14 Dec 2014, 1:35pm
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The Season

deer (1)
The season has its macabre elements.

snow ball
New snow has made the old snow look dark.

snow got your goose?
Snow got your goose?

a low bough
Another deep bough.

That sure was a heavy dump of snow. So glad not to have a car to shovel out.


athlete in snow
9 days to Christmas. Guess it’s time to get a move on.

Some years on the last week of November the lights were outside, wreath out, a draft of the Christmas letter done and I wanted to decorate the tree.

So far, nothing of the sort. A day-long holiday sure takes a while. I try to frame the season as out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new. Getting ready for a new year. That helps.

In a day, most of the holiday shopping done. Hubby’s got half the presents wrapped already.

Blumenstudio were roasting chestnuts on their patio. That reminds of walking though Paris together.

Fortified with their bitter intense hot chocolate we could push on.

Carollers at a mall was a few minutes of sweetness. 8 women singing in part harmony with crystal clear voices. No music is better than a cappella.

Did a Christmas baking thing. (Will I do more? So much diabetes around the family confused that clear impulse.) Watched a Christmas movie last night.

Next, cards? Or maybe just make them into happy new year letter at this point since paper probably can’t arrive before Christmas, can they?

12 Dec 2014, 3:49pm
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Kaleidoscope Days

At the Feral Choir people do improv sounds. The instruments are voices which are conducted towards cacophony or hum or hush. It is more harmonic in effect than Messsagio Galore but at times as much of a sound wall when the sound cranks or drops quickly.

footwork of sound
I liked how Paul Minton stood in the middle of the semicircle with the lights making him into clock hands. Sometimes, depending on where he stood there were hour and minute hands, and sometimes a second hand.

discarded move
Sometimes scenes are all there. One story arc.

We got to a new place on our date day to the Loft Lounge which has more hundreds of board games than you knew existed. And they have food too.

the tropical greenhouse
What a month from book launch to small press fair to the governor general’s house and greenhouse for the GG Awards.

All this an editing the BookThug manuscript for spring and a chapbook for maybe this month? We’ll see when the good fella pulls it all together.

But next to launch a chapbook tonight as part of Factory reading with Karen Massey and Marilyn Irwin who gave a Tree Seed Workshop on Tuesday. Lots of food for thought of effect on linebreaks.

And tomorrow A B Series bring back the annual Christmas party with Bill Bissett.

11 Dec 2014, 12:05pm
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Platonic Cave System

As per usual, I don’t post until after its blown over so I can tack on assurances that, see, it all worked out. Because the narrative is made by wherever you start and stop the tape.

Between there (below) and here (-ish) energy went a bit omnidirectional and awkward.

For 3 days my body decided to truncate sleep so I might crash early and fitfully. Or I might not, because body is random that way. (Who needs more than 6 hours anyway, apart from Gandhi.)

Each energy phase comes with its own filter. When doldrummed only the irritating tones of voice, the omissions and redundancies are audibly hammering. All the insurmountables of the canyon. When the angle lifts, comic  and sweet slip past.

Overheard as a chipper person gets out of UPS truck: Why hello there all you snow! 

By the way, one of the more fascinating articles [via The Presurfer] is this article on UPS. For example,

 “if you see them pulling up and you aren’t in the middle of something, meet them half way, or walk up to their truck.” Every extra step adds a little bit of time to their day. “If 10 of my 150 stops do that in a day I would get home 10-15 minutes earlier and actually get to spend time with my family.”

Overheard at the used store when I couldn’t see the what: A thunk on counter. I would like to buy this back. The cashier looks perplexed. Another worker comes up and claps the customer on the shoulder and says, The wife sells it. The husband buys it back. You must have a good job, sir.
Shadow work.

Hard not to believe in the evil eye when I’ve bragged inwardly that I have felt well for so many weeks.

Naturally I then peaked, fell asleep by 7:30pm thoroughly drained and woke up in a flare.

A flare? Which is to say sensation’s scale is all messed up. What is palpable, such a fabric pulled tight on knee when sitting is more, not so much as pain, but discomfort. What would be neutral is ouchy. Like pushing a button a machine. What would be discomfort, like change of light or tight muscle, is pain. What would be pain is body emulating sandbags. Sensation includes emotional. Terribly sad story goes right to the joints and ligaments. I need to rest.

Sitting still is good work since I can work at words but if I move there’s whole embarrassed-alone-in-the-room at the whole woo-woo balance.

I want to be fully present and I can only do that if I’m not a iridescent thinning bubble.

Some days it’s like rubbing two sticks together in a downpour. Resilience is down and the tongue has picked up curses you didn’t know the brain heard. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! for instance. Where have I ever heard that? Must be Christmas.

But screw it. There is no end to how much you can scale back.

You can accommodate the body to paralysis to rigor mortis. There are ends to how much you can scale up. And not overdoing it is being aware of all the kinds of stressors.


What is Random
What is random?

How about my setting Flickr uploads to 2000 x 1500 px and it insisting on uploading 500px max dimension. (Some companies acts as if they want to shed customers.)

But of course I don’t want anyone to worry. And paying attention beyond correctively addressing it just gives it oxygen. Motrin’s better. Restful moving. Even a slow walk can out-race most things. But there’s not always need to race. All revolve and no resolve is no good. Even dervishes sleep and cease their praying spin.

One does what one can.

Oh, and here, read Shawna’s Esssay on Beauty.

8 Dec 2014, 7:14pm

Studio Nouveau

At our little place we had a salon thing last night. A few times we’ve hosted a workshop here, of writing or crit workshop groups, KaDo, Ruby Tuesdays, and Peter F Yacht club.

It’s expensive to travel as a poet. It helps to have two or three events for the travel cost help defray. Canada Council can’t pay much proportional to the train or cars. When someone’s coming thru town if people can attach on a room full of people paying per head that goes direct to the poet, so much the better. We’ve hosted a Poetry Boot Camp with Stuart ross, a workshop with Catherine Owen and another with Elizabeth Bachinsky.

But readings are a little new. Perhaps if we keep doing it should have a name. I’m thinking Studio Nouveau. A nod to The Toronto New School of Writing and the workshops and things they do.

A good number of people did come to hear Jeff Blackman and Marcus McCann. And a lovely crew to hear too,

The poetry of Jeff Blackman strikes me as that mix of alert intelligence, insightful wit and comic timing. You should buy his chapbook. At that link. Or whereever you can.

Which has a lot in common with Marcus McCann. You should buy his books if you don’t have them. Or if you do. Christmas is coming. He stretches the word play and has such a density of unexpected word combinations. It’s always a pleasure to hear him read. New bends of the mind and attention.

And the discussion on poetry after, on line, cadence, weight and trends of poetics of various poets and what those trends orginate with in the structures of their lives was nourishing.

Pirie Pirie
Myself and Bri enjoyed it.

Francheteau Johnston
JM and Chris.

Vivasis maxfield
Vivian and Kate

Anstee Sutton and mclennan
Cameron and rob

Sutton and mclennan
and rob and Paul.

I couldn’t ask for a better evening.

rob shows off the Apt 9 book
Jeff read from Five too. [Picture of it shown by rob at the Factory Series launch in October.] You should all buy that while you still can.

As with any event there’s days of neuroticality that no one will come. (And sometimes it happens. Once I had a reading and three came. An encouraging three, but still.) Lives line up how they do. Everyone has busy lives and germ factories are among us. Another wave has people in bed in the least possible fun way.

While I worry, I cook/prepare and make enough food for twice the probable maximum number of people. When that is an option. Must nourish. Must nourish. So I did a food post on those Nibbles.

3 Dec 2014, 2:16pm


Everything can unpack fractally. And into the room of recounting comes a cat racing in mad pursuit of, something.

Huge parachute snowflakes drift in slow motion outside the window. Zigzag a cat. The spaghetti is plated, peas steaming. And here we are, conversing about Blink, which we have been rereading aloud over the last while.

He says something like, —Micro-facial expressions are honest but who needs honest glimpses of contempt?

—I know what you mean. For example at the wine and cheese a lady asked me the lay of the room I pointed out cheese table, dessert table and the lady asked what about that one?, and I felt my nostril rise, —uhhh, various species of fish and other animals.

One lady tilted an eye at her shrimp, said, in a carefully enunciated slow chipper tone to the other how good it is.

So, is my middle name faux pas or TMI?

I was trying to be offhanded, neutral while trying not to bring back that mental image. No one needs to know my eyes tear up and stomach goes to nausea at flayed and laid out animals. And to let that ick slip to strangers kiboshed any other possible conversation as they sidestepped to other conversational options.

Maybe with a faster tongue I could have recovered the moment, but I was mortified at insulting their values, not paying attention to what they were enjoying. I want to notice and enter other people’s joy even when the source is incomprehensible.

And… the cat scores. Whatever it was just went down the heating return vent. She’s meowing down the vent at her lost capture.

Hubby is fishing out a lost cat treat, 2 toys. She’s chasing again.

What is she chasing? Her butt is waggling as she’s “in hiding” behind a table leg and the one eye of the olive can’t see her about to pounce. Where did she get an olive?

She has knocked over a package of drained olives onto the floor. At least they were drained. When did she sneak onto the counter?

Olives are scattered all over. She’s lost the second one but shoots after a third.

Lordie, never a dull moment.

And out on the rest of internetz, Mean People Fail is a thought-post by a Paul Graham on how Start-ups succeed when people who care about the good of all are in charge. And although I generally avoid Cracked, BoingBoing, and other repeater sites this is worth a signal boost on accidentally inciting hate which talks about all kinds of power dynamics that cause undercurrents in dynamics, getting also under its banner of being aware of privilege from a different angle, even down to the toilet seat norm is not a problem because it doesn’t bother me. That sort of nitty-gritty practical.

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