from the pages of The Peak

my feature, a response to the "Ghana @ 50" celebrations, and the associated street-clearing in Accra, just came out. you can read it here:

Ghana @ 50

you can download a .pdf of the whole issue, complete with photos by Marta, here (pages 13 and 14).

also, in the same issue, is an "Artist Profile" interview with Jenn Ku. read that here.


Chris Abani quote

I just finished an article for the Peak on "Ghana @ 50" (Ghana's fiftieth anniversary is March 6th), which should come out on Monday. After I'd finished writing it, I came upon this quote in Abani's Lagos-set novel Graceland, which ties in to the article quite well, and is pretty damn great on its own. A prequel of sorts, then:

For the Igbo, tradition is fluid, growing. It is an event, like the sunset, or rain, changing with every occurrence. So too, the kola ritual has changed. Christian prayers have been added, and Jesus has replaced Obasi as the central deity. But its fluid aspects resist the empiricism that is the Western ways, where life is supposed to be a system of codes, like the combinations of human DNA or the Fibonacci patterns in nature. The Igbo are not reducible to a system of codes, and of meaning; this culture is always reaching for a pure, lyric moment.


a long story

there were dinosaurs. everything was the same other than
that. people still got up at dawn and drove to work.
housewives still went shopping. on hot afternoons they still
slowed in the frozen food section. occasionally someone
would get squashed by a diplodocus or gored by a
triceratops, but what were we to do about it? they were
already extinct. so we kept going. i asked my mother once,
“what was it like before the dinosaurs?”. she tried to
explain, but her words made no sense. that night i dreamed
of meteors volcanoes hurricanes tsunamis. i dreamed of
many terrible things i could not describe in the morning.

from the November 2005 issue of High Altitude Poetry

more of my poems from HAP here.



my poem "curiosity" has just been published by feathertale. you can read it here.


help, anyone?

Ghana's 50th Anniversary is coming up in less than a month (March 6th), and i've managed to scrape together a couple of "50th" related poems that i think aren't half bad (one on Kwame Nkrumah and one on the way the government is "cleaning up" Accra to make way for the celebration). now my challenge is to find magazines, newspapers, political magazines, etc. that might consider publishing them, ideally within the next month, both here and back home in Canada.

does anyone with more connections than i know of places that might be receptive? if so, i'd really appreciate a quick comment or e-mail.


events events!

if you are on the same four or five mailing lists i am, then you already know all this. nonetheless, i'll pass it along:

Feb 2nd: ok, this has passed, but i thought it was worth noting that memewar magazine has launched its third issue, which should soon be available for free online and at these locations around Vancouver soon.

Feb. 9th: one cool word magazine is launching its fourth issue at The Lamplighter. all the details are here.

Feb. 14th: High Altitude Poetry will be hosting a Valentine's Day-themed edition of its ever-popular poetry production line at SFU's Burnaby Campus, "likely somewhere around the AQ" (see a picture of the line at work and read a production line poem here).

Feb. 15th: HAP will be following up the production line with an open mic the next night from 5-7 PM at Renaissance Cafe, Cornerstone Building, SFU Burnaby Campus.

Feb. 23rd: the World Poetry 6th Anniversary Gala is taking place at 7PM at the Alice McKay room of the Vancouver Public Library, and, as with all good things, will be free.

Always: i have labels now. it's very much fun. i just felt it needed to be said.


two quotes i wrote next to each other in my notebook three weeks ago then decided to post and in so doing maxed out the number of characters permitte

Glory, with us, is not for
lending out
so those who want take it by strength
or more often exhort it with a gun

We let them, knowing as we do
what men can take, what they cannot

- from "Borrowed Airs" by Kobena Eyi Acquah

That short-haired joy and roughness -
                 America - your stupidity
I could almost love you again.

- from "I Went into the Maverick Bar" by Gary Snyder



the Individual World Poetry Slam is on in Vancouver, eh. i have a good excuse for not being there. do you?