Richer for Having Bumped Into These

So, we’ve done it. We’ve come thru the heavy spruce of February. Group hooplah and whoops all around.

I have to admit the last couple days have been tinted beautiful with a Christmas card idyllic snow fall. I’ll join in with the Thursday Thirteen Players with my best-of. Blessings could would include these ideas and people who expressed their truths and perspectives.

  1. Christopher Buckley in How a Poem Happens says, “What you rely on after years of practice is muscle memory and after thirty years of writing, or more, I rely on a poetic muscle memory and each poem most often discovers its form from the long echoes of all the other poetry I have read and written.”
  2. Stoddard’s Law: “Bigger books linger longer” (p. 127 Owen Gingerich’s The Book Nobody Read) refers to how over centuries, ephemeral papers disappear but the thicker the book is, the more likely copies are likely to be saved.
  3. Col. Chris Hadfield has a little help spreading his news to 420,000 online followers. “Dad wanted a way to help people connect the real side of what an astronaut’s life is – not just the glamour and science, but also the day-to-day activities,”
  4. Star Trek: Phase 2 is a reboot of the original series from Germany. I’d heard they’d started production but they’re done several episodes now.
  5. Hans Ostrom’s poem Mum’s the Word was shared by Shawna Lemay here

    “The League of Quiet Persons meets
    monthly.[…] [with] implicit permission not to speak,
    not to answer or to answer for,
    not to pose, chat, persuade, or expound.”

  6. Norwegian Inmates are given a different sort of term. The rate of offending again is less than half compared to England. The goal is not punishment but change thru respect, training and support. Prison governor and Psychologist Nilsen says, ” If we treat people like animals when they are in prison they are likely to behave like animals.” Our duty to one another in society is to help another and help another not harm each other.
  7. Emily Nagoski explains that physical arousal is not consent and lack of arousal is not disinterest. A vagina “can’t be sincere anymore than your elbows can.”
  8. The field of distinctions between amicules and animals gets muddier. Cholera has an immune system. “Why would a virus carry a set of genes that bacteria use to destroy viruses? To use them against bacteria.”
  9. Iron girls Anna and Madeleine are running an Iron Distance Triathalon to benefit the Because I am A Girl campaign.
  10. Paper tile mosiacs by Choleena DiTullio are part of the art everywhere program of the Ottawa School of Art. Hers is at the Canadian Tire on Coventry Road.
  11. Whatever Else: An Irving Layton Symposium in Ottawa in May is now open for registration.
  12. 8 questions to ask if you’re considering self-publishing. Including what skills you have what you can outsource. “If you are impatient, self-publishing offers a quick fix.”
  13. Shawna James Ahern wrote a brave post on her battles with depression. “No matter how often I wrote “Be happy, dammit!” in my journal, I just couldn’t see the surface.” Therapy helped. And “did you know that serotonin, the chemical responsible for regulating our moods, is made in the small intestine?” On finding a link to gluten. Why I’m so happy now.

Noteable Quoteable: “My Mum knows an old lady who is too frail to clean the cobwebs away from her ceiling, so she throws glitter in them instead.” ~ Tegan


26 Feb 2013, 8:49am
Memes or Quizzes Photos Poets

Our Poetry World

Poetry and lenses are other ways to see the familiar.

my collection of lenses

My office (now in 2 colors of green) is reassembled in a new furniture arrangement. I have a few display shelves. Up on the shelf, a magnifying glass, a souvenir from a town in Italy. A glass ball from Ottawa. Some Quartz that has travelled with us thru 4 or 5 homes. A vase that was a gift from neighbours a few houses back. A stereoscope gift from friends. A Buddha and his ball. There’s a postcard made by Michele Provost, and a framed garment label because it’s a nice font and I find the salvaging of it absurd and appropriate both. There’s poetry in everything.

A few lenses make the world into insect-vision.  (Warning, do this often and you can dream with the perspective of a fly on the wall.) One is from NYC, one from a writers festival event and for the last one I’ve forgotten its origin. I’ve manipulated text with them, like this:


or this:

john donne under the lens
John Donne, examined.

For Our World Tuesday a peek at some poetry events. I like ones that talk about poetry, get into details and do Q&A.

Barry McKinnon

Barry McKinnon gave a poetics talk at the previous VERSeFest. I love how it is the picks from nearly a dozen reading series around town under one roof in one week.

I like the festival for also presenting new-to-me poets. I go to everything that I can, whether I’ve heard of the person or not. It amazes me how many hundreds or thousands of poets there are out there with lifetime achievement, mentoring, whole lives that guided others that aren’t on my radar at all.

This time, along with local poets, there are poetic talks  and readings from poets from coast to coast of Canada, from the Netherlands, Australia and Ireland.

Phil Hall
Phil Hall, Pura López-Colomé and Philip Levine at last year’s summit panel at VERSeFest had some lively interaction that was fun to hear.

It gives a different perspective than hearing a poem alone. You can see the person and the intentions differently when you have a person’s voice and body language, interactions. It’s interesting. Some are witty, some earnest, some smooth, some awkward. It is a different speech act to roll over words for years than speaking off the cuff.

I’m offering custom-written acrostic poems as part of the VERSeFest perk possibility for the fundraiser yesterday. There’s 5 days remaining on the fundraising. (The festival starts on March 12th.)

Quotable Noteable: “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” ~ Henry Ford

21 Feb 2013, 9:11am
General Thirteen Thursday

13 Things to Look Forward To

It’s easy to get in habit, and to convert nice-idea-to-do into an overlord obligation cemented in place waving over your head.

What things are you looking forward to?

  1. This chunk of time where I can hear the quiet and am not running headlong like some bad-form marathon runner.
  2. Building that into my daily by pausing, or by programming like starting pilates again this summer or fall.
  3. Seeing some Saskatchewan this summer (with Vertigo)
  4. Meaghan Haughnian’s vernissage at Petit Mort on March 1st.
  5. Another chance to get a Haku Maki woodcut print. [And it ended up auctioning so cheap compared to most of them. Whimper.]
  6. A friend’s BD party.
  7. Versefest, 6 days of full-tilt poetry. [more of the lineup is released]
  8. Artist talks at City Hall by Loraine Gilbert and Christopher Varady-Szabo
  9. Lunch and walkabout with a friend soon.
  10. A chance to experiment with making cornbread and with a vegan French toast.
  11. Supper with friends.
  12. Some beach, somewhere, sometime.
  13. Meanwhile, hot showers.

More people thinking in terms of a baker’s dozen on this day of Thor.

Noteable Quoteable: Now accepting donations…

19 Feb 2013, 12:50am

The First Green of Spring

Outside is still deep snow but in here is a green we can control.

Yay, I have a green office again.

Our World

Noteable Quoteables: “We are the children of our own deeds.” ~ Victor Hugo

I think ice is rather nice

Sugaru Kanbayashi & Kevin Ashe
Sugaru Kanbayashi & Kevin Ashe of Ottawa made this ice sculpture.

Sugaru Kanbayashi & Kevin Ashe

Sugaru Kanbayashi & Kevin Ashe
It’s at Confedeation Park as part of Winterlude which is on for another couple days. This year they added non-ice sculptures as well to hedge their bets.

Wanchalerm Sukseekao & Jiroj Chanwar
Wanchalerm Sukseekao & Jiroj Chanwar of Dubai/United Arab Emirates made this one.

Wanchalerm Sukseekao & Jiroj Chanwar
Curl something like a fern.

Noteable Quotable: ” “Life is only a flicker of melted ice.” ~ Serbian poet Dejan Stojanovic

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