Saturday, January 16, 2016


I've noticed that writers go for months complaining that nobody reads them, nobody pays them any critical attention, nobody knows what they're doing. Then comes, maybe, a blast of recognition of one kind or other--an award, a big publication, a ceremonial honour, a burst of braggadocio--which is fun until the writer wishes everyone would go away so he/she can get back to work. Chronic grumps, chrumps, some writers. If they were content, they wouldn't be writing, I suppose. This all comes to mind because something has to. Last night at the poetry slam, most of the participants offered a version of poetry heavy on the confessional but light on craft--a slim model of poetic (I thought, munching on a strudel at the back) that no one seems to know how to explore. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

So mouthy

The grosbeaks are going on and on like -35 is something. A soup day for sure. Last night I bragged about H's old-fashioned Quebec pea soup. I bragged about his baguette. Brag while you can, I say! Repeating yourself is another matter entirely. I noticed at a function this week that we were telling people stories that appear in my book. You could see flashes of recognition, a quick WTF race across their brows, before their socially adept faces returned to form. Oops! Please excuse me. It's time to revisit that pot of pea soup waiting in the fridge. And where's that glorious baguette?  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mouth piece

I pulled over to chew on the choice between alley and street. Either way gets you, but one's got benches and signs about loitering. Ones got bars. What's stately out front turns peephole when you get right back to it. If I say I prefer the backs of things I mean it. By the way, you read somewhere about--it was in Fifteen Dogs now that you think of it--that form in which the name of a dog is spoken, when the piece is read aloud, but not written, hula sepeia, for example.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back

That’s what we tend to do on this day. I’ll speak for everyone here because why not? Looking back just a few minutes, I knew as soon as the plastic ripped that it was a mistake to crack open the bag of mini turtles so early in the day, but I popped one in my mouth anyway and bit down. This is how a year comes to a smashing end. A swallowing of chocolate, chopped nuts (ouch!), and a caramel centre, though when you come right down to it, it’s impossible to swallow the centre without becoming the centre, the chopped nuts (ouch!), and the chocolate, but that's not all, nor does it necessarily follow. The thing is, the uvula gives it all a little pat like everything will be ok, it’s got your back, and for a moment you believe it.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

What people come down with

Where did I get this back, the wounded lower one, wow. Not wounded but strained, not strained but what deep orbit shines from a bruise? I did sit down to play the piano the other day. Did piano make pain? Let's hear it for playin' pain in the deep center, beyond left and right. Just as professional drivers, the taxis and semis, can be trusted to drive safely and efficiently, I've been a critter long through the neck and back and, therefore, not prone to injury to such a vital span. But I tell you, somehow in twenty-four hours I grew a derange of motion I'll have to devote several days to releasing. How slowly? The person ahead of me holding the door gave up and went inside. 

And this just in, three days later:
It was the damn rowing machine. Ever since I got it into my head that we tall men tend to make good rowers, if we can harness the furthest reaches of our power stroke (our purr stroke, we call it, when it works), all it takes is two minutes. The deep power, as if pissed about sporadic access, wrecks everything. A week later, the transition from seated to standing still takes care.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Handheld Night Scene

It's a mode. I gave it a try, albeit a hasty one, last night. It was a cold night, the half-moon half hazy, ice crystals almost wafting, softening the glow and blunting the points, though wafting isn't really the word I want here. It looked more like someone breathing on their glasses before cleaning them with a once-black t-shirt that had been washed one time too many, but how do you put that into a tidy little word with the right music to match the sentence and occasion? Standing in the dark, I lined up a decent composition, pressed the shutter button and heard the camera take three quick shots which it then sewed together to create a sense of clarity if I understand the manual correctly, and I thought wow, the things people come up with. Like that tidbit of gossip going around. I lined up the next shot, but of course by then I was wondering why I haven't received an invitation, or at least the particulars so I can plan the journey, and I sewed together three possible scenarios. That picture was blurrier than the first, but I kept it anyway.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


One moon is said to have "taken the geese and squirrels but left the holes." Another appears as a film of moondust on a glass table or a "season of giant moons." It could be a "horse's skull" or someone's name. Could a moon leave traces of her body in your bed? Maybe the moon is wrong, I asked once. A football moon. And one I'll never forget: I was bat boy for the ball team in Herbert, the Herbert Hawks. We were about to start a game in Rush Lake. As he swung a couple of bats to warm up, the coolest, tallest, most handsome guy I could ever hope to be looked up to the moon and said, Yup, good moon for smootchin'.