30 November 2008

29 du 2008


on the outside
like a brush of paint
               on canvas
wrangling snow lines
     in small hollows
on very green grass
          wilmot park
now military base land
berries and hipped bushes
leaves brown and blown

caution water
     very hot
high voltage restrooms
coffee tea
tea coffee
     fan switch
pop and water
     sodium 101
quiet program
     in session

leave the cover on
do not adjust thermostat
     theatre material
mercuy and venas
nuptune and urenas
passing through a hole
in a cone
     a parking pylon
     then a safety shot

black water daisy
     on art table
hello my dolly shot
mad bowler hatter
in family resource
     centre window
seniors stone stepping
towards the shore
     many used glasses
     a larger coffee pot
and used food plates
     from five adults

29 November 2008

28 marraskuu 2008


biked to city limits
     & turned left

product placement brewery
set dec
     wall signs
          ($250 per to make)
     table talkers
     waitstaff apron

motion (sensor)
television &
     theatrical equip

     support our troops
sign design okayed to use
—zero killed tonight

criminal record swag
     work less
you didn’t say please

geo list
     electors by street

banana or
chocolate chip cookie(s)
     or both?

hand-knotted oriental
     rugs & carpets
     . . . beauty speaks
     for itself
     delivery date
     sold by

abso no peanuts
     or peanut butter
     on set tomorrow

support our tropes

27 November 2008

27 noyenbe’r 2008


       head awake b4 body
in pre-dawn fog
       ice drizzle

remember clothes and bedding
       tumbled last night
in a heated steel drum
       no calypso rhythms
              in the basement
laundry room
       (be)cause there are no lines
              for drying outside
the walls

       no drinking either
according to missive from the lord
       claiming ownership
              of this small plot

everyone knows
       eating and drinking
              occurs within
one’s own body
       what’s not wanted
              is obvious
public consumption
       sure sign we’re not pure

hence the ongoing miracle
       of stones with holes

bibi’s empty heads / the senate
       wood-fired pottery
              in northern alta

rings on fingers and toes
       and chains that continue
              to bind people
and other animals against
       their freewill

before school buses open
       doors for however willing
              students to enter and sit

other fired-up moving stones
       roam the streets
              to tip and empty
dumpster holowed stones
       curbside and behind builts
before the flying wise guys
       pigeons and gulls
              have a chance
to feed on our waste

sounds of not seen action
       as if cloud-encircled mountain
              —this small uphill
retained more snow
       at elevated ’tudes
and thicker fog up
       above the river valley
              never cleared

fog remained fog
       with a cooling
of freezing drizzle

T: Guinness
loc: artdeptprep
temp: 1 C
sound: Watermelon Slim and the Workers No Paid Holidays

26 November 2008

26 noēmvri 2008


don’t have a significant
     for the dinner
not a problem
     for the poet
but some shites never come

who likes anonymous
     snark hiding
not patron matron or
     anyway supportive
just to make it home before
     cold rain

not to confuse not posting
     with not writing
sometimes too busy doing
     and creating
to distribute for other’s
     convenient reading

want some me time
     not just work
for or with other people’s
chanters cucumbers pod

always someone ready
     to sell
darkness in the heart
     and mind
always someone wanting
     needing to buy

final week neutered or mute
     not censored
feel worn face stubble
     and sawdust
sandbagged eyes dead
     to the world

no pie interviews
     spooky pieces
music to songs
     new canned goods
lc every capital or upper
     for others

APB 25 Nov 2008

Ashes, Paper & Beans last night featured Silver Wave Film Festival 2008's Documentary Filmmakers panel w/ Chris Campbell, Kevin Matthews, Brian Francis, Kent Martin & Rachel Bower.

"Part of a poem by Alden Nowlan called Ypres: 1915" (song) by NQ Arbuckle.
"Window Seat", "Habitat", and "My Mountain" by Aural Heather.
"Whisper" by Andrea Thompson.
"The Density of Fire" by Sharon Singer & Bob Mover.

25 nufimbir 2008


ice pellets rain or snow
—all expected to happen
today tonight tomorrow

thankfully not on the road
poet at a desk plotting
simultaneous art exhibition
tours around the province

friend coming to town
this afternoon hoping to met
up before radio program

silver wave doc filmmakers
and what else to play on air
before a run further uphill
to find and obtain goods

visit doesn’t happen
stuck in forest hill
or somewhere beyond

poet’s small paper day
filed an expense claim
hung some art too
asked for time off

25 November 2008

24 listopad 2008


day for night even though
night coming soon and a splash
of seen beyond the tarp outside
livingroom picture window
while filming up the stairs
from basement holding
p-o-v into the kitchen

change film magazines
powder foot for beauty
none on black nails
no socks in knee-high
black leather

wild sound: zipper
smoother down
than up . . . can be
reversed in post

everything ends up
in the beginning

camera is reading boot
three hits to kill then
she puts the boot back on
cool as a cucumber

boot is the money
swing through frame
sells it

no pause
no reaction to the hit

the blood . . .
where does she get splatter?
face . . . her cheek

24 November 2008

23 nov studeni 2008


all the plans of bored men
committee members and the deputy
fug you asshole     drunk on queen

flip taps (slit
when used as
a one-piece box)

first positions     please
quiet for rehearsal
quiet on set
lovely used/personal household goods
sleeping beauty has unwanted cowlicks
super action woman hair too poufed neat

next shot to be after the kitchen fight
doped orange juice containers on the counter
boot killed li’l striker on the floor

roll sound     speed
camera     frame
read slate     action!
so tired eyes burn
yawning jaw drops sideways
not used actor snores in makeup

big gusty winds roar and push
almost empty house door open
set dec grabbed for personal use

23 November 2008

22 wintermond 2008


bagged baby carrots and chicken pot pie craft
hero soy burger in origami parchment wrap
last night’s filming ended at dawn per usual

normally not up all night working and not outside
in sub-zero snow     almost went to farmer’s market
after the challenge of getting a battery boost

enough to get home and crack open a dark strong
lager while emptying loaded pockets and eating
before a few hours of daytime sleep before . . .

insert shot of the great burger toss
everyone kept in basement holding
quieter than mice in the old walls

or grips in snow erecting lights
flags and bounce boards for later . . .
what use a dartboard without darts?

burger toss again and again with harvest
from the tofu burger bush with fries
for leaves awaiting ketchup rain or gravy

cofey in the jug and head pills for the ache
waiting for the miracle of action and cut
and tomorrow in the wee hours of this

or next predawn monday the closing
that’s a wrap! but hours of tonight still
to film after driving the picture car

21 November 2008

21 hadar 2008


the old typewriter has wound itself
too tight to permit the movement
necessary to writing with that device

resort to pen and journal
to one of the computers
to capture the flow of words

like clouds blowing over this town
the threat of a winter storm nearby
but light snow only for fredericton

first set in police station basement
smoking gun on the pistol range
bull's eye target pierced 15 times

20 noémvrios 2008


small blue dolphin card
found beside the road
nearest the obey store
—seal oil and orange
juice purchased—far
inland near tidehead
of a river it’s not known
that dolphins ever swam

creative child of a tempest
and a fishmonger—far from
tierra del sol     the silk road
the santa fe trail—learning
about le dauphin of France
eldest son of the king the heir
apparent until the monarchy
beheading revolution

in another childhood     flipper
a lively intelligent bottlenose
dolphin living with     assisting
and protecting a park warden
widowed dad and his two sons
was played by a string of females
in drag who had girlfriends and
who even fathered an baby

19 November 2008

19 shiyiyue 2008


snowflakes out of light
grey cloud-filled sky
the coming winter’s first
swirl of white over us
chinos shorts inadequate
even for indoor wear
with wool socks and fleece
no gas heater or woodstove
in jelengora art studio

leafless tree branches hold
their breath as snowflakes
almost land on their bark
cedar trees in the garden
confident     almost pompous
as this year’s young fir tips
not harvested by wreathmakers
eagerly await holding first snow
with their tightly wrapped leaves

18 November 2008

18 dawa tchngtchipa 2008

crane arrived at dawn

cool morning deer
grazed on frosted highway
grass still green on sun
ward slopes and crests

they ate in safety
that close to passing
vehicles on trans canada
highway with a scattering
of hunter’s parked trucks
far enough off the road
edge to lean into ditches

frost melted away
today by midafternoon
but ponds still have ice
ducks near the edge

crane left at sunset

17 samhain 2008


metal typewriter floats on a blanket
newfoundland wool knit by grandma
its quieter this way to compose
than metal banging on wooden desk

take art for a walk downtown
the cathedral just sits on the green
its photograph moves but doesn’t see
that it’s bound for an office hanging

the disappointment artist says no
so     so many more times than yes
but it’s impossible to yes everything
just a no shouldn’t mean rejection

walking or driving backwards does
not undo the wish i hadn’t done that
water and wind erase many footprints
but what of human’s destructive hands

16 November 2008

16 phagun 2008


the holes are not black     just
absent of paper—no wonder
with the excessive rainfall
a nursing students’ pub crawl
and on every street a strew
of tilted letterboxes     mail
drops     and bags of autumn
tree leaves gathered     plus
a bonus on regent street:
a toppled freezer of bagged ice

stomach sounding like a video
game machine not played     hero
encountering obstacles and foes
in the power-control labyrinth
grand mother throwing up in the night
but the cancer’s got her bones
without cure as morphine dulls
grandson riding the silver waver
all night walked home laughing
for a few hours of morning sleep

animals grow hairier every day
whether cleaned-up or never quite
consumption a hunger cancer
as sleep results in not

T: Silver Waver 2007
loc: rain show(ers)
15 C
sound: Kansas "Dust in the Wind"

15 November 2008

15 sip-il-wol 2008


on the trail to the teepee
rain falling out of the fog
flowing river rain-swollen
somewhere nearby     unseen
nonthreatening calm waters
as he leaned and turned toward
the cliff with its talking stick
broadcasting into the vast air

but no one was in the teepee
recently     likely yesterday
by the signs     but not today
so he left his friendly mark
beside the entrance then turned
to select mushrooms and
bison from the convenient cache
then took the downriver trail

story images swirling inside
he composed while travelling
as all of us travel our lives
in the ever of now . . . now!

t: Heroic Oatmeal Stout
loc: pre NB Shorts I & II
temp: 14 C
Sound: The Rocky Horror Picture Show "Time Warp"

14 nobyémbre 2008


the bone folder has taken spines
bones and the veins out of leaves
has taken the heartwood from trunks
the souls of blood-making cells
to leave them sickly     empty
as a crescent moon that cannot
hold water so it falls to earth

stains on the sidewalk and streets
the rust of deveined maple leaves
nose-bleed blood whether from fighting
too much pressure or whatever
spray-paint ed hearts red and blue
and the yellow numbers marking
depth of the gasline underfoot

tree branches     even skyscraper
steel cement and glass     have more
give     more built in flexibility
than our animal bones at any age
some snap easy as icicles
some bruise but never break
some rot within     fill with poison

the bone folder wants them all
for a few seconds on inattention
or the strains of overexertion
just a simple roll over in sleep
might be enough for the bone folder
to claim you as his own—till then
we can do nothing less than live

T: NBFC: 15 years of filmmaking, 1979-1994
loc: saturmoring desk
temp: 12 C
sound: John Prine Souvenirs

14 November 2008

10–13 nov 2008 poems

13 novembar 2008

suitcase ka-thunking over sidewalk
cracks     they walked him to the bus
station with gutted restauran—a flag
of the former socialist federal republic
abandoned overtop an empty beer fridge
—much as he wished for that souvenir
the days of asking were well and gone

       he was following rivers and trees
       in texts long before he learned
       what they were—running eye
       or fingertip in the white spaces
       between words to find images
       hidden treasure or to escape bullies
       like a line of defensive football players

even if shrubs in the park across
from city hall still spelt out tito
tonight he would cross the border
for the last known time . . .
heading for budapest and flights
west though frankfurt et montéal
to a known     safer life in fredericton

12 blod-monath 2008

miércole dans le plateau de montréal
he can’t find the cutlery—not in drawer
or jars—found the large cutting knives
for animal flesh—le pain 7 grains
beurre d’arachide and jars of preserves

late last night’s walk past ’réal bagel
shops on saint-vaiteur took him back
decades to two sherri goldberg poets
—one published and reading at the word
the other writing     attending and wanting

blod-monath not certifie biologique
not bio-terre but back then we didn’t
have industrial animal husbandry
no chicken hell-coops like today
no conveyor belt lettuce factories

ths poet dressed in black not
a hunter of beasts for table or bed
under an almost full moon he looks
around him at friendship hope love
in the interactions of almost everyone

11 nojábr’ 2008

from the corner of the basement
he looked up at the grey light opening
saw iron stair treads heading up
to nowhere     to the nothing above
saw some bush of tree leaves
branches with lumps that might
just might be small apples

he’d missed seeing them last night
had been enough in the darkness
to chance upon shelter not in mud
all seemed quiet     no crossfire
no aeroplanes     no rumble
of tanks or trucks     no shouts
of soldiers on patrol     no

10 azaroa 2008

applewood print     origami brown deer
a stained glass great blue heron
came home with him in the dark rain
he must continue     must finish packing
for the road (again)     hochalaga bound
it’s good to be     he sings in his head

       the poems     the poems are calling
       o poet boy     what will ye do?
       méxico might be good for winter
       italy or a greek island     too
       this town is difficult in snow

so unlike destructive carpenter ants
the construction pigeons waddle
about the deck and scaffolding
raised and piled outside the church
they perch equally atop the highest
edge of a chipboard sheet leaning
towards the old limestone wall

fog in the lowlands below ridges
of leaf-bare hardwoods and turbines
he passes a transport of p.e.i. hogs
quebéc abbitore bound     like him
travelling to and in lower canada
a hunting hawk hovers close over
grass between twinned highway

09 November 2008

9 nëntor 2008

9 nëntor 2008

sharper the blade the cleaner the cut
—great in the kitchen for slicing
dicing and peeling—but in war
its dirty blades that sing victory
with their nicks     burrs and rust
in torn flesh of the opposition
—wounds to fester and never heal
despite negotiations and treaties
signed in allegedly neutral places
watched by church     state and business

running through fields will crush
flowers and plants no worse than wind
or torrential rain and hail     we can’t
simply do nothing and stay alive—
for us to live means other animals
and plants live and die on     within
and outside compassioned bodies
a bois d’acadie     a rose heart
a broken eye     a candle burning
where no candle should ever be lit

catching people’s clothes and hair
a large green glass vase centrepiece
filled with crabapple branches bearing
fruit     small sunflowers     roses in bloom
and green apples not haws stuck on thorns
but those branches are still hawthorn
black clouds loosen cold rain again and
again against open windows—into the studio
of the poet writing cold November poems—
soaking poem pages written     in his absence

Double Book Launch + Noches de poesia reading in Montréal


Lanzamiento doble / Double Book Launch

Broken Jaw Press y / and las Ediciones de la Enana Blanca
los invitan a celebrar la publicación de / invite you to celebrate the publication of

Aquella luz, la que estremece / The Light That Makes Us Tremble
poemas de / poems by Nela Rio
traducido por / translated by Hugh Hazelton
(Broken Jaw Press y Ediciones de la Enana Blanca)

y / and

from the book that doesn’t close
poems by Joe Blades
(Broken Jaw Press)

Martes 11 de noviembre de 2008 / Tuesday, 11 November 11 2008
7:00 pm
Café Volver
5604, avenue du Parc
Montreal QC
tel: 514.272.4419

+ / &

12 Novembre 2008, Mercredi / Wednesday

Noches de poesia
1730: lectures débutant à 18h00 jusqu’à 20h00

Le Dépanneur Café
206, rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal QC H2T 2K4
T 514.271.9357

Programme : il semble que le Nouveau-Brunswick visite Montréal ce soir!!!
• Herménégilde Chiasson (français) et sa traductrice littéraire
• Jo-Anne Elder (anglais +)
• Nela Rio (espagnol)
• Joe Blades (anglais)
• Sandra Le Couteur (français) musique et poésie.

08 November 2008

8 noemberi 2008


you’ve woken suddenly out of deep
sleep and if you go with him
he can show you why he smells that way
but maybe you don’t want to go
perhaps you don’t ever want to grow
a basketball-shaped hump out front
or to bring life into this world
—photographs and stilled life art
enough—what with all the questions
responsibility and expectations implicit

after stopping a man from driving wrong
way up a one way off-ramp     you crossed
the street     entered the loading bay
and tried climbing deceptively broken stairs
so led down     some end abruptly
at a wall or turn into stacked boxes
and hollow wall-less crates
you trip-stumble     fell onto a door
and into a room filled with fabric
bolts and women at sewing machines
as another waring roller skates
fell against you     her armful of bolts
spilling around you as you fell and she
landed on top “what are you going to do now?”

07 November 2008

7 Nopember 2008


two face-jewelled young women
one a mother pushing child in stroller
away from downdown     nerdman behind
music-plugged ears après workday
oh     november showers have arrived
me     still dressed all in black     back
(again) from stupidstore with red wine
biking like a not-mormon outreacher
or naughty nurse halloween spirit
receiving deceit receipts

phat rain like in the tropics . . .
should be crouched under jungle
leave large as umbrellas or
naked not caring worrying about
getting wet or chilled cold
where rain like sun simply is
but i’ll not be out there in this
november rain until necessity
pushes this crap into the ground
feeding my poor pitiful poetry

perhaps he is a loser rehearsalist
a cut’n’paste kid passé passant
“campy trash” and rocky horror lips
plastered on the journal’s cover
a dozen ugly chapbooks bound & folded
help numerous envelopes get stuffed
tup and roasting pan filled with
dirty dished come out of dark hiding
to (finally) get washed by a truly naked man
in his kitchen on friday afternoon

loc: pregalopenings
temp: 10 C
sound; Elvis Costello "When I was Cruel"

06 November 2008

6 Novembro 2008

blessed fog in the head     in the
river valley this morning     shrouds
everything from church steeples
to dump trucks     school buses and me
hauling a coffee table     boxes
of new books and sheet styrofoam
to storage @ 334 queen basement

if the meeting happens here     i will
clear my bookbinding table (again)
and resume physical work afterwards
snap dulled blades for the next new
to slice trim cut through the blocks
of paper now books bound for a launch
with a glass of wine tuesday in montréal

this morning     black coffee and an apple
soon     the literacy fair and luncheon
at old government house with me cleaned
up in suit coat and black dress shirt
pesto chicken salad sandwiches and pink
lemonade     20th anniversary cake too—
fog between trees and over river lifts

05 November 2008

5 Novemba 2008

art bank weekend and hump day one
rolled together in cotton bedsheets
when flannel should be the order
of the day with electric heat still
off in the compartment and studio
—day grey under cloud cover

more bare branches than leafed
excepting the evergreen trees
17 degrees celsius and a snow
bot with blade on the front
just rolled up south on york street
the poet     wearing shorts and a t
about to go cycling on no’side and
to the stuporstore for supplies

lamb roast in the oven with fresh
rosemary and rock salt—a small tribute
to whole lambs on rotisserie skewers
in those travelled balkan mountains
am i     or was i     naïve? fuck! i’d love
some gorky list     roast goat or jelen pivo
but i’ve been back two years in fredchicken
—no risk here of becoming another zet

t: Smooth Rock Falls ● Canada
loc: aftrdrkdsk
temp: 14 C
sound: David Bowie "Under Pressure"

04 November 2008

APB show, 4 nov 2008

From a 19 March 2007 reading: Ken Babstock poems & Jan Conn reading mostly from Jaguar Rain (Brick Books).

"Ode" by Andrea Thompson.

"Three Blocks West of Wonderland" by Aural Heather.

"Into the Deep" by Sharon Singer & Bob Mover.

shirt: burgundy dress shirt
loc: postradio
temp: 8 C
sound: The Highwaymen Super Hits

4 juuichigatsu 2008

the gopher in the bathroom floor
stuck its tongue out at me and
it didn’t understand my peeing
into a basin of water cold—
deep underground river brought
up here for this purpose? stupid

night bus to montréal passeth
seven nights from now might i
be on the same bus and route
home-printed and hand-bound
copies of from the book that
doesn’t close
because the real
is suspended–waiting on ottawa
or     more precisely     hull to deliver
and not the snow si’l vous plaît

air damp enough to cut through
flesh to our aching old bones
—only a week until the war
ends (again) and the red poppies
with green then black centres
are returned to the ground
at the foot of so many memorials
from ocean to ocean to ocean

03 November 2008

3 noviembre 2008

darkness begins a Monday
out of it fell the frost
on plants and objects real
or human-made     why curse
the white sheet on your wind
shield because your ancestors
moved about and chose or not
to settle in this wondrous
place both très chaud et très
froid—here comes winter

the cave of our local history
twice visited for work today
still didn’t look or feel
like home where i should be
winds off the bay of fundy
shook the truck for many hours
as we dismantled recent acquisitions
and hauled them away to storage
limbo before i—dressed in black—
refuled the truck with irving
processed prehuman sea creatures
and my right hand exudes diesel

sun ring (earlier) twice as wide
as divided highway      danish beer
and deep sea scallops await me

T: black
loc: postroad
temp: 4 C
sound: Mark Lalibertier "No Good Way to Say It, But I Try"

02 November 2008

2 novembre 2008

i fell with the clocks backwards
into another time nonexistent or
twice created by us humans and
our constructs—truth like time
and i missed day of the dead honour
for kith and kin—graveyards here
not filled with families gathered
communing and conversing with the gone
and i'm not there cycling past unseen
but it seems that i have been
communicating with archangel messengers
here on earth     in the arts
—an ace of clubs/wands on the sidewalk
canadian tire money in the old burying ground
with autumn leaves between crumbling stones
a medley of dead soldier bottles and cans
mouths open     lie in still green grass
their audience gone the way of revellers
who lean on trees to drunkenly piss
on the trunk and their costume shoes
then stagger into the street to spectre
taxis into stopping for the pile in
of bodies on top of other bodies
—another wild night mass burial
to hurt but so not remember tomorrow

t: Steamworks Heroica Oatmeal Stout
loc: the write desk
temp: -1 C
sound: Gang of Four Return the Gift

01 November 2008

a month of daily poems

I don’t really need a challenge so much as routine to put time into writing poems routinely when this so, so much other bust in my life between the Art Bank, publishing, freelance work, writing and art, and filmmaking projects . . . But I received a F’book message from Robert Lee Brewer about a PAD (poem-a-day) Challenge: “to try writing a poem a day in November with the view of trying to have the makings of a chapbook heading into December” while the NaNoWriMo writers are aiming for 50,000 word novel manuscripts by month’s end. His Poetic Asides blog covers poetry from the perspective of a published poet and long-time editor of writing market guides: Robert Lee Brewer. Check it out at Poetic Asides.

This could be a more reasonable challenge where I'll on the road a fair bit this month and my novel writing currently is much slower than a 50K-word month but I have written several book length poetry manuscripts in two-week, part-time, public, artist residencies and lesser amounts of poems in shorter periods of time (such as for the 24 Hour Zine Thing).

01 november 2008

perhaps november is the second or
other cruelest month—after the year’s
harvest from fields and orchards
the hunters take aim at ducks and deer
as soon as there’s a hint of morning
light and a distinction of wings
from the rest of the universe above
or beyond or surrounding and within

the standing up poet wears orange
at the typewriter     he carries a journal
pens and a camera or two when out
in the woods and alongside rivers
lakes ponds and swamps to see and
feel and smell everything     to not kill
anything except edible berries picked
and eaten right there like a bear would

real thanksgiving on the spot
for the food and for every sunny day
—especially warm ones—air crisp
as biting through an apple’s skin
anytime now night ice will stay
frozen all day and the rain will turn
colder until the showers are snow
covering gardens roads homes and trees