27 Mar 2015, 1:26pm
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Duck!

ducks on thin ice

And incoming, more VERSeFest, including my book launch tonight at 7pm. A change in the bill. Stevie Howell, JC Bouchard and I will be reading with Giles Benaway.

After that, I crash, or Urban Legends slam with Barâa Arar, Komi Olaf and Sheri-D Wilson.

Can’t do it all. Tomorrow is a 12-hour poetry day, with some events overlapping.

A few dozen photos of previous days here.

And Cocoa Cabin and Writing Sparks are now available from the phafours etsy shop.

And Tomas Transtromer has died. At his age it shouldn’t surprise and yet *expletive*.

Footnote: Walking on water takes another meaning when it’s on water blisters.

24 Mar 2015, 4:19pm
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Rain, pour, publish

Writing Sparks
Reading to soft-release at VERSefest tonight.

Cocoa Cabin arrives
These beauties too.

21 Mar 2015, 6:22pm
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Tickled

cover
Thanks to the good folks at Kitchissippi Times including Anne Boys-Hope and Kate Settle I’m in the news. Here’s the story at ISSUU.

Neat, the pet radish, shrunken was one of the three recommended Friday reads yesterday.

If you want the newsletter I send out every 4-8 weeks, you can sign up here. Apparently newsletters are becoming more popular than blogs these days. And for everything else, there’s social media.

This is kinda neat: over 50 translations to English of a poem by Du Fu. I keep reading more and more ancient Chinese poetry. There’s something amazing about poems over 2000 years old. And bits of Greece and Italy with images 9000 years old.

21 Mar 2015, 5:05pm
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And Poked Hard

On a closer zoom lens,…

I once wanted to be a historian but a mild numbers dyslexia and 5 years of a high school history teacher who graded everything on scantrons of a) b) c) or d) of year numbers inverted made me a solid C student in history. With the occasional B average thanks to essay projects.

Ah vell, there are always other appealing things to do, an infinitely number of roads not taken. Thinking bout it now, that’s not closing the gate after the horse is already out. That’s building a fence and gate after generations of horses have already left the farm.

Everything is an indicator of something. Everything is just details and sensations. How interlinked the mind and body are. I move towards a fret or regret and tense up. Look, I have started to unconsciously rub my jaw again, like a skunked dog.

It’s not so bad a stink. I can ignore it. Should I take a little pain medicine? Shutting off the pain signal is useful to not distress and distract the body-animal so it can focus on healing.

I cave at night to take a pain killer at the start and mid-way.

I try to keep it minimal but mood and body are on a loose tether that tightens with fatigue. The busier I am, the more like a dog wrapping around a post I suppose.

It’s day 24 of the tooth saga. Restless boredom is the worse.

That I mention anything is a good sign.

You can talk about stuff when you’re safe and away.

If you do it too early you’re just making yourself feel worse and complaining.

With each new bodily adventure I get to learn lots of how we’re wired under the skin.

Did you know there’s one major trident forking nerve running along the bottom left of the jaw connects the ear and upper cheek and to the front middle bottom teeth?

I get a quick response when I tense my upper lip. I can learn how to consciously relax different areas of the face. (I still have ear infection from one nerve setting off another.)

There’s a threshold past which I can’t screen out. The body is cement sacks and the brain a blur so the simplest things are hard and take a seemingly unnecessary amount of time. The hardest is the ego-hit. I don’t like weakness in myself and spiral of shame of not being capable of what I want to do. So that’s a doozy. Mostly on the pride. I like being self-reliant. I like working at top speed.

And I like a variety of food textures to have an appetite. But applesauce, ice cream, yogurt, mushed bananas, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, etc for weeks. (My food blog won’t take a hit since I like to run it a couple weeks ahead for crashes like this.) (Also luckily chocolate melts in the mouth.)

I lucked into something called referred pain. So the hurt is one place but it manifests in other places.

I suppose that’s not entirely distinct from 2 years ago with peak of the frozen shoulder where focusing on the idea of moving my arm could gut-punch me to nausea. And then I’d crumple into a faint, maybe be back on my feet before I completely hit the floor. It made insisting on dressing myself ever so amusing.

One pain is hard to compare to another. They have such different textures.

When I was knocked out, I didn’t feel the pain in a sense. A low grade ache saps and diverts energy. Random spikes do torchlighting like my trick knee that would support me or cave or hurt at random. That was about a decade ago. Migraines are a whole other creature. And panic attacks another character as well. Fun fact. Some people, very few, react badly to tylenol 3. The codeine in it made wild crests of anxiety. I stopped it and my brain was as becalmed as Jesus walking on water.

That was so last week. Maybe this referred pain is losing its index card for good.

It’s a good sign that I can admit it. Admission can be a signal that something is obsolete. But it might still come back and do another asinus-calcitrando.

17 Mar 2015, 5:43pm
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B(u)y the Book

Happy St. Paddy’s Day. How serendipitous that the tablecloth is orange and green. Looking at my dad’s collection of old school textbooks…

1915-1925 school textbooks
Poor old book needs some serious loving.

1915-1925 school textbooks
Explicitly taught the golden rules. Seems reasonable.

1915-1925 school textbooks
W. Hazlitt advises the school boys for 3 pages on how to behave: “The first lesson to learn is that there are other people in the world besides yourself [...] settle your differences amicably.”

1915-1925 school textbooks
Good ideas hold.

1915-1925 school textbooks
Emily Dickinson is represented too. But a different poem that I got in my formal schooling.

Books range from 1915-1920s. In one from 1925 was this marginalia:

1915-1925 school textbooks

There’s always much afoot. Apart from say that electric iron of a computer self-destructing and needing its hard drive replaced, and ear ache and 20 day saga of tooth drifting into a quieter port.

But book-wise, two chapbooks on the cusp of being printed and delivered. Bunch of the pet radish, shrunken, sold. See all the Events, the latest being the soonest, Battle of the Bards in Toronto on the 25th where I’ll be reading/competing. On the bill: David James Brock, Claire Caldwell, Elizabeth Greene, Kate Hargreaves, Laurence Hutchman, Ellen S. Jaffe, Jill Jorgenson, Ralph Kolewe, Max Layton, Jimmy McInnes, Bruce Meyer, Sarah Pinder, Pearl Pirie, Talya Rubin, Vanessa Shields, Peter Unwin, Zachariah Wells, Shoshanna Wingate, Deanna Young and Liz Worth.

But before then, VERSeFest begins on the 24th.

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