30 October 2005
Am still sneezing with itchy, stuffed nose. Don’t think it’s just from Jelena’s Marlboro cigs, but from the air itselfcold front that blew in yesterday. It’s not just me sneezing.
Boeing 737. The big suitcase is still heavy, slightly, at 24.4 kg but they didn’t caretheir computer was down. Counter attendant had to get a neighbour to print check-in tags and boarding passes.
dawn over Beograd
again I’m leaving unexpected
this time more than last
what exactly I don’t know
ajvar in the jar is not complete
needs fresh garlic hot peppers more reduction
grandmother furniture commanding presence
more than a hug and kisses
in the end “safe travel” is hello
a new beginning a promise
today was a new tomorrow
now I’m flying northwest
and far further west into
my wild western Maritimes
NATO bombed bridges on the Danube
at Novi Sad still block the river
to all but the shallowest boats
attraction always speaks its own language
across logic and other constructed reasons
in the heart of today there is life
all of eastern Europe under a haze
Džo Fenster at 10 400 metres writing
with no small wonderment at change
too high to watch highway traffic
alp mountaintops island above cloud
rest of Austria underneath unseen
huts on ridges between mountains
no snow yet on near peaks
but far away gleams whitish light
off fresh snowfall or glaciers
Fraser Sutherland, our Russian writer lookalike, is mouth-open asleep in an aisle seat same row. That I were so slack-jawed, resting soundly. Scattered wind turbines visible far below. I gave it some effort and did drift . . . At 8:05 landing gear drops and we’re on final descent through cloud cover toward green below and orange-brown topped trees. We have ground fog.
The super-Airbus, that flew and landed on its first commercial airport test flight yesterday @ Frankfurt, is still here. I took three digital pics from our shuttle bus as we passed behind and underneath its tail: Airbus A380.
“My” Air Can flight scheduled to leave on time. Saw that Fraser’s scheduled 11:10 Air Can to Toro has an estimated rescheduled 11:55 departure.
Foolishly, or generously, I found and bought a bottle of that incredible Ardbeg Islay single malt in a Frankfurt airport duty free store: 34€.
A380 is on the moverunway and taxiing manoeuvresright now. Visible through this gate’s windows.
9:28 our 9:05 boarding is about begin: by age, “class,” and then, row. This time I’m in 14, in the front half or third. As suspected for a plane this big, an Airbus A330, seat F is in the middle middle. To my feeling, a seat where even sleep will be a challenge, and where I’ll need to keep my wings tucked close to my side for reduced contact in flight. Am only three rows behind ego class whatever form of first and business class is in front of the partition. Estimated fast flight time of 7 h 20 m (7 h 45 m gate2gate) @ 37,000 ft. Montreal high: 16 C. I have six full view flat screen in my sight from this seat: feels close to having compound eyes.
I hate the middle cram; the fact there’s no music on this flight, just, so far, another american dream movie, The Longest Yard. Cons beating their guards in a televised football game and the cons on the field finding their lost. . . Sound in right channel only. No overhead lights. The screens are all too brightwash out detail.
-57 C @ 37,000 ft. ETA 11:27. Still 3 h 53 min flight time. Gnd speed: 528 mph. I believe that I my total is only about 200 max:more likely $180. I wasn’t really buying stuff.
3:44 Serbian time we’re south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay (43km away). Still have 1 h 45 m, 841 miles to go, -70 F, -56 C. It’s 9:44 in Mtl. Land at 11:40 local. [crazy mix of measuring systems and languages on A330 screens]
The man on my right is from Romania. Doesn’t seem to know but the fewest of words close to English or French and I’ve no Romanian.
11:03 abt ready to begin descent, to be @ gate @ 11:40 abt a ½ hour ahead of schedule. I wonder how Fraser fared?
Maybe it’s the season, woodsmoke and all, or maybe it’s too much bombing in the northern hemisphere, or something else, but there’s a haze herenot as much as in Serbia but it’s definitely here! The grass less green than in Frankfurt. The hardwoods have less green and/or less leaves.
Few questions at customs. Only what nature of business, “Book publishing,”and what commercial goods, “Laptop computer and book samples.”
2 hrs later: Allison & Will on this flight. Jerk buddy that I recognize from the Frankfurt flight is sitting in the seat before mine shoved the overhead closed that I’d just opened to put my laptop in. What an ass! Think it’s Billingsley across the aisle. The Ardbeg case is too tall for the bag to fit in a different overhead bin so it’s stowed under the seat in front. 1 h 20 min flight time. I have an outside wall that I can lean into.
“Clear skies. 14 C. Calm winds. It’s a nice day in Fredericton.”
live message from the flight deck.
My ears have plugged from the propeller pressure. I sort of hear the right propeller but can no longer hear conversation. Left ear is emitting random squeals.
A change of footwear, helmet and gloves, the right pantleg clip, filled water bottle and I’m away for the seventh leg of today’s trip: taxi-plane-bus-plane-plane-taxi-bicycle. I feel slow, almost slogging through dusk. See the sunset reflecting on Nashwaak River waters but I’m biking under sodium arc lights overtop the trail before I get back to the Saint John River and peddle across the ex-trainbridge into downtown. My predawn Beograd to sunset Fredericton marathon is complete.
I have sausage rolls hot from the oven, olives, beer, sljivovica and a need for sleep. It is after midnight in Beograd. This is Broken Džo signing off.
loc: Lufthansa flt 3409; Luftansa/Air Can 875, Gate 46 Trudeau Airport, Fredbed
temp: various: 6 C in Beograd; -71 outside 38,000 ft over Labrador, 15 C in Montréal
sound: security clearance, in flight nothing, The Longest Yard . . .
28 October 2005
Džo with the SKC Nis crew on the balcony of the Canadian Ambassador's Residence, Beograd.
A beautiful warm sunset from the foot- and cyclepath beside a floating boat-raft-bar/kafeena on the river Sava where Jelena and I enjoyed beer and conversation just outside Beogradski Sajam.
loc: RAD office, Decanska 12, Beograd
Temp: 15 C, 9:27 am, sunny
sound: Depeche Mode
22 October 2005
Here's the poster for out three-books-in-one launch on Monday, 24 oktobar 2005, here in Nis.
20 October 2005
shirt: Ian Dury "Reason to be Cheerful"
loc: comm ctr
temp: 11 C
sound: computer, wind and rustling leaves, and Dylan and The Dead very low
19 October 2005
when i'm on the road without
my broken lapdog and local
dial-up you might find me
in an internet café or underground
livewire spot or on someone
else's 'puter and their time
loc: comm centre
sound: Michael Franti and Spearhead "Feelin' Free"
When I cough, there's a echo off the one hard, bare wall. The barenness holds my eye. Stops me. I feel more exposed to the larger world. My built-up comfort has been breached.
It's almost 7 am (again). It took me all of yesterday morning (except for the uphill bike ride to the doctor's office for the hep A+B vaccine needle) and some afternoon to move tables, chairs, La-z-boy, dressers, a bookcase, the not-so-wee tv beastie, CD racks, 40-odd plants, drillpress, boxes and boxes, stools, wall art, every curtain, blind, track, hooks I want to keep. Plant planks unscrewed from the inside lip of the window. The hall is half-full with stuff that had to go somewhere else. The forced emptiness in every room obscures the hyperclutter also in the room.
Soon, the contractor's crew will be here. Yesterday, there was three: two men and a wrecking boy. Took all afternoon for them to remove and replace five windows on the top foor. Hammers, pry bars, electric jigsaws used to destroy the old window framing. A steady shower of debris falling past my window. The walls and everything shaking from the jigsaw and sledge blows.
Don't get me wrong. New windows will be appreciated. Windows that are more than a rattlin' single pane. Windows that shouldn't need to be sealed with inside plastic against howlin' downriver winter winds. Insulated windows to keep heat inside the apartment. They'll be good. Great.
Soon the crew will be here. They're not using scaffold. Two of them at least will be inside the apartment to do the window from within. I fear that I may have to unhook this computer and move the desk because it does overlap the window (how else could I sit and write while looking out the windows down the centre aisle of St Paul's across the street?) Will have to ask.
I've no focus. I wonder, What inside work will need doing later to finish the wall around the new windows? A timing problem since I won't be here. I don't envision complete restoration until mid November. I won't be installing new plant shelves or hanging curtains tonight or tomorrow before cabbing to the airport. I still have to pack. Still have to get to CRA customs. Need travel money (more than the few Euros and dinar left from last year's Belgrade Book Fair trip. Still need to finish that paper. Might have to take the laptop to the library and work there for a while . . .
loc: comm centre
temp: 6 C
sound: Killing Joke Pandemonium
18 October 2005
Below is a photo I took Sunday during Art Trek of the [my] studio
It's now 7:04 am. Transit buses and garbage trucks are on the street. Have decided that the only sane way to do this crazy reno number is one room at a time starting with where I am, the office/comm centre, the easiest room first.
It's time: "Let the destruction begin!"
T: CHSR, Highland Radio 2000
loc: comm ctr
temp: 8 C
sound: Ujamaa LIVE at the Flamingo
17 October 2005
I thought things couldn't be busier, when there's do much to get done, and I still have to work on the artistic paper I'm to present in Nis, Serbia, this coming weekend . . .
I went out for a beer. Went out to breathe. To get a little space distance from the impending chaos here. For a short while to possibly talk live in-person with another human. Have been sneezin' something blown in from the desert. Cloud covered full moon rising over the funeral home and things east. Was only Amanda there, working. Staff:customer ratio of 1:1 does not spell longevity, success, or anything like it. Think I finally convinced someone that frosted mactac on the glass would be better than good. Better than nothing on the bottom halves of the Laddies windows. Better than "live from Queen Street FredBoyzOnTap.com with urinal cam views from the street" (when Nicky's has the same exposure problem from part of the Tap's patio).
Now I have to tear apart every room in the apartment except the bathroom. I've stuff piled for the suitecase and so much art stuff and book stock evereywhere. Have to move some much of it. Have to move furnituretables and the boxes underneath them, short book cases, dressers, the television beast and its accessories, bicycle, stools, drill press, stuff, et ceteraaway from all the windows to somewhere . . . I don't have that much open space in this loaded spaceship. Have to remove the window shelves I'd installed years ago. Have to move all the hanging plants and cacti away from all the windows onto somethingwhat? Have to remove the mini-blinds and curtains. All by Wednesday morning . . .
How am I going to finish the Poets' Corner paper or do anything else tomorrow but the live radio show (and getting the Hep vaccine needle injection @ noon)? Wednesday night I won't be being social, celebrating new books and mag birthdays with great poetry. I'll be trying to put my apartment puzzle back together before flying away on Thursday. Otherwise, it would still be looking hurricane damaged/destroyed upon my return.
On the good side, I heard that Doherty-led reggae will be at the Tap on Halloween night and on winter Wednesday's thereafter. I'll be back in Fredchicken for Halloween. I might have somewhere to go. Might want to go somewhere. Saw a great dragon/lizard head earlier today. Could I live, breathe, drink while inside it? Not likely, but . . .
Right now, I just want to sleep; not blog more, not finish eating the spaghetti in the dish in front of me; not watch tv. No book reading tonight (again).
shirt: green knit
loc: comm ctr
temp: 8 C
sound: Ujamaa Live at the Flamingo
The trip is coming up fast: Thursday. Not enough time for so much than needs doing. Plus this week is big busy for arts stuff here in Frederictonall of which I cannot attend. Events include simultaneous launches Wednesday evening for the print edition of Biff Mitchel's novel The War Bug (Double Dragon) at the Fredericton Public Library (immediately after this month's CyberSocial "happy hour") and a 60th Anniversary Celebration and issue launch for the University of New Brunswick's The Fiddlehead literary magazine at Old Government House with readings by poets Don MacKay and Jan Zwicky.
Earlier that day, Herménégilde Chiasson, the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Brunswick, will also be part of the opening ceremony for the Charlotte Street Arts Centre.
Tuesday has my weekly radio program plus a morning launch of the 2005 New Brunswick Public Libraries Foundation's Fall Campaign.
Today, Monday, Monday, on the heels of a drowned Art Trek weekend, I have a doctor's appointment and an insane list to things to get done in the next few days: have to get books from Argyle storage; have laundry to do; have letters to write; have invoices and book orders to pack and ship; have to call the Canada Council for the Arts; have to deal with creating a customer relationship with the Vision>Action Collective's new Underground Café and Alternative Bookstore in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, and with getting them their first Broken Jaw & MAPP book orders on mutually satisfying terms; have to get that film processed at the StupourStore; have to submit books to book awards for too-fast approaching deadlines; have to reply to my emails; have to revise an artist statement and artwork descriptions for an proposed exhibition; have to talke laptop, printer, camera, etc, to CRA (customs desk) to get carded for export & ease of return w/ same; have to start supplying materials on Broken Jaw's spring 2006 publications to the sales group including all not-done cover mock-ups, title information sheets, book excerpts and other expected or required sales kit contents; have to stop writing this blog post to get on with all the other stuff (and I've already been up and at it five hourssince 4 AM (9 AM, Serbia time).
shirt: green knit + black cotton
loc: comm centre
temp: 8 C
sound: traffic on still-wet streets, The Weakerthans Reconstruction Site
16 October 2005
can't work there in that can't breathe live
three-quarters of a print film to shoot
last tin poem in a coda 6-pack weekend
today only! watch an artist take a nap
just don't think they're not working
one sister in human resource training
one sister a freelance research consultant
i'm asked to be me on a panel of experts
flown to ottawa repeatedly for my opinion
the future of the business of publishing
beyond writing what is needed to survive
human resource consultant from the trenches
living the issues of now and our future
an hour of bright sun-rainshowers to go
football or foothills teacher are options
lighlight and strikeout my words written
camera idle for vision inspiration light
tall long drip-dry charcoal travel ready
gear garb books gathering for suitcase
no munition storage room studio my space
backwall of a former white-with-black-trim
crenelated square steeple baptist church
tall narrow stained glass slits long gone
too wide winter windcatcher now open
no parisian artist heyday studio this
but one came by with bottles of red wine
hardwood trees shed their solar panels
cellphone turned this wayis it a camera?
chicken vegetable curry on basmati rice
in maja padrov pottery bowlnow that's art
perhaps it's only my mind being played with
by this not-approached station on art trek
tricked i've been by commitmentnormal
sunday would not see this much writing
poems when paragraph describing is required
intent viewed in the round or on the wall
this ending another moving on beginning
how do i shoot a film roll in today's rain?
almost time for painting for sale
i am my own staff my only staff in art
no apprentice no assistant no acolyte
ornament fiddle missing its bridge
sculpture collection of broken eveglasses
i propose these works bearing witness
plexiglas file box filled with journals
white leather dallas cowgirl stiletto
heel boots on chinese student baptist
no that's not one of my proposed artworks
just an apré church york house sighting
kitchen wall instant photo shoot studio
one-hour processing monday morning do
trapped by promised transparent art making
studio open same hours as sunday shopping
text paintings catch passing eyes earn
smiles without visitors at artment door
how much space might i desire to need
if someone wants us seen? if we produce?
[not eyes] wide [something bro]wnish color"
cat lost to american-spelling canadians in fred
". . . and terribly . . . appreciated"off pole
bits from an intersection accident missed
glass and plastic reflectors grill parts
but could i help if here or would i chose
to write action poetry while watching the scene
stop to take a photograph or just write?
airbags inflated by sudden stop prevention
beyond drizzle the rain finally becomes
invisible cacti hair in left index finger
a case of typing for fun and prophet art
no not naked in october wind and rain
leaves leaving their shaken dead leavings
good earth fine wine dead soldiers in kitchen
horseshoe hand grenade accuracy in typing
ramones live for the art trek sunday beat
how radio is not books how rage against
the machine in better poetry than apple pie
15 October 2005
vincent too his own ear after original
watching water over sugarcube green
into the glass below licorice scent rising
corner of york and george streets between
12 and 5 ideal for gallery space in window
sometimes choice is not subject but form
a means in a situation of art making
crammed into acadian bus window seat
my laptop open on lap playing music in earbuds
buddy student with laptop in seat beside watches
jimmy stewart kim novak artist movie colourised
homework while I handhold open sketchbook
journal above my laptop and write longhand
had enough of writing the blog i can't post
wireless without not-possessed satellite phone
not war correspondent but stand-up poet
coming off the road and prepping for next
only one trek visitor so far: co-ordinator
mary ann on saturafternoon promising rain
a sign for art treckies taped to glass
breaking the silence coffee pastrami
an indie bookseller walking her dog
do i expect anyone to be my audience?
my back to the room of plants and art
percussion from hammered typewriter keys
pops in right ear like deep underwater
essence of the last single maltlaphroaig
of last night's festival still in the glass
in my blood too in these typing fingers
chunks of fresh-cut pineapple too
way of writing performance potentially public
under watching eyes of drop-in audience
just-in-time poetry writing here and now
happy birthday sistertelephone message left
am wearing a surf joe boards t-shirt given
by her a few years backhappy coincidence
last night it was the globe inn (established
1610) burns' howffolder than nova scotia
14 October 2005
Here in New Brunswick, as happens worldwide, we can practice the highly pleasurable secondary art of nosing and tasting single malt whisky. Societies have formed around this interest. In Fredericton, one such has taken it a step further to create an annual festival.
Tonight's the night. I'll be there! Atlantic Canada's largest whisky and spirits fest. I guess there were workshops or master classes last night with distinguished nosers/tasters and songle malt distillers.
Nosing single malt, like nosing wine, is all part of building within oneself a larger appreciation for the complexity of scents within a whisky. In a Western Isles malt, it's more than smelling the musky peat, the smoke of its burning, the air-borne spray torn off the surface of the ocean and permeating everything subtlely with hints of its salt. There's the sun and Scottish mist, heather beds, flowers, the clear cold waters off the hills, and so much more . . .
It's time to "release the serpents," as some Scots are wont to call it, by adding a touch of spring water. Not more than a quarter, 25 per cent by volume, of water to whisky in your glass. No ice. Never! Don't drown the single malt either. Add just enough water to let the single malt breathe. Nose it again. Taste it. Then drink. Ahhhh . . .
There's water and food, including smoked Atlantic salmon, available to eat and cleanse the palate between single malts. By the end of evening some of the finer points are lost and you can be quite tossed. But the price of admission includes a taxi ride home within Fredericton city limits.
shirt: knit, black long-sleeve
loc: accounting desk
temp: 6 C
sound: Jimmy Rankin, Handmade
13 October 2005
Over the past few days, I have received information about the situation in Guatemala in the wake of Huricane Stan, and decided to send a summary to folks who I think would be interested, but may not have received it through other channels. To Wilmoteers on this list, I am sending the info to you because of the crafts and coffee that we sell, and the ongoing solidarity connection that we have had.
Guatemala has been the hardest hit among the countries of Central America, with approximately 650 confirmed dead and many more unaccounted for. Many small communities are still cut off with no road access and loss of phone and power connections. Reports that I have received are mainly from the Lake Atitlan area, the area where Breaking the Silence coffee is produced. Apparently Guatemala City was not too badly affected and Rabinal, the location of the school that has received support from Maritime groups and which is also Jeremias Tecu's home area, escaped the worst of the storm.
The western part of the country was the hardest hit, with parts of Quetzaltenango (Xela) inundated two metres deep in flood water. If any of you remember CEIPA, the street children's organization that Frederictonians have helped to support, or Mario Morales, the student for whom we raised money to help complete his law degree, they are located in Quetzaltenango. I haven't heard any details from individuals there, and can only hope that they came through it safely.
San Lucas Toliman, where a number of groups supported by the Maritime Breaking the Silence Network are located, was cut off from all outside communication for several days. As of Saturday, there were still no supplies coming into the town. Caitrian MacNeil, a young woman from Nova Scotia, volunteering in San Lucas wrote, "In San Lucas, everything is in short supply. We waited too long to search for agua pura (pure water), and now there is none. There is no more gasoline, eggs, pan (bread), maiz (corn) or frijoles (beans). Everything else that may be left in the tiendas (stores) has tripled in price."
Breaking the Silence coffee comes from several small communities near Lake Atitlan, including the community of Chitulul which is located on a plateau above a deep ravine. The community coffee plantation is located in the ravine and the processing facility is also located at the bottom of a very steep hill. Some of us have visited the community and have raised money to assist the community when they were developing the coffee project. No news has been received from this community. They were due to begin harvesting coffee within a week, but the plantation and processing facilities are likely under water.
We have heard from Leocadio Juracan, the vice-president of CCDA, which is the organization that runs the fair trade coffee project, suppying Breaking the Silence coffee. A contact from BC wrote "I wanted to let people know that Leocadio Juracan, Vice President of the CCDA called me today to let us know that Hurricane Stan is having a strong impact on the Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan and beyond. The heavy rains have caused flooding and landslides that have isolated communities, destroyed houses and killed many. He said that it is hard to assess the full extent of the damage as the small communities on the mountain and volcano slopes are now inaccessible and their electricty and phones (where those exist) are down. Even Quixaya, a village on the main San Lucas Coastal highway where the CCDA headquarters are and Leocadio lives, has been cut off as swollen rivers have taken out bridges on the route to the coast and a slide has cutoff the route to the Lake. Leocadio says that dozens of families from nearby villages and Fincas have taken shelter in the church and community centre in Quixaya as their homes have been destroyed. He also knows that an entire community was destroyed (Panabaj) near Santiago Atitlan when a mudslide came down the Toliman volcano and swept away the homesat least 200 are dead there. He has heard of other mudslides taking out other communities in the region but is unable to confirm because of lack of communication with the CCDA villages in the region. Leocadio said currently the CCDA is not yet appealing for aid as they do not know the extend of the damage and what is needed, but they may communicate with BC CASA (and Breaking the Silence) about this when they are able to re-establish contact with their communities."
The crafts brought to the Maritimes by the Breaking the Silence Network and sold at Tatamagouche, Wilmot United Church and other locations, come from small communities from the Department of Chimaltenango. We have not heard from any of our contacts there, but there are news reports that the area has been heavily damaged, and one community along the highway is known to have suffered loss of lives as well as lost and damaged homes.
If I receive additional information that is not in the mainstream media, I will send out more news if you are interested.
Q: How many weeks will it take the Browns to change a lightbulb?
A: . . . [still waiting]
Found a wet grey lump in the drumonly someone's lost sock, a doctor appointment card for sometime today (with a doctor I walked away from when he laughed at my request for testing for stuff coming up im my family's test results) and price tag/barcode scraps. Now I've a load in the washing machine . . .
For some ? reason Blogger is too damn slow to open. I gave up. Decided I'd try that text-only email posting route [which still didn't post. Why?] Decided, because I've been buried for days in the micromananagent crap of petty cash receipts and single book orders, that I'd rather put up some road accounting from this past weekend's bus run from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, from my latest almost-done journal:
10 OCT MON
Big wind this morn with the rain (and it rained heavy all nite). Dad was up 5:30 or so, so I showered early but couldn't eat that early. @ Highfield about 8 or 9 got on the bus (not bad). Two buses on the run, a spare on the side of the road. 8 am, I'm on the road again, here I am playing the traveller again, here I am yawning in my journal again, there I go, there I go . . .
It's so unusual to get this many days of continuous rainfar from the norm or storms here. No walks. Too much sitting in small spaces, confined seating. Two on at the airport. This early, it's such a fast drive out I'm amazed. It's a fast trip anyway: 8:50 Truro "N POTA", Moncton @ 11:15 and Fredericton @ "INK THIS" 1:30amazingly quick for bus or even driving (5½ hrs) then I'm back in the burial ground of Fredtown. I should sleep some more. Am not likely to segue into amazing journalling while this head thick . . .
Fluke, or not, not believe I have images of cormorant that I wantwings spread to drythat I can make with head facing left or right. Suitable for use, my purposes (so not an eagleAmerican, Mexican, Polish, Germanor the insipid hearts, butterflies, and flower crap, or the japamation and yakuza carp, dragons, maidens and bamboo. I am not a knight templar, sailor, army buck, trucker, con or ex-con doing long time with nothing, nothing to do, to live for, to die fornothing. Do not drink this. Not for handwashing. It was breaking down barriers I didn't even see as such behind the veneer of normal, the norm, normalcy. Why do we have to be so uptight, so right and wrong about things? Let it flow. Let it go. Laugh and wash it away. Keep moving. Keep lively. Play. Have fun. There's a 30' Gloosecap figure, back (ass) to the highway, in Truro Heights, on reserve land's power centre (might be larger than thathard to tell in driving by). The bus is seriously filling up in Truro, as expected, but I'm still not doubled up. Might still happen in Oxford, Springhill or Amherst, Sackvillethe potential is there. Doesn't matter. I'm here to get somewhere and I didn't buy two seatsso getting two seats anytime is a bonus. It seems that the milk-run towns will be shared by the buses. This 15594 may not stop in Amherst. People having to switch buses here before departure. Okay. Woman-student-girl now across the aisle, just over 4' tall, with purple-black polish islands on her nails, short fingers, no polish on the front edge, with bull-ring pierced nose, semi-precious stones on heavy silver rings on three fingers has a 'tude button on her purse, white lettering on black: "I make most kids CRY." Nice. Big laptop case/bad beside her. Dressed in pale blue shirt, faded jeansblack stars on translucent black socks of hose showing above anklesa gothling dressed down for family and travel. Nice! I like seeing her. Has a below-lip piercing tooball to match the ones hanging off her nose. Has music oncan't heara copy of Metalsmith magazine in had for readingAmerican jewellers mag? Flatware and more. Wonder if she's a NBCCD or somewhere beyond? Metalsmith the journal of SNAG: Society of North American Goldsmiths. I've drifted through daze/snooze. We didn't do Oxford or Springhill stops. Coming up on the highway's shoulder AMHERST NEXT 3 EXITS. Do we stop? Yes. Five buses atop the no parking fuel tank spacesome Hfx bound. Presume the milker is still behind us on the road from Springhill. The stars are tattoosred, yellow, green, clear flesh centres around both legs just above her ankles. With stars below her calves, her head must be far our in deep space, the earth below her feet. I've got a girl on here watching me: she's tonguing her chips while watching, staring at me, then pops them in her mouth past her braces. 12 C @ CviSion today, 10:37 am. "Flippin' Sweet" on the yellow T behind me. We've crossed the Tantramar arolling. Left Amherst before the other two Moncton bound buses. Means we offload first, and will likely end up crammed on a Fredericton-only bus out of Monkeyton. Was no stopping in Sackville. We've just rolled up the hill from the marsh and kept going. Pink long-sleeveed with bold black sweeps of crafted tatt metal/flame stylings on the upperarms. An "I get grumpy when I . . ." [something I can't read] with blue bear and little hearts on pale blue, black-trimmed, T overtop the pink. Is she another who got into fine craft jewellery because of the attraction to the metal, the music and attitudes, the tatts, the attractive aliensation-repulsion factor? Can understand that. Can relate. Though I feel I've never done so completely whole-heartedly, though with intent, I'm still there (and I'm old enough to be her father). ". . . haven't had enough sleep" ends the T-shirt message. 11 am we're at 467A exit to Dieppe and Moncton centre. What chaos awaits us here? Plaster a shut-up smile on my face to move smooth and quiet off this bus and onto the next.
shirt: Denver Hayes sweater
loc: accounting desk
temp: 3 C
sound: Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon
10 October 2005
Tammy cries huge sobbing jags. Cries hard. Grass flattens. Mud runs. Ditches overflow. Uni football games continue. Fields flood. Wells fill. Rivers overflow. Cars hydroplane. The Horrid's reporting of accidents doesn't even include the ones I saw on the night busride to Dartmouth.
Out of an appointed cell, the guru author of Decorating Penitentiaries, Safe Accessorizing on a Prisoner’s Budget, and Scrapbooking for When You’re Booked Without, was supposed to play in the water and paddle a hollowed-out pumpkin on Lake Pisaquid behind the causeway across the Avon River in Windsor, Nova Scotia but her private plane was grounded in Maine by the rain. Did the carvers of pumpkin boats equip them with a hollowed gourd bailer? Her role on the water was filled by one of her associate producers with a kayak paddle and umbrella hat.
If she’d been there yesterday, would Bobbing for Apples have taken on new meaning, taken a new spin?
“Hi, my name is Apple. I’m a compulsive redecorator . . .”
Down on the Fisherman’s Preserve government wharf buddy pumper is scooting around on his little propane-fuelled forklift. Even in Tammy’s torrential rains four or five of the boats based in Seaforth are out on the water after schools of herring. They’re allowed to net up to 20,000 pounds of herring per day in a max of a month long season.
When they return, low in the water, the buyer and a monitor are waiting. The vacuum mouth of the pump is lowered into the boat's hold and turned on. Fish fly, as if liquid, up a hose large as the ones sewage pumpers use and out onto a conveyor rack that drops them into large stackable produce bins the size of pallets. Filled bins are topped with ice. Loaded, with the forklift, onto high-bed trucks 2-up and driven to Cape Pelé on New Brunswick’s Nord Shore. Sometimes they pump herring late into the night to get the boats empty for another day on the water.
The sound is not restful, not sleep inducing, unless one is comfortable with large bilge pumps or sleeping with machinery. The cement wharf gets slick with herring scales. Day is quieter, except for the incoming truck stacked with mostly empty tubs. Some tubs are filled with ice for the next night’s catch and the drive from Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.
A few days ago, the parents interrupt each other in telling me, one of the boats [unintentionally] dropped its herring net overtop of a whale. Whales naturally follow and feed on the schools of fish. This whale took off and took out nets from four other boats before breaking free. The herring sieners also travel in tight packs overtop of the herring schools. I hope that Fisheries or someone went after the whale to to help it get free of the nets, or to see that it freed itself.
Heading out of Moncton on the Acadian bus bound for Fredericton and points beyond, the driver pulls into the Moncton Coliseum parking lot. Stops. Get off the bus. Does something I can’t see. Gets back onboard. Starts the but up and turns it back toward downtown and announces, “We going to the garage. There’s a bad wiper that needs replacing.” Couldn’t see with this much liquid streaming down the driver’s window.
So we drive back to very near the bus terminal to a no name building: Stress-Con cement walled structure. Obviously made in the years when the Irving clan owned Scotia Motor Transport (SMT) out of Pictou, NS. The human entry door is labelled 29. We drive up to one of the bus bay doors. The driver gets on his phone, says, “I’m on the other side of the building.” Backs up and drives forward to an adjacent bay, then in as the door rolls up. We’re getting the “scenic tour.” It’s a quick operation. A snap. Then we’re on the road again. Out past Costco for the Trans-Can. We catch up to and pass one of the other busses on this run between the Mill Cove exit and Jemseg.
t: (1) black w/ TWUC sleeve logo; (2) QUOD NOS NON NECAT
loc: (1) Acadian Terminal, Fredtown; (2) bus Acadian Bus 4748 from Moncton to Fredericton
temp: 10 C, 94% humidity
sound: (1) vending machine hum, traffic, a chaos of taxis in the bus parking lanes, mostly student passengers buying tickets, tagging luggage, chatting as they join the wait; (2) people on cellphones, Little Feat with Waiting for Columbus for the road
09 October 2005
Survivor: Seven Oaks, set in a Toronto senior citizens’ nursing home, is reality for people who no longer have true freedom of choice on where to live if they want to live and living in Seven Oaks means living with a heighten risk of dying from infection maintained and circulated within the institution taking care of them in their twilight years, their final palliative care days.
Survivor: Guantánamo is reality for people who no longer have any choice. It’s all been taken from them, roof and walls and everything gone, removed. Replaced with bright oranges overalls, deprivation and questionable practices. It’s not a Cuban holiday, or a special Survivor: Socialist Dream miniseries. It’s not set in Cuba. Rather it’s set in Guantánamothe last high-priced American resort on the island under arrangements made with pre-Castro government(s). Washington maintains that it’s a legal lease.
Washington sends a cheque to Havana every year. But Castro doesn’t cash the cheques. Doesn’t acknowledge the lease. Yet Cuba has no say over what the USA does on that piece of their island that Washington calls its base in Guantánamo. Washington officials maintain that Guantánamo is not American soil, is not the USA, that what happens there (even if it involves Americans—military or not) does not happen on American soil or under the laws of the United States of America or any international agreements that they may have signed.
Guantánamo is a no man’s land, an oubliette, for those others, the ones that Bush labels “evildoers”, the unwashed, undesirables, that America claims it is most afraid of, that are enemies of the state, threats to national security, American beef, international peace and stability, the war on hugs, consumption culture, the war on invitational terrorism, international tourism, corporate profitability, Mickey and Mini Mouse, Uncle Sam, Son of Uncle Sam, Sam I am, Coca-Cola, ad nauseam.
If you want to survive, you might want to turn off the television, turn off the telephone, the cellphone, the computer that you’re reading this on. You might walk away from the soapbox, the pulpit, the fast cars, exercise machines and tanning beds. Stop drinking pop or soda or soda pop or soft drinks or whatever you call diabetes candy water. You might want to know your land, the woods and streams, where the fish and wildlife are, where and when the berries are best. You might want to be able to live without a million dollar carrot tricking you into fighting your tribe before you’re no longer a tribe or a tribe of one (and a tribe of one is a dead end, a cul-de-sac, a soyanora on a icefield, an ice floe adrift . ..
Shirt: polo sport
loc: Hawkeye Island, Eastern Shore
temp: 11 C
Sound: Highway 61 Revisited Revisited
07 October 2005
in winter a sunny -5 or -20 day can feel incredibly warm depending on humidity and wind and other relative temperatures one time i remember climbing the backside of sulpher mountain in banff in the canadian rocks in a february -10 to -5 celsis chinook and was so hot i'd stripped down to my t-shirt and was sweating on snowshoes up a snowcovered road
the turning of our commonly-held calendar to 1 october should not mean the automatic arrival of forced air hot water electric baseboard heat i'd love to have a woostove to use on an especially chill or damp evening or morning but i've no heat turned on in this suspended animation box of my life even the circuit breakers for the in-deep-winter-inadequate 110-writing baseboard heaters in the studio [living]room are off never have had heat on in bathroom or bedroom and rarely in kitchen this week our nighttime lows have been 12 to 15 degrees and our days have been low to high 20s so our lows are closer to the norm for our highs
someone more likely the tenants in the apart below mine but possibly also the ones above must have their heat on and on so high that my studio room is 27 with windows open and this office room is only slightly cooler night was not slept well like a summer night any contact with the fleece blanket or the duvet was too muct too hot feeling like heat radiating from a bad sunburn when all aroung should be relatively cool and dark which is why i'm up and writing long before even a hint of approaching dawn is in the coldest hour night sky
shirt: white stripe tie-dyed aquamarine sleeveless sweat-
loc: comm centre
temp: 16 C, 94% humidity (inside: 25 C)
sound: CPU fan, chair creaks, Portishead Dummy
05 October 2005
"Damn. He musta liked it! Wants more. Wants details publicized. Places and names. All on his seat. Are they living in Boss Co., or are they Basques high and dry in Texas? I wonder . . ."
They've no locals:
- 7.88 miles away, Hill Country Bar & Grill, Highway 6 & Highway 22, Meridian, TX 254-435-2017
- 14.99 miles away, Redneck Grill, 207 W 4th St, Blum, TX 254-874-5278
- Cathey's Brazos Club, Highway 22, Whitney, TX 254-694-5869
- 17.39 miles away, Hill Street Inn, 302 Hill St, Glen Rose, TX 817-389-4448
Driving Directions, Maps, More . . .
- 19.00 miles away, Pub 22, 2222 State Hwy 22, PO Box 1676, Whitney, TX 254-694-7405
24.59 miles away: Chili's Grill and Bar, 1653 W Henderson St, Cleburne, TX 817-645-2083
- 24.69 miles away: PDS, 8732 S Highway 171, Grandview, TX 254-854-2350
hay, joey:José, mistaken for Gerardo
has yours evah thot thet internashionul dialin' codes were/r needed fer callin', faxin' Costa Rica? U mite wanna investigate 'em. Damn, dey wurk real goot. Myght even get yo fax to the los cuyos factory an' not up here in east'rn Canada 'gain an' again.
in th' wild western merrytimes
shirt: Jim Beam
loc: con centre
temp: 20 C
sound: onesizezero, "new world order"
FICTION IN MOTION: Catherine Bush
“Movement is one of the most essential elements of narrative. This workshop will explore how we create forward momentum in our fiction—at the level of the sentence, the scene and in longer structures, both story and novel. (Essential to the idea of movement is the idea of change.) We’ll look briefly at some examples of published work and also discuss the issue of movement in participants' own work. We may do an exercise or two.”
Catherine Bush is the author of two critically acclaimed and internationally published novels. The Rules of Engagement (2000) was a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year as chosen by the Globe and Mail and the L.A. Times and was shortlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award. Minus Time (1993) was shortlisted for the 1994 SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. Born in Toronto, Bush has also resided in Montreal, New York, and Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has a degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She has taught creative writing at Concordia University, the University of Florida, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times Magazine and the Globe and Mail. She lives in Toronto. Bush is currently the 2005-2006 University of New Brunswick/Canada Council for the Arts Writer-in-Residence based on the Fredericton campus. [Photo by Gasper Tingale.]
Workshop Location: Attic Owl Bookstore, Masonic Temple, 115 rue Queen, Moncton, NB.
The workshop will be followed @ 8 pm by a public reading by Catherine Bush.
Fee: $25 WFNB members/ $30 non-members. For more information or to preregister, please contact Mary Hutchman <firstname.lastname@example.org> or phone (506) 459-7228, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, Box 37 Stn A, Fredericton NB E3B 4Y2.
04 October 2005
octobre arrive vêtu d’un gilet brun — tenant
une tasse couverte avec chocolat et café mélangés
tête brumeuse creuse froide au bord de l’eau — une traînée de souvenirs
dérive un frisson traverse le tricot mouvant — un disque solaire argenté se lève
bientôt les blues se pointeront encore — toujours présents —
parfois obscurcis par les nuages plafonds dépendances déni
le noir de la nuit juste un bleu plus foncé éclairé par des étoiles
distantes les lumières de la ville et l’orientation des transports et des communications
mon cœur un conducteur à longue distance sans relève
parfois endormi ou trop vite pour réagir aux phares
c’est une journée pour construire un bol de quête en papier mâché
artistique — peut-être fonctionnel ou encadrable
une journée pour un ragoût au cerf élaphe avec patates carottes panais
navets champignons séchés tomates céleri piment vin rouge
matin pour lever la tête des planches
ligaturées auxquelles je m’agrippe pour bien voir ce qui m’entoure
n’importe quoi à l’horizon
n’importe quoi d’utile tout près
des choses qui se passent et qu’il faudrait que je
sache en chantant mon air de confusion
je ne serai pas conducteur désigné à la tribune gouv espaces
culturelles danse escroc attirail prestigieux et art portable
oh non non je vais danser danser danser
besoin d’entreposer des noix pour l’hiver
je veux dormir sur un banc de parc à l’automne
soleil dans une clairière près d’une rivière ou sur le flanc d’une colline
être vrai en temps réel temps poétique
temps de terre — pas machinal
your poetry really is difficult to translate. it's almost like . . . (insert thinking pause) unraveling a sweater. but i thought i'd try my hand at it anyway, as a gesture of sorts. and there you go.
Ours is a civilization of lightweight luggage, of permanent disjunction. Everybody seems to be departing or returning from somewhere.
—David Lodge, Small World, p. 507.
This is a translation of my 1 Oct 2005 poem-posting "october arrives" into French. It was translated by Sonya Malaborza in Moncton (who translated the La Batture playscript that i saw/heard last night). What a gift! I hope that your readers appreciate this as much as do I. Merci beaucoup.
shirt: yellow Denver Hayes
loc: application desk
temp: 21 C
sound: Nirvana, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
"Yes, sir! Right away, sir! We can do that. We can brand your seat. No problema. Please drop your pants and bend over this padded workstation. The iron is hot. Your branding won't take a minute. You may feel a slight discomfort for a few days but that's understandable. You can take it, you're a Texan. We'll even supply you with some soothing lotion (discretely on the side, if you like) but it's more manly to feel the pain. Know it's real. Feel the burn. Come on back real soon. Y' hear? Ciao."
shirt: yellow Denver Hayes
loc: Complaints counter
temp: 20 C
sound: "Walkin' Shoes" from Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Play excerpts may appear on future episodes of my radio program.
Here are a few more of my photographs of participating translators and authors.
To the right is author Sylvie Massicotte, who spent much of her time in this year's festival out giving readings for children at Centre communautaire Saint-Anne in Fredericton.
Writer-translators Hélèn Rioux and Lola Lemire Tostevin in the van"on the road again."
Front-Back: Sonya Malaborza, Jo-Anne Elder, Carlos Gomes.
The group that Jo-Anne put together for this year's festival included at least eight people who are also magazine publishers/editors, book publishers, or who have a key/significant role in a maison (plus an ellipse guest editor).
This is proof positive of the plurality of roles that many writers and translators find necessary in this country for their artistic furtherance. Several participants are also retired or full- or part-time academics/professors. Of course, by contemporay and Canada Revenue Agency definitions all of us are also small business owners while we simultaneously assert ourselves as artists.
shirts: yellow (Denver-Hayes) + white & grey stripe long-sleeved (Regardé bien)
loc: comm centre
temp: 9 C
sound: live Admiral Building Maintainance lawn care crew + marc lemyre's CD, « . . . gaga pour ton zoom »
03 October 2005
loc: comm centre
temp: 25 C
sound: Screaming Trees, "Troubled Times"
Photo found facedown at the edge of a Ross Ventures building parking lot at the corner of Carleton and Brunswick streets, Fredericton, NB, 4:15 pm, 3 October 2005.
shirt: Broken Pencil
loc: comm centre
temp: 25 C
sound: Screaming Trees, "Dollar Bill"
A Book Arts Mosaic
Venues are now being booked for a tour of a new book arts collection entitled A Book Arts Mosaic, curated by Canadian book artist Lise Melhorn-Boe and available after November 15, 2005. This collection is also available for purchase.
A Book Arts Mosaic consists of 26 pieces (33 including all of the pamphlets and broadsides in the work Feasts) by 38 Canadian book artists (see list of artists below). The collection includes pieces which are delightful or beautiful, moving or inspiring, amusing or thought provoking, and in toto provide ideas and stimulation, suitable for a wide viewing public and for students and instructors. The theme of the diversity of Canada presented to the artists provoked wide ranging responses from those relating to nature, conservation, the environment, seasons, weather, to the spiritual or poetic, to pleas for international respect and peace. A few are overtly and proudly Canadian but most are relevant to all peoples.
Included are examples of structures such as of accordian, tunnel, miniature, Coptic, Japanese stab binding, open lectern, and Chinese whirlwind books, as well as pamphlets and broadsides. Techniques include handmade paper with and without watermarks, calligraphy, blind tooling, incised decoration, paper decorating (including marbling, paste, sponge paper and stencil, hand cut rubber stamps, hand painting, etc.), letterpress printing, linocut, hand printed lithography, xylography, wax resist, collage, and many contemporary techniques and technologies such as machine perforation, polyester resin casting, digital printing on film, digitized photographs, offset printing, giclée printing, and computer layout. Materials include fused glass, knitted copper wire, curled paper ribbon, thongs, frosted acrylic, transfer paper bonded to unbleached cotton, painted wood, leather, paper, and many others.
The collection is suggested for exhibition and/or a teaching tool. It is suitable for small galleries and museums, libraries and archives, schools, and other locations.
A Book Arts Mosaic is housed in a handmade box by Don Taylor, Kate Murdoch, and Reg Beatty. The dimensions of the box are 23" x 12" x 9" and this is shipped in a larger corrugated box.
A location fee of $100 is charged venues. As well, venues are responsible for the cost of shipping from and returned to Toronto. The shipping charge to the venue from Toronto will be charged to your Visa or MC or invoiced by CBBAG unless venues have their own account with a shipper.
The work in the collection can be viewed at the CBBAG website at www.cbbag.ca/Mosaic/mosaic_exhibit.html
For further information contact:
Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild
60 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 112
Toronto ON M6K 1X9
List of artists (collaborations listed together):
Ingrid Hein Borch
Walter Bachinski & Janis Butler
Joan Byers, Dorothy Field, & Virginia Porter
Karen & Geoffrey Hewett
Susan Warner Keene
Clarissa Lewis & Lise Melhorn-Boe
Anne Graham McTaggart
The Ottawa Press Gang: Susan Globensky, Holly Dean and Larry Thompson, Roberta Heubener, Grant Wilkins, April Flanders, Richard Coxford, and Britt Quinlan
Judith Welbourn & Derek Chung
t: Broken Pencil
temp: 10 C
sound: Phillip Glass, Kundun
02 October 2005
Jonathan Kaplansky and Pauline Michel
Audience (L-R) Nela Rio, Antonio D'Alfonso, Serge Patrice Thibodeau, Jonathan Kaplasnsky, ?, Marylea MacDonald, Tony Steele.
Hugh Hazelton and Robert Dickson in conversation.
The official opening for Side by Side Festival Côte à Côte happened, as usual, at 8 am [12 noon in Paris] at Old Government House on the Woodstock Road, Fredericton. Fresh fruit salad and custard, croissants and mufins, juice, coffee and tea. Reading in the main hall/ballroom with us seated at round-8 tables. I recorded the reading for ellipse archives and for Ashes Paper & Beans broadcast. Started with an opening prayer and song in Wolastoqiyik and English by Gwen Bea. Continued with readings by Antonio D'Alfonso, Lynn Diamond and Jo-Anne Elder, Hélèn Rioux and Jonathan Kaplansky, Nela Rio and Hugh Hazelton, Serge Patrice Thibodeau and Jonathan Kaplansky, Lola Lemire Tostevin and Robert Dickson.
Jo-Anne Elder and Lynn Diamond at the podium.
loc: sunmorning desk
temp: 8 C
sound: The Beatles, Revolver
01 October 2005
a covered mug of hot chocolate and coffee mixed
foggy hollow head cool by the riverwisps of memory drift
chill through the moving knitsilver sun disc rising
soon the blues will be back in sightalways present
sometimes obscured by clouds ceilings addictions denial
the black of night merely deeper blue lit by distant stars
city lights and the guidance of transport and communication
my heart a long-haul driver without relief
sometimes asleep or too headlight jumpy
today a day for papier mâche begging bowl construction
artfulpossibly functional or frameable
a day for red deer stew with spuds carrots parsnips turnip
dried fungi tomatoes celery jalapeño pepper red wine
morning to lift my head from the lashed logs
and boards clung to for a good look around
anything on the horizon
anything useful nearby
anything happening that i should be aware
of while singing my confusion song
i will not be designated driver to gov talk cultural
spaces con glamour attire and wearable art dance
oh no no i to dance dance dance
need to squirrel nuts for winter
want to sleep on a park bench in autumn
sunlight in glade by a river or on a hillside
to be real in real time poet time
earth timenot machine
T-shirt: Ruminator Books
loc: writing room
sound: dry leaves rustle