31 December 2012

APB Book Review: Jump the Devil

by Joe Blades, Ashes, Paper, & Beans (CHSR 97.9 FM)

Jump the Devil
Richard Rathwell
Montreal, QC: 8th House Publishing
127 pp, ISBN 978-1-926716-11-4, $18.88, 2012

Jump the Devil is a work of fiction, a novella, narrated by interrelated characters in seriously dysfunctional relationships. The mostly internal narratives are by ex-peacekeeper soldiers with secrets, corrupt doctors, angry old men and women, abusers, a young woman trying to break free from her family’s restrictive expectations and religion. None of the narrators are all-clean or all-good. Many of them are obsessive about something—whether philandering, locking one’s husband in the basement, journalling, hating, daughter jealousy, preying on local women, skin bags of ears, social status, class, brand fashion status, etcetera. Their stories weave together like lines of traffic, or convoys on ruble-strewn streets moving too fast for their safety. The reader feels the roller-coaster hurtle of the narrators in their stories. Rathwell writes an engaging and convincing prose set in the tumultuous world around us. Some the book is set in part in England—where Rathwell lives—but it could be anywhere “Western”. It is also set in Central Africa and Egypt—with every place feeling disorientating and troubling to the various narrators—foreign to their upbringing—with swirling undercurrents of racial tension, hostility, and confusion. There is palpable violence throughout the book—with possible suicide vests, alleged past roles in massacres, so-called democratic uprisings, colonists, insurrectionists, rapists, terrorists, redemptionists, and revolutionaries engaged in war, genocide, revenge, rebellion, and fights for freedom nationally and personally. The reader or, as Ted Hughes put it, the "coauthor" is challenged by these labels/identities and where one stands in relation to other people and events in the world. With their own assumptions and ignorance, the reader is left haunted without ability to conclude these increasingly unresolved stories.

—Joe Blades is the award-winning producer–host of Ashes, Paper, & Beans broadcast weekly, since 1995, on CHSR 97.9 FM in Fredericton, NB. He is an artist, educator, and writer with seven published poetry collections—three of which have also been translated and published in Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina.

19 December 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 19 Dec 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

2012-11-18 Odd Sundays at Molly's reading featuring a short story, "Drugged", by Kellie Underhill (Miramichi, NB) & poetry by Emily Skov-Neilsen (Saint John, NB). Recorded by Joe Blades, Fredericton, NB.

Neil Simpson: "The Other Yellow Bird"

Diane Reid: "Summer Preserves", and "Daughter"

Andrew Spencer: "English Professor"

Zorras: "Head Games"

05 December 2012

Ashes, Paper, & Beans: 5 Dec 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Noah Richler: Is Canadian Multilateralism Dead? (The 12th Annual Dominick S. Graham Lecture in War and Society, The Gregg Centre for the Study of War & Society, UNB, 14 Nov 2012). Introductions by Mark Milner and Suzanne Alexander. Recorded by Joe Blades.

03 December 2012

Essay in new eBook about Nela Rio

An essay of mine, "Publishing Nela Rio in Canada", is included in this new eBook all about Fredericton author Nela Rio and her writings both poetry and fiction. The eBook was launched November 2012 in Toronto, Ontario. Mine is the only contribution in English in this mostly in Spanish publication. The book came out of a conference on Nela Rio's work that I prepared for but was unable to attend: del Segundo Simposio de la serie Autores hispanocanadienses organizado por la Red Cultural Hispánica, que celebramos el 15 de mayo de 2008 la obra de la poeta, escritora, artista, investigadora y promotora cultural Nela Rio, en la sede de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Gatineau QC. There's a link below to the eBook PDF.


Nela Rio
Escritura en foco: la mirada profunda

Edición dirigida por Gabriela Etcheverry
Qantati eBooks
Ottawa, Canadá



Prefacio 4

Hugh Hazelton: El amor como fuer za vital en la obra de Nela Rio 7






Joe Blades: Publishing Nela Rio in Canada 96

Natalia Crespo: Nela Rio. La luna, Tango, siempre la luna 104



Alicia Galván: Viudez, Nela Rio, y aquellas mujeres parteras en mi alumbramiento 141



Sintia E. Molina: VOZ Y DIÁLOGO: JULIA Y NELA 197





Alejandro Saravia: Alg unas consideraciones en torno a la poesía de Nela Rio 274

Tamara Schürch: La voz de la imaginación en Túnel de proa verde de Nela Rio: imágenes de dolor y esperan za 293

Nora Strejilevich: Memoria testimonial y mandato ético en la poesía de Nela Rio 312

Marta Raquel Zabaleta: Trauma y escritura de vida de mujeres en el quehacer poético de Nela Rio: una lectura involucrada 329





© 2012, por Qantati eBooks
Ottawa, Canadá
Etcheverry, Gabriela (Dir. de edición)
Nela Rio: Escritura en foco: la mirada profunda
eISBN: 978-09881086-5-3
Cuadro de la portada: Ana Maria Pavela
Diseño de la portada: Jillian Lim

01 December 2012

Day With/out Art 2012

For years, since the late 1980s, I have recognized 1 Dec as Day Without Art as a day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. Like many other things it seems the day's approach changed, in 1997, and those changes finally caught up with me.

"red album + red square" (acrylic on mixed media, 2012) is my contribution, made this week, to the Charlotte Street Arts Centre's Day With(out) Art Event/Exhibition of works created by volunteer artists from their ArtReach program.

According to artist WhiteFeather, "Artists will select a pre-existing artwork (painting, cross-stitch, etc—something that can hang on a wall) and paint the entire thing over with red paint. Many abandoned artworks can be purchased for extremely cheap [...]. The idea is to completely ‘red-wash’ the pre-existing work, in order to support the theme of Day Without Art, while raising awareness for AIDSNB, using the colour that symbolizes the AIDS awareness movement. The results will be red works with enhanced texture, that will show the ghost of the original underneath. Conceptually, this also ties in with the theme of loss due to AIDS, as well as the idea of funding cuts to the arts/health and the disappearance of art." To that I add recognition and support for the Québec student movement.

The exhibit will be in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre's Galerie Penny Gallery, 732 Charlotte Street, Fredericton, NB, in Dec 2012 (and possibly longer).

P.S. It's also a fundraiser ... Reserve bidding starts at $75

28 November 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 28 Nov 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Yves Engler, author of The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper's Foreign Policy (Fernwood Books), talk at St Thomas University on 18 Nov 2012. Recorded by Joe Blades.

Lone Cloud: Teresa Marshall poem "Is That Too Much?"

21 November 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 21 nov 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

John Ashbury: Woodbury Poetry Room reading 1963.

Brian Carpenter @ Chapterhouse, Philidelphia, PA, 9-13-08.

Poet Erin Mouré on Charles Bernstein's Close Listening, 2-21-10.

writer’s guild agm

a writing writer
not a wrote ... i
bused banff to calgary
for writers’ guild of alberta
annual general meeting
with war correspondent
compact typewriter
in my daypack
and sat on the floor
before floor to ceiling
windows overlooking
grassland hills to write
to typewrite when not
in meetings of the
so new organisation
with its book lovers
never go to bed alone

buttons coined by
a woman who said
"my husband is
an accountant"
while i meet writers
from all over alberta

decades later
in dimitri’s restaurant
downtown fredericton
new brunswick bob
(robert on his many
books) kroetsch tells me
at a table of unb english
grad students and profs
that i’m so not one of
he remembered and
never forgot the sight
of me and my typewriter
writing in front of
that wall of windows—
my back to other writers
too busy meeting

18 November 2012

Odd Sundays reading: 18 Nov 2012

odd sundays at molly’s, Fredericton’s longest-running, semi-monthly, poetry-reading series, taking place this coming Sunday afternoon, with writer Kellie Underhill from Miramichi, and poet Emily Skov-Nielsen, from Saint John. Joe Blades will be emceeing the event, and all are welcome.

Sunday, November 18, 2PM

Molly’s Coffee House, 554 Queen Street, Fredericton, NB

Featured readers: Emily Skov-Nielsen & Kellie Underhill

Open Set - Book Draw - Conversations

KELLIE UNDERHILL has been the Editor of Bread 'n Molasses magazine since its inception in 2003. She studied Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON with a particular focus on newspaper copy editing and worked as a freelance journalist for several years with her work appearing in The Miramichi Leader, The Moncton Times-Transcript, The Brunswick Business Journal, The Atlantic Chamber Journal and The Reader magazine. During her time as a freelancer, she also did public relations writing for clients including the New Brunswick Community College in Miramichi.

EMILY SKOV-NIELSEN is a recent UNB graduate living in Saint John, New Brunswick. She has given a number of poetry readings in-and-around Saint John and has had work published in The Antigonish Review. She was also this year's recipient of the Dr. Anne Compton Creative Writing Prize in Poetry. Recently she has returned from an intensive week-long writers' retreat where she had the pleasure and privilege of working with poet, Don McKay.

Bring your ears; bring your literary sensibilities; bring three minutes of your own writing for the open set. hope to see you at the next odd sundays event, December 2, with THREE great readers (alphabetically): Joan Clark, and Jane Tims.
Odd Sundays: allison calvern, 459-1436, acalvern @ nbnet.nb.ca

15 November 2012

Julie Comeau @ Westminster Books

November 15, 2012, at 7 pm Julie Comeau will launch her book "Never Give Up!" The Inspiring Journey of a Real Life Survivor (Broken Jaw Press) at Westminster Books, 445 King St, Fredericton, NB.

14 November 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 14 Nov 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Christian Bök: "Ubu Hubbub"

Live interview with Kellie Underhill, editor, Bread'n'Molasses

Stephen Cain: "Alpha Bites"

07 November 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 7 Nov 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Tchitala Kamba: "Bandalungwa Makelele"

Live interview with New Brunswick filmmakers Bunthivy Nou and Tim Rayne about their filmwork and involvement in this year's Silver Wave Film Festival.

Victor Tomiczek: "Picket Line"

31 October 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 31 Oct 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Live interview with Jillian Ackerman and Ryan Griffth about their films in this year's Silver Wave Film Festival.

Phlip Arima: "Human Drag"

Zorras: "Nest", "In the Details", & "If"

24 October 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 24 Oct 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Cory Redekop: reading an excerpt from Husk (ECW Press).

Andrea Gibson: For Eli. Profit. I Do. Wells. Rush Hour. See Through.

18 October 2012

@ UNB's 58 Fall Convocation

Queued in the parade of graduates before we walked to the Currie shop for presentation of diplomas where I received my Master of Education.

17 October 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 17 Oct 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Sean Dunbar @ Speaker's Hour, Ludlow Hall, UNB: turning law into beer

10 October 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 10 Oct 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Patricia Smith: "Spinning Till You Get Dizzy"

Live interview with Julie Comeau, Fredericton author of "Never Give Up!" The Inspiring Journey of a Real Life Survivor and Jim Lavoie, publicist.

Christopher Stewart: "Beat the Drum"

04 October 2012


Drachen is a group show, an international mail art exhibition, I have several works in right now (until 3 Feb 2013) in Lindenfels, Deutschland.

03 October 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 3 Oct 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

On 27 Sept 2012, Angela Davis spoke at Mt Alison University, Sackville, NB.

28 September 2012

Angela Davis @ Mt A

Last night, 27 Sept 2012, Angela Davis spoke at Mt Alison University, Sackville, NB. Not surprisingly, it was her first time in Sackville ... a long way from San Francisco.

Her talk, with many references to Canada and activities here, was about global citizenship and the prison–industrial complex, immigrant rights, and the global dimensions of racism—especially with regards to Palestine, "the largest open-air prison in the world.

26 September 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 26 Sept 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Odd Sundays reading featuring poets Joe Blades and Dina Cox. Recorded 16 Sept 2012 in Fredericton.

Zorras: "Doctor says + Crazy"

25 September 2012

Found photo du jour

Found at 3:30 pm, Tuesday, 25 September 2012, outside the guardhouse off Carleton Street in the Historic Garrison District, Fredericton, NB.

20 September 2012

Post 1111: Found photo du jour

Found 6:48 pm 2012-09-20 in Tilley Hall Auditorium, Rm 102, UNB Fredericton, Fredericton, NB. "Ryan       N.B. Canada       Sept. 1987/ birthday cake made by Agnes."

10 September 2012

Joe Blades @ Odd Sundays!!!

Our summer break is over, and this Sunday, September 16, at 2pm, marks the first odd sundays event of 2012-2013. For this event only, we are meeting off site, at Unitarian House, 874 York (just down from Montgomery). (Molly and Darrell will have their hands full with Harvest Jazz and Blues folk.) Along with poetry and perhaps some short prose from the open set, coffee and sweets will be served. In order to respect this new and temporary shared space, a donation box will be available for those who wish to contribute.

Sunday, September 16, 2PM

Unitarian (Coffee) House, 874 York Street

Featured readers: Dina E Cox / Joe Blades

+ Open Set / Book Draw / Connections

Bring your ears; bring your literary sensibilities; bring a few minutes of your own writing for the open set. Our double feature includes poet Dina E Cox, from Ontario, and poet and publisher Joe Blades, from Fredericton, providing a great way to start our season (see bios below). I hope to see many of you out, and extend a particular invitation to high-school students, whereas they do not need a parent or guardian at this venue.

Thank you all for your attention. Take care,

allison calvern
459-1436 / acalvern@nbnet.nb.ca


Dina E Cox was born and raised in Saint John, N.B. A graduate of the University of New Brunswick, she taught at Fredericton High School before moving to Ontario with her husband. There they raised a family of four, and will soon be welcoming their ninth grandchild. Dina returns to New Brunswick on a regular basis for inspiration. Dina’s poetry has been published in various journals and anthologies in Canada, Ireland, the United States and Bulgaria. Also a musician and an occasional freelancer, Dina writes both lyric poetry and the shorter Japanese forms, and is a past winner of the Betty Drevniok Award for haiku, Canada’s premier award for English language haiku. Small flames, published with Signature Editions (Winnipeg) in spring 2012, is her first book.

Joe Blades is the author of seven books including Casemate Poems (Collected) (Chaudiere Books), and Prison Songs and Storefront Poetry (Ekstasis Editions). He is also publisher of Broken Jaw Press and producer—host of Ashes, Paper, & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show (CHSR 97.9 FM, Wednesdays at 5pm). Joe has been writing and promoting writing for decades, contributing widely and deeply to Canada’s literary landscape.

05 September 2012

APB, 5 sept 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Suparna Ghosh: "Dots and Crosses"

Christopher Stewart: "Beat the Drum"

Jocelyne Verret: "Memramcook"

Lone Cloud: "I Lost My Talk"

17 August 2012

Joe Blades in By the Book

En route to Newfoundland in late July for a Page One "Pictures and Words" event in Deer Lake (and more!) I received an email requesting a interview by Linda Hersey for her By the Book column in Moncton's Times & Transcript newspaper. The colomn's mandate is not book reviews but to feature a recent book by the author. I gave the interview from where I was staying in Curling, Corner Brook. The paper required a photo, a head & shoulders pic with my book, so at the event in Deer Lake I was sitting in a chair in a corner shooting self-portraits hoping to get a good one (without anything sticking--growing out of my head) that I could email per supplied specs before I left the Rock. Looks like it worked :)

15 August 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 15 aug 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

bill bissett: "opening chant"

Radio Free Vestibule: "Froo Froo the Talking Cat"

Sheri-D Wilson & Russell Broom: "Spinsters Hanging in Trees"

Mary Elizabeth Grace: "Madda Madda Rose"

Paul Dutton: "Vive le (for Henri Chopin)"

Steven Ross Smith: "Two Kinds"

Tanya Evanson: "The Source", & "Human Clay"

R.C. Weslowski: "i've been thinking/it's about time"

08 August 2012

26 July 2012

Pictures & Words: A Summer Voices 2012 Event

By invitation, Joe Blades will be participating in PICTURES & WORDS: A SUMMER VOICES 2012 EVENT wherein he will give author readings and promote his books. He has had three new poetry books since December 2010. He has never done author readings in Western Newfoundland, only in Labrador and St John’s, so this is a great opportunity.

Page One, a writers’ group in Western Newfoundland that has been promoting writers and other creators since 1987, has extended an invitation to him to participate in their annual Summer Voices Program. This year, at their closing event in Deer Lake (up the Humber River near Corner Brook), they are hosting a gathering of publishers, authors and visual artists in a two-day event on 3–4 August 2012.

The general public is invited to the event. There will be scheduled readings and at the conclusion of the event, Page One will have authors and audience share their work and partake in refreshments. This inter-genre event will hopefully the first of an annual series.

Page One has confirmation of participation from several publishers, authors, and visual artists but do not yet have a schedule [it might show up on Facebook, we hope]. They say they will enjoy having Joe Blades as one of their participating authors and as a representative from New Brunswick.

Joe Blades gratefully acknowledges the support of an Arts by Invitation–Career Development grant from artsnb to enable participation in this event. :)

23 July 2012

Report on the 31 May 2010 Presentation

Another example of my writing on the spot, more than just an observer making fieldnotes in my journal. This has since appeared, been reproduced in Kathryn Ricketts' PhD dissertation "The Suitcase, the Map, and the Compass: An Expedition into Embodied Poetic Narrative and Its Application toward Fostering Optimal Learning Spaces" (defended Spring 2011, Simon Fraser University) without acknowledgement of me as its author. Rather it is presented as "an action poem written by a workshop participant from a conference in Montreal in 2010" (p. 237). I am so not an anonymous "workshop participant" and author. The way she presents it in her dissertation I am not cited or referenced, not even as author of an unpublished manuscript and it appears that she claims copyright on my writing (and I cannot condone or allow that to happen. Thankfully, I have my journal with the untitled original, first draft, handwritten by me.

21 July 2012

kazamata 15, 16

kazamata 15

open dooryard
period croquet
on guardhouse grass
in long dresses

back sore from hours
of painting and typing
with a stool lacking
back support of any sort
and no orthopaedic
in this white cave
no snow igloo
no salt dome
no cavern or karst
no whirling dervish house
beside as in blagaj
herzegovina-neretva canton

start friday with di
from china photographing
me and casemates as i’m
unlocking doors and
setting up our studio
for our last day here
before a potter
and a felter move in
saturday morning
for their week

kazamata 16

clouds and fierce sun
clouds black with thickness
and moisture without prediction
sun upside my head so hot
when it breaks through
cloud cover

don josé
with curled moustache
and gold silk shirt
in beaver fur top hat
green silk cravat
puffy sleeve shirt
and vest
upstate farm village
civil war era
lost a son

this poem
is not a nbccd
authorised vehicle
this poem
is stenciling itself
on your mind
this poem
loiters with intent
this poem
wants to party

pungent air
from someone’s smoke
cloud above explosion
a smiling skull

19 July 2012

kazamata 13, 14

kazamata 13

red square pinned
over my heart is small
yet standing together
our red square grows
when we walk we fill
streets and squares

when we are so many
crossing entrance
to fredericton
international airport
cars are stopped
some drivers and passengers
understanding : some angry
try to drive through
hit picketers with their
cars yell throw punches
call rcmp in burton

we are trying to make
our universities better
employers and learning
environment for all
who live and work
in higher education field

rally outside prime minister’s
office loud and colourful
with songs and chanting
without the squirrel
without québec students
rallied in gatineau
but prevented from
crossing bridges
into ottawa to join
us and their université
sector worker colleagues

kazamata l4

hari krishna on corner
carleton and queen
augment police foot patrols
lively up downtown
this thursday afternoon

crew of r2d2s
painted by andré
now on door

squirrels will
line their nests
with art but
they’re not good
at appreciation
or buying art

uncertain if
new royal sponge
is suitably funny
for goop on road
mail art show

actors wanted
for daytime soap
—four episodes—
only character
anywhere close to me
40-looking father
husband hard worker
who cares deeply

18 July 2012

possible alien abduction?

witnessed this evidence when i rolled into the carport of the compartment built on my bike after a long solo artist day in a casemate ... so close to home ... sneakers left behind, laces tied, facing the hatchback (closed) ... so he must have been take before opening, or after closing, the hatchback ... and just like that ... gone!

kazamata poem painting

a work in-progress (acrylic on canvas, 36" x 24") ...

and the main reason I completed the writing only one new kazamata poem today ...

kazamata 12

solo artist day
brought in vice-grips
for my good deed
of an unnecessary
something threaded
into low brick ceiling

do these poems and poemlets
contain suspect carcinogens?
where are the messages
of danger precautions
and first aid?

green paint onto canvas
ready to get poemed!

these kazamata similar
but smaller than those
in fort in banja luka
now housing a restaurant
overlooking the river

yesterday’s biplane is
restored world war ii trainer
touring atlantic region
—bright yellow says training
from vintage wings of canada

two peters in barracks square:
evanchuck on blue bicycle
(helen artist in m&t deli
window until saturday)
and hicks with guitar
to perform lunchtime
concert on guardhouse porch

17 July 2012

kazamata 10, 11

kazamata 10

biplane on high
dirk on bicycle

solid waste commission
collects at justice bldg

raku students in studio
make pottery for friday firing

puddles of yesterday’s rain
still under barracks tent

ceiling tiles collapse in media
lab—yesterday’s rain pours in

knife-making workshop
grinds handles and blades

missed rachel and august artist
in first half of today’s shift

was in graduate education students
meeting trying to wrap-up duties

casablanca an alternate white
house—rick’s americana café

rain and fog last flight to lisbon
foggy morn rain afternoon fredericton

typewriting this poem on blue paper
just because it’s the next sheet

kazamata 11

record the rain
hitting tent gound
puddles and asphalt
so hard drops flatten
and push back other water
audio backdrop for a poem
or poems read—audio art
wasn’t on my application
neither was hand-sewing
my found mitts and
gloves into a large
mitt or glove form
—one large enough for
me to use in performance
as a sleeping bag
on sidewalk
or park bench
as another homeless
person/poet in this tough-
town fredericton capital
city new brunswick
tough on ’boarders
and alternative sports
tough on sidewalk vendors
buskers and musicians

kazamata 9

switch to bone folder
needle and raw linen thread
a bookbinding go i

waiting for any
rainfall warning
while watching
cumulous clouds
build themselves
towards thunderheads

water stain on table
from outside bottle
condensation as i refill
it again and again day after
day this long hot week

breeze coming up
hope for rain increasing
this margarita monday
to clear patios
of demand and service

mich says he knows
helicopter was seeding
clouds for rain … but will it work

pull a scrap of
st arts centre poster
from lamp standard
outside college of
craft and design

and rain comes phat
splattering then heavy
everyone in view
breaks into a smile

16 July 2012

kazamata 7, 8

kazamata 7

notice no sanding disc

things found now
include a 31.5” max
safe stretch with
an always wear safety
glasses when using
rubber straps
more binding for use
on my hand-truck
idle at back
of the casemate
while i perform
this week

might have a return performance
with one new cast member
in the matter of a security
certificate signed pursuant
to section 77(1) (irpa) and
mohamed mahjoub in twelve
years of gitmo north not free
—griffith wants it to happen

gilbert mountain spring
delivers monday morning
water for garrison city
summer student staffers
and artists in residence

physical motion group
jumps up and down
silently throwing
alternating fists into air
above their heads—all
in a facing-each-other
circle—while being
photographed or videoed
with tablet cameras

kazamata 8

gasmask for the times
on art wall not head
cleaning nozzle
cleaning nostrils
final action spray
paint canvas on grass
police foot patrols
on small town monday
fredericton why?
moncton cops in
costumes on street
corners as construction
worker panhandler
homeless person with
filled shopping cart
issuing violation tickets
to the caught—not
through their ignorance
but whatever they did
or didn’t do—nailed

artists and journalist
photo op mingle some
eat lunch and converse
a troop of daycare
soldiers get enlisted
into british army life
twenty-four hours
a day until discharge
and canada pretends
to not have child
soldiers but cadets
belie that myth and
those words that
phrase purged from
our con government
of canada lexicon

15 July 2012

kazamata 4, 5, 6

kazamata 4

five feathers overhead
wedged above a pipe
in an alcove in what
once was a passage
between two casemates
now sealed with a wall
of non-period cinderblock
but sprinkler heads
track lighting electricity
and manual typewriter
aren’t period either
—similar typewriter
seen on caribbean desk
of dr no’s secretary
—a james bond 007 moment

no andré at casemate
but he worked kitchen
mexicali rosas in ex-burrito
loco until after midnight
this morning today sunday
i add a sixth feather
heritage guardhouse crew
has already erected silver
screen beside their gaol
for tonight’s casablanca
would like to see it
on big screen if awake
over eight hours from
now its start when i
usually have stopped
my day and evening

kazamata 5

found waffle cone
oil pastel drawing–artwork
near george’s wagon
on gravel parking lot:
three-scoop cone
—blue red and pink

found fabric trillium
of green leaves and
a purples five-petal
blossom layer but not
the whole flower—it’s
scattered in downtown

found in york parking lot
two notebook sheets drawn
on by young children—one
just pencil squiggles
and smudges of colour
other is vehicles:
looks like cars
and a tractor trailer
transport truck
i first thought was
a boxcar and train
engine uncoupled

kazamata 6

unexpected visitor day
sold books and have an
expression of interest
in an artwork—a canvas-
mounted photograph from
serbia and my trail
of poems exhibition

molecule emotions expert
back under the ed-ventures
tent hoping to trap people
’cause once he starts talking
he cannot stop—just goes
on and on with his knowledge
and theories on the cosmos
belief in big bang and that
god created it and us and
the downhill quality of
rock’n’roll music and
musicians today without
classical training unlike
his generation of the who
and wakeman in yes and
what’s his name organist
in the band … and today
it’s all about how many
swearwords they can pack
into what they call a song

14 July 2012

kazamata 1, 2, 3

kazamata 1

just another post-mazucca's saturday
and the morning regulars are gathered
outside the ex-store—newsstand
and novelties—john and gus not there
and i'm not there either just walking
by with a thirty-some-year-old
expedition backpack filled with books
royal manual typewriter can flag folding
chair for when i have too much backless
stool typewriting of poem art-making
or res time where life slides sideways
like a supervisor's nametag dropped
unnoticed outside a store during lockup
or a studded dog collar in the grass
that may have been a dog's or
a person's—who knows? not me

in the garbage is more art and garbage
box from a tube of burnt umber oil
paint and a folded page–sheet
ripped from an artist's sketchpad
not an anarchist's notebook
and it's not the sandpaper square
gatorgrit aluminium oxide found
on york street along with a trail
of one shoe discards heading
south and the husks of small
fireworks scattered along north side
a ripped canadian flag—not drunk
ripped but torn like the magenta-
coloured capital complex wristband
also found and a small scrap of
fabric printed with music notation
and a red turkish crescent moon
and star—how odd to find in this
fredericton ex-barracks casemate

kazamata 2

for the container wanted
schneider could build a vessel
like one of his ship hulls
of fired chipman shale—that
rock which looks and feels
like clay—bricks in the walls
and ceiling that surround me
made many years ago—
soft rock so malleable—hit
with a hammer and the
head sinks into the shale
leaves a hole—this is shale
some want to hydrofrack—
to fracture with water until
it releases its tiny gas
bubbles into the american
bloodstream causing headaches
and ongoing economic depression

design a container—a bat house
will not work—to attract donations
for arts programs such as this
casemate artists in residence
replace the sad-looking glass
jar with a [peeling] paper label

with an easy to fill : easy to empty
unlike the heavy shale vessel
it must be stable portable
sit on flat surfaces and be
more creative than another wallet
or purse atop a table or counter

kazamata 3

caution low clearance
one of the casemate signs
on sprinkler system pipes

don’t know how i’ll display
these poems in the casemate

white feather in a rectangle
magenta spray paint on grass
mick jagger on grass too—no
this isn’t breaking news—singing
something beside fredericton
arts alliance lawn sign dragon-
green with red and white pennants

no crimson banner for england
the end of a paint tube cut
to squeeze out the last paint
inside—a discard from a former
artist in residence—possibly
andrea of this past week now
back to day job in le chateau
top-of-the-hill regent mall

this morning thought i spied
an alien sticker but it was
spiderman’s head alienated
—probably a banana sticker
radioactive spider no tarantula
or black widow inside a bunch

beside it a constructed message
—possibly an artwork—under
transparent tape: rectangle
of faded black construction paper
a smaller white rectangle with
an upsidedown drawing of a tree
landscape atop the black and
a smaller almost boomerang-
shaped of offset printed white
with or r said ba to go eir
of back and a painted i love
a lot of things
facing outward

Joe in the Casemate

Joe Blades is a visual artist, book artist, publisher, educator, and writer–author with seven poetry books, numerous group exhibitions and several solo shows. Website: www.joeblades.com

I will write poetry live with manual typewriter, will exhibit them in the casemate & on my blog brokenjoe.blogspot.com and I will make hand-bound books on site and, possibly, commit a poem painting.

Joe Blades lives in Fredericton, NB. He is a visual artist–writer, producer–host of the 17-year-old Ashes, Paper & Beans community radio program at CHSR 97.9 FM, a member of the editorial boards of revue ellipse mag and ATKA: A Journal of Canadian Studies (Romania), founding publisher of Broken Jaw Press, and a Past President of the League of Canadian Poets. His recent solo exhibition was Trail of Poems in Galerie Charlotte Glencross Gallery. The editor of ten collections, and the author of seven poetry books, including Prison Songs and Storefront Poetry(Ekstasis Editions, 2010) and Casemate Poems (Collected) (Chaudiere Books, 2011), his newest book, Iz knjige koja se ne zatvara, is translated by Tatjana Bijelić and copublished by Art Print in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Broken Jaw Press, in Fredericton, NB.

Joe Blades will be sharing the FAA casemate 14-20 July 2012, with André Thériault in the Artists in Residence 2012 Summer Series. Soldier’s Barracks, Historic Garrison District, Queen Street, Fredericton. This is a project of the Fredericton Arts Alliance, Fredericton, NB.

04 July 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 4 July 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Retired UNB professor John Thompson on Academic Freedom. A presentation of AUNBT and CAUT, 22 March 2012.

02 July 2012

Jack Layton: Arts and Action

Jack Layton: Arts and Action is springing to life! This project is an opportunity to reclaim and renew the Canada we love... We especially need all the pre-orders we can round up, to support the publication! Please pre-order from Quattro Books: details and more information on http://www.quattrobooks.ca/fourfront-editions/jack-layton-art-and-action.

Editor Penn Kemp is still looking for stories, from a paragraph to a page or two, on encounters with Jack in the many arts and cultures that intrigued him. She is also seeking pieces on how Jack has continued to influence our lives and our activism; how his spirit has stayed with people since his death last August. Jack inspired her personally to move from performance poet to poet activist. Like so many others, she still strongly feel his motivating spirit inspiring this book project in particular! His support of, and interest in, arts and culture in Canada underlay his politics. Throughout his long municipal and federal political life, Jack welcomed and encouraged everyone to become an activist to effect change. Hence, this book for him!

Olivia Chow endorses this work, as does his family. She writes: "I heartily encourage folks to send Penn your stories of Jack's relationship with, and his support of the arts. This project is a great opportunity to share our stories about how Jack and the NDP celebrated our Canadian cultures and what we must do together to continue this great relationship. You know he loved to make music and we loved to dance!"

Let us reclaim, restore and rejuvenate the Canada we love! Penn Kemp's main aim in Jack Layton: Art and Action is to encourage folks not to abandon politics but to keep positively proactive just as Jack did. He was a strong supporter of our many Canadian cultures that offer us such diversity and perspective. As Jack would say, Never turn down an opportunity to serve! Penn first met Jack when she lived on Toronto Island through the Seventies, fighting City Hall to "Save Island Homes". Fifteen years ago, she became part of his extended family: her husband's brother is married to Jack's sister Nancy. Jack warmly welcomed Penn with his customary inclusivity. She called him my outlaw; he called her sister.

Arrangements are being made with the well-respected publisher, Quattro Books, to produce the book. Appropriately, Quattro Books is a publisher that wishes to reflect the unique cultural character and dynamism of Canada now: what it has been and what it is in the process of becoming. Quattro will produce a book of about 150 pages, including photographs, in time to celebrate May 2, the anniversary of the New Democratic Party becoming the official opposition. Penn Kemp will finish collecting material for the book by August 31 and then edit it, with Allan Briesmaster, editor at Quattro.

The list price will be $25 per book but pre-orders are only $20. They will be available early next spring from Quattro. The project hinges on having a means of ensuring that the production costs would be covered: one way of financing would be through pre-ordering copies. An alternative would be monetary contributions from individual sponsors. Quattro will retain copies which could be ordered directly by bookstores and by the public through their distributor, LitDistCo. A webpage with more information on Jack Layton: Art and Action is on http://www.quattrobooks.ca/fourfront-editions/jack-layton-art-and-action.

Thanks for celebrating Jack’s ongoing influence! For pre-orders please contact Quattro Books, 382 College St., Toronto ON M5T 1S7; www.quattrobooks.ca. Email: info @ quattrobooks.ca. Ph: 416-419-3541 (till August), 647-748-7484 (from 1 August 2012).

13 June 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 13 June 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

12th International Multicultural--Multilingual Poetry Reading and Poster Poem Exposition held in conjunction with World Poetry Day [21 March] on 24 March 2012 at the Fredericton Public Library.

Penn Kemp: Sin Tax

01 June 2012

Goin' to Copperhead

Am goin' to Copperhead The Movie filming at King's Landing today to be a background performer.


30 May 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 30 May 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Stephen Lewis: Address tp PSAC 16th National Convention

Catherine Kidd & Jack Beets: Sea Peach

23 May 2012

APB: 23 May 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

from Frye Festival 2012:
Presented by the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.
Jo-Anne Elder interviews David Homel.
Mezzanine, Delta Beauséjour, Moncton, NB.

Verbomotorhead: "Monks of the Holy Throat"

16 May 2012

Notice of oral examination: Joe Blades


An oral examination for Joseph Blades candidate for the degree of Master of Education, will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Location: Room 309, d’Avray Hall
Time: 3:00 pm

Title: Trail of Poems: An Unexpected Journey into Adult Education and Central European Canadian Studies

A copy of the project with report is available in Marshall d'Avray Hall, Room 226, UNB-Fredericton. The abstract is attached hereto.

The examining Committee is as follows:
Chair: David Wagner
Supervisor: Jennifer Pazienza
Readers: Amanda Benjamin
Linda Eyre
John J. Guiney Yallop (Acadia University)


In this project with report I employ a qualitative research methodology, arts-based autoethnographic research to explore, illuminate and answer my central question: How did I, an artist–poet, become a Canadian Studies practitioner in Central Europe, a translated and published author in Central Europe, a graduate student–learner in adult education, and an adult educator in Central Europe and Canada? My choices for data analyzed include prose, poetry, and photographs by me. My project titled Trail of Poems, a public, off-campus, art gallery installation–exhibition and writer-in-residence performance, is arts-based research in action. I reflect on the significance my experiences may have for others. My findings include critical insights, limitations, and future research considerations for myself and others. I identify outdated binaries and gaps in adult education theories and practices generally and in arts-based adult education particularly, as well as gaps in Canadian Studies literature in Canada and Central Europe.

10 May 2012

Against the elimination of the "Understanding Canada" program

Click Against the elimination of the "Understanding Canada" program - Contre l'élimination du programme "Comprendre le Canada" Petition | GoPetition and sign!

This program has been essential in supporting the work of many colleagues in Canadian Studies---especially ones I work with in Europe and South America. It has supported me, my research and several conference presentations.

09 May 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 8 May 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

from Frye Festival 2012: Biere et Books
emcee: Paul Bossé
Author/Writers: David Bidini, Véronique Drouin, Riel Nason, et Mara Tremblay.

Judy MacInnis Jr: Lure

25 April 2012

Ashes, Paper, & Beans: 25 avril 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Anita Lahey, poet; Hugh Thomas, poet (recorded at Odd Sundays at Molly's, Fredericton, NB on 18 mars 2012).

Gerry Shikatani: "Wish (for bp)"

Christian Bök: "Motorized Razors" + "Ubu Hubbub"

Clive Holden: "Trains of Winnipeg"

OTTAWA book launch reading:

Chaudiere Books + The Factory Reading Series presents:

The Ottawa launch of Fredericton poet Joe Blades' Casemate Poems (Collected) , published by Chaudiere Books

for more information on Joe's book, check the link here:

with an opening set by Chaudiere Books author and Ottawa poet Nicholas Lea

Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Carleton Tavern, upstairs
233 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale), Ottawa
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan

Joe Blades has been giving readings, performing and publishing his poetry since 1980. Blades was born and raised in Nova Scotia. He's a graduate of NSCAD (BFA-Studio Major, Intermedia, 1988). He completed a Film & Television Certificate Program through the NB Filmmakers' Cooperative in 2008, and currently is finishing a Master of Education at the University of New Brunswick. He is also an alumni of the Banff Centre, Maritime Writers Workshop, Sage Hill Writing Experience, and the Simon Fraser University Book Publishing Immersion Workshop.

His poetry and art have appeared in over 50 trade and chapbook anthologies and CDs, and in numerous periodicals. Blades has authored or edited 30 poetry chapbooks and limited edition artist books. His seven full-length poetry books are Cover Makes a Set(SpareTime Editions, 1990), River Suite(Insomniac Press, 1998), Open Road West (Broken Jaw Press, 2000, 2001), Casemate Poems (Widows & Orphans, 2004), from the book that doesn't close (Broken Jaw Press, 2008), Prison Songs and Storefront Poetry (Ekstasis Editions, 2010) and Casemate Poems (Collected) (Chaudiere Books). Serbian-language translations of River Suite as Rečna svita in Slike iz kanade: Tri kanadska pesnika (Niš: SKC Niš), and Casemate Poems as Pesme iz kazamata(Belgrade: i.p. Rad), were published in 2005, with from the book that doesn't close as Iz knjige koja se ne zatvara (Banja Luka: Art Print & Fredericton, NB: Broken Jaw Press) just released in March 2012.

Nicholas Lea earned his B.A. from the University of Ottawa. His poetry has appeared in such journals as dANDelion, Qwerty, The Puritan, Ottawater and ditch. His work was also been featured in the Globe and Mail's online books blog, In Other Words. He has worked on the editorial boards of Bywords Quarterly Journal and The Fiddlehead. His debut collection of poetry, Everything is Movies (2007, Chaudiere Books, Ottawa) was nominated for the Lampman-Scott Award. He most recently published the chapbook, Actual Girl(2011, The Emergency Response Unit, Toronto). He lives in Ottawa.


for more information on authors, books or event, or for review/interview requests, contact rob mclennan at rob_mclennan at hotmail.com

24 April 2012

Trail of Poems: The Report

Tomorrow morning I deliver a copy of "Trail of Poems: A Journey into Adult Education and Central European Canadian Studies", my project with 225-page report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education @ University of New Brunswick–Fredericton. Defence is to happen 25 May, in Marshall d'Avray Hall ... details TBA.

13 April 2012

one task this week

get 100 buttons made for Greg's campaign.

11 April 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 11 April 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Jane Urquhart reading from her novel Sanctuary Line, 22 March 2012 @ UNB.

Fluffy Pagan Echoes: Sound Poem.

08 April 2012

Fundraiser for CSAC

Fundraiser show and sale of artworks for Charlotte Street Arts Centre happening @ Isaac's Way Restaurant, 73 Carleton St., Fredericton, NB. Contact them for details.

I've donated a smaller, 16" x 20", framed print of one of my photos from the Trail of Poems exhibition.

Door, Senta, Srbija

03 April 2012

Interview in Central European Journal of Canadian Studies, 7

In April 2011, Jason Blake, of the English Department at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the new Editor-in-Chief of the Central European Journal of Canadian Studies interviewed me via a Skype video call for 2011's issue 7, for release late in the year.

I just got a copy in the mail, and am able to share a section of the interview. Anyone who wants the whole interview should contact:

Central European Association for Canadian Studies
email: ceacs@phil.muni.cz
@ Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

(p. 12)

Canadian Review of Literature in Performance, issue 4

There are two articles by me in the new, finally released, Canadian Review of Literature in Performance, issue 4.

Here is a link to the Fredericton scene report focused on some of the February 2012 Hoot & Peep Mini Performance Festival:

& an article on Poesiefestival Berlin 2011

One that I'm one of many Canadian radio peeps interviewed for, “Volunteer Radio Showcases Spoken Word: ‘because freedom of speech is way too dangerous’”:

28 March 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 28 mars 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

bill bissett: "opening chant"

Max Middle, Ottawa Poetry Podcast, 2006.

Richard Truhlar: "Fossil Motion"

Tanya Evanson: "Book of Human Being"

Aural Heather: "Three Blocks West of Wonderland"

CHSR is a non-for-profit campus–community public radio station operated by volunteers and two staff people. To stay on the airwaves, we depend on your support.

if you are willing to donate a few dollars to support CHSR 97.9 FM, please use the PayPal donation button on www.chsrfm.ca/donate or mail your donation to:

Student Union Building
Box 4400
Fredericton NB E3B 5A3

Thank you for your support!

21 March 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 22 March 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton's Writing & Arts Show. Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

10th International Multicultural--Multilingual Poetry Reading & Poster Poem Exposition. Recorded 2010-03-20 @ Gallery ConneXion, Fredericton, NB. MC: Sophie M. Lavoie.

18 March 2012

staircase poem 42

(with thanks to brian wilson & mike love)

international drink
like you're irish day
& i'm wearing my i've got
irish roots
green t-shirt
with another green shirt
& an orange coat (apparently
my great-grandfather namesake
was grand master of the sandy
point orange lodge) but
it's too warm for the coat
& my irish like my english
has strong scandinavian roots
french huguenot roots too

have been writing & rewriting
adding pages to the report
making room for more & ...

       good good good good citations
       i'm quotin' these good citations
       she's giving me more citations
       good good good good citations

       i   i love the colourful thoughts she has
       & the way the sunlight plays upon her wine
       i hear the sound of intel words
       on the wind that carries sheep bells through the air

       gotta keep these lovin' good citations
       a happenin' with us
       gotta keep these lovin' good citations
       a happenin' with us
       gotta keep these lovin' good citations
       a happenin'

& i'm in d'avray 145 right now
after a run to covey basics
scoop 'n' save bulk barn & anbl
picking up found gloves & a foam
red heart on sidewalk en route
to a pint or twa at alden nowlan
house open this saturday afternoon
st paddy's day celebración especial

17 mars 2012

15 March 2012

14th Annual Christina Sabat Memorial Lecture

14th Annual Christina Sabat Memorial Lecture

Figures in Landscapes:
Tony and Jane Urquhart discuss “sense of place”

Les figures dans les paysages :
Tony et Jane Urquhart discutent « le sens du lieu »
Thursday March 22, 7:00 pm

Free admission, Donations welcome.

703 Queen Street, Fredericton

14 March 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 14 mars 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Beth Powning reading from The Sea Captain's Wife.

Dracul van Helsing reading John Donne's No Man is an Island.

Leonardo de Fincley: Get off your high horse.

Edwin Mars doing a few sonnets.

Tanya Evanson with four poems: "Blood and Honey", "Slow Man", Dervish Weaponery . Derviş sílahi", & "Living is Nothing".

R.C. Weslowski: "how round is round", "love part 3: my heart is a glass pinata", & "as i breathe".

staircase poem 41

two score pommes in basket
appendix to report still
needing completion closure

completion & a good defence
of my project with report
to the faculty's dean & to
school of graduate studies
& then to some committee
or university senate
for final approval before
i am really graduated

but right now today
perhaps i am third
fire extinguisher
in office ex-custodial
room—something to do
with fluid mechanics
raoul & christina's love
script sheets left onstage
in dugald blue auditorium

consider the poetry in
my striking my exhibition
same time same day
—lucky 13th—as my advisor
& supervisor jenn p was
loading in & installing
new version of landscape—
love & longing in saint john
arts centre with golden dome

tomorrow afternoon will be at airport
on striking workers picket line with
public service alliance president

staircase poem 40

on foot on the move
listen up people
your observer–participant
is a most challenging wiggle
too busy for his own shadow
to keep attached to his body
he's exiting the building
& heading downhill—where
is he going—need eyes
tell me where he is going
why am i not seeing him
on screen—what is
that building—advancement
alumni & a union office—
why aren't we in there
is that a limp is he
limping is/was he military
or is he injured check
his records his file

13 March 2012

staircase poem 39

exhibition teardown was
fast easy & efficient
but i was prepared—
had everything from
the load-in in boxes
plus screwdrivers
that's all we needed—
parents helping me
after first seeing
exhibition on its
its last day in charlotte
glencross gallery

now i’ve moved typewriter
from charlotte street
to d'avray hall 145
for more typing–writing
in the other stairwell
busy with bed puppy mill
& english language programs
students from around the world

sad to see empty lines
hang down artless walls
lines with hooks but no bait
to catch suspected or alleged
art loitering in public
with intent—some art
needs a good hanging
some needs to be set free

this too warm room
with two desks—only one
occupied—& royal typewriter
not a romanian secret prison
near tisa river & ukraine
with locked-in interrogation room
cuffed & chained prisoner
& interrogator both in the box
bright light & manual typewriter
to instantly transcribe q&a

staircase poem 38

i remember irving
layton from readings
in toronto in
the early 1980s
can't recall where
but remember
his intensity
his head shaking
big eyebrows
barrel of a man

today would
have been his
100th birthday
so i'm cohost
of a centenary
community poetry
reading in alden
nowlan house on
unb fredericton
campus tonight

[but grad house
is closed
so we relocate
to lorna drew's
living room with
barkus the guard
poodle & glasses
of water all 'round]

12 March 2012

staircase poem 37

found a black glove
found green cloth flower corsage
found a twonie coin

photographed a snow robin
photographed a flying crow
videotaped myself typing poem
should videotape myself
reading a poem or two aloud
don’t know how shaky the hand-held
video will be but i will see

have to get ready to
give a exhibition walkthrough
with amanda on skype
and my toshiba notebook
in hand & headphone–mic
combo set on my head
& hanna at six months
talks us through the tour
the lion sleeps tonight
plays in the dance studio

staircase poem 36

i wonder about the story
of the yellow tree or trees
not in any forest but
in people's yards close to houses
limbed close to the trunk
& skinned—all bark removed—
then painted yellow to signify
something i don't know

& the sarajevo eye from
a mortar round on wall
of a hostel above a bakery
—pekera edin—in old
turkish market adjacent
sarajevo city hall not used
many years before archduke
ferdinand & his wife sophia
were assassinated in the street
& that triggered the great war
—world war i—& the end
of that empire though yugoslavia
wasn't built—pulled together—
until 1943 in world war ii

& i wonder about buildings
in belgrade bombed by nato
bombed by canadian & american
fighter jets & some buildings
have not been rebuilt—have not
been cleaned up—have unexploded
bombs inside them today
these many years after the bombing
& will they ever safely be
defused & removed?

11 March 2012

staircase poem 35

on friday afternoon after
centre for arts & technology
graduation ceremony or awards
something ended in auditorium
crowd of parents students &
siblings stream through hall
& down the stairs to the world
but some pool on this landing
quietly waiting for something

out of the crowd steps jean
rooney irish–canadian artist
& part-time instructor at cfat
with a passion for artmaking
& a tale of altered typewriters
too strong for fredericton public
she's been told but she wants
for me to see them sometime
—maybe at type-in event?

a typewriter with alpha-
numeric keys replaced
with teeth—both real
human teeth & dental casts
—then used to type
with teeth hitting–biting
ribbon & inking paper—
& another typewriter with teeth
for the rows of buttons
to touch type or hunt’n’peck

staircase poem 34

imagen no disponsible
even quieter today
in arts centre than yester-
saturday & hall lights off
sun through windows illuminates
& i remember the complaint
from tenants not my neighbours
in halifax apartment below
a complaint delivered
as a warning from landlord
that i cannot type
in the nightime
because the sound disturbed
—& that with a purring
ibm selectric not a manual

& now i envision
flash mob on with typewriters
filling a café or bar
parliament hill queen’s park
with an open mic for reading
the just composed & typed

some see me as gallery sitter
or attendant as i have been
oft in times past in halifax
new york city & fredericton
but i prefer being here
with intent & purpose
more than watching dust
motes float on the air
as posters slowly fade
in the sun’s strong light

10 March 2012

staircase poem 33

could crowdfunding work
for a poet & poetry project
the way salmon arm community
published spit on wishes
nearly thirty years ago
by horse-logging poet lorne
dufour many years after
he dropped out of university
with an incomplete thesis
on the poetry of ______
with susan musgrave a fellow
student & poet (& she has
appeared in a poem of mine
before—one in open road west)

was just asked to enter field
after corporate harvesters
glean a little & make comments
for deaf eyes & blind ears
sit at the table & negotiate
together like the coworkers
you are in defence of striking
’port workers & bosses stop
your bullying now & forever
else activists will be active
& show support at your door
where you don’t want them seen
—workers should be working
not on strike without a contract

staircase poem 32

irish night before summer
professional training opps
stretch & float to the floor
make like an earthquake
deliver progress as promised
four parts in four emails
before super away to antigonish
& an art exhibit opening
fabrique en canada
le hipster parti du canada
rusty trail of poems sticker
from dineen drive lamp standard
—rust-water stained paper
for journal & this poem—
an information-free mylar tag
& mike mesheau (1998) "years
i worked to have art moved from
the shore" (p. 23) says (2011)
"let your stick people go!" (n.p.)
—oui je cherchez l'étage et
fond forêt—two picaroons
for saturday lunch at closed
alden nowlan house bar
dunu & džo on the deck
sitting in sun with pints
before heading for charlotte
street & this typewriter
hi ho hi ho it's off
to poem writing i go!!!
poetry is a right
a write a rite
not a mortgage
or mortgageable
to borrow money against
& pay back with interest
from your poem returns

09 March 2012

staircase poem 31

someone took my chair
tough to sit to type
chairless or chair-free
borne-free & so not a lion

substanced liquid a chai
schwarzer in travel mug with
i support my bargaining team
still stretched around it

yesterday was international
women's day & i did not do
anything in celebration
wore a jean jacket outside

warm enough many do not
wear sweaters or coats
as major snowmelt happens
& i limp while walking

heavy rain in the night
jupiter venus & moon obscured
snow flurries before dawn
& they end before winds

enter the last bend
final weekend in this
trail of poems prolific
report approaches 200 pages

how many poems in a bushel?
how many apples: 84 to 168
depending upon their weight
how many wishes in a sheep?

08 March 2012

found photo du jour

Found at 5:15 pm, Friday, 8 March 2012 on the icy sidewalk outside the Chestnut complex, 440–470 York Street, Fredericton, NB.

07 March 2012

Irving Layton Centerary Reading: Fredericton

Irving Layton Centenary Poetry Reading

12 March 2012, Monday, 8 pm, an Irving Layton Centenary event in Fredericton. Centenary events are happening across Canada.

A Community Poetry Reading featuring Raymond Fraser, Joe Blades, Allison Calvern, and more at an Open Mic, will happen at Alden Nowlan House, 676 Windsor St, Fredericton, NB.

Everyone is welcome to read their favourite Irving Layton poem or poems for and about him and his writings.

For more information, please contact:
Allison Calvern acalvern @ nbnet.nb.ca
or Joe Blades joeblades @ nb.aibn.com

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 7 mars 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

A World Poetry Movement & Ashes, Paper, & Beans Open Mic Reading, 29 February 2012 @ Alden Nowlan House, UNB Fredericton:
Joe Blades, emcee;
Nela Rio, Carlos Morales, Robert Shiplett, & Joe Blades, readers.

Fredericton author reading PSAs.

bill bissett: Opening Chant

Aural Heather: Princess Nut

Patrick Woodcock: White Boots

06 March 2012

staircase poem 30

imagine tim isaac with his
beard & a cello made
& fired in his studio—karen
bach & his raku pottery
on bay of fundy shore—
tim playing like a sweet fiend
blues on his raku cello
consider this poem a challenge

consider this poem a wake-up call
a rallying point in ongoing
mis/re/education of poet
& reader–coauthor alike
writing friends & observed people
into poems then hearing response
from them making more poems
by me & inspiring others to write

listen up folks: poems are wanted
not just at the periphery of your
vision illusive as rare birds
winter storms travel north
out of their element into yours
hopefully not plato's republic
poems live in our hearts minds
& whole bodies—all together

05 March 2012

staircase poem 29

no overnight parking

again we have snow flurries
& a mix of black ice wet
roads & unwalkable sides

some say this is white
lion at the in of march
but i feel 5th is too late

in like a lamb—cold
standing in the snow
that fell in february

perhaps march will exit
with a roar after promise
of paddy's day storm

dragons like lamb & sheep
hungry dragons not making
transcriptions of wool & wine

three dragons sent aloft
from fredericton o're atlantic
to das deutche drachenmuseum

lamb & rice olives & tomatoes
for dinner on turkish mountainside
& i've a turkey in the oven

no curry shoppe in currie centre
it's not right—just say no
no currie fee imposed on students

staircase poem 28

in the grocery store a
teenage girl holds a chunk
of ice in a clear plastic bag
to her left cheek while
with her right hand she
operates a video camera
all the while narrating
something about monday
of march break while directing
her father on their grocery
shopping expedition—the two
narratives weaving together
alongside the video
on hd magnetic tape inside
her palm-sized camera

why the ice i don't know
why the video i don't know
why both simultaneously
i again don't know
but i suspect her narratives
will tell these stories
will show them wherever
what she's doing goes

03 March 2012

staircase poem 26(b)

The better two-thirds: Richard Gloade, esq. & Jaun Morales (plus my food, Keith's pivo, & keys) during the Fredericton Business After Hours on 1 mars 2012.

01 March 2012

staircase poem 27

door prize draws are done
first one hardest to give away
first mayor then one of last
month’s winners drawn
& both decline the prize
—a profile in chamber
of commerce newsletter

one little girl in here
pulls her dad through
hallways & staircases
again & again walking
& watching everyone
she is very curious
& so great to see
in this sea of adults

this light is such
that i see fingerprints
in the sheen on keys
of the typewriter
probably residue
from the good food
handled & eaten

chamber members
put on winter
coats & depart
in slow dribbles
as a delta
employee wanders
on a quest
for drink glasses
scattered throughout
the building

staircase poem 26

treating well at this after hours
fine live music including a little
jimi cover & piano in the auditorium
a spread of bacon-wrapped scallops
smoked salmon cheese & crackers
barbeque chicken wings meatballs
& breaded shrimp with cocktail sauce
beer wine & spirits in auditorium
so another first for me
& these staircase poems
a beer on the table beside
typewriter & rich food
writing poems of the occasion
let’s celebrate socialising
people wander through the building
into artist studios & out
up staircases & down staircases
around & around for food
& drink & networking—if
that’s their wont—or
seeing friends & colleagues
from around fredericton
unb business students here
art from valley graphics
& many whose name tags
i haven’t been close to read
mayor woodside shook hands
& i’m trying to type
to slower reggae rhythm
bob marley’s no woman no cry
being performed live & intimate
on this small landing with art

staircase poem 25

a score & four poems
on the wall rearranged
to make room for more
writings in next two
weeks of this residency
whitefeather says she
needs opera glasses
to read the top row
of poems high
above the floor

work detail arriving
getting ready
delta doing cash bar
in auditorium plus
an artist—photographer
andrew kelly of
sameasforever studio
& there’s a table
of door prizes & richard
gloade esq wondering
about positioning
for himself & conga player

chamber staff with registration
materials & a fishbowl
to collect business cards
is set up in foyer downstairs
leader of nb ndp wears
liberal red tie—why?
time for a soundcheck
just before showtime
me on keys unexpected
third in musical trio
providing musical entertainment
for other fredericton businesspeople
gathering here with curiosity
many people’s first time
in charlotte street arts centre

staircase poem 24

this water buffalo or ox
with metal his element
has blades for a surname
& two taurus parents

three careers suggested
surgeon equals editor
general equals union president
hairdresser might stretch
to artist without
haircuts in a score
of years :)

remember a joke horoscope
saying virgos make
good bus drivers
—don’t want to go there

is believing in astrology
& fortunetelling of any sort
—palms bones tarot cards
turkish coffee grounds—
also a belief in fate
destiny predetermined

staircase poem 23

had wanted to be here
yesterday to write
leap forward! staircase
poem but i was too
flat out in prep
noontime general
meeting i chaired
was working on
union dime union time
staircase poems skipped
or leaped over leap year
day a missed opportunity
but after radio apb
ashes paper & beans
i emceed first ever
world poetry movement
in fredericton
a leap forward! event
in spanish german &
english in alden nowlan
house windsor castle bar

guess i was on union time
at noon today & noon tomorrow
too with organizing team
meeing in ugsw union office
& a picket planned for 4 pm
& more pickets 10 to noon
saturday & sunday at the 'port
entrances off the road in
between fredericton lincoln
& oromocto base gagetown
—union picket fence—
was there last friday
morn before dawn
was first on the scene
before any 60601 members
coals in the barrel fire
glowing from day before
joined by nurses fredericton
firefighters cupe education
saint john airport workers
& mark from halifax as anna

staircase poem 22

just in from standing together
for our public services
in front of service canada office
630 queen street fredericton
me holding one end
of a psac-afpc banner
dave shaw has in his truck
—many photos taken

thursday afternoon baby
bunheads lively downstairs
in pastel pink green & blues
there's busy all around charlotte
street arts centre—reception
prep—fredericton business after hours
(chamber of commerce peeps
in stairwells & auditoriums)

pilates named after a person
my new knowledge for today
& joseph calls it contrology
this stretching of simile
arm leg & side like a tree
in wind or a salmon leaping
up falls on the humber river
above corner brook newfoundland

littles too little for bunhead
class want to climb the dark
wood steps because they are
here & they know steps
& stairs lead somewhere
& on my stage i'm to be
joined by richard gloade esq
singing & playing guitar

29 February 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: 29 Feb 2012

Ashes, Paper & Beans: Host: Joe Blades. CHSR 97.9 FM, http://www.chsrfm.ca/ Fredericton, NB.

Richard Lemm & Jo Griffith reading at Odd Sundays at Molly's, 20 Nov 2011.

28 February 2012

staircase poem 21

by the hairs on my chin
& a voice both faraway
& near i'm learning things
for which there are
no words but i'm not
worried they're wordless
no need for everything
to have words or numbers
attached like a key tag

when in the gallery
writing these poems
composing on typewriter
in public performance
i am writing the report
for my master in education
an appendix actually
not the body tattooed
inked with citations

when in the gallery
am not in d'avray 145
with that part of this
trail of poems installation
& i'm not at home
in my bedroom office
with dishes piled up
in a kitchen sink
needing to be washed

when in the gallery
when in d'avray 145
& when in home office
writing & editing the report
worn clothes pile up high
needing to be washed & dried
fridge empties or food rots
before i cook or eat it & dust
grows as i & the yatak shed

staircase poem 20

sidewalks can hurt
snowbanks too
encrusted ice cuts
when breaking a fall
& i have fallen
twice this week
en route to galerie
charlotte glencross
once last thursday on scully
bonked my elbow & head
once today on aberdeen
slick black ice under
fresh snow both times
prefer walking cleared
parking lots & centre
of cleared-to-bare-asphalt
sidestreets—though that
means getting out of the way
of cars & trucks often—
but the walking is safer
than on fredericton sidewalks

blue sky & clouds
sun & snowflakes party

this isn't the poem
i had in mind to write
right now so i'll end it
& start another

25 February 2012

staircase poem 20

just us handcrafted
fine chocolate
spicy ginger bark

bowl of chili
with melted cheese
for my meal

cars not cleaned off
from the snowfall
will be encrusted
frozen by morning
trapped too if
not dug out

water on streets
& sidewalks & some
haven't been ploughed

change of footwear
for my return trip
because of wetness
a soaker on the way
home this afternoon

downstairs dancers
stretch & fling
legs high in air
make obstacle course
of staircase entrances

staircase poem 18

smile you're on camera
services offered
hot yogurt intensive
& fetish-lite fashion
no ballet today
instructor cancelled
because of the snowstorm

our hoot & peep performance
stuff installed in auditorium
with simple show name
ready for tonight's
salon connex discussion
about what matters in art

please do not
sit on stairs
this is a fire
thank you

this is a great office
this staircase landing
open for interaction
should get back here
by 6 pm to be writing
as people gravitate
towards the auditorium
& picaroons beer tasting
(bonus) before salon connex

staircase poem 17

there are things i need
to write about in my art
&/or my trail of poems
report to understand my
position & it might make
this not a poetic poem

there are now three fluxus artists
in my report—dick higgins yoko
ono & robert filliou—but i didn’t
label or identify them that way
haven't included someone's
definition of fluxus either

fluxus artists create happenings
& happenings have been in
my vocabulary since childhood
probably picked it up from the air
television radio papers & magazines
happenings have helped shape me

be-ins love-ins bed-ins sit-ins
all happenings pre-occupy movement
fluxus also big on the spontaneous
allen ginsberg's spontaneous mind
& first words best words mantra
from india or buddhist teachings

marcia tucker a proponent of spontaneous
in artmaking & curating both
do something & reflect on it later
i worked with her at the new museum
of contemporary art in nyc during
my curatorial internship there

other fluxus artists had roles
in the new york–nscad connect
& exchange over the years
they were in halifax when I was
growing up there since the mid '60s
long before going to art college

23 February 2012

staircase poem 16

in a shell game for digital media
what are skins vs shirts vs suits?
why not skin with body & heart
(not an either/or choice)?
fashion skin equals racism
&/or inferiority–superiority
complexes of power–powerless
power & abuse of power
or the cbc ticker tape typo
last night on power & politics
with evan solomon
: "two members
of congress get letters with
harmless power" & here am i
instantly feeling that all
members of congress parliament
senate house of representatives
house of lords & politburo too
should receive & honour letters
with harmless power—do no harm

& what if i'm in your 1%
or in another's 2% anal–cranial
inversion or if i'm called
tin-man succubus viral infection
he's a cylon : i'm a cylon
aren't you a cylon too?
what colour is your ejector
seat button? how do you feel …
how do you continue your days
once you pull your burnt carcass
from a crashed vehicle
build a funeral pyre to send
yourself godspeed away
while you (of necessity
for self-preservation) sit
upwind of that fire in onshore
nightwind radioactive with
your own destruction at hand