Sunday, February 03, 2008

ongoing notes; early February, 2007

it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, caught up in all sorts of other things; did you see this interview with Kimmy Beach on Shawna Lemay’s blog? Did you see this neat article on the John Newlove selected/documentary by Todd Babiak in the Edmonton Journal? Nice. The Vancouver launch happens soon, and I'm even working on one for Regina (check the Chaudiere Books blog for details; that's where I'll post when I know them...);

Apparently Anne Stone likes my "12 or 20 questions" series, but doesn't know why I call it that; here's an above/ground press mention that came up recently on google alerts; how do entries like this come out with my name (referencing a poem from my fourth collection; Richard Lopez referenced same poem here)? Funny how things happen like that; and Jay MillAr liked my piece on Phil Hall from;

Edmonton AB: Calgary authors Jill Hartman and Brea Burton [see my review of their collaborative book here] recently came up north to read at the Olive Reading Series [Shawna Lemay even wrote a note about it], and Olive published Burton’s her fascination as part of the regular event.
she got the idea from a postcard, from a book, from deep-
water running. her husband did not exist when she was
underwater, bobbing and lunging and holding her breath. she
would go down and stay down, watch legs and arms bend and
distort, a look through old glass.
Because they were touring their collaborative Booty, Burton didn’t read anything from this small publication, which is too bad; I wonder how long we have to wait before a first collection by her?
her fascination with water began when she was a kid living on
an acreage outside of Edmonton near Nisku. not too much
water out there, the occasional slough, but stubble fields had
their own charm and the sky was an endless ocean. she had
always wanted blue eyes.
Montreal QC: Right after Montreal poet Artie Gold died in February 2007 [see my own piece on Artie Gold here], another of the Vehicule Poets, Stephen Morrissey [see his 12 or 20 here], published Remembering Artie Gold (Montreal QC: Coracle Press, 2007), a small essay/memoir about Gold going back through the 1970s, when the Vehicules were enjoying their heyday.
Artie Gold died February 2007, a month after his sixtieth birthday. Artie was passionate about poetry and art, a friend to many people, and a highly intelligent man. My intention here is to offer a portrait of Artie as I remember him, the Artie that I knew and loved as only old friends can remember each other, making allowances for behaviour, and humbled by time and age. I have many memories of Artie Gold. I even remember the first time I met him.


Artie Gold was a young poet, only three years older than me. I was impressed with everything about Artie from the moment I met him. I was impressed by his study filled with poetry books and poetry magazines like Beatitude and Yugen, and mimeographed poetry newsletters from Cleveland, Vancouver, and Toronto; by his black spring-bound binders filled with hundreds of pages of his poems in manuscript; by his large collection of antique bottles; by his collection of antique tin containers that once contained cocaine and opium from the days when it could be sold legally; by his Chinese porcelain collection, much of it given to him by his father and the stories of his father, who ran an import business and was visiting Peking at that moment; by his art magazines celebrating the life of American artists, including Jackson Pollack and artists who lived in Buck County; by his long play records of music by Charles Ives, Charlie Mingus, Glenn Gould playing Bach, opera, and obscure music I’d never heard of; by his rock collection and information on rocks and semi-precious stones that he had studied while a student in geology in Colorado; and more!
Is it worth putting together a book of these pieces on Artie Gold? He was easily the best of the Vehicule bunch. Has anyone else done any work on A. Gold?

Prince George, BC: I’ve been more and more interested in what Prince George eco-poetKen Belford has been doing lately, self-publishing a series of chapbooks the past few years (for those who can’t wait for his next trade book); with two books published in the late 1960s, there was a lag of some thirty-odd years before his next two trade books appeared, Pathways into the Mountains (Prince George BC: Caitlin Press, 2000) and Ecologue (Madiera Park BC: Harbour Publishing, 2005). The most recent of these [see a review of a previous here and another here], published as “series 14” is seens (Prince George BC: off-set house, 2008).
and that which
they about on

I wish it wasn’t true but I think
People are looking for poems that go away.
Poems are consumed in particular scenes
And part of what is consumed is place
From one holiday to the next. When
The rough working class poets were organized
And reformed (see Persky, 1965), and new forms
Of leisure activity called poetry were published
In the class colonies, (Also see Budde, 1801,
And McKinnon, 2017), many fairs and Saints Days
Were abandoned. Longer breaks were signaled
In the north, and the hours of writing gradually
Became reduced, but when rules of attendance
Were required, poets rented rooms
In the new socially restrictive towns.
I’m always interested when writers have large gaps in their publishing; what were they doing in all that time? Such as John Newlove in the 1970s, Maxine Gadd [see her 12 or 20 questions here] throughout the late 80s until just a few short years ago, Jamie Reid in the 1970s and 80s, or even David Phillips, who hasn’t published a book since 1978 (a selected poems with Coach House Press); what does a writer do? How does one so active suddenly stop? With Belford, it was with Ecologue that he really started finding his way into his voice, a northern BC kind of working class/roughneck eco-poetry, one that has links with but is extremely different than the eco-lyric of such as Adam Dickinson [see his 12 or 20 questions here] or Don McKay [see my piece on McKay here].
many gaze upon
the same now

Travel books destroy rivers.
Undamaged Steelhead are a snob good
Not unlike a good book.
One is good and two is better.
This is about the overcrowded view of water.
All it takes is a split second.
Steelhead are never numerous
And so are caught again and again.
In fishing, as one consumes more, another consumes less.
Wild Steelhead in wild places are scarce
And the guides are the old masters.
Rivers are places of wonder, visited places
Having to do with relational consumption.
Cheap travel means no more undisturbed places
So I left it for the travelers.
I imagine the end of supply.
I didn’t make a good guide
Because I didn’t fit the purpose
And smashed my good future.
He only does runs of 50 copies, and I’m not entirely sure how he distributes, if he offers them for sale, or how he does it; either way, I’m glad I’m somehow on his distribution list… will the rest of you have no option but to wait for his next trade collection? Still, if he’s getting this much work done (he also had a recent chapbook with Vancouver’s Nomados), it shouldn’t be that much longer of a wait.

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