29 Jul 2011, 3:52pm

July Arts and Outs

The week zipped past. Next week doesn’t look any slower-paced.

Purdyfest is on now, starting tonight, but we won’t make it there this year.

It’s really absurd, these schedules. Meeting for coffee has to be three weeks ahead. Or chance. The idea of let’s go out for Ethiopian gets complex fast when looking at schedules. This week? Nope? Next? Nope.Then you’re away and then I’m away. Looking at October as best bet. Crazy.

Proulx’s vernisssage July 25th.

Francois Proulx’s views of Brazil (his are not the photos in the background) are at the Green Door Restaurant. His portraits are on display until the end of July.

August 5th, Leslie Hossack photos have their vernissage. Cities of Stone, People of Dust are images of Jerusalem, Masada and Berlin. I’ll have poems in response to the images as part of the exhibit running until Sept 2nd.

Speaking of dust, biting the dust is a grocery story…

Closed after 60 years.

The Fresh Fruit Company had a letter from the bailiff. It had until yesterday to make arrangements about being over $100,000 in arrears.

A gorgeous day for Perth.

This is the Ecotay Center where we did a reading last weekend. We who?

poets reading in the hay mow
Catherine Graham, myself, Susan Gillis (who was about to dash off) and Holly Luhning (who got off somewhere before the pic).

It was a special edition of First Edition Reading Series. There’ll be two readings in August back at Backbeat Books with Trevor Cole & Richard Scarsbrook on August 5, and Jill Battson, rob mclennan, & Christine McNair on August 12.

Quote: “The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the
people who produced him.” ~ James Baldwin

Quiet Reflections: Resistances

two kinds of glories
In this photo I am well-pleased. 😉

The congress centre reflects by the lesser-used dock by the canal.

I’ve been motoring along. In some senses, I think I’m happier than I’ve been in a decade. Or less anxious. That might be more accurate.
I’ve been reading This Heated Place: Encounters in the Promised Land by Deborah Campbell as she meets the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), a Mennonite-based organization working in Hebron, women in black vigils in the old city of Jerusalem.

The principle of CPT is to get in the way and refuse, not to stand back at a safe distance and say, tsk, tsk with tense lips. Women in Black protest not in some unrelated time and place but where tensions and minds are already primed to the subject.

Since childhood I’ve followed the principles of non-violence resistance as my ideals and my practice to the degree that I can. I can recall when I’ve talked down volatile situations and when I failed.

When someone is agitated, direct opposition that leapfrogs over a level of intensity may shut them down or they may twist and come back again stronger for the shaming of being beaten.

An ethical response is compassionate, respectful and effective in communicating boundaries and resetting rules of engagement. I’ve been weighing non-violent resistance. Is it deliberately inflammatory by changing the rules considered? Should people be left to self-determine and batter themselves into wet ground if that is their pleasure and spend their lives rippling out grievances?

When people are polarized can they only hear polarized readily? Even when talking over one another my mother’s family seem to be able to multitask and listen and talk even if there is no sign in their talk that they’re listening.

Can a quiet murmur and shushing work in a way that causes disarming, calming, de-escalation in a real sense? Or is the quiet reply which refuses the term of hot engagement serving some role of power? Or is that claim a handy petty complaint? It’s hard to imagine any animal that does not want harmony but perhaps some live for the rush of “really living” of being blind angry. Whatever grudges are shadows waiting for night where they are not standing out but in their own kind unmarked. It’s as if grudges are people with their own life-force, survival instincts, only wanting to be accepted and to self-perpetuate.

When met with something other than a mirror, an irate person can become placated or befuddled, or incensed because a different tone of response is not echoing thus representing being heard. Would it be more compassionate to be able to become emotionally reactive for long enough to have the person feel truly heard or would that only serve to miscue? But a flash of anger and a person would think there’s something to dig for, a recognizable “true” gold and calm is the unnatural mask. But anger is a game, a mask, a state constructed. Calm and clear are the base realities that we swing from at times of threat, fatigue, illness. They are the marked states.

The adversarial mind is predisposed towards models of victory and failure and other binaries. A minimum effective force may be embarrassment at someone’s outburst that indicates there isn’t a uniform consent. It may be direct debate or questioning. It may be bringing back a subject later when heads are clearer. A response would depend on what the conflict is. Resistances, violent and non-violent, whet each other. It would be easy for the ideological war to become grim and feel essential. To frame another ones way of being in the world as something one should try to change is a losing game. To presume one could try to influence another in a particular direction is a losing game because when game’s afoot, people deke and may become more polarized rather than more neutral as a reaction. To say peace is to exacerbate.

Perhaps that’s why the hand’s on work of these people who are present and present their simple message of this exists and I will go about my business. I won’t pay fines. I won’t recognize the authority of gun or uniform. It’s always one individual to another individual. No tribes. No hierarchies.

People like their moral high ground, their justifications from larger histories. These strip the excuses of retaliation or future and start here and now. Is this a right way to act to another? Let’s proceed from this moment.

Quote“There is nobody who is not dangerous for someone.” ~
Marquise De SeVigne
at QuotationsBook; her correspondence of the 1600s were collected by a granddaughter and published in the 1700s.

15 Jul 2011, 12:09pm

Bookish Ways

The new Snare Books by Pearl Pirie, kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Lesley Trites and derek beaulieu go to the printer today! Woo!

Also in news, the new Tree site is up. It’s a cleaner, slicker layout than the old site. Here is my author page there . People who have read since 2009 have a profile page like this with photo, bio, books/chapbooks and sample poem, to the degree that they had sent all of those in.

If you’ve been to the pesbo blog, you’ll have seen this but I realize everyone doesn’t go everywhere…

Some of the poems in my collection, been shed bore tumbled the order of a small set of words in several ways to see what tones and combos came up. As an extension of the idea, a generator game is now on one of my sites: The Poem Shuffler. It randomizes the word order of any text entered. It is kind of like an anagrammer on a word-scale. You can pick the line length and see how it tumbles. You can choose the line lengths to govern how it chunks up the text. The program doesn’t keep anything entered and if you push shuffle, it’s gone, so copy as you go.

Quote: “The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read
them.” ~ Samuel Butler

11 Jul 2011, 5:11pm

Back to Baroque


The Caravaggio exhibit at the NAG has a darkish costume room, props, a guide book of options and a lady with a point and shoot to help you reenact a painting on set. Costume party anywhere. How perfect. :)

This is our rendering of the 1500s painting The Fortune Teller. They send you the picture or you can bring a tripod and camera and you can take your own.

On the 21st in the evening is the next time poets enter the galleries and perform their responses to the Caravaggio exhibition.

Quote: “When you know that you’re capable of dealing with whatever comes, you
have the only security the world has to offer.” ~ Harry Browne

Popsicle Perplexities and other Stories

If you take away enough context, all you have left is the richness of your life against the abundance of absurdist comedy. Take for example these sketched comedies of recent days:

Hubby enters the bathroom to see me running a popsicle under the tap — admittedly, sometimes it’s hard to know when to ask and what to just let pass. I explained (as I’m so wont to do) that I dropped it and then accidentally kicked it under the bed it got covered in hairballs.

The phone rings and I head away from its ringing. It’s not that I don’t want to to answer. It’s that over a month after we’ve moved it from the usual jack my feet go on autopilot to the room where it used to be plugged in. At which point I usually look at the blank wall, disoriented until I notice the ring is coming from back from whence I came so I double back, by which point it had been picked up by the machine.

It’s evening. I register that I’m hot and thirsty. I go to the freezer, tear open a popsicle bag, set it down to get a glass of water. I drink the water. The next morning hubby wakes up to a counter covered in a sticky goo that has spread into the mail, the cotton shopping bags, but, by mercy, has missed the book there.

In the middle of the night I find an odd sensation on the back of my hand. What is that? I wake up more and touch it and tug at it and find that it’s a adhesive moustache — I wake hubby with my laughter and semi-incoherant explanation. How would it have found its way into the bedding? And is that where my silver pen is, somewhere at the foot of the bed trying to play the part of the warming pen?

Quote: “Although none of the rules for becoming more alive is valid, it is healthy to keep on formulating them.” ~ Susan Sontag

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