Oh, and don’t forget I have a substack, yes? I think I’m gearing up for another book-length non-fiction project (possibly).
Montreal QC: A resident of Nogojiwanong/Peterborough, poet Scott Cecchin’s second chapbook is HOUSE (Montreal QC: Vallum Magazine/Vallum Chapbook Series No. 35, 2022), following Dusk at Table (O. Underworld! Press, 2020). I’m intrigued by the breaks, breaths and halts, the rhythms of this particular chapbook-length suite, and his poems expand upon their rhythms as the poems progress. What I find most interesting is how and where he holds the small moments and fragments of speech, appearing far more compelling than later on in the collection, as his narratives stretch into more traditional and even conventional plain-speech. But there is something here, and I am intrigued. As the opening title poem, “HOUSE,” reads:
The house flowers
in light. Be-
a glacier. And deepest:
Inside you, a moon. And
in the moon, somewhere, is
you. The sun gets inside every-
thing; and when the sun’s out
we are too.
The house, pressed
into the deep,
like a seed,
sinks. Look up:
many ships sinking up
there. Above that,
is shaped by fire and
water enters earth and air. The air,
sometimes, holds fire and
and fire gives earth to the air.
Montreal QC: One of the latest titles from James Hawes’ Turret Press is a blurred wind swirls back for you (2023), a second chapbook by Vancouver poet and editor Patrick Grace, following Dastardly (Anstruther Press, 2021). Set in three sections of sequence-fragments—“a brazen thing,” “the sky cottoned” and “a blurred wind swirls back for you”—this is a curious chapbook-length sequence, offering one step and then another, towards a kind of expansion, say, over a particular ending or closure. The first section offers what might be a flirtation, writing as the third page/fragment:
lightning came lightning lit the night
it gave us an easy in
strikes most are the rhythms, the pacing; a very fine patter across a length of
tethered fragments, although there are some moments in the language that strike
far less. Either way, there is something interesting here, and worth paying
attention to, to see where Grace moves next. I say keep an eye on this one.