30 November 2005

a spill of olives

a spill of olives across kitchen
off-yellows 30-year-old cushion flooring
have to clean it must clean it must
finish writing a beggar's 1500 words
want better without the letter t
look up from the computer because
of a tapping outside the office window
woodpecker feeding on an elm tree
this last afternoon of november
but warm as late september or spring
before blossoms and buds open wide
left knee quietly sings its pain song
of high grey cloud and light rain
sprinkling this wide river valley

shirt: Insomniac Press
loc: beggin' bowl
temp: 14 C
sound: Jamiroquai Travelling Without Moving

29 November 2005

Cracked Egg Day

Afternoon high of 11 C. I went biking out beyond Marysville to clear or calm my head, to dull the edge of my grant-writing anxiety. Came back soaked the skin, needing a shower. Some of the trail was sopping with water and most of the Gibson Trail was covered with thin slushy ice that the day's warmth and sun had not melted away but which crumbled under the tires. My pants got soaked from waist to the knees and a grey-brown swath of mud went up my lime-green jacket, and I had mud splatterd on my helmet and gloves (and I'm not some off-road mountain bike fool, was just on the riverside walking trails).

After the shower, I ate a bowl of the fish chowder I made this morning and a scotch pie with some of mom's pickles on the side, then took one of my 20-minute power naps.

Cracked Egg Day at Victory Meats. I remembered to make a run. Bought fresh vegies, greens, chicken, Montreal-style smoked meat and, of course, NB cracks @ $1.19 per dozen.

Tonight's Ashes, Paper & Beans program was primarially a live interview with poet Lynn Davies about her new collection Where Sound Pools (Goose Lane Editions) and the Sackville-recorded interview with author Beth Powning about her Edge Seasons book. Next week's APB has been preempted by a Montreal Massacre memorial special broadcast day.

Then I made the downhill walk on a surprising warm late November evening. Very dark. Raccoon darting between parked cars to cross York Street almost got penobsquised by another car as I was entering my building. That would have been a sight!

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some are to be chewed and digested."
—Francis Bacon

T: CHSR Highland Radio 2000
loc: comCtr
temp: 5 C
sound: Brian Eno, Ambient 1: Music for Airports

28 November 2005

saying du jour

It's easier to turn gold into art
than to turn art into gold.
—Joe Blades

T: Brier Island . . .
loc: comCtr
temp: -5
sound: Sarah McLaughlan, "Good Enough"

collected sex: seeking poems

Poets rob mclennan & Barry McKinnon are editing a collection of poems influced by the original "Sex at 31" series started by McKinnon, Brian Fawcett & Artie Gold (with others since done by George Bowering, Mark Cochrane, Wanda O'Connor and George Stanley). please email pieces to rob_mclennan@hotmail.com, or by mail to:

rob mclennan
858 Somerset St W - main floor
Ottawa ON K1R 6R7

Barry's "Sex at 31" & "Sex at 38" can be found in The Centre: Poems 1970-2000 (Talonbooks, 2004). Artie Gold's "Sex at Thirty-One" in The Beautiful Chemical Waltz (The Muses' Company, 1992). For more information on the series, read the essay online in poetics.ca at www.poetics.ca/poetics04/04sexat31.html

T: "Brier Island is for the birds"
loc: comCtr
tepm: -6 C
sound: Zappa, "I Have Been In You"

27 November 2005


hanging off the ring
one lost by one of the reindeer
or someone celebratorious

cupped close in cold
but a hand reaches pocketed wrist
worried for gauntness seen
felt in the reaching out
how to reply?

no sunshine on my shoulder
no soap on a rope
not led by a collar
not licking
how to wish everyone

shirt: dk bleu prairie-knit
loc: conCtr
temp: -6 C
sound: Frank Zappa, Shiek Yerbouti

retournez l'emballage

peeled off a flip over
as if i'm that excited
unseen or submissive
not that it needs response
as poetry flies away
from its packaged expectations
the last saturday night
off season
new brunswick november
question emasculated
or too stressed responsible
to live
open life
frontpoet on stage
"i can't hear you
shout it! shout it
jump to the left
jump jump jump"
no modest mind
but this body lags
holds back on action

shirt: dk blue prairie-knit
loc: comCtr
temp: -1 C
sound: Kora Woolsey & Matt Robinsion: Original Music for the Film Margaret and Deirdre

26 November 2005

pickled herring plus

so here i am eating picked herring watching
the mostly-dresseed-in-black assemble
wasn't looking for or expecting this "special" but here i am
am guessing a uni stud and studette
welcome any effort to prove me wrong
woman sticks her head in through church doors
"is this the wedding of ...?"

cold day
bride wears hide
overtop her white
maids all in wine red
with black coats
t: camouflage
loc: conCtr
temp; 0:
sound: The Wordburglar The Wordburglar


i missed it (the rehersal) yesterday but i'm here today, live, as it happens. fukin november wedding: 3 pm curtain. should have an unsoundtrack live by Dust 'n' Bones, a Hungarian coverband of . . . [guess!], not the original for this union of not state, not church, not corporate, but people.

First foto is of the boychiks:
t: camouflage
loc: conCtr
temp: 0 C
sound: System of a Down, "Pictures"

special stickers not used

bicycled to the stupour
dry streets only no trails
with their uneven coatings
of frozen walked-through slush
and the dust of a small flurry
that today's sun hasn't yet melted
away to damp chipsand bike tires
could grip to roll

poem on a house:
folk artist painted poem
surrounded by wood carvings
and little feat in harvest
want full-frame enlargements
one-hour is too soon
for a return
to here

had desire
to bike to marysville
and back alongside the nashwaak river
but those trails would be too icy
for road-cross-mountain steed
so poet turned face into the wind
the better to travel to a water
nymph on a river so far beyond

poetry waiting
in a mess of administration
a wee dram of life to warm up
football preempted by empty stocking
and the poets today are anxious
and goal-orientated wanting more
than the mystery of their whatever
to get knights through

making space here
floor for the spare single
hauled from basement warehouse
and stuffed under stacked futons
not presuming poet a pea princess
or a role greater than being
however joked by experienced
wanting new magic to dazzle

warmest decembar day
an arrival in light tears
joy not sorrow predicted and hoped
but that is the first of next month
sure it's coming soon but days away
and almost a quarter of earth
separates as days shorten
and draw all closer

T: camouflage
loc: comCtr
temp: -1 C
sound: Pere Ubu, "My Darkness"

in dark water

swimming in dark water
for shore
or bottom
or something floating
that i can hold onto
until a better idea comes along

t: camouflage (contract-134421)
loc: comCtr
temp: -3 C
sound: Fiftymen After Darkfall

25 November 2005

Two Notices

T: Quod nos non necat ...
loc: mailbox
temp: 0 C
sound: Bob Dylan Blood On the Tracks

23 November 2005

Crummey Interviewed

cover of Michael Crummey book The WreckageExtremely phat rain and blustery winds yesterday didn't prevent Newfoundland author Michael Crummey from arriving in Fredericton for his 8 pm reading at the UNB Arts Centre.

Author of the Giller Award-finalist novel River Thieves, Michael Crummey was on tour promoting his new novel The Wreckage (Doubleday Canada, 2005).

I have had an advanced reading copy since his signing at BookExpo Canada in Toronto in June. We discussed doing an interview for my radio program when he got to town. He knew his Fredericton reading was scheduled for late November.

Getting closer to the date, things became less certain as to when or where, even if, we'd do the interview. My preference all along was to have Michael live on air at CHSR across the mixing board for me in the Master Control Room. Being a community radio producer-host is a volunteer activity for me and I can't and don't want to give over my workday time and resources to do a homemade version of CBC. I'll leave that to my cousin Ted and his merry band.

Last week, I discovered that two groups I'm involved with had scheduled a 12 noon meeting downtown and a 5:30 CHSR general meeting in the UNB/STU SUB. Knowing that, I was even more inclined to getting Michael live on air. I left it that way in an email to the publicist as I ran to catch the Acadian bus to Sackville for the Beth Powning workshop and interview.

Returned to emails from the Atlantic publicist going offline because of house construction and to a phone message from someone with the publisher in Toronto. They were both leaning toward an interview recorded at some earlier time on the same day. Michael was open to doing the interview, but was inclined toward a pre-recorded because of the unknown factor of dinner with UNB-types before his reading.

On Monday, I emailed Michael, hoping that he was checking email because he read at UNB-Saint John that night, to asked how his Tuesday afternoon was looking.

Perhaps the weather was a deciding factor . . . Wasn't fit to walk about Fredericton yesterday. Michael was lodged at the Delta out beyond Old Government House on the Woodstock Road. When we talked by phone in the afternoon he said Mark Jarman was collecting him for dinner at 5:30 and that Mark would try to get him to CHSR as close to 7 pm as possible.

It worked. We went on air at 7:12 and talked, with a short reading thrown into the mix, until 7:36. Because of the technical aspects of making two simultaneous recordings of a show that ended at 8 pm, I arrived at Memorial Hall in the UNB Arts Centre after the introduction and his reading had started.

Afterwards, a bunch of the audience went across to Alden Nowlan House-Windsor Castle Bar to hoist a pint.

shirt: plain purple
loc: comCtr
temp: 1
sound: The Beatles, "Here, There and Everywhere"

22 November 2005

nap shower eat meet

there's no nap for dzo awake and working seven and a half hours today on book design and correspondence while hammer and saw work on renovation or repairs in the apartments on the floor above

he stood in hot water as it rained over him and soften his bristled face until he scraped it with a safe razor blade then shampooed and conditioned his mass of threatening spiral ringlet hair

steak tartar and pickled roasted red pepper and cheese bcubes are safe use of the stove this morning as it the auto-shutoff kettle for coffee water and the passive microwave oven for oatmeal

the meeting is immediate future in a bowl of november rain inverted with textiles and papers scattered gathered recombined and sodden with fear of the non-biting virtual alternative lapdog at his side

T: plain burgundy
loc: comCtr
temp: 7 C
Sound: Screaming Trees "More or Less"

21 November 2005

The gift of publishing knowledge

The gift of publishing knowledge . . .

Employees are the life and foundation of the publishing industry. This year, why not show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication with a gift that combines knowledge, learning, and inspiration, broadens their horizons, and provides a mind-opening experience? These are the values inherent in the Canadian Centre for Publishing's first title release in their Publishing Studies series, Book Publishing I.

Brilliantly written and edited, Book Publishing I presents a compilation of twelve investigative studies, written by Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing program graduates and faculty members, into the practices of the publishing industry today. The studies cover a broad rangc of topics. including title acquisition, operations and management, target marketing, marketing analysis, merchandising, purchasing, and reading; foreign markets, and the impact of changing technology, and present a critical assessment of industry practices. Book Publishing I is a valuable resource and learning tool for all industry professionals: whether they are just learning the tricks of the publishing trade, or wish to critically reflect on years of experience.

Book Publishing I (Vancouver: Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing Press). Edited by: Rowland Lorimer, John W. Maxwell, Jillian G. Shoichet. ISBN 0-9738727-0-5.

To order please contact Jo-Anne Ray at ccsp-info@sfu.ca. Phone (604) 291-5242; or fax (604) 291-5239. If faxing please include relevant credit card information. Orders received prior to December 1 will receive a special 15 per cent discount off the retail price of $39.95; 20 per cent off for orders of over 20 copies. From December 2 to 15, 2005, the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing Press offers a 10 percent discount to the industry. Orders will be processed until December 15.

shirt: N&L: A World of Difference
loc: In basket
temp: 6 C
sound: The Cars Heartbeat City

Beth Powning in Sackville

inflated deer, photo by Joe BladesMidnight Madness in Sackville Friday evening. Stores and cafe's opened late with Christmas Shopping Season. Kel and me ate a good meal at The Olive Branch then walked about the few blocks of active downtown Sackville streets. There were two horse-drawn wagons giving rides, non-profit groups fundraising at picnic tables, musicians in the window corner of a cafe, a 20% off sale in the bookstore, even a sale in the Sally Anne Thrift Store (with boxes and boxes of previously owned xmas decorations), complementary hot chocolate or cider outside Sackville Town Hall with inflated deer and lit-up tanenbaum. The largest crowd was the lineup to see the 8:50 screening of the new Harry Potter movie.

cover of Edge Seasons by Beth Powning I bused to Sackville to take a WFNB writing workshop from Beth Powning; to interview her on tape for my Ashes, Paper & Beans radio program; to have some Miramichi hospitality with Kellie; to get away from Broken Jaw work for a few days.

Interviewed Beth late Saturday morning before the workshop. It went well. Probably about 17-20 minutes in duration. Might transcribe some of it if I ever get a chance (& give the publisher something quotable?) Some surprise answers too, i.e., Beth said this latest book began as, and was submitted as, a collection of nature essays with an "Animal Tracks" tile but it evolved into a memoir. Ended with Beth reading pages 220-223 from Edge Seasons (Alfred A. Knoff Canada, 2005). Melanie, the contract publicist (who lives on Causeway Road very near my parents), should be pleased. I might even broadcast the interview on Tuesday's episode.

Beth Powning, photo by Joe BladesWorkshop was held in the basement of the Sackvile Public Library. Wallpaper border of "goose duck duck goose duck duck" at the top of the wall so we're all in the wet, in the duck pond below, swimming or bottom feeding or something . . . ? Good group: 14 participants, only two males (so an extreme version of the usual more-women-than-men participant ratio), more younger participants than expected. Beth said her writing is "an examination of her life to discover something about her life not previously known—it's a quest—and that journey, that quest, creates its own voice."

shirt: Newfoundland & Labrador: A World of Difference
loc: Dzo comCtr
temp: 3 C
sound: Miles Davis Sketches of Spain

17 November 2005

in front of a computer

if there is time to sit in front of a computer
and converse with impossibly far-off friends
and if there is exhaustion for an afternoon nap
then falling asleep repeatedly in front of a tv
and if travel’s elliptic return discovers
grapes becoming raisins in a refrigerator
and if cheques received are postdated
while those amounts owed are past due
and if it is t-shirt afternoon weather
but longjohns and wool socks night
and if a not-watched kettle boils three times
before its hot water gets poured on coffee
and if everyone wants to tell their story
there might be less human destruction
and if a hurricane has destroyed this year
then an abysmal silence has reclaimed
and if a cowboy drops a match burning
sulphurous into neighbouring bushes
and if there are manuscripts to read
for books to publish but not retail
and if a pigeon atop a statue head
of state religion industry is death
and if school buses continue gathering
then dropping children in institutions
and if come-down leaves clog gutter
backed-up water pools and freezes
and if sudden winter hits fiercely
during extended construction season
and if this is a one-minute survey
but another is an essay question worth
and if the telephone ringer is off
a robot answers to records messages
and if morning departure for afternoon
arrival means a short-work friday
and if waking for dawn’s arrival
is another’s high noon waiting
and if there’s an end to possibilities
then this is all rendered meaningless

T: NB Filmmakers Coop, 15 Years of Filmmaking, 1979-1994
loc: comCtre
Temp: 6 C
Sound: Tragically Hip Music @ Work

13 November 2005


Warm Sunday in November . . . what can I do but cycle on trails out of town . . . "I just wanna ride my bi-cycle . . ."

Me and my shadow upriver.

Looking downriver towards Currie's Mountain. Covered in Great Eastern White Pines, I'd like to see it forever preserved from developer encroacment. Make a walking trail contemplation park out of it. Have heard stories, not surprisingly, that it's considered sacred by some of the local Maliseet people. I watched eagles or something circle over it today as I approached. Love it.

T: volunteer
Loc: comCtr
Temp: 8 C
Sound: U2 Boy

Book Launch: Nis

Book launch for Slike iz kanade: Tri kanadska pesnika (Images of Canada: Three Canadian Poets) by Joe Blades, Nancy Burke and Fraser Sutherland published by Studentski kulturni centar Niš. The event was at Klub SCA-a Na Pranvom Fakultetu, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia & Montenegro, 24 October 2005.

At her own table in front of us, our presentor for the book launch, Gordana Mitić Zivković, Urednik Studentski kulturni centar Niš. Vesna Lopičić spoke about the book project then asked us three poets to introduce ourselves and to read a poem or two in English. We gladly did so. Oddly, to me at least, there was no reading of any of the poems from the Serbian translation.

An audience shot from the stage. At least 70 people present, most of them students for the University of Nis.

Fraser Sutherland signing books.

After the book launch we are rushed across town to see a play, Bop, by a Bulgarian theatre troupe, that is being hosted by SKC Niš. They had the curtain held for our arrival and then sat us in the front row. Staged in appearance like classic Greek theatre with everyone initially in white robes the play quickly incorporated Woody Allen-style comic elements, dance, and powerful singing with new lyrics to known music. Bop is god. It was very, very well done.

Afterwards we had drinks with the theatre director and a book publisher from the Bulgarian minority living in Serbia.

After that we boarded the theatre troupe's tour bus and went back to Klub SCA-a Na Pranvom Fakultetu. It was party time. They hauled cases of Bulgarian wine and brandy off the bus. Inside the club the table were put together for an incredible spread of mostly meats and cheese-filled pasteries. The smoked ham was incredible! The brandy was the smoothest I've ever tasted. The tables were cleared away and dancing began, the music changed to more polkas, and two callers took to the stage to start organizing the dancers and calling out the steps. At some point I was dragged onto the floor and found myself in the midst of Bulgaria's national dance, one as complex as a traditional ceilidh dance, and there was I a dancing fool, right to the Inverness stomp at the end. Not something that I could have ever imagined myself doing, but this whole Eastern European adventure is not something I'd ever expected.

T: Blades Maintenance
Loc: comCtr
Temp: 11 C
Sound: U2 Boy

12 November 2005

in a wilding field

photo by Joe Blades 11nov2005
so still, so dull—faded grass
almost mouse grey, no longer golden
as juniper tree losing its needles

while that oak at wood's edge
holds fast its dead leaves
against bare branches of bush

a twitch of ear and my eyes
identify a third deer grazing
watching me as i watch them

out of the corner of my left eye
a stranger and a dog walk
along valley trail towards me

or us, unaware of the three
decidedly autumn dull-coloured deer
and a white pickup truck behind

them on the walking and biking trail
two men inside the cab watch
me watching deer in a wilding field

trucks not allowed here, but poacher
eyes see deer within city limits
and their minds are already beyond

so still, so dull—dusty bike
at rest between my legs, feet
planted firmly on the ground

quiet camera in knit-gloved hands
my poet mind sees our tableau
as the pickup truck encroaches

the three deer turn and run
between nearby trees as i mount
my bicycle and peddle away

T: Struts Gallery
loc: writing desk
temp: -2 C
sound: Cool Blue Outlaws: Songs of rogues, rascals and rapscallions

10 November 2005

Introducing Recna svita

The Serbian edition of River Suite has been beautifully done. The cover matches the orginal Insomniac Press edition even to the title font. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised. This is a tipped-in cover page.

The book is one of three translated and published in their entirety, with an introductory essay by Vesna Lopicic, in a volume, an anthology, titled Slike iz kanade: Tri kananadska pesnika (Images of Canada: Three Canadian Poets).

The publisher is Studentski kulturni centar Nis at the University of Nis in southwestern Serbia.

The other poetry books translated in the collection are Ghostface by Fraser Sutherland (of Nova Scotia, living in Toronto) and Scorched Earth by Nancy Burke (Director of the Canada Centre at the University of Warsaw).

06 November 2005

Busin' TCH

6:40 AM. H'Edmunston, New Brunswick. The longest part of the long night bus ride is done: It's all downriver from here. Unlike many other's I'm not going next door for a dose of Tim's diesel. Don't want MSGed coffee. There's been snow here in Edmunston. I first noticed it in Rivier-du-Loup but missed its first appearance while I slept.

Takes 11 hours to bus from Montreal to Fredericton. Left in the return of scattered showers, only 4 C @ 10:29 on the Molson brewery building in dwntown Mtl.

All night I had the seat beside me occupied by a quiet sprite of a skater girl with at least a Truro destination ticket.

Either a real skater girl or girlfiend-something with skater-punk boys who look like Beastie Boys video extras except for their Slipknot shirts underneath "cool [something]" baggy hoodies. Her sniffs are torture: declines tissue; declines Advil cold & sinus; says it's just the bus air. I and everyone around her have 11 house of her sniffing several times a minute to endure.

About Woodstock she pulls out of her pack some accounding homework to do: Chapter 3, Serial Problem (cont.) Sniffs less while working the Debit and Credit columns.

From here we've only a breakfast stop in Perth-Andover. A milk-run bus is simultaneously catching people and parcels in all the smaller towns along our route along the Saint John River. For a while we're out of the drizzle or low cloud scraping the river valley hills.
Hartland: world's longest coverered bridge a sans-flash photo blur out the far window.

Q: Why do i take pictures like this?
A: Because they're bad tourist but capture the feel of our passage, not of our being anywhere.

shirt: Polo long-sleeved
loc: Broken Džo commCtr
temp: 6 C, overcast
sound: Bif Naked, "Any Day Now"


sometimes trees are not harvest
for themselves but simply to clear
today is tomorrow (re)visited

sometimes a swelling
is just bladder’s wake-up call
the heart clot a fear of flying

sometimes the bird on a wire
is a hawk not a song
the lights in the sky reflections

sometimes the dogs are loose
outside mortgaged houses
clear running water contaminated

sometimes love is trust grown
from simple accompanying
drizzle is hill-scraping clouds

someplace one’s juniper tree
is another’s tamarack or hackmatack
the potato field a gravel bed

sometimes transport trucks empty
are toppled by sudden winds
water not a source of go

sometimes the sniffles are not sinus
and the brain pan pressure pounds
one’s blank is actually full

shirt: P.E.N. Canada
loc: Acadian coach 15602, Trans-Can Hwy, Saint John River valley
temp: 25 C (inside); 3 C outside
sound: sniffles and the road

04 November 2005

to from . . .

to the river; to the mountain
from famous smoked meat sandwich
to the old city; to the new towers
from a mind-slip word stumble
to a house in the north; boat on a river
from street to desk a trail of coffee drops
to the west; to the south then midwest
from the east or northeast expelled
to the ocean; to the mountains beyond
from lands outside one’s known world
to heavily-draped room for body acting
from a period of diminishing comfort
to uncertainty of bound incontinence
to a volcanic plug above clustered huts
from lice-infested notions of trade
to continental mistaken identity case
from home on the road again
to the disorientation of learning
from communication’s friendship

shirt: "staff" + charcoal long-sleeved dress shirt
loc: Corbertine, Hôtel Omni Mont-Royal, Montréal QC
temp: ?
sound: bilingual reading by Herménégilde Chiassson and Jo-Anne Elder

03 November 2005

Halloween found

Halloween is still present on av Laval in Montreal. This big ol' pumpkitten guarding the steps of where I'll be staying the next few days.

Then there's the giant spider of welcome!

Scariest of all is the viscous, slobering at the mouth, fanged, wee beastie, Catou, who put the run to the hound of Baskerville.

T-shirt: "P.E.N. is mightier than the sword"
loc: White Dwarf's kitchen table
temp 3 C
sound: fishbowl and fridge hum-gurgles

01 November 2005

Biking along the Nashwaak

Nashwaak River scene by Joe BladesStill 18 C @ 5:30 pm. I headed out my bike for an unbelievably warm First of November bike ride. Down York Street. Through the parking lot. Across the footbridge over Pointe Saint-Anne Drive. Along the Saint John River passed the now-empty, seasonal Port of Fredericton's floating dock. Behind the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to the Green. Up onto the ex-train bridge to No'side and up the trail past Devon Lumber heading for Marysville.
I love biking along the rivers this time of year: autumn leaves everywhere, the surprise visibility through leave bare branches, the Burgundy red of the staghorns on the sumach. Love it all. Today's warmth a gift too. The river is very high. The remains of hurricane Wilma dumped plenty of rain here before I returned. A favourite area is where the Great Eastern White Pines drop their needled golden on the trail. The only thing that would make this better would be if there were Canada Geese in the air or on the river. I want to hear geese honking.

shirt: Quod Nos non ...
loc: commCentre
Temp: 18 C
sound: Neil Young Comes a Time


Later, I went back. Took this picture of the tin roof. Am glad I wasn't living in there.

Housefire on George

Been working four hours (body still on Beograde time) when I hear sirens in the predawn. Look out the office window to see firetrucks on York Street slowing and turning onto George, passing me. A plume of smoke rising above trees. A police car pulls into the intersection of George and Sunbury as I cross Sunbury Street.

I'm walking east on George walking toward the firetrucks and firefighters just houses away. Opposite the Old Burial Ground. Go into the graveyard to get view of the house without causing interference.

A house with fire inside its roof. Flames and smoke coming out. A Khoury-owned house. Student housing. The top floor apartment, where friends used to live, has been under slow renovations all summer and autumn. Full dumpster in the drive.

Now there's firefighters inside: gas masks, air tanks, hoses. I hear the chop of axes, the splintering of wood, the smashing of glass.

Wonder if something was wired wrong and the heating or something shorted?

Foam and water. Big fans to clear air. Paramedics on standby but I don't think the top apartment was occupied. Don't think anyone was trapped inside. The front of the house definitely is rented: lights on downstairs. Saw someone leave a unit in the back of the ex-house too. Five electrical meters on the outside wall.

I'm here before Barb Roberts for CBC Radio or any other media. See her as I leave to post this report.

shirt: Quod nos non . . .
loc: commCentre
temp: 5 C
sound: Spirit of the West Save this House