29 Apr 2012, 8:50pm
General
5 comments

Cycling Shorts

It’s my inaugural cycle of the season and I only wish my thighs weren’t talking to me anymore. Slow going and hills growing as I head up them as if I’m a tectonic force.

It’s not without upsides however.

Cycling past a house where a suited man stands at the door, searching his pockets, holding a spare jacket. To one side of the house a decorated car full of groomsmen, to the other side a groomsman in shirt-sleeves going in his basement window.

Cycling around a bend in the warm day to startle a fox who sprinted diagonally along the trail ahead of me, long and lean as a cat in a leap, muzzle greyed and red shape soon hidden in some bush cover at the verge.

Cycling by a woman who is in her car at the end of her driveway not moving. A car slows on the road and comes to a full stop. I thought at first it was to let her merge into traffic but no, both are waiting on a flock of seagulls on the road. One driver bips her horn and drivers wave and smile at each other and life continues.

Cycling at a traffic light, two bus commuters greet. One has a bag with yellow tulips peeking out. They talk about the houses boarded up for demolition. They and another are rescuing the abandoned gardens, flowers and bulbs before the blind ploughs come.

Quote: “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~ Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965) [via My Muskoka]

26 Apr 2012, 9:58am
Farming Photos
Comments Off on This Gardening Stuff is Complex

This Gardening Stuff is Complex

seedling technique needs work
Our seeding technique needs work; when they say plant a bunch, wait a week or two and plant again for successive crops, ‘let the first round die off’ is not implied.

The tomatoes are fine. The arugula died off.

In in round 2, calibrating how much water brought mould-cover to take over the basil.

Round 3. Peat moss pucks are about the size of one-bite brownies once rehydrated. They were sitting on a tray on the counter by moonlight. Hubby came home and presumed brownies! I came around the corner of the kitchen just as one was being lifted to his mouth. A narrowly averted strange facial expression as he chews.

Ah, back to home ground of what I know better: Tonight rob and I give a talk/Q&A on contemporary poetry at the National Library & Archives.

Quote: “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” ~ Chauncey Depew [via Comfort Spiral]

25 Apr 2012, 12:10am
General Glad Game
4 comments

Step by Baby Step

laundry line
Ah, but at least we finally have a clothesline.

It’s Wordless Wednesday but that’s for non-readers…more to say…

I woke blurry-headed but the universe was relentless about turning to good. It’s hard to keep a good grump up sometimes.

A kiss on the forehead in the morning, with my second waking up since i fell asleep while rising. That box of books to donate is gone as well as more purged from the shelves.

I squared away the back burner of the week, of the month, mailed off things-to-mail pile, called mom at the time, by chance it was particularly welcome. I enveloped up things to pass to others, cleaned and cleaned and found floor, not just theoretical I-don’t-seem-to-be-falling-thru-to-the-basement floor, not aisles-of-boxes, but actual floor. Quite an expanse. Huh.

Whacks of titles were reintroduced to the alphabet. Got some out of the blue warmth from friends by email, good happy to see yous in person. Universe conspires to assure that things just might be okay, every now and again. It’s pretty rough on the inner pessimist. I trust the next day or day after will have a chaser corrective.

Some things take longer than your think. It took two months after moving to declare a print I love, M.I.A. and to buy a replacement. (The old one was bought in 1991 and dog-eared and crumpled anyway). And two more months to buy a picture frame for it. I’d seen ones but none I liked. Today, (or rather, yesterday now) I saw a simple, plain, right-sized frame, and, the store’s card reading machines were down. Atypically, but as luck had it, I had the cash on me.

Serendipity or randomness, call it what you will but I was too far from the bus stop and I expected I’d miss it, but the day caught the bus with a red light. By time it arrived, I’d arrived. Likewise, stopping on the way back for bus tickets, the accordion doors were closed, I thought, but by the clock they were still open 5 minutes more and the clerk let me in.

I considered a muffin and got it offered at half off. I didn’t get it, but still, that’s kinda nice, isn’t it? You don’t have to take every good thing from you universe that you might. I finally got my glasses adjusted. They don’t bother the top of my ears until I’ve worn them 10 or 12 hours, by which time the store is closed or it’s late. Finally got that fixed. How nice to have glasses that allow me to see such a distance again.

So I’m a screw up, managing extraordinary sequences, but I can pull just about anything from the fire. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s adapt. How so? At noon, I was clever. I set up a sauce and prepped veggies and put then in a slow-cooker. Midafternoon, there still no cooking smell. Ah, I forgot to turn it on, so turned it on. At suppertime, still not a lot of smell. Oh, turned to third point in the dial was it? Keep warm instead of high. Well then, Ach. No time left and need to cook the stew by microwave. Or at least the immediate hungry-fix half. Which still, for all the inelegance of route, worked. And was tasty, nutritious, still fairly fast and fitting the constraints we had. What more can one ask?

Quote: “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~ Dorothy Nevill, British author

23 Apr 2012, 10:51am
General
7 comments

Snow Day

snow day on the flowers
I remember a year with snow in the second week of May,… purty! meets egad! just the same.

Quote: “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Blooming Ideas: Books and Second Looks

It’s Sunday morning. Apparently in the second half of April. That seems improbable, that the year has rushed so deep into itself already, but the land, despite the chance of snow, is opening green, baby leaves opening their palms for coins of rain.

mushroom on a stump
Mushrooms are often a happiness bump for me.

Besides that the serviceberry bushes are blooming and all kinds of short plants are rioting yellows, oranges, purples, pinks and reds. Happy Earth Day! Watch our government cut back on money for environmental disaster cleanups. Such a difference between the immediate and the big picture. Money rerouted to war and oil pipelines nationally and immediately, earth rebounds.

Magnolia blossoms are everywhere. I wonder if their pollen isn’t so big that when they burst open, they could take out an eye. Probably not, eh?

I think I’ve seen more this year than my whole lifetime before. Each time I see them I hear in my head the song “Magnolia blossom in my hair. Lying on a blanket, right beside you…” and I’m stumped. No idea who sang it or what comes next, but never having seen a blossom the word transfer to idealized romance when I do chance on the real thing. Gives a bounce to the step anyway. That, and the time out walks and talks and long supper out catching up with hubbykins. I’m sure that had something to do with the bounce too.

Stopping to point at a garden in the neighbourhood we saw a curious form of lily already in bloom. The home owner stuck her head out the door and called “it’s called a Fritillaria“. She gave a mnemonic aid for remembering the name too and described some of her garden. What a friendly human neighbourhood. I’ve never lived in one of these before.

Holler_Cover_Page_1 InThisThinRain_Cover_Page_1
A few new book toys came home with me this week. Some I don’t have pics of. These two I do.

Love the language, the play in the first, (now I have 2 out of her 3 Burdick’s books). Love the paying attention with nothing extraneous of the second of Nelson Ball. Like Stuart’s description that it may be a short book but it takes as long to read as any collection because you want to reread it a few times. I have a couple books of Ball’s and for years one of his poems hung over my desk. (Temporarily mislaid it in the last move, it and an Ammonite fossil are on the lam together.)

Last night was a poetry slideshow with Dan Waber who gave out his sestinas on each seat, from a series of 9.103 x 10131 he made. Love that project. It opens up the idea of form as fixed as poem as fixed and the processing of machine shuffle working on words generates sparking ideas. I’ve handed those out at small press fairs and at workshop groups as poem prompts and reading fun.

Speaking of love, bpNichol’s blues he made a 3-D rotating animation of the poem at the Light & Dust Anthology. Very cool to see.

He had boxes of this is visual poetry series of chapbooks. Interesting to see all that in person, compare one poet to another back to back. I still don’t get visual poetry. I look at it. But I still can’t say I get it anymore than I get visual art or film. Perhaps as I study photography more, it will all start clicking into focus. He played this piece from Drunken Boat Magazine, anomie [autoloads sound] meaning inability to remember a name, where the two voices are spliced together, overlaid so one voice spells out the name trying to be remembered.

lost lines
I got a cube of poems of the lost lines project. Very cool idea. Look forward to seeing what comes out of that. I also got a kite tail press chapbook. There are more pics at pesbo.

Have you seen this time-lapse of vispo installation? Pages was commissioned by Pages Books on Kensington for permanent exhibition on their second-story window. This dynamic stop-motion film documents beaulieu’s visual improvisation in art and writing. Fun to see it open its letters, rather like buds.

tree skilled at being a tree
A tree particularly skilled at being a tree: white pines often seem particularly gifted in that regard.

The quote coming below, may seem out of step of tone with what’s already come, but a good firm, not on your life, no way, no how, nuh-huh, lol, of calling limits is a route to freedom of mind. The truth of it made me laugh. How much of feeling bent and contained is trying to please unreasonable demands, stretching self just a little too far. Going out of your comfort zone for curiosity or demands is good, but responding to blackmailing, begging, short-sighted bravado or arm twisting impositions can lead to no where optimal for either party, whether on a personal, professional or political level.

Quote: “You put me in this spot where my only option is to acquiesce to your demands or be the bad guy. That, my friend, is the very definition of a dick move.” ~ Josh Olson in I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script

 
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