29 Nov 2009, 9:42pm

Fibred Optics at Ottawa Art Gallery

Fibred Optics is an exhibit at the Ottawa Art Gallery at Arts Court. It started this week and is on until February.

There are 4 artists involved in how textiles are used artistically. It runs from ticker tape with phrases clips to prints on dyed fabrics, stitched text and Jérôme Havre’s puppets (one pictured here).

Below you can peek in thru Ed Pien’s knotty space to more, including Frances Dorsey’s fabrics.
In the Corridor

Or turn back into Pien’s where a wall of kludge ropes make a wall webbing you away from half a room but it’s “The Corridor” and you can explore the path, thru and making and past projections of knotted space.

Brian Pirie in The Corridor
Hubby in it.

It’d be worth another walk-thru.

ABSTRaCTS/ RéSuMÉS of Michèle Provost has 6 different presentation shapes (there may be some other term for this) responding to text culled from different sources. Characteristic keywords are stamped, stitched and/or arranged on different materials as a set. Here, an installation of tags with words and their frequency appearing in art criticism,

Rich and a lot of info presented a lot of ways, although none so thwack-bat-to-head. One can draw ones own lessons and conclusions.

Mark SinnettP.S. Off-topic: Saw a bit of the last Plan 99 reading too on Nov 28. Here is Mark Sinnett reading from The Carnivore. He’s got a lovely reading voice. (Sometimes that’s an issue for me. Can’t hear a blessed word, just bliss out in the sound. Who doesn’t like a story being read to them?)

His poetry practice came thru in the novel. In his 20 minute sampler he dropped a few delicious phrases. Seems an interesting story in how it is structured, that being just the kind I like of two contradictory narratives that play in the readers head. Multiple truths rather than one through line is always more interesting in a book.

Some more photos from other literary things are here.

Quote: “Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.” – Frank Borman

Good Things Happening: Round Up

Part of Saturday will be the fall edition of the Ottawa small press fair at the Jack Purcell community Center at Gilmour and Elgin. It’s in its 15th year now. There are all kinds of uncommon things. Come for the paper, magazines, chapbooks, spine-books and ideas, stay for the social.

Apt 9 will be there as will Mansfield, room 302, Buschek, Bywords and a few dozen others.

It’ll be a full next few days with all the literary events in Ottawa.

(Full speed or full stop.) Next week looks to have these extended chunks of time. That should be handy. I like to work flat out for 8 or 10 hours even if my back might have words with me later.

I’ve let one manuscript lie fallow long enough to get distance. It’s time to get back in the saddle.

frost on the saddle
But bejeepers, there was frost on the saddle when I returned!

Ah well, moving warms one up more than sitting does.

Step 1: a) Eye from a distance.

Step 1. b) Take a practice run towards it.

Step 2: Open files but don’t look directly at the files.

Step 3: Contemplate USB adaptors to pre-warm for butt on seat comfort.

Step 4: Walk to clear head.

Step 5: Start to transcribe in hard copy changes.

Step 6: Stock up on enough groceries to last a week or so, just in case there is a massive freak snow storm or a huge run of concentration.

Step 7: Rearrange desk. Intersperse with peeking at files and fonts and margins. Wow, I’ve never seen average movie rankings that low across demographics.

And so on.

Willa is an 11-year old Toronto girl who shaved her head to raise money for a shelter. She raised $1500 in a week.

[via Kate Trgovac] That post also talks more about the girl campaign and has another video up about Olympian Jennifer Heil on the Plan program for girls.

Link: Whale or mermaid?, a response letter to a women’s fitness campaign.

Glad Game: A sneeze to reset the back into place, without even knocking over partition walls is a double-pleasure. The back settling into proper alignment is like a word on the tip of the tongue arriving.

Glad I ate a proper breakfast. It only takes a few minutes longer than scarfing down something random. Well, random, ill-advised as a meal, but edible.

Lovely conversations in person and email. And interesting discussion at Brenda’s on risky performance art.

The last writing workshop had a good chemistry. The three new faces relaxed into it. Lovely give and take in a group contemplation of intents, mechanisms and effects of two very different poems. (Cri de Coeur, Deferred by Margaret Christakos and Sorrow Moves in Wide Waves by Lorine Neidecker.)

An opener to a scrabble board that used the whole tray with “removals”.

Thanks is a good time to share the wealth of time or other resources. Two bucks and a quarter for a meal at the Mission.

Miss Vicky points to women’s shelters that are doing good work too.

Happy holidays to the American readers who are celebrating!

        P.S. New mail! a couple chapbooks of Michael Mann’s creation of unarmed with things by sheila e murphy, Gary Barwin, john m bennett, daniel f bradley, bill bissett and loads of others, and a little black strap chappie by George Bowering. Neat-o.

        Step 8: Read mail.

Quote: “Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, I have failed three times, and what happens when he says, I am a failure.” – S.I. Hayakawa [link on failed via David]

23 Nov 2009, 9:12pm

Alrighty then

If success does have a smell, it’s pine, isn’t it?

If you got errors leaving comments, that shouldn’t happen anymore. The plugin for subscribing to comments is working now. (Thanks be to Hub!)

I have been reading, or out, much of the time, it seems, yet it feels like I’m always home as well.

I think I’ve been largely in listening mode, despite what all the posts growing, elsewhere suggest.

At one, Jim K. says, in part,

“At some stage the reader expects something,
is denied it, and makes up their own tale to
glue the thing back together. That delighful
itch of any unfinished joke or an Ashbery, or
even the start of a Philosophical thought from
a structured poem that makes you rummage
yourself. “

I appreciate how articulate others are.

There’s been a goodly bit of “rummaging myself”. And a lot of need for sleep and for downtime. A lot of waving between marooned, mollassed into dull thinking and then sense of clarity.

Good things and tiring things and then a lot of neutral. Some Silly (such as Monsterpiece Theatre Taming of the Shoe and that existentialist classic, Waiting for Elmo).

A day goes, shallow breaths or deep breaths.

Quote: “It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” -Captain Picard to Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Peak Performance

Walk with the Animals

Odd. And this is where photos of me were displayed at mom’s house previously:

mom's odd knickknackery
A nativity scene in the knickknackery? Elephant, bear and cat come to worship Mary, or just offer her a toothpick. Doesn’t bear look ever so hopeful of giving a toothpick?

Have you ever clicked the “Next Blog” link in the header at blogspot?

When did blogger change? It used to be you pushed next blog and you would get randomness, in any language, a bit of Persian politics, a Malaysian SEO business, a pre-teen japanese friends group blog or a blog dead 2 years ago. When you pushed back button you couldn’t go to where you just were, only back to the entry page.

Now back once you start on an English book blogs, it shows you more English book blogs. Start with cooking, it stays in cooking. And the back button goes back. Neat. Someone has been doing some restructuring and tagging there. That gives it a foot up over WordPress.

Through blogger randomness, I re-found a writing exercise I half remembered. Good to get that in full again.

I came across Poets in Rags with this news from Fatima Bhutto. The niece of the late Benazir Bhutto has 2 books of poetry and she says,

“opportunities like the Galle Literary Festival will help foster communication as neighbouring countries; express what we have in common; what is important to our countries and engage in discussions regarding what is happening here as well as in Pakistan. “Why?” she asked herself. “It’s because violence is too easy, it’s limiting people. But writing, speaking or listening is not restricted by the government. To speak, listen and write is one of the most natural and comfortable things a person could do.”

Elsewhere on the clickie forward “When writing a poem, to start another page should be like raising another sheet on a schooner. There should be wind for it. Otherwise it’s best to trim one’s sails (or to revise, one might say).” ~ James

And, from the same random click method comes the story of a drunk hedgehog.

Glad Game: I got 2 books in the mail this week.

I am stocked with chocolate.

Amanda’s out of intensive care.

Had long exchanges by email with a friend.

Got a couple new writing projects/toys to peck away at.

Glad to get some particularly insightful feedback to poems from a couple sources.

Some recipes have embedded comedy such as this one that says it makes 20 servings. A pie cut 20 ways? The comedians.

How the pigeons love their puddle! I wonder if they have mites and if they do, do the mites get washed overboard and doggie paddle until they can hop onto another wing, or do they drown? Glad the pigeons enjoy their splashing about for whatever reason. Like how the other group all bustle a little shuffle over to make room for more along the ridge of a roof. I can nearly hear the pardon me, pardon me of the little grey-suited gentlemen.

While I liked, and was only up to doing, the couple outtings this last week, there’s 6 social outtings in the calendar for this week. A lot to look forward to.

Beastie body is tamer. My body is relenting on the exoskeleton programme of cramps.

Glad mom decided on her own to take back the dog. Better to change course on something not working than oblige oneself to a decision that isn’t working.

Glad to get the donation of the word “fibro flare”. There’s something powerful in a casual phrase that reduces a huge complex mess into an off-the-cuff summary.

Cute overload.

We got tulips to plant.

Glad to further refine the keyboard situation so now there’s a second keyboard and a laptop stand. Now my arms can be at a reasonable height and my eyes and neck are leveled at the screen at the same time. That should help posture. And is better than the nerve-wracking set up of laptop on pile of boxes that tend to slip and crush down.

Glad daily for that scarf of Calgary airport this spring. I swear my health and well-being rely on that pashmina. Used as a hat or jacket, it’s very insulating. Between that and the wool sweater…oh, the Irish sweater store on Sparks Street is going out of bricks and mortar business so if you want some Irish souvenirs without having to go there, now until year end might the time.

Amusing that Crazzy Dave is still sitting on the sidewalk, chatting to people and selling his poems written in marker on cardboard but now with the glossy hardcover book as a purchase option.

Glad to sit in with some Zen River poems and haibun. They are comfortable, casual, restful sort of nature walks thru words. I love how it related being honored by being near an owl without adding to it something fancy-brained-justifying as symbolic or mystical. Reality being good enough is nice to see.

I like how the stories are interspersed with letters dialoguing with the stories, which themselves are sometimes haibun* as well. It makes the collection feel like a community in dialogue more than anthologies usually do. Anthologies often have blinders partitioning section from section. Here poems and people interrelate.

* (Haibun is a poetry form of a prose story with a haiku that relates and expands or concludes the whole, or are set out between sections through the whole story.)

Amusing the words that are ‘already taken’. The Francophone was telling me how to bake some veggie for 10 minutes and then you use the flipflop to turn.

Quote: “I like talking to Rabbit. He talks about sensible things. He doesn’t use long, difficult words, like Owl. He uses short, easy words, like ‘What about lunch?’ and ‘Help yourself, Pooh’.” ~ why, it’s Pooh

One Story or Several

Sometimes things won’t gel into one story. Or even a tidy complementary pack of them. Conflicting information is good and not only because it can hamstrings heady ego. (Although that is nice.) I get suspicious of a coherent story of self. It’s fine if I get to follow someone long term and watch the story mutate. One should have many selves. If each is refined to caricature, it is more amusing perhaps. It takes patience to sort it all, but I’ve got time.

Quote: “All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience, and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. The single story creates stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story, become the only story.” – Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story (of video above). Here’s the whole transcript of one of the more articulate reasonings I’ve heard recently.

[btw, another recentlye posted TED talk is by Golan Levin including footage he made with Jaap Blonk of computer making real-time subtitles of the Ursonate.]

If one only has one story, one tends to take it overly earnestly, and as infallible. When one has a universe of knowledge one can have perspective and a dynamic concept of how the world works. It’s a less sure place, a more unstable and disappointing place with perhaps less riotous pleasures on the smaller emotional range tempered by more choppy change. With one story scenario one can uniformly be jubilant and in constant holy airless grief but then when change can no longer be denied, the upheaval trauma is far greater. There’s betrayal and disorientation. Greater fling and cling. More excitement and more resting. One doesn’t have to think critically continually. You can outsource it to taking on faith of what someone else says.

In a way it’s information as procreation. I tend towards many eggs frequently rather than longer term few mammalian births. Both reproductive strategies work. Both are dealing with constraint of finite lifetime. In having many parallel stories, some will die out or never become fully developed. In having one story, it becomes central, vivid but risky.

Having multiple ways of looking at things is handy. Like,

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?”
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.


News Link: December is National Awareness Month

According to AFPAT, planned events for National Awareness Month include a 10K charity walk, during which participants will be forced to actually interact and engage with the outside world for a change, as well as several advertising campaigns, which will help get the word out about things other than what currently happens to be playing on television.

Awareness-month organizers will also hand out large reflective ribbons, in hopes that, by wearing a 9-inch yellow reminder on their chests, citizens across the country might actually remember that something is going on.

“Obliviousness doesn’t discriminate,” said volunteer Robert Fargo.

And on a similar tone of note, want to pitch a comment on which poem should be banned next from the syllabus to avoid social catastrophe? One response wins a subscription to Magma.

Lit Link: Poetry worth reading/hearing

Quote: “There’s a saying – ‘we are all very sick people – it’s just lucky that we’re sick on different days’. It felt somehow glorious that we were all bumbling along, NO idea most of the time what we are doing. There’s a Buddhist term – bombu nature – we are all bombu, we are all foolish beings.” — Fiona Robyn

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