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 The way she presents it in her dissertation I am not cited or referenced, not even as author of an unpublished manuscript and it appears that she claims copyright on my writing (and I cannot condone or allow that to happen.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).