26 Feb 2009, 2:22pm
Glad Game Link Dump

Rebounding Gladness

Gracious Goodness, Gracias: Lots of goodnesses.

Barwin’s post on the performance of last post here.

Inner Peace: Are you at risk?.

organza Fabric stores are marvelous places I should visit more often. For the iridescent organza alone.

Acronym goodness: BANANAism (i.e. Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody) as opposed to edging from NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard), word courtesy of Reevely.

Silly Chicken.

Food Gladnesses: Blood oranges are in season. (I knew February had some upside.)

Our store finally restocked the sour-dough rye with caraway seeds.

Wiping clean the baseboard heater behind the desk I made chocolate smears. Aromotherapy by spilled crumbs; sure, I had intended that.

The Goddess of Desk Disorder rewarded the (partial) desk cleaning with uncovering a wrapped chocolate-filled fig.

Musical goodness: (I’m calling this good. But maybe it’s just odd; hard call sometime.) If you’re not still troubled by that dancing baby internet craze (this isn’t it) you still may want to click the blue jeans.

I don’t know why body-mysterious is not doing the evil-Pavlov jolt routine to some part of me today but no pain, and lots of energy. Praise be.

Glad for people who correct the record, such as Obama is not the first President with a foreign-born parent and the record of if-foreign born, at least let it be British colony remains unbroken.

The last workshop group was so smooth and pleasant and easy. Good poems into the brain. Good people within communicative range. Lurvely!

Neat Japanese cultural item: Kotatsu which is a table-heater-bed.

Discussion on negative reviews and poetry.

Quote: “The end never really justifies the meanness.” – Duane E. Hulse

25 Feb 2009, 12:51pm
Books Photos Poets
1 comment

Readings…AB Sees GBs, Eh?

Close to a week ago already the newest chapbook from The Emergency Response Unit launched at the AB Series. Chora Sea is by Gary Barwin and Gregory Betts. Below they are pictured before the show and during as Barwin’s doing sound and Betts is examining his banana. Because it was that kind of show. ๐Ÿ˜‰

gb IMG_3920
The 2 GBs (Can’t believe I forgot to bring my antlers for the occasion.)

Chora Sea plays on the page and stage like improv riffing off one another and off common phrases twisted such as “you make the lung road/ i take the short breath”, “is that a first growth forest / or are you just happy / to be me?”. It’s very culturally embedded as it plays with language toys.

Each thread creates a structure to mutate in with each sorta refrain that sets up and turns expectation a different direction. There’s a refrain of a homolinguistic translation of In Flander’s Fields.

The words and rhythms run familiar and overlaid here and there and diverge again. It’s a hard balance to keep people tracking and not predicting yet not disorienting too far so people can remain in the suspended need for narrative. It baffles me at how that works and how one can control that.

I suppose to people who know classical or otherwise lyricless music (I’m terribly word and semantic driven) the process of building tension and the rhythm of gratifying expectation with humor or surprise without plot is familiar.

The chapbook isn’t the full length of what they performed in two voices. The threads of red and something about red shoes coming out of birdsong(?) and piling like lumpy clouds. (Wish I could remember that.) What a pretty chapbook tho. Nice hand-feel.

A cousin creature to that is what we saw it back to back with รขโ‚ฌโ€œ the docu on Canadian Improv Games called “In the Moment” (It’s coming to Winnipeg this week). In competitive improv there’s criteria for building characters, mood and a narrative arc on the spot with cooperation, positioning yourself as in hockey to be ready for whatever is likely to come and respond in dance and music.

This reading was more cerebral tickle. It’s sandbox is language more than story. Both tho lay on the ground of play. Against the improv recently in my head, the reading felt more freeze-frame, resisting, swerving from traditional narrative except in the scale of pause within sentence for which way that coin will fall. More of a modern dance equivalent for poetry. Or art film rather than Hollywood. (Which, considering my dislike of Hollywood, is a compliment.) It’s part of what I’m calling the anti-meaning school of poetry.

It is leaning to absurd but also having some straight out pretty ooh stuff, such as a fog of throat and grid-ironing the empty air.

Again the AB Series drew a different crowd that’s been coming out to anything literary. The wider the variety of readers makes for the wider the reach of support fans/friends. The Tree Series too had a full room last night with a lot among the crew that I haven’t seen out elsewhere. It might bode well for the Writers Fest. Is the long lull of smaller turnouts finally turning tide?

Quote: “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that the brain is so hardwired to link coincidences? To assume conspiracy? Doesn’t it suggest to you that the universe is trying to tell us something?” – ๐Ÿ˜‰ kaolin fire

25 Feb 2009, 12:01pm
Glad Game Ottawa Photos Poets
1 comment


Blog nor blogger not dead.

I’m just putting the dizzy in busy. (What, it doesn’t fit? Spell it wrong and throw in some dyslexia while you’re at it. See, perfect.)

It’s a roll of the die whether I posted today or not.

Waddling one step ahead it is, then.

I’d prefer to do with full-heart. All-in or all-out. It creates better energy than reluctant warm body.

That reminds me of my parents chiding re: why don’t you visit? have we taught you nothing? we visited your grandmother every Sunday…

Except that lessons learned is not lesson intended to be demonstrated.

I recall that weekly do we Hafta? I don’t Wanna. Big Sigh heaved. I Suppose we Should. (And that was from either parent.)

It was inconsequential that once they got themselves there, they enjoyed themselves and engaged.

To do what one obliges oneself, under duress of Should, rarely gives good yield. Internal motivation of desire and free choice makes any work energy-giving play.

Anyway, before I bore myself preaching to my soloist choir here…(it’s a small but tidy organization here at Humanyms Inc.)…real post upcoming.

Glad Game: Feeling human again, mercy of migraine begone.

Light is back to being illumination again instead of that which is trying to pry my eyeballs out.

Would thanking antihistamine for years of retired service be sour grapes? I’m allergic to something new. Most of 10 days with small or large amount of hives that don’t respond to antihistamine. Meh. At least it’s not itching (at the moment) And ooh, I still have areas of external layers of skin not scratched off.

Back is back. For a while I thought I was a wind up toy with the key turning the muscles between my shoulder blades.

People are good to me. Maybe our species can stay on the planet after all. On a trial basis at least.

The Lord knows I’m drinking tickled my funny bone.

Heckfire. Isn’t that such a good word? I can just see all these H and Ks blazing up in a fire shape.

It was rather cool to dream of Greenland. I was walking along a beach with a group of native elders cleaning up syringes that washed ashore. At some point I decided to swim and tropical fish swam around me and one blue one melted over me leaving all these commercial business tattoos over my shoulders, which I realized to my relief were transparent self-adhesives. One had an address. I tracked it down to the street dispenser in Europe with the intent to convince the head office to desist from this guerilla campaign using meltable fish. Because that was wrong. (Sleep, ain’t it a rip?)

I think I my unconscious mashing in the colors and legs as school of fish of AM Klein poem “Lone Bather” that was read last night. Lovely collection of voices in tribute. Great poems.

Frances Boyle rounded out the Arc reading with her Diana Brebner Prize poem on Sunday.
diana brebner reading
Interesting that editor Lahey reported that making all the poems anonymous worked for some readers to bypass their prejudice of reading or avoiding reading some poems based on who wrote it. If I want to read blind I can just not look tho.

The technique reminded me of those magazines that emblazon one story title something on cover, different header for story in the table of contents and then don’t put page numbers on most pages. It creates an obstacle.

Or Arc could take it further to blank out names of who did book reviews and art too (indexed at back but disjunctured from work) and of sponsoring ads รขโ‚ฌโ€œ leave the ad copy except for who; the style and book titles sold should be enough; it’s like a memory test; could work, once at least.

Tech Link: Those Handy USB ports desktop fridge, desktop oven or album to release on USB drive

Wrong: Hello Kitty Biker outfit, cow transport (I’ve seen someone do this myself) and also from the Fail blog mom’s intuition

Quote: Robert Lee Brewer: Do you feel you must have something important to say when you sit down to write a poem?
Susan Rich: If I thought I needed to only write important poems, I would still be staring into this screen before me. Who needs that kind of pressure?” – Poetic Asides interview with Susan Rich

Around Town

John John W MacDonald (pictured last week at the MillAr reading) was on Parliament Hill yesterday taking portraits and asking people who gathered what it means for Obama to visit Ottawa. See the audio slideshow here. The mood was mixed but those that were happy were very happy. Part of me wanted to venture down to the Hill and the majority of me didn’t want to see all the police and crowds.

Raging Grannies welcome Obama with a pointed question or two in song. For himself he stopped to get a beavertail while helicopter surveillance flew overhead, manhole covers were welded shut below. When did security come to mean systemic mistrust?

What else is new in town? Another round at getting a baseball team [via]

What’s not new? Emoticons apparently. 130 year old emoticons as mIEKAL aND found, seen via Huth.

Genius. Elizabeth Gilbert talks at TED about what our relationship to creativity was culturally 500 years ago, compared to now. It used to be a paranormal visitor and now it it seen as coming from within. What are the repercussions of that?

What else happened? Google settled with authors whose books it scanned. I didn’t expect the case to go that way but good on google.

When I hiccuped my neck cracked, and loudly enough that Lise at the other end of the table heard. (Truely, aging is when actions creak louder than words.)

Upcoming? AB Series has a multimedia poetry sound dealie with Gary Barwin and Gregory Betts

Next Tuesday AM Klein who would be 100 last week is the focus of Tree.

Quote: “To clarify, add detail. Clutter and overload are not attributes of information. They are failure of design. If the information is in chaos, don’t throw out information, fix the design.” Edward Tufte

17 Feb 2009, 2:38pm
Life Anecdotes

Overheard in Ottawa and Vancouver

A man who was being led by inches down the grocery aisle, being shown every soy milk and milk substitute, the female with him reading off the sugar and top vitamin contents. When I went past them and swooped up 3 of the almond milk containers, he perked up and said to her, “those ones are good!”

A boy on the bus was relaying to his buddies how his dad was riding him about drug use (in his opinion only idiots do drugs) and to get dad off his back boy told his dad he’s gay. Dad is freaking/dealing. Meanwhile by serendipity (in the boy’s view) his friend and him got into a tiff (my word, not his) and friend pulled a knife on him; he sucker punched his knife-bearing friend out cold. What a lousy fighter. And parents will be home soon. What to do with the body? He dragged it up the stairs to the bedroom. Dad came home, barged in and saw an unconscious boy on son’s bed. He’s going to play it up for a couple weeks, he says, maybe buy some skin tight jeans. (I’m so glad I’m not a parent of a teen.)

In Vancouver we saw two parents and two kids walking along the seawall. Dad had one child in one of those strap to the chest slings-thingees. Doing a sort of bouncy wave as he walked were the child’s hands, or rather the mostly empty dad’s big gloves on the child up to the elbow. Behind them the mom had stopped the stroller and was taking off her coat. The little girl in the stroller protested as mom tucked her coat around the girl, “but mom you’ll be cold!” Mom said, “I’ll be fine.”

At the site of the Olympic village…
site of Olympic village
Own that graffiti

Quote: “Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice.
It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

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