28 Jun 2009, 10:28pm

Human, Animal

For those not local, it’s been tropical downpour stormy often this week. I’ve been soaking it in, the sun and the heat and the wet.
petting zoo huddle like the Arc
Some days have been warmer than a panting goat at a petting zoo. (This was last week on Victoria Island.)

The chicken cuddling up with the goat and bunny were Eden-like, and camera ambivalent. The llama however would have none of this photo-business.

Clear camera avoidance with attitude.

Indoors photography is more tricky. People move, and in low light. I like hands or arms blurring but faces only if they are sharp. Which is a small part of the time. Maybe I should leave images completely and do acoustical snippets instead. I suppose that would have its technical challenges too.

Maybe I can herd everyone out to the sun. Next week there’ll be a family reunion. If I go, at least it’ll be outdoors. (Thunderstorms willing.) Every year since Granny’s passing the dispersion gets broader. She was a rallying call. Not many are likely to make it this year. It’s complicated by it being at the place of an aunt which only her kids and sisters and brothers know directions to, down a series of obscure, unmarked back roads. Anyhew, that bridge is too far in the future to concern myself with yet. Don’t borrow cares from tomorrow and all that.

Hub and I caught a bit more of the Fringe Fest. I must admit between me and myself, I’m a tough crowd. Sitting alone in a room I tend to amuse myself and laugh aloud fairly often. For a comedian to not lower that rate is a high bar to leap.

One show amused me thruout, one annoyed from the get-go then won me over totally, and in another one person show, let’s just say that it’s lucky I don’t cry easily because if anyone could, he would have just about bored me to tears.

Which is more about me than the show. The people around me were laughing, but I could just hear another in the string of cultural reference quotes and know I was isolated on some other page.

Bah, you can’t be ready to receive everything everywhere tho.

Glad Game: That horrible grinding sound that my CD drive was making every time the computer woke up or restarted seems to have stopped as mysteriously as it started.

Sitting out in a park with haikuists was just the slow-down time my soul needed. Lovely warm atmosphere in every sense.

Whatever I did with the CD I burned and the greeting card I wrote out but didn’t send are bound to turn up in a bag or the desk at some point soon. (Gnomes, they’re so sneaky.)

The balcony flowers however needed their cameos. They are finally starting to grow.

We have lettuce that we can fresh-pick. I never like to eat it out there tho. It’s like boiling veal or a kid goat in its own mother’s milk (an Old Testament/Torah prohibition) to eat a herb in front of the plant it was picked off of. Viscerally it bothers me somehow. [Wait, how’d that get in the glad game. (Gnomes!)]

Glad to have sent out of my reach 3 poetry submissions. Want to do 2 more within 2 days.

Glad for an email wherein someone expressed how he felt particularly heard by what I said in my reply.

I was pleased to use my whole Wordscraper rack to play lactating, and then sodomy. I mean how often do you get to put sodomy up to weeny. (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Glad that my body is not boycotting this whole sleep thing. I crashed probably 13 hours last night and the night before. Which is vast improvement on these no good reason 4 or 6 hour nights.

Glad to feel my body’s large motor functions start to get sluggish. Might mean another heavy sleep tonight.

Glad for no dreams and for odd deliveries … a submarine shaped like a double-headed green torpedo that pulls off into 3 modular units on the living room hardwood, as the people pop out as if it were a kayak, and roll over the ship to point out the reason for their land visit – to return the body home of the raggedy anne they smeared to its hull in a deep ocean expedition. Brain, care to explain that? Maybe I’ll just leave my unconscious’ deliberations outsourced and delegated to the weirdness it does best.

Poetry Link: Over at Pesbo, a bit on the small press fair. I ahve high ambitions to talk about the last AB Series and a haiku presentation, and a Dusty Owl notes and make a list of all the books I’m in the midst of reading. But what will I actually get to? Timely fashion is clearly a stopped watch but we’ll see. Stay tuned…

26 Jun 2009, 9:49am

Make Haste, Not Wait

inclement weather Waking up is proof of having slept, but the inverse not necessarily so. I seem to have got about 6 hours sleep, and yet somehow it’s nearly 9:30 a.m. and I have to leave at 10, and still have to shower, pack a lunch, do groceries, clean kitchen and y’know,… something has got to fall off that list unless I slip thru some time space portal between here and the bathroom. Ah, and I have managed to drag my sleeve in something dark and wet. And a sticky note is stuck to my foot. Le sigh.

At least we got out to one bit of the Fringe Fest, Inclement Weather, which lived up to its promise of being like Buster Keaton, with some lovely bits of improv as well. For example, someone left the audience and the actor gave a sad wave bye-bye and when the man came back, the actor did a mimed joy, and stopped the whole show while the man returned to his seat and inquired if all was ok. Breaking the 4th wall and audience participation is one of the best parts of Fringe to my mind. Enough info we get is to be passively received. Engagement is lovely.

Poetry Goodness: Sandra Ridley and Gary Barwin won the bpNichol prize on Wednesday. And here’s a lovely, lively interview of Marcus McCann at Got Guerilla.

Quote: “There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.” – John Keats

P.S. A good warm steady rain, walking thru it slowly, peripherally amused at people pulling papers and bags and roofs over their heads lest they melt. It unwilts me like it does the grass.

Link: Savage Chickens…woo! I pass.

24 Jun 2009, 11:07am
Photos Ponderings

Bike Trail Ride and Updates

Been ages since I posted and time’s short again today. (Eek! I think time has osteoporosis.)

(Reader advisory: I think this post might be best read, bottom to top. Unless you want to rush past the Little Sir.)

little sir
It funny how as humans we have this inviolable sense of up, and place importance on floors as distinct from walls and ceilings. Around us the insects, squirrels and birds can travel as nimbly sideways, vertical being as natural as diagonal. We make distinctions based on our limitations not how the world is.

little sir
This Little Sir sat a while, groomed his anthers and ankles, hunkered down and went for small strolls. And sat because what reason is there not to. If it weren’t on landscape-me, it would be tree or ground or whatever. He is indifferent.

This heron stood, observing. Was she hungry in a sort of stasis of waiting for the peripheral vision to tell the brain stem of movement to spear? Or was the heron full and only enjoying her lack of need?

Stay long enough among tree breath and words start to dissipate into the absurdities that all words are at their base. As sensical as wave laps. Quiet sweeps in eventually.

champlain bridge
The way of the fast track had beautiful vistas but the cycling path that ran underneath had rapids, islands, juts of land with mussels and sand, heron and,

under the bridge
a fisher of another sort. And under bridges a microclimate of cool like the dips into shade of canopies that dispersed leaving the open heat of meadows.

off the tracks
It was good to get out and cycling, away from the usual one track of dad.

It’s hillier on the Gatineau side so a good challenge to push self more.

I’ve had no spare energies for weeks, and as soon as I get an ounce, I seem to run thru it immediately, expecting more to come.

Which is a valid-enough model. More energy always does come, (as surely as dawn, at some inappropriate hour), but I’ve been outstripping energy supply.

Calibrating is tricky with the random evil lottery of members of body inciting mutiny, and back stepping out without me, or migraine moving in, or positional vertigo giving my pride an embarrassing kick me sign. And then there’s the funks and mood swings, which coupled with observing mind tongue clicking is just tiresome, if useful. I can gather up a lot of verbiage to throw at the figurative fan. Ideological arguments are just a sophisticated-looking version of energies that waaaah and want to make something concrete (maybe a transformer action figure) of the inactionable things.

I can recognize this and let my eyes glaze over while the mind rails as it must, as a stage, and then we can get on with things. I don’t like to get caught up in dramas, even my own. I would only exacerbate. I can dismiss much of the “sense” “truth” as mind needing something to grind away at. Sense of humor is good.

Sleep is good when it comes. Sometimes it’s so heavy I don’t remember my dreams. Let my unconscious do what it does without monitoring. I don’t need to oversee or micromanage my unconscious. Some things I can let my brain delegate where it’s best done. The only benefit of seeing the dreams was the free entertainment, rubbernecking and speculating on the meaning or lack in the night cinema.

Rest is good. But then there is only so much I am willing to scale back. And only so much that’s a good idea to. The more I scale back, the less I can do. Energies stabilize to match momentum of atrophy or increase to adapt to need. I’d rather it go the latter.

There’s never a good time to rest. You have to draw an arbitrary line in the sand. The next amazing thing is a continuous stream of train box cars. It’s a long train and frequently used track. So let this one pass.

There’s never a good time for problems. And rarely are they polite enough to take a number and queue up. And yet since I’m not working for the Boss Man for pay, and am healthier than I’ve been in years, generally speaking, and etc, I’m optimally positioned for whatever comes. And whatever does tend to come.

On one hand it’s crunch time with parental units. On the other hand it’s 2 months in of chronic care dementia and there is no end. One needs to pace oneself and keep life in balance, restore energies, keep occupied with various projects as well as balance social and all the people important to me.

Is it only Wednesday?

Waaaay back before then, the weekend which was pleasantness after more of the same pleasantness. Pookapalooza and small press fairs before and afters. Lots of good social. More word toys of new reading material.

In a few days there’s a haiku meeting to look forward to, and then Ian Roy gives his short story workshop with workshop on Sunday.

Overheard in Ottawa 1: The person putting groceries in bags asked the cashier why the last customer gave the scowl and dirty look over being asked whether she wants her groceries bagged? The bagging person said, “I asked her if she wanted help. I’m paid to help people.”

Overheard in Ottawa 2: There was this Michelin-man muscled man with shaved, sunburned round head. A street person was trying to hock rollarblades. He asked this beefy fellow in black, “Want to buy them? 5 bucks!” The street person veered off and the not-near-customer looked at me and said, “What the fuck is his problem?! Do I look like a rollarblader?”

Quote: “I get angry. And I let myself get angry. There is never going to be a tomorrow when it’ll be all better. When whatever pisses me off will be made better. So I get angry NOW. And then I let it go. Now. […] I’m ok with missing my youth. I’m ok with knowing one day I’m going to miss now. I’m just… trying to not miss my life here and now.” – LJ of Mike O’Shaughnessy.

Rain Walk

To step back a few days into a garden…
love this sign
(This is one I’d recommend clicking on to see at full size.)
After so many sniffy-stuffy do not trespass signs, this, come in and enjoy the garden was soul balm along the bike path. (Presumably there’s no gingerbread house and oven at the back of the labyrinth of poppies.)

While on a walk with in-laws, there was a big ‘ole black cloud that I pointed out and everyone else pooh-poohed, predicted a few drops at most. The air was shifting. After that bit where I was asked if I was made of sugar and wanted to scurry home…?

street being pummelled by hail now
The sky opened and rain bounced down. This is under the thick cover of a red maple, which was no match for the small flash flood.

And hail. In June.

from the dry spot
The lady across the street saw the mice getting drenched under the tree. She opened her garage door and gestured us in. Sweet woman. I suggested a kumbaya singalong inside but sang alone. I was amused. Others, less so in squelchy shoes looking out balefully for when they could walk again.

the downpour catch
One mouse, caught by the rain.

We took our time walking back. A damp earth smells good.

another blind shot
Same weekend one of the bike rides. I took a blind shot over my shoulder.

storm coming
Going home a new storm coming in. To know how soon a storm will hit ask experienced: street people, farmers, or motorcyclists.

Poetry News Link: at the Small Press Fair this Saturday the 20th at Jack Purcell community center at Elgin near downtown, you can find all the new word toys in town courtesy of organizer rob mclennan. See the AngelHouse Press table to buy your very own copy of the fresh Pent Up. Only 52 copies made in the press run of this chapbook of the poetry of myself and the writers I am honored to write and workshop with: Sandra Ridley (nominated for the bpNichol award), Amanda Earl, , Marcus McCann and Roland Prevost.

Glad Game: Friends who come when called. In the phone sense. The other is good too. :)

The beep of laundry machines because Lord knows I don’t remember putting any in. Good that it can.

For neck muscles that move, and don’t feel stiff as if they could be replaced by wooden shims to no difference.

Coming across a book I started reading in the public library in Amsterdam in the early 2000s, and it here in my path for $1. snow falling on cedars.

Did I mention a chapbook nearly out?

For there being food to eat when I do get around to remembering to eat.

Purple feet resume normal human color once one remembers to uncross legs and move about.

Lovely how hard hard brown sugar softens in 20 seconds in the microwave.

I did mention the small press fair?

Silliness. Such as this fill in the blank very purple prose.

Art Links: Courtesy of Swiss-Miss this paper cut, Qwerty handlebars grips if you can’t leave the keyboard behind, I shot the serif, sew sweet, happy in business.

Quote: “The blog feels like a canvas that can’t be resolved. It keeps calling for another brisk stroke. A bit of light here. A warmer shadow over there.” — Brenda Schmidt, in interview with Lemay

15 Jun 2009, 10:04pm

Have Your Parking Orders?

To clear the head one needs to take time at a slower pace, no excuses sometimes.
balancing beam gull
Gull balancing on a stick on a rock by the Ottawa River.

an inquiring sir
While Mr. Bill looks behind bars, he’s quite free to walk around.

teeny duck
Ms. Duck reminds…To keep life in perspective, you have to keep yourself at the same distance as everything else.

When mushrooms bulge in the forest…

“November days are birds
that refuse to be identified
by any published book,
mushrooms pressed into trees’ armpits
in search of warmth”
November days by Ron Winkler (with translations by JD Schneider) at Shampoo

May dimness show off the bright spots by contrast.

Poetry Link: My Livejournal is moved, hosted on my own domain. It’s now at: http://pagehalffull.com/pesbo/

Quote: “The best time to plant a tree was always 20 years ago. The second best time is always today.” – Chinese saying

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