1 Apr 2015, 4:49pm
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Humbug and Hum

Sometimes I have an idea. But it’s late and I should attempt to sleep. Or it’s morning and the internet is turned off. Or I’m Doing Things. Or moving towards Getting Things Done.

Oh, look, sprouts:
pole beans

pole bean shower
Pole beans are coming up.

But why do I live so far north? Am I more masochistic than I know?

I’m wearing 2 jackets and a coat and it’s past spring equinox. Am I more self-entitled than I believe?

What’s the positive side of cranky? Apparently I can be funny. Spoiler: There will be no sign of that here.

Poetry readings make me existential, not because of the call to the cosmic but because it kicks up my skeptic. Do I really like reading? Why do I do it so compulsively? Surely it’s squandering a life. What constitutes useful? What’s building a cathedral of a better society and what’s one dang brick after another?

Is there some science measuring that isn’t automated? Something like recording earth tremours?

Each book festival I take in less. I overextend myself less each time but still I’m doing too much by half.

What 5-10% I enjoy, I enjoy very much. The rest leaves me overstimulated and bored. And every time I tense, I clench my face, and an echo of the nerve pain clenches my face back.

Dull ache is tiring. Sharp is worse. 5 weeks, people. Or in your case, person. (You don’t have a crowd behind you in the dark, do you? *squint*) I have days here and there where I am not in any of that.

It’s amazing the things we learn that we have to relearn. Change length and weights of bag, for instance.

Walking with a bag accumulates tiny little bounces on one spot on my hip so that come night I have to wake 3 times to take pain killers to sleep.

It’s like the old joke of going to the doctor with a piercing pain in the eye every time he drinks coffee so the country doc says take the spoon out of the cup.

It’s hard to ignore the body. It likes it that way.

Now I get reflux to tie my shoes, probably from so much pain killer. Once a cascade of joints starts, all the joints chime in, pulling the muscles with them. This muscular-skeletal system is going to make a sailor-swearer out of me yet.

That said, I can screen it out most of the time and enjoy myself.

My mental capacity seems fuzzier but I can still function, (except for those 2 doozy weeks). I can do simple things but higher synthesis and memory are being flaky, housed in this human pierogie.

I work and wait for the mental clarity to kick in, but it last as long as a task then I fade out.

Poems I write keep coming out rant or goth or haiku. Weeks of a poem with small tweaks and still ineffectual but worse with no sense of compass bearings.

Normally in my life I could sleep thru anything. Like James Herriot said, sleep of the mind allows the body to fight healing on just one front and speeds it.

And when tired knock off for 10, 12, 14 hours and then wake up as a new person.

These days at most I’m getting 5 or 6 hours a night. Looking forward to mid-May isn’t a solution as I ride this out. Got to rejig my inner talk and my outer walk.

Pleasing colour of blue.

Glad Game: Practical things of putting recycling from one bin into another, garbage from one bin into another, clothes from one part of the room to another, dishes from one holding spot in machine to shelf a couple feet up.

Letter in the mail handwritten by nephew.

A call from mom and being useful as an ear.

Sound practice that can bring me to entirely present.

Got books and chapbooks sold, a few even to total strangers. (If you are only selling to people you know, isn’t that more of girl guide sympathy buy. And would a girl guide outfit help?)

There is sunshine. Visible here even.

Finally got a main navigation link for radish and people have been saying they enjoy it. Jennifer Pederson made an entry theme song which is on that page. Very off-beat and good-weird.

freudian spoonerism
I kinda lost it there for a bit in a freudian spoonerism but it broke the ice. The Ottawa launch of radish was warm and fun and I couldn’t have had a better time or enjoyed co-readers more (Giles Benaway, JC Bouchard and Stevie Howell). Best reading I’ve been to in years. And not because it was mine (since I do a reading or few a month for a lot of years).

Karen and Claudia laugh
The renku afternoon was great fun.

Marshall leading the renga
Marshall always makes me laugh.

Dennis Cooley
I’ve read Dennis Cooley’s poems for years but never heard him read. Delightful.

At Battle of the Bard Jimmy McInnis and Max Layton stood out.

A few others a true pleasure to hear, like Eric Charlebois, Jill Wigmore, Daphne Marlatt, Roland Prevost and Steve Artelle.

The missing spreadsheet which was not on the computer nor in back up was able to be retrieved off the toast formerly known as a hard drive thanks to wizardry of hubby.

The movie My Afternoons with Margueritte was pretty decent.

Thanks goodness for kind interactions with friends of compassion and who can cheer on.

The prospect of another hot tub and sauna in a few weeks.

27 Mar 2015, 1:26pm
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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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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.

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