Sunday, July 01, 2018

Ongoing notes: Canada Day, 2018

Happy Canada Day! We’re sticking close to home these days, given my father in the hospital (he improves, but slowly; most likely in hospital another month or two), but moving a wee bit between McNair locations for the occasional gathering. We’re even attempting to have a couple of folk by tomorrow, which meant the girls assisted with some baking yesterday (they each stir their own, individual batch of what would become scones).

I’ve been going through a whole spate of chapbooks lately, for whatever reason (perhaps now that the children are home for the summer, I have only the attention for short/small things?). So here’s hoping chapbooks keep coming in, yes?

Southern California: Produced as part of “The Toad Press International Chapbook Series” is Buenos Aires poet Roberta Iannamico’s Wreckage (2017), translated by Providence, Rhode Island poet and translator Alexis Almeida. Moving through the backlist of the Toad Press catalogue, I’m impressed by the sheer amount of chapbook-length titles they’ve produced, especially for a press that focuses on works originally produced in a language other than English.


I am the Sweet Potato Queen
adorned with jewels
made in Taiwan
riding a horse
from a carousel
I breathe in more wind
than anyone
the colored lights
and the cumbia
create a luxurious climate
I turn with my horse
in a strange time
I rise and fall like the air
when it wants to be noticed.

I like the straightforwardness of these poems, composed with the occasional odd turn, such as in the poem “Zebras,” that includes: “we all know / that a zebra behind bars / is a redundancy / so they do as they please [.]”

Brooklyn NY: Another excavation of my writing desk uncovered saretta morgan’s room for a counter interior (portable press @ yo-yo labs, 2017), a very striking chapbook of short, accumulative bursts. It would be difficult to presume that room for a counter interior is entirely self-contained, or part of something larger (I suspect, or even hope for, the latter), but that is the beauty of this chapbook, composed of short fragments/sections, containing incredibly sharp and powerful lines. There is an awful lot going on here, possibly far more than there is space here to discuss.

what if you woke up mourning inside it. a pale yellow morning frayed and waiting to pass a minute a window the time it takes. you might crawl your way out of it again.

Discovering this chapbook immediately sent me to the internet to seek out information on morgan, a Brooklyn-based artist who works predominantly with text. I was gratified to see she has another title out this spring with Ugly Duckling Presse, and now all I can think about is when I might be able to get a copy.

principle two: the absence of supporting walls means the house is unrestrained in its internal use. principle three: by separating the exterior of the building from its structural function, the façade is free from structural constraints:

elbow crease. grecian jaw. how the eyes fell—you may take these objects as facts.

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