brindle & Glass at Greenwood's Books, September 16 (7925 104 St., 7pm). The next reader for the Olive Reading Series (Hulbert’s Café, 7601 115 St) is Ottawa poet Stephen Brockwell [see the interview with him here] on October 6.
Kane’ohe HI: It’s always good to get a new issue of Susan M. Schultz’s Tinfish in the mail, and I’ve been (finally) able to start going through #17, from June 2007. Part of why I love this journal is for the strong writing, and for the always interesting design; some of it is just for the geographic range of it, moving Pacific Rim from where she exists on the island-that-is-a-state, all along the American west coast and into parts of Canada, publishing authors such as Kaia Sand, Kim Hyesoon, Meredith Quartermain, Shin Yu Pai, Jane Sprague and Truong Tran. Who wouldn't love a poem with such a title as "The Exiled Filipino Poet Translates into Pidgin ENglish" by R. Zamora Linmark? Or this piece, writing:
A peppery road, well oiled and ready for the taking. A man is standing on
the empty sidewalk. The sky a grayish blue, the air thick and sweet. He
considers entering the road as a stream enters a river. He would integrate
into the larger whole, perhaps adding to its darkness or width. He hesitates,
thinking to himself, “although dedicating completely to this road would
relieve me of all attachment, I am not quite ready to give up the illusion of
self.” Before he has come to a decision, a large wave arrives, pausing for a
moment, allowing the man to witness its greatness, and with a hiss and a
crumble, washes away the sidewalk, the road, the man, his thoughts. (Matt Rohrer)
Montreal QC: It’s good to see former Ottawa poet Wanda O’Connor publish a new poetry chapbook, her self-published Romance & the Tidal Boar (ImPress, 2007), produced for a reading she recently did on the east coast [see this piece I wrote on her moons ago].
my autobiography as a staircase
there is a staircase vining up the tall blank of building. it reaches the sky
and forms its metal around the elements. the staircase does not end as
a staircase. there is nothing beyond it, around it, or in support of it.
there is a building.
three elements are present. the first reaches toward the earth for support.
the second becomes the atmosphere for rest, the third, a solid form,
for comfort, the metal supports me.
anatomy is destiny.*
I imagine this as my maxim and as my civilization. the long arm of the handrail of
there are hands that run along that rail.
there is some kind of love in this.
weightless elements combine and form a mountain. I reach the speak to Moses,
gain a prophecy. I can see Hollywood from here, its loss of charm.
there is an idea of wanting, but only an idea. here I need all things. I need to feel hu-
Although a strange little production, and somewhat uneven, I very much like her use of the direct statement, and keep hoping that she will someday let above/ground press produce a chapbook in the future, perhaps a combination of this, newer work and perhaps something older as well. For information on her chapbook, or to contact her, check out her blog.