today on desk space!

My laundry-themed instalment is up at "Desk Space" and can be read here. Credit to Evie Christie for having a sense of humour about all this. If you're out of the loop, this all started quite innocently with this post, followed by this one, followed by Evie's offer to take Literaundrature to a whole new level. Thanks, Desk Space!


in search of the youth crew's pterodactyl loins

Cadence Weapon is Edmonton's new poet laureate. Oh, and a new publishing house wants your dinosaur porn.

It's getting weird out there, people. And by weird, I mean awesome.

At least the federal Conservatives are keeping things predictable. And by predictable, I mean terrible.

p.s. Got the image here. You'd be surprised what comes up when you google "pterodactyl crotch shot".



To read isn’t necessarily to analyze, is not necessarily “to understand.” At the swimming pool, we don’t ask the swimmer the composition of the water, the number and distribution of swimmers, or why he’s picked this date to go swimming. We don’t ask him to describe, in mid-crawl, the architecture or acoustics of the place, or to explain a bird trapped under its roof, or to do a better imitation of the progress of some Olympic seal. We don’t ask him to memorize opening hours or screw himself up by whistling from the bench throughout an entire race in butterfly stroke. No. Finally, we don’t ask him, before each dive, to bring up some secret meaning from the very bottom of the pool. No. We let swimmers swim. We let swimmers swim. And the swimming pools fill up.

- from "What I Know" by Patrick Dubost, translated by Fiona Simpson. Read the whole thing here.


red fez #22

The new issue of Red Fez is up, and can be read here. It's the seventh since I joined the editorial board, and the tardiest yet, which is almost completely my fault - another item on the long list of things I dropped while on vacation. Anyway, it's finally arrived thanks to the hard work of Managing Editor Michele McDannold. Go, Michele!

My highlight from this issue is two poems from New Hampshire poet Kelley Jean White, entitled "Honest things" and "goddamn".


Michael Buble on the Canucks...

I was disgusted... I am usually a bubbly person. Can you hear how dejected and crushed I am? I feel absolutely ripped off... It affected me in every way. I sat and cried. My manager, Bruce [Allen], called me and I could hear it in his voice... I believed more than anyone. My manager cancelled his holidays. Bruce Allen cancelled his holidays because he believed so much in the Canucks. I think he was going to go to Africa on some kind of safari with his girlfriend and he cancelled it because he really thought they were going to go places and so did I... God help me — I want to swear right now — I do not know what that coach was thinking... I think that even now when I talk to you about this, I am raw. I am hurt. It’s very new, but it’s like having a girl break your heart.

God help him, indeed. Read the whole interview here.


homecoming hodgepodge

We're back in town, swine flu free. Now it's time to wade through the piles of mail, phone messages and emails that have piled up...

I was happy to come home to my contributor's copies of the new "Form" issue of subTERRAIN, which I am looking forward to reading through thoroughly. I have two poems in the issue, a list poem titled "Wintering" and a triolet titled "Viaticum". Of what I've read so far, the flash fiction pieces by Taryn Hubbard and Michael Sasi have impressed me the most.

It was very nice to be included in the issue. Thanks, subTERRAIN! Last Spring I took a formal poetry course taught by Aislinn Hunter and I've become increasingly interested in certain forms - especially the glosa and sonnet - since then (Zach Wells' Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets gets some credit for my interest in the latter form, too). It was for the Hunter course, in fact, that I wrote "Viaticum", and another poem from the course, a glosa titled "Enough of this", is included in the new issue of One Cool Word.

What a segue!

One Cool Word is launching its new issue (featuring my glosa!) tomorrow night! 8:00 PM at The Biltmore. Music by Creaking Planks, The Contemporary Lovers, Fur Bearing Animals, and Analog Bell Service. All the details are here.

Also, the Robson Reading Series has Indran Amirthanayagam reading this Thursday and Robert Bringhurst a week later. 7:00 PM at the UBC Downtown libary. More details here.

And lastly, this is cooool.


trip report #2

I'm sitting under an air conditioner in the first week of May. Normal for Los Angeles, maybe, but very strange for me.

We’ve been terrible busy the last week or so with driving and sightseeing and eating and sleeping and such – hence the lack of posts.

Here are the latest (and at this rate, maybe last) "silaronesque" updates from the trip:
We spent a few days in San Francisco, where we checked out City Lights and a few other book stores, and even managed to take in Ferlinghetti, a new documentary on (shocking!) Lawrence Ferlinghetti that was screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It certainly had its flaws, and was no Born into This, but it was a solid film and a great addition to our trip.

My only new book bought in S.F. was a collection of essays on African Literature by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, which I picked up at Marcus Books. It’s sure to produce a few good quotes for OGOV’s Time with the Philosophers.

Next, in Monterey, we visited the hotel where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island (supposedly), and I picked up a used copy of Very Bad Poetry at a local bookstore. My favourite so far, awarded the prize for “Most Convoluted Syntax” by the editors:

from On a Procession with the Prince of Wales (by Joseph Gwyer)

At evening too the dazzled light
Illumed the darkness of the night
I can’t paint it for reasons best.
‘Twas grand, though I in crowd was pressed.

In the “Not Very Bad Poetry” category, I recently finished reading Yellowrocket by Todd Boss. I had dangerously high expectations for the book and was disappointed, though only somewhat. Much like Margaret Atwood’s The Door, most of the poems in Yellowrocket started out with a whack of potential then either ended awkwardly or were drawn out until they were drained of any of the energy they’d originally started with. Still, some of them held their potential to the end and proved to be quite fantastic.

We swung by the Bukowski bungalow today. It’s been so well preserved that there is still someone living in it...

I decided not to try and stare in the windows to see what they were watching on TV, and other than that there isn’t really much to do. The city has put up a sign marking the spot, which at least gave me a poorly-lit photo to post with this update - so it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Swine Flu Update: NO SWINE FLU YET.

Ok, time to sleep!