A microscopic home.

this is a literary blog. i'm literate so i must have something to say. hopefully.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I was asked yesterday if I define myself more as a photographer or as a poet.

I'm not sure there's any difference.

When I write and I shoot, my aim is to collect moments. I want to understand them, I want to feel them. I love how precious moments are. I shoot the same why I write: careful detail to colours and description that are lost on most eyes and minds. I want people to see the world like I do. I want them to feel it like I can.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Inwords reading

Inwords reading was fun last night. Stumbled in a bit late after watching Ryan and Sock play basketball on the socialist team in the Rec League at Carleton. The socialists almost got into a fight with a team all in red. Now that would have been funny. The yelling match was enough for me. Got me all riled up to go read some exciting poetry.

I like the Avant Garde bar where the readings take place for Inwords. It's a very nice, relaxed atmosphere and the low lighting allows you to disspear a little bit. Plus they give me a seat, which means (yay) my legs don't shake and I don't almost tumble to the ground. The reading was fun, they have a lot of very interesting people, lots of diversity. Adam read his poetry because I made Ryan go sign him up without telling him. I had tried to convince him the night before that he should read, but he was tentative. I felt he did a pretty good job, and everyone seemed to really like him. So props to adam, haha. props.

I had to read right after him. It went okay. They introduced me as a published and award winning poet which was helpful because at least it made people think I was important enough to listen to. Also helpful was one of the organizers of inwords shouting out that I rock. ahh. the joys of being a twenty something. I only stumbled over my words once, and failed to pronounce the title "anaesthetize" so I told them I wasn't going to try and for the purposes of the evening it would be called Untitled. I read the poem Slut last, and well one can't just say slut outloud in front of 25 people without a little lead in. haha. especially not me. Overall it was a pretty good time. I wish we would have been able to get there a bit earlier, but one cannot expect a group of boys to attend a poetry reading without giving something to them in return ( i.e sitting through forty minutes of basketball). Next month they are going to be having Buck 65 do spoken word poetry which is pretty cool and I'm excited to go. Hopefully I'll be able to get in! I'll just stand at the door and yell, "but wait, I rock, that should guarantee automatic entrance." We'll see. ha.

Started working on my mothers case today for workers comp.. It angers me, so expect some very violent poetry about me killing NCO and LMR's and specialists and all those other fuck offs screwing her over on a regular basis.

To celebrate my friends who attended poetry readings with me, i'll link everyone to some of their exciting poetry (ie. what I like the best by them!)

plaid and earthtones
Adam Petrashek (gets first billing for reading)

the coalescence of receding and living
Ryan Brown

Scott Moynes

Last but not least, and without his approval, I have a Dave Puzak Poem


fuck you
im seizuring

behind a truck
delivering the morning paper

what a waste
what a waste

he's the friendly neighborhood raper


the man looks no older than 32
with a nice blue truck
he looks as though he's got that penny or few

a grease black hat
with those sick silent eyes
someone better shoot him while he's cold

scouting on out that bus route
for his next victim

fuck you
im seizuring
behind his truck..
what a waste

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Summit and Gravity
Octavio Paz

There's a motionless tree
And another one coming forward
A river of trees
Hits my chest
The green surge
Is good fortune
You are dressed in red
You are
The seal of the scorched year
The carnal firebrand
The star fruit
In you like sun
The hour rests
Above an abyss of clarities
The height is clouded by birds
Their beaks construct the night
Their wings carry the day
Planted in the crest of light
Between firmness and vertigo
You are
Transparent balance

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


pucker your lips in lotus
grind to pulp tender leaves whose
frailty is concealed in the clench of your jaw

puncture your tongue,
return to another semi conscious statement
temper your murmurs
to fall in time with mine.

these exploits
punish me.

in your condition
you can only fondle fallacies

though their finiteness
is a construction
of your own.

you wail

just like the sky in winter
with the priority of
expiating like
sins would just flee on request
into the poplars.

and disappear.

I will disappear for you
into the quiet distance of

seizure and curl into
the shape of a child,
twice removed.

I've got a number of irrational fears that I'd like to share with you

The Tree Reading last night was quite fun. I got to hear some really interesting people read who could actually read properly. It was nice. I liked the feature writer: Anthony Bidulka who was funny as all getout. He was super excited when he read and he even made different voices which brings to mind my elementary school education. Sort of something I miss. ha.

I ended up drinking too much wine and sharing some Sangria with a man who won a bottle for guessing correctly what one of Bidulka's titles meant. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make it to the next one.

On the plate today is working on my essay and finishing that painting. We'll see how everything goes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

don't condemn me.

today I didn't accomplish anything really. things have been up in the air here. i'm about to leave for the Tree Reading Series where I get to listen to good poetry and get sloshed. woo hooo. maybe it will help.

Monday, October 24, 2005

after everything else

there is a sadness in lying next to you
in a rectangular space made to hoard

when the arch of your elbow and the shadow
of your face on pillow seem
so insufferably secluded.

the contour of torso an
impenetrable solid

unfastened from the duvet
but fixed securely to the frame.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This is long. but you should read it anyways.

Things I’m Reading:

Atlantic November, 2005
Comment: Things Left Undone
By Richard A. Clarke

Imagine if, in advance of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of trucks had been waiting with water and ice and medicine and other supplies. Imagine if 4,000 National Guardsmen and an equal number of emergency air workers from around the country had been moved into place, and five million meals had been ready to serve. Imagine if scores of mobile satellite-communications stations had been prepared to move in instantly, ensuring that rescuers could talk to one another. Imagine if all this had been managed by a federal-and-state task force that not only directed the government response but also helped coordinate the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other outside groups.

Actually, this requires no imagination: it is exactly what the Bush administration did a year ago when Florida braced for Hurricane Frances. Of course, the circumstances then were very special: it was two months before the presidential election, and Florida’s twenty-seven electoral votes were hanging in the balance. It is hardly surprising that Washington ensured the success of “the largest response to a natural disaster we’ve ever had in this country.” The president himself passed out water bottles to Floridians driven from their homes.

(If I get more time I will type out more of this article, because it is a very interesting read. The writer, Clarke, bring up a lot of interesting points about the response to Katrina, including the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has now been reduced by a 10% budget cut and buried in a big department, is headed by the previous director’s former college roommate, a political appointee, whose past executive experience consists of running an international association concerned with Arabian horses!)

Scientific America, December 2004 (yes I’m a bit behind on my extracurricular reading.)
Stressing Violence
Aimee Cunningham

Tempted to knock that smirk off the cahier’s face after waiting in line for t20 minutes, knowing the parking meter is about to expire? No wonder: a mutually reinforcing relationship seems to exist between stress hormones and the brain pathway that controls violence. Dutch and Hungarian researchers found that electrically stimulating this pathway in rats activates the adrenocortical ( “fight or flight”) stress response. Usually it takes a confrontation with a rival rat to trigger such a reaction. Likewise, injecting the rats with the stress hormone corticosterone prompted them to behave aggressively. the results reveal a vicious cycle: violent behaviour boosts circulating stress hormones, which encourages more violence, and so on. The researchers suggest in the October Behavioural Neuroscience that tinkering with the stress response may provide a new means to control pathological violence.

(I just think it’s interesting when rats have the same response as human beings. And I’m all for the reduction of pathological violence if it can be done without changing humans too much.)

Harpers’ Magazine August 2005
The Christian Paradox : How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong.
By Bill McKibben

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s Wife. (mel note: where did they find these stats? Can’t really trust them.) This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in the Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbour. On this essential matter, most Americans – most American Christians- are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

“And therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behaviour. That paradox – more important, perhaps than the much touted ability of French women to stay thin on a diet of chocolate and cheese – illuminates the hollow at the core of our boastful, careening culture.”

“But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion – say, giving aid to the poorest people – as a reasonable proxy for Christian behaviour. After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?”

(oh don’t get me started on Christians. This article is really really well written and is a good example of my hatred towards people who profess to follow Jesus’ teachings. I am an atheist myself. But I see Jesus as being a pretty okay guy. I mean he came up with a lot of good things and morals to follow and yet these people who say they believe him, shit on his very belief system on a regular basis while professing to love him. It’s sort of like an abusive relationship. Someday soon I hope to write a very detailed essay on why I have the hatred for these people that I do. And then I’ll write another one on why the bible should not be taken word for word. Similar, but seemingly contradictory essays. stay tuned. )

If one has a chance to get Harper October 2005 issue it has a really long and pretty interesting article entitled “Why experimental fiction threatens to destroy publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and life as we know it. A correction.” By Ben Marcus.

lastly I’ll end with something pertinent to a history major.

Containing China: The United states is drawing a military noose around China, and India is glad to help. But is anyone considering the possible consequence?”
The Walrus, October 2005
By: Gwynne Dyer

If there’s anyone left to write the history of how the Third World War happened, they might well focus on June 28, 2005, as the date when the slide into global disaster became irreversible. That was the day when India’s defence minister, Pranab Mukherjee, and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed a ten-year agreement in Washington on military co-operation, joint weapons production, and missile defence – not quite a formal US-Indian military alliance, but close enough to one that China finally realized it was the target of a deliberate American strategy to encircle and ‘contain’ it.

It is not clear yet what China plans to do about it, but since June the rhetoric out of Neijing has been unprecedentedly harsh. In mid-July for example, Major General Zhu Chenghu warned in an official briefing that China is under pressure to drop its policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons in the event of a military conflict with the US over Taiwan. “We have no capability to fight a conventional war against the United States,” he said. “We can’t win this kind of war.” And so China would deliberately escalate to nuclear weapons: “We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all the cities east of Xian. Of course, the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of [their] cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”

(China doesn’t have the means yet, but no major military official out of China has talked like this since Mao’s time. As the writer states, “It’s happening because the decision-makers in Beijing think that the crazies have taken over in Washington, and are trying to draw most of Asia into an anti-Chinese alliance. There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that they are right.”)

I don’t really have the time to write out all of things in paragraph form, but here are some examples provided by the article:

1. America is determined to re-militarize Japan:
o Tokyo ended half a century of refusing to send troops overseas into war zones by committing a small contingent to the US-led occupation of Iraq.
o redefined the Taiwan Strait as a “common strategic objective “ of Japan and the US (implying that its force would joint eh US in resisting any Chinese attack on Taiwan.)
o US Pacific Command (PACOM) has 6 aircraft carriers, forty subs and 190 other surface ships that already dominate the Western Pacifica, and US has a large number of troops ( currently about 80,000) based in South Korea and Japan.
o US army’s 1st Corps, with responsibility for ground operations in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions is slated to transfer from Washington state to Camp Zama, South of Tokyo, while the USAF is proposing to move the 13th Air Force’s long range bombers and tankers from Guam to Yokota airbase in Tokyo.

2. Washington is busily revising old alliances and forging new ones throughout South-East Asia.

o Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian and Filipino forces regularly perform manoeuvres with American troops.
o last year the first high level discussion between the US and Vietnamese armed forces were held since the fall of Saigon in 1975. Admiral Thomas Fargo, the commander of PACOM, visited Hanoi and Saigon in Feb 2004 to “build on the US-Vietnam defence relationships” and by November, Vietnamese defence minister Pham Van Tra was in Washington to see Donald Rumsfeld.
3. Invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan
o invasion of Afghanistan led to US military bases not jus here but in other countries on China’s western flank.
o Invasion of Iraq was intended (among other things) to create a reliable US ally and “enduring” American military bases in the Persian Gulf, from which China draws almost all of its rapidly growing oil imports. Despite all the rhetoric about the “war on terror,” the Pentagon under Bush never lost sight of its real strategy.

(oh god that took forever. If you can find this article, read it. It’s a really great summary of how things that are happening now, which seem small, insignificant and unrelated, will have a huge impact in the long run. The decision America is making now with these alliances and by acknowledging China as a major threat, shows the fear that the Americans have is almost palpable. They have not been a great super power for years, and monetarily they are almost completely ruined. They have so much debt to outside countries, they are spreading themselves thin by invading countries in the Middle East and are making enemies in doing so. America has set the course for the next great world war. I can’t foresee yet if it is going to be completely different than the last, with it’s bloody battles and high causalities, or if it is going to take a form that we are completely unprepared for. And I am terrified. )

now I must continue studying Greek Art and Archaeology. I am making up a song to try and discern between the different drinking cups: Amphora, kylix, Krater etc etc. etc.

tomorrow's exam is at 11:30 in the am. I love the stress of exams. Don't hate me. My response is panic and the writing of obscenely large journal entries about things that have no importance to Greek Art and Archaeology. ha. ahh. oh well.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

songs that hold influence on my life. pt. 1

The High Heat

She wants to die
Like people do
Shower clicking
Summer was sickening
In that room

High in the heat
A white-hot beehive
Well she was doomed

She has a wing
To offer the sky
She couldn't stop sinking
She thought she wasn’t thinking
She wanted to die

She wants to live
Like people do
She feels like giving
It all away
All to you

April 8th
neutral milk hotel

Crawl across towards your window
I'm calling softly from the street
Always a lonely widow
Half awake and sleeping on my feet
I'm of age but have no children
No quarter phone booth calls to home
Just late with television
Inside my bedroom all alone

There is no use in waiting
Offer up your steps so I can climb
Show me all your figure paintings
Etched in the middle of the night
Let me stretch upon your carpet
Let me hear the rain tap on your street
Knowing I am safe on the inside
Blankets wrapped and drifting off to sleep

A Song To Pass The Time
Bright Eyes

There is a middle-aged woman dragging her feet.
She carries baskets of clothes to a laundromat.
While the Mexican children kick rocks into the street
and they laugh in a language I don't understand.
But I love them.
Why do I love them?
So the neighborhood is dimming as I smoke on the porch
and watch the people as they pass enclosed inside their cars.
And on their faces just anger or disappointment.
I start wishing there was something I could offer them.
A consolation, what could I offer them?
When they are sad in their suburbs robots water the lawn
and everything they touch gets dusted spotless.
So they start to believe that they haven't touched anything at all.
While the cars in the driveway only multiply.
They are lost in their houses.
I have heard them sing in the shower
and making speeches to their sister on the telephone.
Saying, You come home.
Darling, you come here.
Don't stay so far away from me.
This weather has me wanting love more tangible.
Something I can hold because it's getting cold.
So lets hold up our fists to the flame in the sky
to block out the light that is reaching for our eyes
because it would blind us. It will blind us.
Now I have locked my actions in the grooves of routine.
So I may never be free of this apathy.
But I wait for a letter that is coming to me.
She sends me pictures of the ocean in an envelope.
So there still is hope.
Yes, I can be healed.
There is someone looking for what I concealed in my secret drawer,
in my pockets deep,
you will find the reasons that I can't sleep and you will still want me.
But will you still want me?
Well, I say come for the week.
You can sleep in my bed.
And then pass through my life like a dream through my head.
It will be easy. I will make it easy.
But all I have for the moment is a song to pass the time.
A melody to keep me from worrying.
Oh, some simple progression to keep my fingers busy.
And some words that are sure to come back to me and they will be laughing.
My mediocrity. My mediocrity.

Company in my back

I attack with love, pure bug beauty
I curl my lips and crawl up to you
I attack with love, pure bug beauty
I curl my lips and crawl up to you

And your afternoon
And I've been puking

I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit there's a company in my back
I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit there's a company in my back

Hide your soft skin, your sorrow is sunshine
Listen to my eyes
Hide your soft skin, your sorrow is sunshine
Listen to my eyes

They are hissing radiator tunes

I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit there's a company in my back
I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit there's a company in my back

You learn so slow, old radiant beauty
I'll curve my flight
You learn so slow, old radiant beauty
I'll curve my flight

Under your bended knee
And I will always die
I will always die
I will always die
So you can remember me

I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit there's a company in my back
I move so slow, a steady crushing hand
Holy shit, there's a company in my back

There's a company in my back

Friday, October 21, 2005

poems for the times.

James Joyce

The noon's greygolden meshes make
All night a veil,
The shorelamps in the sleeping lake
Laburnum tendrils trail.

The sly reeds whisper to the night
A name-- her name-
And all my soul is a delight,
A swoon of shame.

The Kiss
Anne Sexton

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool !

Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

No Second Troy
William Butler Yeats

WHY should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great.
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

conséquence (et le lever de rideau)

there are
junctions at a quiet midnight
candles intently burning
(so let them tell a story)

i would say it
with consequence:
let me write a simple lovesong

with chimes and icecream emotion

let me brush the hair from my eyes
(and couple syllables
like children)

for you

et je, je rêverais ce rêve enfantin

(cette rêve et comment nous l'avons dit,

des bougies mourant à minuit)

let me draw it for you

with consequence:

we would be junctions after midnight

after these little lights
had all gone out

and we had lost all purpose

(for then,

you would know

that i love you)

this is a day of picture posting fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


if I was bending my back to your wall
I should pause before breaking
and thank you for the lesson.

and you, of
course would bow and saddle the truth
like it was a lie.

(yes you know, so nod

nod your head. )

this is a dangerous game.
when your words are not even yours anymore.

I, being their hostage
must prepare to move, to scatter

there is proper etiquette in this situation.

autumn walk.

I took a walk around ottawa today. Well maybe just through Vincet MasseyPark and by the river. It was a lovely day today. I needed it. Conveniently I brought a polaroid camera with me. I wanted so much to capture autumn accurately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The act of living

dangled lamp light
make circular clouds
of warm haze.

the ceiling is a pockmarked

my eyes,
turned a threatening
shade of green with the new
year, are now
squinted and
only lashes
are left to cover.

these hands have
always been useless.

the early morning makes my
frame bitter

and my heart a swollen
to empty out,

I do not know how.

it's four am.

Effectively studied from 6pm to 3:00am. Have not died yet. That is a good sign. My exam is tomorrow at 2:30. Hopefully I won't have died at that time yet either.

Now, I haven't had much time for poetry. Or reading really, except the aforementioned studying. But right now I'm going to try and think of something that describes how I am feeling at this exact moment. And then everyone can read into it like it means something:

Penelope as a biological dream

Isn't it strange that we used to be insects-
and I wish I could tell you the name of each bone
that twitches under the white sheen epidermis
arms and legs in sedentary angles
muscles everywhere, I swear
that this landscape is bound by tissue and
every fluttering soundwave is something's heartbeat

I imagine your back sprouting wings
like a Whitman cardboard butterfly

What lets you move-
machinery was never so graceful, after all
and I recommend that you transcend this nonsense of existence
they will see you all hollowed out in heaven,
just a cellophane shell
of gauze and mineral

emptied of the neat organs that lay inside
(thousands, I'll bet)
that twist and writhe sweet and hot
but elusive and unattainable
and always, always
covered by skin.

I think this poem is wonderful.

runners up:(hahahahah. oh god. what have I become?)
http://allpoetry.com/poetry/11877 (Anne Sexton)
http://allpoetry.com/poetry/2578 (William Butler Yeats)
http://allpoetry.com/poetry/37218 (Pablo Neruda)

lastly the song playing in my head. Which I believe to be relevant.

I'm Sorry I'm Leaving
Your middle finger was clutching my thumb
through the park and over macdougal.
The torches were blazing about our street
and just down from the sky.

Casey stepped with Anna off the curb.
His shoes are clogs, did you see?

They dipped in that puddle,
the one catching green.
They were tripping up and slipping around,
singing 'Rolalita come out tonight'
and oh I wanted to pull you down.

roll on top of me, baby.
just roll.

we'll wreck our clothes.
we'll scrape our knees.
we'll taste the scabs.

you, sweet,
are worth these next four months
until I bail out and kiss behind your ears,
drive off in the van.
oh my god, I think I'm dying
in this car seat,

where I'll spend through winter.

It may be just the fatigue from studying, but I sure do like the lack of time and effort it takes to let other people's words speak for me. Oh the ease.

all cross your fingers collectively tomorrow at 2:30.

Monday, October 17, 2005

the greatest living dog.


This is my friend Barnes' dog. I took a portrait of Milo to replace this great one that I took about four years ago.

Here is a picture of my house in Sarnia:

Anyways, that's all the time I have had. Thanksgiving pictures coming soon. (i stopped studying for about a half hour to do this! shame!)

School can suck my ass.

How eloquent my title is. So poetic.

Yesterday I did the reading at Chapters for Bywords Fall shindig. Yes I said it. Anyways, it went okay. Half way through the first poem my leg started shaking. I thought I was going to topple over. Apparently no one else really noticed, so at least that's positive. When trying to read "offspring" I stumbled a bit, but it's hard work reading mean poetry about your mother in front of strangers.

The next two weeks are hell school wise. I have a midterm this wednesday for History of Photography, a midterm next Monday for Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology. A painting that needs to be done for Greek and Roman Art, along with a presentation on the 31st, and a paper due for Greek and Roman Literary Genres due on the 1st of November. Plus work, and class, and poetry readings and I have taken on my mothers case against Workers Compensation, all 520 pages of it.

Excuse me while I go have a panic attack.

I have some new pictures from the thanksgiving feast held here on saturday. A couple new polaroids. When I find them time, I'll share them with the world.

Lately haven't been able to write anything. I dont' know whats wrong. Hopefully it's just stress.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

she painted pictures of the skyline
while he made music in the darkest of rooms
a million miles of floor stood between them
and it was parquet, the kind that you can
only lose yourself in on hallucinogens.
he told her that he knew.
but he didn’t.

and the silence was quiet, more quiet then the quietest of rooms,
oh he could finger that silence like it was
something tangible between them.

something round and hard like the
coffee table in the middle of the
living room with its cups and spoons
from last nights dinner and
the circles of coffee stains
she was like those,
and he told her that he knew.

Friday, October 14, 2005

This poem is just lovely. wow.

Children in a Field
Angela Shaw

They don’t wade in so much as they are taken.
Deep in the day, in the deep of the field,
every current in the grasses whispers hurry
hurry, every yellow spreads its perfume
like a rumor, impelling them further on.
It is the way of girls. It is the sway
of their dresses in the summer trance-
light, their bare calves already far-gone
in green. What songs will they follow?
Whatever the wood warbles, whatever storm
or harm the border promises, whatever
calm. Let them go. Let them go traceless
through the high grass and into the willow-
blur, traceless across the lean blue glint
of the river, to the long dark bodies
of the conifers, and over the welcoming
threshold of nightfall.

I decided to read some Newlove tonight because it was sitting on my desk, and I dedicate this poem to my friend Dave who will have to deal with people just like this on saturday. It seems appropriate.

The Admiral Hotel
John Newlove

Until I attended my friend's
wedding reception I was unaware
of the progress of barbarism.

Tense and uneasy guests
tried to avoid any reference
to sex, the wedding cake

was carefully plastered white,
the bachelors arriving in nervous homage
groaned for the longed-for punch,

female relations assured themselves
that the whisperes were friendly,
free from the desk-clerk's bawdy

insinuations and the standard
jokes. They moved stiffly,
congratulating each other

in soprano hysteria, one glove off
and one glove on, their long-
tendoned hands groped for shoulders

and squeezed the muscles
of each other's upper arms,
or the upper margin brachio-radialis.

Speeches were made concerning
culture ( we are all cultured)
and suitability, love

was also mentioned. The best man
looked madly about in terror
and wished for his bottle of rye

before reading telegrams
from the unpronouncable towns of Wales.
The groom became anxious for his sanity.

And I looked slyly about, glad
I had left my glasses home,
noting the general faith

and hope that everything
would be alright, if
not in this place

at least when adjustments
had been made, desperately
sneering and quickly becoming

one of them,
while at the other end
of the room the fat pohtographer

carefully recorded the objects
of all the ritual.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

the night before I left sarnia I stayed awake making this collage.
They are just a few pictures I took around my old elementary school
and I used a technique which I think compliments them very well. I
have had a lot of conversations tonight about things such as religion,
the education system, history and the direction my life could take at
any one point, and I want to sit down and write them out, but I am so
overwhelmed with school work right now that I just don't have the
time. At least I had the conversations.

two poems

Two new poems written yesterday. Inspired by my hometown:

This is where it all began, they said.
In the darkness of the wholly body,
disfigured and scarred, incapable of birth.
This is where I began: in the recesses of my mothers
womb, in the dry open air of Lake Huron,
of the Saint Lawrence.

They said this town was made up
of war homes for widows or those returning
with missing limbs, missing minds.

I wake up coming back here always, with fingers swollen,
with my brain a wretched piece of machinery,
metal and screws.

My father told me that anything can be fixed with
enough time and chemicals.
(so come home, sweet heart, come home).

This city is always drawing me in.

Through the low slung businesses,
the wires that drape on poles, hungry and resolved.

The streets here could be nameless and I would still find my
way through the cracks of cement, that fasten themselves
onto the dry sands, that buckle under the weight of passing

transport trucks, garbage trucks and school buses.

In the crowds I can make out those victims of
the outside who have stumbled back like I.

Even the churches in this city do not have bells to ring.

Untitled Free Verse; Youth.

In July I recovered from your lies,
dug a hole in my backyard
stuck the pink and fresh bottoms of my feet
into the darkness of mud and established castles;
built them up to wash away when the tides of rain
moved through
and I was forced to cower and hide behind
the garage, pressed against fresh summer greenery and yellow siding.

There, you refused to find me.

I made you maps and manuals ,
well researched revelations of my heart
but you made a campfire with your lover
and burnt them up into smoke signals

Left them up to interpretation and the wind.

When you came back
I could feel you in my city, and I constructed
joyous verses upon arrival,
wrote that I could be saved even if you failed so many
times before. I preached and reached for
you only to find a hand more removed.

All I wanted was your fingers, but you have yet to
understand how.

I wonder how at my age, I can dare attempt to conquer the concept of "youth." I think that's funny that I meditate on it.

I am effectively home in Ottawa now after nine hours of greyhound boredom. If only we could teleport. oh science fiction movies, why can't you be real?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

last day in beautiful San Ria

It is my last night in this town. I slept my day away and woke up worrying it was going to be wasted. But instead I wrote a lot of things. A lot of snippets and half poems. I'm hoping to find one in there that is worth something.

I talked to dave today about the future of my chapbook. I'm worried about titles. I'm worried about graphics. He goes through so much of this with his albums, that he understands. The things he said calmed me down a bit. I know that this whole thing will be difficult for someone like me to do. I am such a perfectionist. My therapist says I have to get over that. I wonder if they would if they had any idea of how much one can accomplish as a perfectionist. I suppose at some point it will become debilitating. I fear that day.

I am working on finishing up my first essay of the year. It's about Mark Ruwedel, the landscape photographer. I'm glad there is such a class as History of Photography offered at Carleton. It makes me think about the future of my education. I have received some good advice from a friend attending OCAD about the curatorial program that I want to go into after I am done my history BA. It sounds like the most wonderful place in the world. A place where I can finally have some time to focus on the artistic side of me. Explore my visions a bit more. I like that I can learn a skill such as curating and I can learn how to do printmaking, photography, drawing/painting, I can do sculptures if I want to. I've never even considered the possibility of sculpture before.

My friend Chris and I (Chris is the one attending OCAD) have decided to start a zine next year when I move into the city. It's going to be art, poetry, essays. All that jazz. We will have the ability to use a printing press at OCAD and there are a lot of untapped artists at that school. I already have developed a vast resource of really amazing artistic people in my life who I think will compliment our vision well. I think Chris will make an excellent partner in crime and I look forward to working with him soon. There have also been talks of making a book of poetry/art sometime this winter. So look forward to that soon - sort of a precursor to the zine.

(this is chris watson)

I've been in sarnia for almost six days now. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the direction I want to take with my art, with my poetry. I know that life is only going to get increasingly more hectic now considering the fact that school is getting busier, that I have started a job etc. etc. I like that I have allowed myself freedom on the weekends. I am considering volunteering at the Humane's Society on Saturday and Sunday mornings, to walk the dogs. I'm worried I will get too attatched to them. But I suppose there is nothing I can do about that.

I have finally got some pictures of the Newlove Poetry Event ready to put up.

Sock (Scott Moynes) and Adam Petrashek

Ryan Brown Me looking upset about the whole event.

Southern Cross for Tex Mex and drinks with
Amanda Earl and friends.

The poet looking good and sloshed on wine.

The reading at the National Archives

Tomorrow I will be back in Ottawa and accessible. The city is waiting for my return! Oh this 'blog' makes me look so egotistical, I had to further perpetuate the stereotype.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

the people in my lives and the places i'm from

here are some polaroids I have taken over the past week. Click on the image to see it bigger.

these ones are from around my house in sarnia. ontario.

my favorite poem of all time and since I was 17 ( how cliche) is E.E. Cummings: Somewhere I have never travelled

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Friday, October 07, 2005

new poems: unedited.

Unknown Girl I named.

they are moving.

all of them

flailing their arms and shouting obscenities that roll off of their tongues
they materialize like soldiers.
encoded with kill! kill! kill!

and no, I do not remember being that vicious.

they are erupting again and again.

limbs just vehicles for their fury.

I, only a witness

watch from my third story balcony

as they plot to desecrate the holy land between two cedars.

I can make out her martyred frame.
body contracted and bending into the trunk -
a twig fallen from the highest parts of the tree
closest to the sky.

the slow motion movements of the strangers
pause in disasters.

pathetique can be heard in the hush
of needles in the wind.

untitiled. thursday.

in this room imprinted with warmth like Polaroid images
shot under a dusty orange lamp, your fingers slip

our fingers slip.

encircling any object
to touch like we would touch skin
if only we had the opportunity to caress

you are warmth but
only under this lighting.
a reality that,

a reality that is in sepia and
one that does not compromise the
intentions of these moments.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


pictures from sarnia taken by me over the summer.

October 6, 2005

Today I've decided to start a literary blog. I figure that this is a smart idea. I first began to clue into the fact last night at the John Newlove Award reading at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. I was shaking hands with a lot of people that I didn't know and generally looking traumatized when I realized a great number of them kept mentioning their wonderful literary blogs that I needed to see in order to be a complete human being. So not to be outshone by these people, I've decided to do this too.

(I'm such a poser)

I will begin this new found blog( by the way, I'm not a big fan of the term "blog" and sincerily hope I do not have to use it on a regular basis.) with some writing by some of my favorite song writers. I love poetry, don't get me wrong, but I believe that good songwriting can influence and affect people just as much. Some songwriters are better poets than anyone I have ever read in my entire life. Case in point: The Weakerthans.

Sounds Familiar

We emerged from youth all wide-eyed like the rest.
Shedding skin faster than skin can grow,
and armed with hammers, feathers, blunt knives:
words, to meet and to define and to...
but you must know

the same games that we played in dirt,
in dusty school yards has found a higher
pitch and broader scale than we feared possible,
and someone must be picked last,
and one must bruise and one must fail.

And that still twitching bird was
so deceived by a window, so we eulogized fondly,
we dug deep and threw its
elegant plumage and frantic black eyes in a hole,
and rushed out to kill something new,
so we could bury that too.

The first chapters of lives almost
made us give up altogether. Pushed towards
tired forms of self immolation that seemed so original.
I must, we must never stop

watching the sky with our hands in our pockets,
stop peering in windows when we know doors are shut.
Stop yelling small stories and bad jokes and sorrows,
and my voice will scratch to yell many more, but

before I spill the things I mean to hide away,
or gouge my eyes with platitudes of sentiment,
I'll drown the urge for permanence and certainty;
crouch down and scrawl my name with yours in wet cement.

Without Mythologies

A soft breeze with the slippery concrete
black and full of muddy slush, contrasting with the hoarfrost,
clean and hung on a tunnel of silent shivering trees
(the ones you said you'd like to be),
and the birds that screamed at the sun

now buried deep down below the ground,
beneath the snow,
I press my shoulder to this wall between us.

I know you are behind me but
I press my shoulder to this wall,
determined not to turn around.

I know I'll see you standing, still
that statue that I molded in my mind to kiss,
so beautiful you'll never move again.

Someplace far away, at some sad table littered with bad light,
with chipped plates, in 48 frames from a movie
on the cutting room floor,
you said "True meaning would be dying with you",
and though I wanted to,

I did not smile.

But now I will give up on this wall that
we have fought with,
never uncover meaning behind our rich words.

If I could I would make you a raging river,
with angry rapids, supplied with rain,
so you could always meander and forever
be able to run away
without contending
with myths wrongly interpreted
with pain.

A harsh wind

The Weakerthans Website

I arrived home in Sarnia today after a 12 hour long bus ride. Which was just as hellish as one can imagine on a greyhound. Last night's award ceremony cheered me up to some degree. It was nice not having everyone tell me how wonderful I am and instead giving me solid advice that I can use. I need a mentor. Where to find one? Can one have one at my age? I'm not sure if there is a set age that you are suppose to begin.

I felt young last night. On my own I feel like I haven't accomplished enough at all and that I am getting old too quickly. There has to be a halfway point somewhere.