31 August 2005

Petunia and the Hillbillies

petunia CD cover
Last Thursady, 25 August 2005, I went to see/hear Petunia and the Hillbilles play at Jester's Court. Petunia solo is great. I've had his self-released CD The Ugliest, Bitterest, Coldest, Dreary Place I've Ever Seen for several years. Great janglying, guitar-based, old country bluegrass and yodelling. Haunting. Can't not listen, his music and vocals just grab your attention and hold it.

This night is different: Petunia with a band backing him. The Hillibillies are local pick-up musicians: Matt Carter on simple drums (used to be punk drummer in Roach when they organized gigs out at the Pyramid warehouse and he was editor-publisher of Nail Bomb zine, is also composer and drummer for the F'ton Society of St. Andrew's Senior Pipe Band), Kyle Cunjak (the freelance paparazzi that was chasing me) on upright bass—I wonder if he'd play a washtub bass, and another musician on steel guitar that I don't know. During the final soundcheck, not seen from where I was sitting, one of the musicians said to someone in the bar that they played "acid bluegrass and punk polkas." Hadn't heard that one before.

It's a rounder, larger sound with the band. Smooths some of the edge off Petunia's guitar. The band is so easy to get into. Fun to watch. Entertaining. The place is hopping full of friends and fans. This is the band to see tonight in Fredericton!

However, the bar service sucks. Ain't no "Big Rock Candy Mountain" here, feels closer to a crowded desert, but, hey, I didn't come here to drink. Because of the ellipse spelling bee early in the morning I decide that I'll stay for only the first set. It ends after midnight. Amber & WhiteFeather & Sophie have finally entered the building. Liz goes to join their table when I leave.

T: "End the joke / die for your art"
loc: fredtiredallday
temp: 22 C
sound: DJ Violet I's Red Headed Flamin HOT 90 Minutes of FUN Show live on CHSR 97•9 FM

30 August 2005

Calling Los Cuyos?

"You have one message. Received Tuesday at 11:46 AM."
—'swering machine.

"Hi. This is Justin at Delta Cargo, Austin, Texas. We have a package for Sitting Pretty c/o Anita Dallas. The phone number supplied is wrong. Please supply a correct phone number so that we may begin Customs processing. Thank you."

Los Cuyos rocking chair illustration
Must be a phone call/message for Los Cuyos Rocking Chair Factory in Costa Rica. Call made by another dumn American who doesn't know their geography. One who doesn't know that Costa Rica is not in North America. It's in Central America. To dial a telephone or fax number in Central America from within the United States of [Central North] America or Canada one must dial 011 before the area code. Without the 011, dialling 1 + the 506 area code will direct your call to someone in the picture province of New Brunswick, Canada. Why do I know this piece of useless info? Because, for several years now, I have been receiving phone calls and faxes out of the Unites States that are intended for the good folks in Costa Rica with whom I share a telephone & fax phone nunmber. I have a Bulldog clip of their faxes on my bulletin board. I receive phone calls, mostly from the secretaries of American doctors, who want Los Cuyos chairs and footstools, or they have a problem with the goods received. Sometimes part break. Sometimes it's a USA-based parts or machinery supplier. The clip holds price info on quantities fromn one to a ship container load. I have info on their banks and accounts. I know who there are. Where they are. The people are often extremely rude. They don't care that they've called Canada. They don't understand how they called Canada: "Don't get smart with me, mister!" They don't understant that New Brunswick in not Costa Rica. They Don't understand that Broken Jaw is not Los Cuyos. They expect me to help them. They expect me to redirect their call. They don't understand or get the joke that my name can be José.

shirt: yellow Denver Hayes
loc: Complaints Dept, ephemeral Los Cuyos Canada
temp: 20 C
sound: Architecture & Morality by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Cracked Egg Day

Cracked Egg Day again, every Tuesday except after a holiday Monday, at Victory Meats. I won't be celebrating 'cause I've still a dozen cracks in the fridge from my purchase of two weeks ago. Cracks are great for just about everything except boiling. Rocket scientist that I am, I did it anyway. Eggs escaping their shells upon immersion in water and then the boiling water throws empty shell and egg bits out of the pot onto the stovetop and adjacent wall. Not a pretty sight!

The air smells like fresh field mushrooms. Been raining since before dawn. Woke me early, it was so heavy. Had to check wide-open windows for its entry.

Crawled onto the 'puter to work 'cause am not going back to sleep at 6 AM. Hi-speed needs to reconnect. Something must have happened during the hours I slept. Need to continue and finish the first round proofreading-markup of Dubravka's Pesme iz kazamata translation of my Casemate Poems book after my phone session with Vlad last night. We've restored the seagulls and eagles, »galeb & orao«; removed the swan, »labud«—much as swans have a place in at least one of my not published Scotland poems and a major role in Norse mythos; asserted that Prince Edward Island is only every a singular island, never pluralDavey board became the Serbian bookbinders' term »lepenke«; I metricised the missed 700-mile march of the 104th; called her on making the Brothers Grimm's pied piper a bagpiper; restored the rhubarb hubbub, »rabarbara gavran«, while sadly losing an inappropriate »raven«—oh, how the trickster pops up so unexpectedly!

Until you've done this some of thing, you just can't imagine how crazy it is to proofread your poems in a language you can't read. But I'm game for it. Next time I'm there, I'll be buying more, larger Serbian-English-Serbian dictionaries. I need resources to help me here to help them there.

Today I also emailed jpegs of the 11 photographs of mine in that book plus a larger version of the good one (edited for focus/clarity) from the second Canada Stand press conference at the 49th Beograd Book Fair in October 2004.

JoeBlades @ the 49th Beograd Book Fair in October 2004
shirt: yellow Denver Hayes
loc: fredrainagain
temp: 19 C
sound: Nirvana: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah

29 August 2005

A 3-b'day party

caribbean party invitation
or contribute to the collection fund for the small keg (7.75 gal) of Picaroon's Dooryard Ale. Simple. A "lucky pot" party too, but Mary Ann had omitted or forgotten to tell me that aspect. I woulda coulda cooked and brought something worthy.

Afternoon outdoors/garden/dooryard party on the occasion of three people with birthdays in the span of three days. Two us us, Tracy (in Toronto), and me (in Montreal) have been to parties with people born on the same day & same year. Donovan hasn't yet had that experience.

Tracy came here from Toronto. Plays flute. Has played with Kwame & Doherty in Ujamaa (the Harvest J&B reunion?) Has flute there—just in case. Has almost invisible eyelashes. Djembe with Eastside Board stickers under the maple tree. Keyboard in the house. Hatian rum, too. Dr. D is a football fanatic. I've met him before at Windsor Castle, the Grad House bar—sometimes simultaneously watching different games on different stations. We couldn't do Ice House poetry in the same room. It was all football with him and fellow fans in the room. Donovan mans the barbe—roasting cobs of corn. The leaves blacken, even slow burn, but the corn, with a small chunk of fresh coconut, tastes great. He also cooked the jerk turkey which makes for a very tasty bird.

Inside are a curried prawn dish on the stove, curried lentils, chick peas, a thai curry (my guess was ckn), ham, several rices, chutney, flat breads, banana bread (by Tracy), achee and codfish turnovers (salt cod and akee is the national dish of Jamaica), a brittle, tamarind juice, ice tea, wine. Fresh fruit and flower blosson topped cheesecake with one big candle in the centre that we three blow out together.

Downloaded Lucky Dube in the CD player—African reggae, incl. cover of Peter Tosh's "Mama Africa". They expect the police sometime here after 9 pm, time they came last year, to shut the music down. After the orange sunset over the StuporStore horizon beyond the ivyed fence I feel so full, so sated, that it could easily be tomorrow. When I find a clock inside I'm surprised to read that it's only shortly after 9 pm. Early for a birtday party night, but decide to leave anyway. It's been a great few hours. A great little party.

T-shirt: grey
loc: Fredpartysmythe
temp: 18, overcast, post-showers
sound: Talking Heads, Talking Heads: 77

28 August 2005

Laundry Morning Coming Down

Woke up Sunday morning,
washed my tired face
and brushed my hair,
and fumbled through the hangers
for today's public shirt—
carribean party this afternoon

I stumbled down the stairs
with a basket of dirty laundry
from the floor of my closet
where it resides beside hand truck,
mic stand and amp, a film canister
of loonies and quarters in my hand.
Hey, that's not how the song goes . . .

It's always a gamble, Sunday mornings no exception, whether someone is already using the machines. Sometimes, if I get distracted by the computer beast or other stuff, I've been leapfrogged two and three times. Have had my wet pulled from the washer and piled on top of someone else wet or dry laundy atop the dryer. More clothes in both machines. A right proper bottleneck. [There's only 12 units in this building. How many people right now I'm not sure . . . but only one washing machine, one dryer, in a room with 13 hot, hot water tanks—one for each apartment + one for the laundry room.] but the congestion can get mighty frustrating.

Oh, I so want a coffee jump start. Not virtual, but actual, physical "Caution! Hot" coffee. Guess I could have one, homestyle. Haven't had any java today. Guess I should walk into the kitchen to flick the kettle switch, add water. I'll be back . . .

"Breaking the Silence" is my house coffee. It's not just a fair trade coffee from Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The Breaking the Silence network here in the Maritime Provinces has, as one of its projects, a sustainability partnership with a small cooperative of coffee farmers in San Lucas Tollman, Guatemala who are members of the CCDA (the Small Farmers’ Committee of the Highlands). It's a great coffee, with really rich aroma and flavour.

I've been to a regional Breaking the Silence conference at the Tatamagouche Centre in Nova Scotia. While there read Nela Rio's poems to share them there because she was elsewhere, poems from Sustaining the Gaze, with Amanda from Guatemala reading Nela's poems in their original Spanish. In Fredericton there are regular Noche Latino fundraisers with great Guatemalan food, a silent auction, and live music to assist everything from school building and student scholarships to worker exchanges, well drilling and more.

No one active yet on Hello (not on mine), one idle and hour who might be washing and drying fabric bought yesterday at the local fabricheaven, for making handbags in her FAA casemate residency this afternoon . . . other "friends" are offline.

Sunday morning sunlight shining beautifully onto the pipe organists open score. Church doors open with today's ushers. It's pre-iron bell-ringing time across the street and my laundry is now in the dryer.

Only simple leapfrog today! I wasn't jumped while waiting to move from washer to dryer. But I leapt over someone inattentive—a girl, to judge by the clothes pulled from the dryer: flannel w/ silver thread pjs, thongs, a little brown t-shirt with "I WANT YOU" on the front and "to talk with me" on the back. The clothes are not warm in the slightest. Must have been put in the dryer yesterday. Trust, or what? Forgetfulness . . . went out . . . sleep? Her clothers still there when I collect mine from the dryer.

No bell ringing this morning. Silent Sunday. Time for me to bike, shower, food, wash dishes, pick up photos at Stupor, celebrate the spinnin' earth . . .

Shirt: Jim Beam golf shirt
loc: fred
temp: 18 C
sound: Shooglenifty, Venus in Tweeds; The Last Waltz movie

27 August 2005

Some won't believe

Self-portrait in Banff Centre student accomodation bathroom, 1985. Photo by Joe Blades
"Self-portrait in Banff Centre student accomodation bathroom, 1985."

That's me a few weeks before my birthday 20 years ago. Short, self-cut hair, barb wire and blood sleeveless T-shirt, back in Banff, Alberta. This time for a 6-week Writing (poetry) workshop. Had just quit my part-time job at Chateau Halifax because the holes there wouldn't give me leave to take the course. I've survived Foundation and the rest of year one at art college.

The Banff Centre's writing program at that time was led by the great W.O. Mitchell. Poetry was led by Richard Lemm (whom I already knew through his poetry book(s) published by Leslie Choyce's Pottersfield Press and from lit events in Nova Scotia). The program instructors included Alistair MacLeod, Sylvia Fraser, Bruce Hunter and numerous guest authors. My fellow participants included Lesley-Anne Bourne, Deidre Dwyer, and Janice Kuylek Keefer. Because it was Bill (W.O.)'s program a main component of the work was the expectation that we participants write (type) and submit 5–10 pages of new "free-fall" rough writings every morning [Obsessive blogging can come close to that level of output, but it seems to not be as automatically written, nor (generally) as raw and not edited.]

Soundscape by the Sex Pistols, Grateful Dead (that stunning going-on-forever "Fire on the Mountain" jam from a concert in Toronto—thanx to Howard!), The Clash, Talking Heads, K.D. Lang & the Reclines, Pointer Sisters (having to move with the other 20-something writers to "Neutron Dance" in the bar overlooking the Banff Centre's new exercise facility swimming pool), Louis Armstrong, Bob Marley, Neil Young, Ferron, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Bob Dylan, Siouxi & the Banshees, Tom Waits . . .

Writing late, late into the night. Drinking cups of tea alternating with whisky to stimulate and keep going through the dark hours on the side of Tunnel Mountain a mile above sea level, mule deer at the studio room's screen door looking in at us word freaks. It was such an ordeal sometimes. Sheet of paper in the typewriter. Named and dated, numbered:

Sigh. Start. How? I don't know what to write. I don't want to write. I want to go to sleep. This is all stupid. I want to dance, I want to run, to run screaming. I want to go home! I want to be inspired. I've goint my typewriter and paper, single malt, tea, tea and more tea, quiet tunes because I cant disturb my neighbours. I wonder who else is working/writing down here in the basement/gnd flor ofices writeright now? Stop the editor! I could goo check, I suppose, but I shouldn't. I need to write. What can I write about? 5 freaking pages again! They like my crow references, images. Do I have other crow stuff in my head? What else do I . . .
It was a crazy intense, good, menorable, formative experience. Not just for being introduced to banana-raspberry, or avacado omlettes, (Howard was an inspired omlette-making fiend on Saturday morning once we discovered that as a group on campus we could get food supplies from the main kitchen and book a function room with it's own kitchen where we could cook some of our own meals). Not for the morning that half of us in the course, all of a common age and all being friendly familiar with single malt scotch, took bottles of our favourite to the cafeteria dinng room and drank scotch with our breakfast . . .

The people and the exposure to different approaches to writing (how to do it, ways to discover diamonds in the rough dreck of words, ways to edit, to work in secret when necessary, to work/write in public when necessary, to work together, to be a peer to other writers, to be an extension of themselves working on the challenges and problems in their writing (and, sometimes, in their lives—yes, there were meltdowns), ways to trick oneself into writing, to turn one's writing on when needed, how to let loose as and party together to release the serpents) have all helped shape me into the writing and publishing fool that I am today.

So why am I writing about this? Don't know . . .
a) Because my birthday's coming 'round again on the guitar.
b) Because, while that here newspaper article stated "Blades is exactly the kind of youth New Brunswick needs and is a reflection of a creative and energetic age group [...] even though he's old enough to be my dad", i maintain that today's real youth (even youth leaders) are more likely to be half my age—so why not show an image of the f&@#-up that I was closer to that age.
c) Because people tell me that they can't visualize me with short hair or that I've ever had my head there since being a kid. Is that my lack, or problem, or . . .?
d) Because Broken Jaw Press had jhust moved beyond name only. My set of four eurotrip postcards (Broken Jaw Press, 1985) with my own photos/artwork from 1983 had just been typeset (w/ lead type) and printed by me in the summer session Graphic Technology course @ NSCAD. I'd started the monthly Bourbon Street Journal (No. 4 was published—photocopier job + 3-colour cover offset printed in that NSCAD course) while I was @ the Banff Centre).
e) Because it feels like it might time for a change.
f) Because it might be good to acknowledge more of what I've done and how I got here.
g) Because nothing lasts forever.
h) Because I'm thinking too much about the health and state of my parents & grandmother.
i) None of the above.
j) All of the above.

T-shirt: The Writers' Union of Canada, "Celebrating 30 years of Canadian Writers"
Loc: fredvalleyflashback
temp: 22 Celsius
Sound: 1. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (Warner, 1977). 2. Never Mind the Pollocks, Here's the Histrionics (Revolver, 2003)

26 August 2005

Proofreading Bee

Didn't get a bike ride today. Had no food or caffeine, no shower before being collected for an all-day bilingual proofreading bee. Just two and a half hours of I'm-not-yet-really-awake digging through my decades of boxes and 3-ring binders of slides and photo negs in envelopes looking for the Pacific Rim Nat Parc purple, orange, green starfish from May or June 1999. Found it and walked over with Liz to the StuporStore get an enlargement made.

Was a non-stop neurotic profridder under fluorescent lights of English and French literature: poetry and prose. I'm not qualified or even conversant in French but, as one of three (and sometimes five) proofreaders, I sure was catching more stuff even in the French texts than expected—much of it the aesthetic and/or typographer/graphic designer things: em & en dashes, double indents or tabs (on paper one can't always tell which was used), missing right indents, wrong usage of single and double quotation marks, missing texts, extra texts, wrong season on title page (this is the autumn issue, not hiver), wrongly hyphenated compound words (wellspring, prizewinner . . .), wrongly hyphenated two-word pairings, "c." instead of a © symbol on photos and all, wrong years, extra graphic lines, missing words, etc. A real crazy amount of stuff considering that this wasn't the first proofreading session.

Am I French? No, not in any real sense. Though I know that some of my family's people from Sandy Point, the up-to-a-hundred-years-ago unofficial capital of the French Shore (the South and West Coasts) of Newfoundland, were Huguenots from the Channel Islands just off the coast of France. I've seen copies or typescripts of letters co-signed by relatives that were addressed to the Governor of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon (that remaining République Française bastion off the southern coast of Newfoundland). And what were the Dalton peoples in Ireland?

I'm dropped outside my place after the bee, before 7 PM. Two 'swering machine mess(ages): (1) Wiley: desperate to receive advet artwork that I thought was due next (this coming) Montag? (2) from Liz: "@ th Tap w/ Barb after another board meeting . . ."

I'm too headstupid to bike, shower, ad design, or eat right now so I spin out the front door across York Street headin' for Piper's Lane. The Black Knight and his wife are with Liz an' Barb on the middle deck. "Bitter? Joe," Sarah asks. "Yes, please." Clauedy comes by (pays up his dine'n'dash bill just before Stephan climbs the stairs—the crazy reason he'd dashed that nite—and gives the waitress a gift on top). But now there's two of them Jardines here at the same table. Must be related somehow . . . Possibly through great-grandmother Bert/Bertha on their father's side . . . Large spiders in webs strung from the roof.

Now, after 11:30 PM, Frinight, I'm burnt, or stung, by that proofreading bee . . . How can I write or type this or proofread or spell or focus on anything when my eyes won't see anything clearly? They flicker-twitch even in the larger, darker night. I am too squeezed-head sore to stay social. @ home, on autopilot, I Foreman grill a cajun-spiced salmon filet and nuke the leftover Portugese-style black bean soup (w/ sundried-tomato turkey sausages, sliced mushrooms, fresh red pepper strips, ground cilantro & jalapeño pepper) from yesterday. My first food since mag-bought lamb souvlaki plate @ Pano's for work lunch.

Daylight coming soon . . .

T-shit: Simple, "Free your mind"
Temp: 18 C
Loc: F'headtonne
Sound: Counting Crows, Recovering the Satellites

25 August 2005

Warning: Nigerian Poetry Corporation

for Mark Featherstone


I am Mr. Hattrick Gomaui, the alleged Bank Manager of GLOBAL BS BANK NIGERIA. I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.

On June 6, 1997, Asif IsAllah, an Iraqi overseas publishing consultant/contractor with the NIGERIAN POETRY CORPORATION made a term Safe Deposit Box storage, for 36 calendar months, of 29,000 (Twenty-Nine Thousand) poems in my branch. Upon expiry of the safe deposit box rental term in 2000, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply.

After a month, we sent a reminder. In reply, we discovered from his contract employers, the Nigerian Poetry Corporation, that Mr. Asif IsAllah had died as a result of torture in the hand of conservatives during one of his trips out of country. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that MR Asif IsAllah did not declare any next of kin or relation in any his official documents, including his paperwork in my bank.

These 29,000 poems have been floating unclaimed since 2000 in my bank, as all efforts to find his relatives have hit the stones. According to Nigerian law, at the expiration of 8 (eight) years, the poems will revert in ownership to the Nigerian Government if nobody applies to claim them. The eight-year anniversary is the end of December 2005.

Consequently, my proposal is that I want to seek your consent as a foreigner to stand in as the owner of the poems, as the next of kin to the deceased, so that the bank will transfer the poems to your designated poetry account.

All documents and proof to enable you get these poems will be carefully worked out. I have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries and, more so, I assure you that the poetry business is risk-free. Your share will stay with you while the rest will be for me and for investment purposes, as I intend to leave Nigeria by the end of the year. The sharing ratio will be agreed upon my receiving your response.


Bless you,

Mr. Hattrick Gomaui

T-shirt: camo
loc: Spam wall
temp: 19 C
sound: Killing Koke, Pandemonium

The Alleged Desk

police sketch of The Alleged Desk
Yes, the desk is done. Came into being at the stroke of midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

It has already taken on a life of its own—comm support services for the wool, yarn, red clay, porcelain and sundries (both mundane and known).

Approach with caution or when backing up: objects on the web may appear larger than life.

T-shirt: camouflage (contract-134421)
temp: 14 C
loc: br'k'n comm centre
sound: computer fan at 2500 rpm, keypad, cars on the street, no crows, no robins, no songbirds . . .

24 August 2005

Reply to an "URGENT!" query

To my mind, a query or expectation to publish drama, your plays, does not require an "URGENT!" subject line or setting in your email to me. As far as I know, we don't know each other. That makes it far less urgent for me.

We are not a contract publisher. Though, on a for-hire basis, I could design and see a book or other project through production. I operate a very small one-person, Canadian, independent literary publishing house.

With an aol.com email address, you are most likely to be an American writer based in the USA. I have not published any single-author titles written by Americans. In fact, in 20 years of publishing the press has released only one title authored by a non-Canadian (and what we published in that instance was actually a Canadian's translation).

If by chance you are a Canadian playwright, you might want to visit the website where our submission guidelines are posted. You got our email address from somewhere. That source likely had more info or even a hot link to the website. This note does not. Best wishes for you and your plays.


T-shirt: NSCAD, "I will not make boring art"
loc: fredinbox
temp: 15
sound: "Miserlou", by Laika & the Cosmonauts, from Surf Guitar Greats

23 August 2005

Blogging on the Radio

One of CHRS’ slogans is, “You’ve got a nice face for radio.”

Biked uphill with the laptop on my back. I’m live on air right now at Fredericton’s campus-based community radio station, in the Master Control Room (or MCR), being the producer-host of another episode of my weekly Ashes, Paper & Beans: Poetry & Writing Show. I’ve been doing this show for over 10 years.

When I started here I was one of five co-hosts for this program, including one person who handled the technical side of production. We had to go through training to be able to operate the mixing board and equipment in MCR, to learn the rights and responsibilites of being a CHSR member and to become familiar with the station's Promise of Performance in its broadcast license from the CRTC.

In the great, proper tradition of spoken word radio programming (and in my training by now Station Manager, Tris Ward) I was expected to write weekly scripts for the show. The co-hosts didn’t like it: there was next to no room for spontaneity on air. But they didn’t contribute to the scriptwriting either. Over time they drifted away from the station and/or Fredericton. Some, like Jenn, went to university in other places. Archie chose to become a support person, an escort for a Guatemalan refugee who was travelling across Canada, fundraising, before they headed down through the United States into Central America and eventual return home (to determine if it was actually livable).

Outside the UNB/STU SUB, over Kilarney Lake and Road, I see cumulus cloud stacks that promise more thunder and lightning, rain for somewhere. Yesterday’s torrential thunder shower left the Nashwaak River a muddy cream-on-coffee brown. I saw it today while biking but I wasn’t, couldn’t focus on the river just then because ahead of me on the bridge were two Trails Coalition volunteers on bike patrol, and on the opposite side of the domesticated ex-train bridge talking with them while watching my approach in his handlebar rearview mirror was a city police officer also on bicycle. I passed through their gauntlet and biked further up the trail than I’d originally planned to. Didn’t want to rush back between them too soon, and they were gone when I returned to the bridge.

We’re going for it! Before the show tonight I was in an initial strategy meeting to explore what we might be able to do for CHSR at the fast approaching Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. I have had a media pass for this festival in years past, though not recently. The Program Manager will contact the Harvest office to see if CHSR is on the media pass list and, if not, to get us on there, and to determine what and how we can get content, especially interviews, music, clips for station Ids, for fill-in or regular programming. We figure that the CBC strike must have the festival staff and board more than a little freaked out. CBC is supposed to be the sponsor of four events including a live breakfast broadcast. What happens now with their sponsorship?

I’ve also committed myself to being a site staffperson for the New Brunswick Craft Council’s Fredericton Fine Crafts festival in Officers’ Square on the Labour Day weekend. Yes, this artist will work for money. Happens sometimes. Would be going there anyway, but for my pockets this is a better way to participate.

Have just heard from Steve Crocket, with the No Borders music show after Ashes, Paper & Beans, that he has regrettably given notice to discontinue his show. He’s just taken a teaching job in subject areas that he’s not previously trained to teach—Grade 9 & 10 Music Theory and Biology—so he’s going to need all his time for course prep and the actual teaching load. Good for him, getting the job. Too bad for CHSR, I’ve really liked his musical interests and the great stuff he put on air. He hopes to be able to squeeze in a few fill-ins until his new routine stabilizes. Next week is the last regular No Borders.

Now I’ll have to worry about the open space, the potential dead air that might be following me, until a new music program settles into the 8-9:30 PM slot. I might have to do some music fill-ins myself—wouldn’t be the first time; won’t the last.

T-shirt: Highland Radio 2005 “Radio Chieftain”
loc: CHSR 97.9 FM
temp: outside, mid-20s Celsius; inside MCR, at most an air conditioned 20 C

Why am I still up at 3:46 am?

desk parts. some assembly required
How many hands and hours does it take to assemble a space shuttle computer desk done cheap? This one was bought at Maulmart by Liz for her dining room for a loaner 'puter.

None of the parts are labled (not by part letter or number, not top or front). The identifying drawings are so microscopic that it's like trying to identify the pattern of fingers on holes of the flute player from the nosebleed seats through the wrong end of a pair of opera glasses.

The assembly instructions need more help and intuition than a four of Strongbow cider and a six of Baverian lager from Brazil in the hands of two skilled craftspeople might muster at 8 AM let alone midnight.

A "step" on this episode of the Furniture Assembly reality tv show can, in actuality, be two separate and totally unrelated subassembly routines. The next "step" will have nothing to do with the pieces assembled in the previous step.

Then there's the case of the missing steps. Pieces that cannot go together as illustrated but that must be unassembled and recombined in a different sequence (easier than separating flour and water in a mixing bowl, but close!)

the shiny bits
The shiny bits, made from some mystery metal, try to fly everywhere when the cardboard backing or top of their package is peeled away. They want to roll and hide in the floorboards and under everything else in the room.

The instructions could say, "Unpack in an brightly lit, otherwise empty room, an interrogation room for example, or one of those sealed biohazzard/bombsquad units with personnel on the outside operating an anthropod of remote robotic arms. Do not attempt this assembly in your home."

The whole time we're attempting this delicate operation, our distant sensor is monitoring the situation: "Houston, we have a problem..." Communication flying to and from limbo with instructions on what to do should we fail.

Results? Various fragile subassembies are wheeling in deep space orbits around the comm unit of their attention/desire, scattered throughout kitchen and diningroom, behind the loom, in Haggis' futon taco, leaving an illusion of trail to the bathroom as treacherous as a footpath through a minefield.

Sorry, there is no sneek preview or highlights from the next episode of Furniture Assembly. If we had gotten that far, it would be DONE!

This is Broken Joe wishing you good night. Dyslexic fingers over and out.

Shirt: mug club '96
temp: 15, thin river fog snakes thru the streets
loc: fredfurniturefactory
sound: Pocket Dwellers, self-titled Limited Edition EP

22 August 2005

Pesme iz kazamata (drugi deo), 25

mladi galebovi na trgu
kruže kruže braon tufnice

njihovo perje uskoro postaće belo
a repovi pod vrhovima perja krila crni

treba se njima nadati
pesnici su sakupljači otpadaka

oštri nasuprot zalaska sunca nebo
trbusi puni bluza nasuprot

nadolazećoj dugoj zimi slepa ulica
trotoar spora ledena smrt

čeka nada se gubi nadu
i nadajmo se nalazi je ponovo

ponekad neće biti dovoljno
ali više nema gotovo je proživljeni život

jedan odbačeni popis pesma završava se
»arheazoa« na bis ili

ne ne znam nisam tamo bio
treba sve ovde da smestim u dve

kutije a onda odnesem kući »ne
uznemiravaj . . . napolju slavimo«

Poem "Casemate Poems (part two), 25" by Joe Blades, translated into Serbian by Dubravka Đurić, from the forthcoming October 2005 book, pesme iz kazamata (Beograd: RAD).

T-shirt: O.L.Q.O.P. Golden Eagles
loc: Fredporkloin
temp: 26
sound: The Clash, Clash on Broadway, Disc 1

Day Off Day

Photograph medley matted in large gold coloured frames. Rosewood stained easels up the centre aisle. Service to be at 2 pm. Black and all the colours of mourning showing up. White unmaked car from McAdam's outside the church's front door. PLEASE No Parking FUNERAL sandwich boards across the parking lot entrance. Reserved for immediate family? Mourners needing a cigarette before they enter the hall, the ceremonial chamber of rememberance and offering of the dearly departed . . . Black dress suits, white shirts, dark ties on many men. Other people caught in work or vacation clothes this quiet Monday Monday . . .

[On York Street they're spraypainting the yellow centre line.]

shirt: Picaroon's Mug Club '96
temp: 26 C
loc: Fredfuneraltv
sound: Treble Charger, Maybe it's Me

21 August 2005

More paparazzi pics

Stacy Underhill Examines something @ Rye's, Fredericton, 16 aug 2005Stacy Underhill examines something very, very tiny in her hand while @ Rye's, Fredericton, on Tuesday (before the wedding), 16 Aug 2005.

Claude After the Drive to BarnettvilleClaude laughing after his Rolaids-aided drive to Barnettville.

Wedding setting + official wedding photographer seen  thru Darleen's Bathroom Window
Wedding setting + Grace, the official wedding photographer, as seen thru Darleen's bathroom window.

shirt: ". . . still hurts a lot."
temp: 20 C
loc: Freddarkroom
sound: U2, Achtung Baby

On the bus

The bus ride back to Fred was an overflow bus, the second of three on the run this evening. Spent the entire trip talking with a 16-yr-old Greek-Canadian girl just moved with her mom from Riverview (where Dad still lives) to Fredericton to continue high school @ FHS. Works at the (S)obey(s) store on Prospect St, cashier. Usually on 6-midnight. Likes the shift and the regulars. Only 16, she can handle and sell cigarettes, ask for proof of age ID, but can't legally buy cigs herself. Job probation period almost over. Despite proximity, there are no high school students working at the Sobeys, just olders that invite her to bars and such> Just had her tongue pierced yesterday by girl at Krystal Blade on rue Main in Moncton. Tongue is two layers of muscle with dead skin in between. Pulled out, camped and pierced with a hollo-tip needle as quice as that. Hot feeling on the underside. Piercing with barbell stud only $34.95. Antinfection solution, $5, to be taken next 2-7 days along with Tylenol until tongue swelling goes down. Wants dreds, tatts ... Brother has a tatt (and her father's fine with that even though tatts are permanent, piercings not. Take the basrbell out and the hole would close over in days. Mother has tats & piercings, and is going to the Stones concert. This girl plans to take dance (the dream career, despite being short and so not willowy) at Dance Fred ('cause daunce isn't offered at Riverview High. Art was good there. Music too: keyboards in G-9, guitar in G-10.) Practical training is courses toward nursing. Biology, etc. Has to work tomorrow. Can't have eyebrow or nose piercings for work. Tongue okay, as long as not played with. Shouldn't be seen. Hopes swelling goes down more overnight. Have to be able to say: "Hi, how are you today?" "Did you find everything you were looking for?" "Do you collect Air Miles?"

shirt: "Quod nos non necat ..."
temp: 20 C
loc: Fredhello
sound: U2, Achtung Baby

Paparazzi @ the wedding in Barnettville

Stacy and her dad - by Joe Blades 19 June 2005Stacy and her dad (out for the wedding photographer before the ceremony).

Al, Stacy, and the bike - by Joe Blades 19 June 2005Al, Stacy, and the bike.

Al, Stacy, and the wedding cake-by Joe Blades 2005Al and Stacy cutting the wedding cake.

Stacy and the wedding cake-by Joe Blades 2005 - by Joe Blades 19 June 2005.Stacy eyes her piece of wedding cake.

Underhill Girls with the Wine - by Joe Blades 19 June 2005.Underhill girls with wine in the dooryard.

I've made it back from the Barnettville Road with paparazzi films processed and printed yesterday in Moncton. It's tough to choose which ones to post.

t-shirt: "That which does not kill us . . ."
Temp: 21, muggy
Loc: Fredtown
Sound: B.B. King, Live at San Quentin

20 August 2005

Train from Station Street

or, Morning after the wedding . . .

I found myself being more useful yesterday than expected. More than just being an accessory. A friend of . . . An accomplice. Was a stranger, a man in black. But a helpful and useful one.

Pitched in to unwrap foil and wires on bottles of a case of Made in Truro champagne (yes, the champagne was definitely Canadian). Asked to mess with the sound system to get the mics and speakers working for the hi-tek before-wedding music (a Shure 58 lying in front of a CD player's speaker). Family band (Jardines that is, not Underhills) setup. Gordon, the presiding minister, decided that I knew what was going on, that I'd know whether his mic in the arbour would be on, and what the singer (Gail) and guitarist were doing (when, at that point I didn't even know their names, but I certainly can recognize a torch singer when I sees one, so I directed him across the yard in their direction. I snagged pics when I could. Plugged in fairy lights in the trees (with the wired white doves on birch tree branches) when needed. Met people. Got the certificate from the groom (was on his Harley Hauler's dashboard) and put it inside the book for signing after the ceremony, collapsed chairs afterwards . . . Stuff like that.

Morning after, and we've been driven into the real Newcastle inside Miramichi City and up the hill to Station Street (that wasn't really a night below . . . ) Then, I'm sitting in the VIA station on Station Street waitin' fer a train. 10:10 is the posted departure time for the eastbound Ocean, No 14. Kellie and I heading to Monkeyton for the poultry reading ("I'm not a pheasant plucker . . .") at Café Felix.

I survived a Barnettville Road wedding. A road I'd been told no one should enter withour a means out (and a rental car would have been good for that!) A road black with the residue of many tire fires—Halloween, New Year's Eve, whenever—punctuated with a snakepit of long, black, peel 'n' burn rubber from how many tires? How many trucks, hogs, ATVs, cars? Over the years I've attended more funerals than wedding.

Getting there was the first step. With his case of nerves and a stick of Rolaids in pocket, a near-hyperventilating Claude behind the wheel, talking fine but saying he's not wanting to see some of the family. No first big step was crossing the Westmorland Street Bridge, then Kilarney Road passed the lake, Nashwaak Village and out Hwy 8 for Boiestown, bald eagle just metres above the car in Nelson Hollow, Doaktown, a pit stop at Bruce the Moose for an 8-pack of red . . .

Electronic horses on the brain . . . board games . . . waiting for coffee and sandwiches to roll down the aisle . . . could just jump one of the stewards walking by with a new pot. Should get some sometime before Montob . . . on this slow canter along the trail, Dale Evans style. Just discovered that I'm being a rebel on the train. I’ve stuff, my denim jacket, hanging out of the overhead bin. Cool, but I’ve left the net open. That's a "No, no." I could be fallen upon. Felled by my coat, and if it was any more humid than it already is I could drown in my own jacket.

Why doesn't this so-greatly-improved-over-the-old-ones VIA train has AC outlets for people/passengers to plus in CD players, cell phones and laptops? If Orleans Express and some newer Acadian Coach Line busses can have outlets besides the seats, surely the train could. Just consider the long hours on board. It would be so good—and it could be a service improvement. It would save thousands of batteries in the course of a year.

Every time we get up to what seems a good rolling speed it's time for another stop. We're coming up on Rogersville . . . Acadien town with monastery, nunnery, rookery . . . popular for contemplative retreats (including organized creativity or writing retreats). One of those: monastery, nunnery, rookery. Pick one, none, all of the above. I spelled monastery wrong and the built-in spell check suggested “molester” as the alternant spelling. Damn, this machine is good. As if it actually knows or has a heart . . .

I don't even know how many stops there are before Moncton. Have I ever been on the Ocean before? Thinking . . . must have been on it for the Grade 9 class trip to Québec City 'cause we took the ferry from Lévis across the St Lawrence River. I know that I used to take the Atlantic train that passed from McAddam (on the New Brunswick side of the St Croix River border with the USA) through Vanceboro, Maine and Sherbrooke, Quebec en route to Montreal (but that's another story)

T-shirt: Surf Joe Boards
temp: unknown climat contrôle
Loc: VIA Rail's Ocean
sound: Rock School DVD on G4 Mac in the seats infront

19 August 2005

ART TREK Call for Fredericton Artists

The Fredericton Autumn Studio Tour: ART TREK is being planned for the month of October 2005. You can be involved by opening your artist studio for 1 or 2 afternoons from 12-5 during a weekend in October. Studios are not obliged to be open every weekend, or to offer refreshments. Tourism Fredericton is coordinating this event. Advertising and promotion for the Trek will be through The Daily Gleaner, Fredericton Arts Aliance Arts News, the City’s schedule of events, and other news sources.

If you are in Fredericton, New Brunswick, are interested in more information, are an artist or craftsperson, or would like your studio, gallery or shop included in the tour, please contact Karen LeBlanc at 453.6996 (w) or 457.1443 (h), or Mary Ann Appleby at 454.0075.

shirt: Storm Tech "garage" shirt
loc: BJP 'puter studio
temp: 7 C
sound: Little Feat, "Time Loves a Hero"


He says he's going. Car here at 3 pm. Has 600 km to burn like gasoline. Going because he needs to. His grandfather is dying. He needs his family to know he is here. He's just not sticking around. Needs his family to see him. He'll be back. Will have to go back there then. He'll have the car in the owner's space beside the building. Been spinning in his kitchen since 6:30 this morning: Do I go? Don't I? Do I? Don't I? Do I? Fog under the bridge, sea witches. He'll go to the wedding and drive right back to Fredericton. Will drive to St Andrews tomorrow or Sunday. He so ought to know how Haggis MacHaggis felt that day because he's been going through almost the same thing with family because of this wedding. Still, he's going . . .

So I best be getting ready for the full weekend. Need to do laundry. To pack books to hopefully sell in Monkeyton tomorrow. To pack some clothes. Need to settle on which threads for this evening's do at Darlene's Tea Room (Tea House of the August Moon) on the Southwest Miramichi River.

loc: office, open window, chillin' morning room
temp: 7 C, cool blue
sound: Little Feat, Waiting for Columbus

The Knight

You scored 31% Cardinal, 33% Monk, 38% Lady, and 72% Knight!

You are the hero. Brave and bold. You are strong and utterly selfless. You are also a pawn to your superiors and will be lucky if you live very long. If you survive the Holy Wars you are thrust into, you will be praised for your valour and opportunities both romantic and financial will become available to you.

You scored higher than 39% on Cardinal
You scored higher than 27% on Monk
You scored higher than 25% on Lady
You scored higher than 97% on Knight

The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test
written by KnightlyKnave on Ok Cupid.

shirt: faded lavender + long sleeve black cotton
loc: lizzie's yarns studio
temp: night before full moon cool
sound: The Simpsons on tv, Mason not watching

18 August 2005

York House

An artist sits on the steps on my artment building, sketchbook open on his lap. Yesterday, a different one sat all afternoon on George St sidewalk, sketching York House. Day before that he sat all day on York Street sidewalk in front of the gingerbread-trim house, sketching York House. Last week, someone guerillaed a "Save York House" sign on orange bristol board overtop of one of the "Brunswick St Family Counselling Centre" signs on the building.

York House, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. June 2005. Photo by Joe Blades
So what's with all the fuss?

The church foundation that owns York House has announced that they want to tear down the building and then erect a larger, modern building on the same site beside the Brunswick Street Baptist Church. They own the building, use the building, but have not undertaken proper maintenance and upkeep. Now the building needs work. Work the owners have said they'd rather not do.

This is the dilemma of heritage: how to preserve, even use, the past in a manner relevant to the present and future. York House used to be Fredericton High School, a Baptist Seminary, used to house an international youth hostel and much more. Architecturally, it's an interesting building. I love the brick and sandstone details, the sunflower lightning rods, the comfortable feel of this old school settled into downtown Fredericton. York House sits across the street from my front window (The above photo was taken through that window).

Fredericton Heritage Trust has stepped into the picture. There are citizens collecting signatures on "Save York House" petitions but, to the best of my sometimes faulty knowledge, don't think they have an online presence for collecting signatures. There are artists and other people talking about, possibly even planning, fundraisers but I'm detail-free.

Blessed be.

Shirt: still wrinkled, fated lavender.
loc: Fredscene
temp: 16 C
sound NIN pretty hate machine

Mantis Call for Submissions

We are seeking previously unpublished poetry translations for Mantis 5, under the broad theme of "Poetry and Discipline." Mantis is a journal of contemporary poetry, poetry translation and poetry criticism. A forum for writers coming from a broad spectrum of intellectual and aesthetic positions, Mantis is dedicated to publishing new work that interrogates the relationships among critical writing, creative writing, and translation.

Mantis is edited by a collective of poets, translators, and scholars at Stanford University. The journal appears in numbered issues, each focused on a particular theme:
Mantis 1: Poetry and Community, debuted December 2000
Mantis 2: Poetry and Translation, January 2002
Mantis 3: Poetry and Performance, January 2003
Mantis 4: Poetry and Politics, March 2005

Potential topics for translation submissions to Mantis 5 include, but are not limited to: rhetoric illegitimacy patronage deadline spontaneity procedure/practice institution trans-rubrics intuition anarchy meditation meter schools punish protest ethics solicit sublime commitment belles lettres write!

Submissions by individuals should include no more than four unpublished poem translations. Send submissions, electronically or on disk formatted for Microsoft Word 5.1 or higher, by Sept 15, 2005, to: mantis_dlcl@stanford.edu or:

Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages
Pigott Hall, Bldg 260
Stanford University
Stanford CA 94305

For more information on Mantis, see our website at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/DLCL/mantis/index.html

shirt: faded lavender
loc: 2 cups of coffee
temp: 13 C, clear
sound: Pennywise, "Who's on your side"

Pub advice: What are these numbers?

Hi Joe,

I am getting my first book ready. I have the isbn etc but not the PS8623 ; E42M65 2004 ; C811'.6 ; C2004-901058-1. What are these numbers? (These are something I found in a book and copied, they are not mine.) Are they necessary to add with the copyright info? Can I get away with not using them?


Dear First Book

You must have been looking at the Cataloguing in Publication Data in a Canadian-published book to have found these numbers.

To answer your last question first: You can get away without using these numbers. You don't even need an ISBN to publish a book, you just need $ and something to be printed and bound.

Where Cataloguing in Publication (a.k.a. CIP) Data is useful, is in getting your book into library collections. Therefore, it is a marketing consideration. The CIP information is the information that a librarian would put on a card index for your book, but it is done in advance of publication and printed in the book. Thus making it easier for libraries everywhere to catalogue your book. The main elements of CIP Data are a standardized-for-cataloguing-purposes author name (to help uniquely identify that one author worldwide—even if there are multiple entities publishing with the same or similar author names; a proper library version of the book's title including series and edition info; subject categories—more so in nonfiction that poetry; Dewey Decimal (info) and/or Library of Congress numbers (for identifying author and subject & subsequently used to locate the book on its shelf in the library's holdings). The last number is the particular CIP Agency's control number for the CIP Data generated for your book.

For Canadian publishers, the following http://www.collectionscanada.ca/6/15/s15-1007-e.html is the current address of Library & Archives Canada's CIP Agency online CIP application form. Their toll-free support line is 1.866.578.7777. Follow the ghost in the machine through the voicemail maze to the CIP desk. Luc will help you.

To complete Library & Archives Canada's online CIP Application Form you are expected to have a mass of information and images or individual book page PDFs prepared in advance. It's impossible to complete the form (and online is the only option available) without advance prep of this info & PDFs. You need: publishing company name, address and contact person, publication title, subtitle, series, price, format, author's (illustrator, editors, photographer's) full name and full date of birth (year-month-day), book description, book ordering information, etc. PDFs wanted (to be linked to the form and uploaded) include Title page, Table of Contents, Introduction, Preface (foreword, afterword).

Congratulations on your forthcoming book!

t-Shirt: pale lavender
Temp: 9 C
loc: Fredoffice
sound: live crows, robins, occasional cars, grocery carts of environmental entrepreneurs collecting recyclable and cash redeemable bottles and tins, plus a little Dylan & The Dead in the drive.

17 August 2005

Will He, or, Won't He?

How Can I Blog When the Keyboard's Not Conected?

The big question is Jar. Whether Jar will cut and run before the wedding. Anything to not have to be in the same place as his family. Cut and run. He could claim to be sick. Claim to have to work. It's not his wedding, but the wedding of a cousin of his. Jar says he's renting a car on Friday and driving down the Miramichi, leaving Fredhilarious at 3 pm. Leaving for Frederection immediately after the wedding. Not staying there.

I've never seen Jar behind the wheel of anything . . . on his bicycle wearing foam flip-flops on his feet, behind the bar, on the scaryoke microphone, buying food . . . but never, ever driving a vehicle.

Maybe I should look into renting a car myself. A car for the three-day triangulation of Freddown-Blackville-Moncton. Leave Friday afternoon, return to F'ton on Sunday afternoon. Wedding and Canadian poetry in between. A car might be better than a bus, train, and bus (again) combo for the three legs of the weekend. Better than being stood up by a cousin of the bride just for a ride to the wedding, or thumbing on the road . . .

How can I roll, if the wheels don't go?

T-shirt: Pennsic XXXII
Location: Frednight
Temp: 18 C, stars, an almost full moon
Sounds: Bif Naked, I BIficus

14 August 2005

Foggy Son: Lost in a Timewarp

Eight hours of sleep in an Eastern Shore Altantic fog bank . . . I wake to a tinkle of glass, then a rattle of pebbles—sounds like wavewash stone chatter—then a whirring . . . Oh, it's a juice glass from the drawer—Dad's up!—then the gringing of Just Us! Guatemalan coffee beans.

I feel thick. Foggy in my head. Dense. Can I talk? Can my mouth form a coherent stream of words? Probably not! But good coffee might help me . . . Then Dad and me go for a walk in the fog, feeling the heat of the sun, down the road into the Fishermen's Preserve

This afternoon we're to gather at Ruth & Mike's in Timberlea for a salmon barbeque. My sister Ruth. Her husband Mike. Abbey, their lab. Dad. Mom's mom, our Grandmother, Freda. Our sister Carol, visiting from Toro. Mike's sister Peggy & her hubby Bill from the Cedar Key, on the west coast of Florida.

Slipped sideways this morning (or was it really this morning?). Serious timewarp in the Sunday Herald (news)paper. Five years gone, skipped, folded over itself like Damascus steel. No wonder I felt tired, thick, wonky, disorientated. Time travel does that to a person. Perhaps aliens are controlling the newspaper?

Before going to Timberlea, we're to have a lunch of real buffalo burgers. Then drive down the South Shore to Hubbards. The parents are to drop me off on the Aspotogan Penninsular at friend Ted's new home outside Northwest Cove. I've not seen it before. Ted only bought it in May. Finally, after 23 years, he's left Ottawa and returned to live in Nova Scotia. I haven't seen him in several years. Am looking forward to seeing him today.

T-shirt: gey, knit ribbed (Gap)
temp: fog burning 25 C
location: Causeway Road
sound: LAL, Warm Belly High Power

13 August 2005

Seaforth's 200th Birthday Party

Party/dance, an afternoon ceilidh, moved from the road into the community hall. Later, a pub night here with Joe Murphy, local in-the-community musician. I'm in the basement of the community hall, underneath the dancefloor. My parents are upstairs, sitting down. There's a square of chairs against the wall facing in. I spied Roland Marshall across the hall, poet and painter, that I've known since my BS Poetry Society days in Halifax and went over to talk. That's how I ended up in the Seaforth C@P Site centre using this computer.

Hall windows overlook the fog shrouded saltmarsh. Old-time waltzes, foxtrots, Virginia reels and more for the floor, dancers very young & very old, fewer in between, on the boards. Fun and laughter setting up the Virginia reel—equal number lines of males and females—all ages. Gordie on fiddle, also the caller. Have to get back upstairs. Get my free hot dog. Have some offline fun!

Shirt(s): still Syliboy whale and blue & white stripes
Location: Seaforth Community Hall C@P Site Access Centre, NS
Temp: 17 C, warm fog
sound: live fiddle & guitar—Gordie Stobbe and guest fiddlers (one young & new—Lance Hicks, and one from Lawrencetown), two guitarists—in the hall upstairs

Joe's in here!

"Poets' corner:
Artist and poet Joe Blades sure doesn't act his age"
By Brent MacDonald

[Article from the here weekly newspaper feature: "Essence of Youth: Celebrate NB's young voices".

One point of clarification: The professor at UNB-Fredericton, Vladimir Tasić is Serbian-Canadian and he writes in Serbian. Broken Jaw published Herbarium of Souls, an English-language translation of one of his short fiction collections. ]

Shirt: humpback whale T-shirt
Temp: 16 Celsius
Loc: Hawkeye Island
Sound: Jamiroquai, The Return of the Space Cowboy

15 Minute Stop in Amherst

I made it onto the eastbound bus today. After days of wine and music, slow Joe goes by Sackville Cab to the Irving just off the Trans-Can. "There be dragons, the belly of the beast." The big drops splattering the toxic sludge deception painted on the driveway become serious T-rain as we wait for the bus from Monkeyton.

Woman with granddaughter runs inside the Mainway, resigned frustration in her voice, "Nice morning, isn't it?"
"Sure is. Great rain."
"We're supposed to be having a yard sale. Great weather for that!"
"Wonderful weather if your yard's inside."
"It's not."
"Oh, well. Best of luck, anyway."



There's three or possibly four Acadian buses converged in the Amherst Irving parking lot. The closest one is PEI bound and those going there must transfer off this bus now. Without a car or truck, I'm resigned, even accepting of travel by bus.

here I am, on the road again

Kellie wants me to commit. To commit to being at Stacy's no longer shotgun wedding in Blackville this coming Frievening. Wants me cast in the role of wedding photographer (alternative, not official, understudy, or pinch hitter): paparazzi José of The Wedding Channel. Want's me to bring CDs, even mix some music for after the family band . . .

on the road out of limbo
on the road to perdition

So much opportunity. . . Just how involved do i want to get, to be? Is it too much? Over the top? 'Zillas gone wild! Think and talk on Tuesday next. Lunch @ Rye's. Jar, the Claude, working . . . can we gather together?

the road is long
it'll get me there
it goes nowhere
traffics in motion
hums its travellin' song

Shirt(s): humpback whale petroglyph T by Alan Syliboy/Red Crane Enterprises of Millbrook; blue & white stripy long sleve (BD Baggies)
Temp: teens, cool, t-shower rain
Loc: Acadian bus 5577-47, Irving parking lot, South Albion Rd, Amherst, NS
Soundtrack: Pocket Dwellers, Digitally Organic

12 August 2005

Not tonight


I won't be getting to Dartmouth on a bus tonight. Sorry. My aim/plan is to be on the bus that arrives in Dartmouth at 12:40 pm tomorrow. Trust that that's okay.


shirt: still dark grey
temp 20s?
loc: definitely limbo
sound: larry, the cable guy

laptop blues

on the road east with the laptop blues
at the marsh's edge—tantramar taunting
me to enter its morass, to cross at my own risk,
the neck is narrow, bottled, gripping
nova scotia to hang on, to not drift away
on the briny—wee green wedgie or no
and i'm on the road with my laptop,
my electronic lapdog, hot and hungry
beside me—talking to me, wanting
attention— words and fingers
scratching under chin and behind ears
no honeybees on me, sir, no, sir, no

shirt: dark grey, no text
temp: 24 C, 41% hum, blue, blue sky
locale: under the evers of limbo
sound: Fleetwood Mac from Rumours

11 August 2005

Warmup to my HR diary entry

 Highland Radio logo and link
Highland Radio 2005 was a great weekend, live and interactive, on the grounds of the 24th New Brunswick Highland Games and Scottish Festival, July 22-24. I think this was my ninth year participating in CHSR’s special programming extravaganza Highland Radio. First involved in 1996, I’m pretty certain that I was away and skipped a year (Sagehill, 2001? or it didn't happen yin summer...?)

As a family living in Nova Scotia, one of the places our parents took us were the Antigonish Highland Games. We went to other games as well, Pictou and...? Our neighbourhood in Dartmouth was rich with pipers. The one next door was in the CFB Stadacona band. Several boys were in the Dartmouth Jr. Pipe Band. One of the best solo pipers in province lived up Swanton Drive from us: Robert MacDonald’s older brother, Fraser.

Every Natal Day [first Monday in August, the municipal birthday celebrated in both Halifax (born 1749) and Dartmouth (born 1750)] parade contained several bagpipe bands. Another favourite of mine associated with the Dartmouth parade was the Kinsmen or Kiwanis’ chowder dory stand between Sullivan’s Pond and Hawthorn Street.

My sister Carol did highland dance for a while. Didn’t own her own swords but I remember that Dad made her two wooden ones out of slices of leftover 2½” thick maple planks that he’d used to build the two long, low, bookcases or the matching plate glass topped sandbox table (again with bookcase underneath). The table is a wonder with the four deep shadowboxes face-up on top: each containing sand we’d collected from somewhere in each of the four Atlantic provinces. On the sand is a collection of shells and things from each province—coins from the respective former colonies, special rocks, driftwood, brass nails from the Humbolt (a ship on the bottom of Halifax Harbour, the nails recovered by cousin Roy) in the Nova Scotia box. Black dog hairs from Tinker (R.I.P, Tinkerbell) had drifted under the edges of the plate glass to rest on the sand one doesn’t dare vacuum—cleaning them up would be a tweezer job. Anyway, I don’t think that Carol competed as a highland dancer. Certainly, our parents wanted nothing to do with becoming a “dancer’s mom” or a “dancer’s dad” (as some at the NB Highland Games proudly wear on their shirts). Neither did our parents want to become sports parents or any of those (near) obsessive supporting roles.

In 1983 I became the first and likely the only member of my family who will ever attend the Edinburgh Tattoo: art exhibitions, Neil Innes for lunch; World bagpipes, Edinburgh book fair, tattoo concerts on the parade grounds inside Edinburgh Castle (where there’s a square of Nova Scotia soil from/for the dubbing of the Knight Baronets of Nova Scotia in 1620), a free first pint of the day in the World’s End pub on the Royal Mile, orchestra playing Handel’s “Water Music” and “Music for Fireworks” before a nighttime fireworks display overtop of the castle.

All this (writing/history/story/bio) is here in warm up to my requested contribution [“Contribute or be interviewed,” Tris said this past Tuesday evening] to CHSR’s collective Highland Radio 2005 diary.

Shirt: Ruminator Bookstore
Loc: Acadian Coach Lines bus 5306, eastbound on the Gagetown Bridge over the Saint John River, slogan “A time to let go!”
temp: low 20s, overcast, some actual rain drops
Sound: more Michael Franti and Spearhead from Everyone Deserves Music; then Jazzberry Ram Super Fishy Allah Tea.
time: 12 noon

On the road east

Wireless on the bus. May or may not have two seats. Cold java cup in the cup holder of the seat beside me, plus a receipt for three "divers" (misc. and not scuba, I believe) from an Uniprix in Ste-Anne de Bellevue. I'm still waiting to see if someone comes to claim it. I have a Dartmouth return ticket. Small "Mobile livre" suitcase underneath tagged for Sackville (Dartmouth tag in my pocket).

T-shirt: Still the Ruminator Press one
loc: Acadian Coach Lines bus, Fredericton to Moncton
Temp: 20, drizzle, 88% humidity
sound: Spearhead Everybody Deserves Music

Nail (belt) got me

By 8 am this morning I'm back home. Back from biking up Forest Hill Road and finally delivering my artist envelope of stuff that should have been received on Monday. I was a wimp oon Monday. Didn't want to climb that hill on bicycle in 40º Celsius humidex sun.

Tuesday's weather was no better. Decided that I could possibly roll over there in the evening after biking up to CHSR for my show. Then bike from Aitken Centre parking onto the ex-TCH and down the air break hill and take the off ramp before Princess Margaret Bridge. Good plan. Efficient use of energy. I rode up York Street, across the former marshalling yards for the train station, and out onto Beaverbrook. Crossed Regent Street with the lights, an eye always on the drivers to my left. Almost made it to my turn up Tweedsmuir when I heard a psizzzzz and felt the rear tire go flat. Almost at UNB, I walked to campus and chained the bike outside the physics/engineering bldg. My plans foiled.

Yesterday mornning, I walked the bike (it needed the exercise) to SkiWolf and left it there for repair. Liz and I walked up to the StupidStore to make 8 x 10 enlargements of two photos I'd taken at Pennsic XXXII to give as a Happy Trails! Safe Journey! Farewell! to friends transferred to Pet, ON. All afternoon given to framing the photos and devising packing so they'll be safe in the car on the drive to Ontario.

Finally got back to SkiWolf after 4 pm. Matt said a nail got me. [I jokingly suspect that it was Kate's accomplices ;-) with an invisible nail belt and not B. taking potshots that got the tire . . . "a nail", sure.]

With my trusty SCA steed back between my legs, I was finally able to scoot at get the photocopies made. Then dashed to the Fred library to sign out a CD that DJ Violet I wanted for her Prisoner's Justice Day special broadcast program Letters from Prison on CHSR. CD was BB King Live at San Quentin. I delivered it to her at work.

T-shirt: Ruminator Review: "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."—George W. Bush, President
Location: Fredcase
Temp: 20º Celsius , overcast
Soundscape: Zachary Richard, Cap Enragé

10 August 2005

Sage words from the StuporStore

Shirt: genuinecanadianmagazines.ca
Location: Fredbox
Temperature: 25 C, overcast
Soundscape: The Byrds Free Flyte

08 August 2005

Bearing Witness . . . picking up the pieces

Open file box of journals by Joe Blades. Photograph by Joe Blades
[First draft of an artist statement for an exhibition proposal.]

I am an involved observer. My poetry, my art, my journals are all party to my collecting images, facts, documents, pieces of other people’s lives and their garbage, then reworking them together, mixed media style, into something. One of the organizations I belong to has "Participoet" as its central philosophy and slogan. You have to be involved to be involved. We are nothing, if not here. Of late I have been spending a considerable amount of time reflecting on questions asked by several local interviewers and by two translators in Serbia. The questions are making me think more, or again, about what I create and how I make or have made it. This is a good exercise for me. Two things that are evident are that much of my work seems to be contextual, and much of it is site specific to a place, a moment, a situation in my life . . . I work with the details—the obvious plus the overlooked—and I weave them through words and images to tell their layered stories. My art journals are central to this work of witnessing my place or my passage through life and to translating it into art. I am never without knife, pen, and glue stick. Everything sticks in my journal collage. They become both artworks and reference resources. Recently, I started composing sketches for sculptural pieces built with journals (not just artworks and writing based upon what they contain). Now I want to start building the sculptures.

Shirt: "Quod nos non neccat, etiam maxiime laedit"
Loc: Fredblackhole, NB
Temp: 31º C
Sound: Kinni Starr, Sun Again

07 August 2005

A little more of the story: 11 Sept 2001

Sadly, the 11 Sept 2001 episode isn't an Ashes, Paper & Beans that I have on CD or cassette. The first show recorded direct to CD was in Nov 2001. Sometimes the extra technology wasn't available, or my getting-it-together just didn't happen . . . At least I wrote a little about that morning two years later in one of the Casemate Poems.

Here's a little more of the story: I had been out doing Alt event postering with the publisher when we decided to go to O'Scary's pub/restaraunt for their all-day steak & eggs breakfast special. There, live on television, I saw the first tower on fire, watched a plane fly into the second World Trade Centre tower, watched the fall of the towers. John Stiles, author, 2002

John Stiles, then living in Toronto and on tour for his Insolent Boy (Isomniac Press) novel came into Fredericton on the overnight bus from Montréal.

When he telephoned late morning to say he had arrived, I could tell that he didn't yet know what had really happened in New York. He said there were people in the bus terminal saying things that didn't make sense [but that is so often the case these days—intercity bus being the transit mode for those not quite all together]. I suggested that he get himself infront of a television real quick (I didn't have one at home at the time). Seeing footage of what had transpired that morming—like seeing footage of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—would allow better comprehension of a world-changing event.

When we got together that evening at CHSR to do the live radio broadcast I knew that it was going to be incredibly difficult to do an interview about the novel. That difficulty became the starting point. John and I talked about the attack in New York, how we had experienced it and how it related to us (I had lived a five minute walk north of the World Trade Centre). How do we talk about fiction and art in the face of events like this attack? Slowly the interview morphed through a discussion of the role of the artist in society and how artists can examine and explore the horrific and through art create something that might enable other people to approach and acknowledge, accept and even deal/cope with the unspeakable. By the end of the hour-long show John and I were discussing his novel and Maritimes author tour.

Afterwards, we both felt that we'd pulled a good interview out of a pretty impossible situation.

The following year, at the BookExpo Canada tradeshow in Toronto, a woman approached me to ask if I was the Joe Blades who had interviewed John Stiles on 9-11. She had listened to us on CHSR's internet broadcast.

06 August 2005

Wedding Channel

Today is my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. They're somewhere on the road in Nova Scotia. It's amazing how the years roll by. One of the early photos that I remember [if I had a copy I'd scan and post it here] is a before marriage picture of Mom with big-curled red hair, smart jacket and plaid pants leaning againt the side of Dad's hot red MG car.

When they married I don't think that an August 6th memorial observation of Hiroshima Day existed or had the significance that it does today on the 60th anniversary of that fateful USA use of atomics in Nippon.

Today there were three weedings [yes, you read "weedings"] at St. Paul's United and at least one at Brunswick Street Baptist around the corner. I felt surrounded by cultish marriage. Both churches face the small city block that houses "my" apartment along with a funeral home, the provincial doctors' medical society, estate and investment planers, a homebased psychiatry practice, a hair and beauty school which interns students at the funeral home, and a few chop-job houses made into apartments for students and single university professors. Diagonally across the block behind me one of these chop houses now sports a condo project sign. I live in an apartment in a former baptist church renovated with an apartment design reminiscent of a doublewide trailer except that there are three floors of four trailers parked on each floor . . .

Call it Wedding Channel but what IJuly 2004 unknown wedding at St Paul's United Church, Fredericton, NB. Photo by Joe Blades. really have is Church TV. From the chair I sit in while I write this in my "office" bedroom I look directly down the centre aisle of St Paul's. [Started in 1882, completed in 1886, in a High Victorian Gothic-Revival style built with quarried New Brunswick limestone, it boasts the tallest church spire in the city (taller than the cathedral), and it has a French-style rose window and iron bells on hand-pull ropes.] When the doors are open and light is shining in through the stained glass windows I can see the organist and the lower part of the pipes of the pipe organ. Whether I want it or not, I get to watch church, wedding and funeral programming. Plus special events: Christian music (local, on the road from the USA, or elsewhere), other concerts, music conservatory testing for the next virtuosos, protests, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, annual plant sales, yard sales, comedic custodial staff (especially in winter when it comes to cleaning snow off the carpeted steps and ramp), tourists on self-guided walking tours, and much more.

The first wedding today was a small affair: a young couple, the bride in a wasp-waisted strappless white dress with very clean lines, her three bridesmaids in dusty pink. What stood out in the small crowd were the alternate flower girl—a lively sprite who repeatedly climbed atop the railed stone wall fronting the access ramp—and three women [not the alternate bridesmaids] who wore distinct but recognizably icky green dresses or skits. This wedding couple had no getaway car.

The second wedding couple and party were older than the first. This bunch of people have all been out of school and/or university working and living for a few years. There was a pre-ceremony posed photo shoot, with and without sunglasses, of the groom, best man, and his troop—the boys—all large, fit men dressed in black. The wedding photographer was a woman. She flatter-chatted the men while framing and taking pictures. Her assistant, in a black dress, has a large diaphanous turquoise blue scarf thingy thrown about her shoulders. She carried the camera flash. I attempted to take a few pics myself through my street dirt grimed windows and screen. The photographer rushed over to get images of the bridesmaids, in sleveless black dresses, as they climbed down out of a Steroid User Vehicle. One of them protested. I heard her say, "There's no need to take pictures of us here," as I walked out the building's backdoor on my way to Roslyn's for a conversation and a sunny, warm, August Saturafternoon beer in her yard.

When I returned several hours later the 6 pm wedding party, the third wedding, the one that I'd caught in rehersal last evening, was dispersing. The bride and groom already gone.

After I was inside my apart and prepping a chicken tenders and vegie (portobello shroom, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, oriental eggplant, plum tomato, crushed chili garlic sauce, and a splash of beer) stirfry on a bed of rice for supper, I heard the solid wood church doors being closed. Turned sidways to see the last one pulled shut and locked from within. Too much wedding channel for me for one day.

Tomorrow morning, I'll get the regular church service—organist rehersal beforehand, the tolling of the iron bell(s) shortly after 10 am—unless I've gotten away on my bicycle first . . .

05 August 2005

Paparazzi on the Pedway

I tried. Honestly, I tried to avoid them. Had even voluntarily forwarded pieces of myself captured by other soul stealers. Then had thought, Well, that's done. But no . . .

In the weird light of 7 pm—while Nigel was locking church doors across the street after the dispersal of the rehersal party for one of tomorrow's wedding channel spectacles—when i'd just stepped into my suspended space after a marathon editorial consultant brianstorming session, the phone rang. Tell me again why I have a telephone or feel the need to answer it.

It was Kyle, here's local paparazzi stringer, with orders to capture me. He wanted me, not then but later, about 9 pm, against the colour of upriver sunset. He'll call later, closer to the time. If I can do it then, great! If not, he'd call Saturday morning.

I step out the front doors of the apartment building—a renovated ex-baptist church—into this golden glowing dusk. It's as if I'm surrounded by the glow of too weird pixi light.

I turn and walk towards the river. Seeing flashing lights as I pass the library boardroom that consumed my day (and my mind), I approach the pedway bridge. More colour here than anticipated. Among the people with cameras on the pedway is a lone guy with a tripod—shades of imaginary si-fi horror Day of the Tripod flick through my head. Below the pedway several of Fredericton's finest do spot safety checks on the cars and truckes trapped, propelled forward by their own momentum on the closed loop Pointe Sainte-Anne Drive. Surreal Mod Squad lights against orange sunset clouds.

Kyle is a former student of Karen Ruet's at the craft college (NBCCD), and he said that he's just been photographing her. More comfortable behind the camera, Karen usually goes squirrelly or shy when one is trained on her. It will be interesting to see what Kyle captured. He works with a Nikon, two flash units, a homemade softbox made by cutting a rectangle for the flashhead in the bottom of a white plastic yogurt tub.

My back to the sunset, I'm to look directly at him while he takes and takes. One flash doesn't work so he switches. Tourists and locals—none that know either of us—are clearly curious about why I'm being photographed but they don't ask us anything as they try to walk around the space containing me and Kype doing the photographer's dance. Then he says he'd like to shoot more pics of me in the light of my apartment building's entrance.

Guess that I was right about the paparazzi stalking me!

04 August 2005

Found photo du jour

One of three found photos from the southeast corner of York and Brunswick streets, Fredericton, NB, 5:07 pm.

How I Red-Faced a Teacher

Several years ago I was an invited to perform in an annual creative arts festival here in Canada that centres itself around the artistic creations of students within the far-flung schools and communities of a geographically vast school board.

I was asked to give poetry readings and/or to lead workshops on specific topics selected within the schools.

Before one of the poetry readings the teacher, visible nervous, asked what my poetry was about and was any of it sexual. I tried to describe my poetry and its content or subject matter without knowing why she asked so I concluded by asking her why.

A few years earlier Newfoundland poet-novelist Michael Crummey had been a performer in the same festival. In one of his readings he performed a poem that mentioned a penis or possibly "his penis." I’m still not clear which, and I don’t know which poem of his includes the offending penis. I still haven’t asked him about this story on any of the occasions we’ve met since then.

The teacher asked that I please not read any sex or sexual poems or any poems containing sexual body parts (which, internally, made me wonder which body parts were not potentially sexual). I replied that it hadn’t been my intention to read poems like that but now I would pay extra attention to my selections before I read them aloud. This would, I believe, be polite self-censorship.

A few days later in the festival I was on a pre-dawn Twin Otter flight into a community where, upon arrival, I found out that I was to perform the full school day, class-after-class just like one of the teachers. Not only that but, in this K-12 school, that I was to do readings or workshops with every student at every grade level in the school starting with the Kindergarten class. In every class I was accompanied by the teacher. For lunch I went with one of the school staff to her home and was shown her teenage son’s windowless, basement bedroom where I would kip for the night—walls and ceiling postered with wrestlers and metal bands—while he took the livingroom couch.

After lunch, I worked the upper grades and came to have the combined 10-12 class for last period. By this time I was quite mentally burnt or fogged from having been going flat out all day. I decided to breakup my reading my own poems by playing recordings of other Canadian poets. The teenagers seems very intrigued. Several of them recalled seeing videopoems on MuchMusic.

One of the poets I chose was a longtime friend—Calgarian Sheri-D Wison and her poem "I Am a Closet New Yorker" from the Word Up CD. Things proceeded fine until about halfway through the poem when Sheri-D said, "DON’T FUCK WITH A FUCK!." The teacher gasped. His face turned ripe tomato red. The students laughed at his shock and discomfort. I let the poem finish. Then I apologized. Making the teacher look bad, feel like a fool in front of his students, is not something I intended to do. Thankfully, the school day ended minutes later.

Over supper I learned that the teacher, who was also the school principal, was also town mayor and a church elder. Until a few years before the public school had been a church school, run by the conservative Moravians. That evening, a steady stream of school kids dropped by the house to visit the kids who lived there but also to see me again. They all knew that I had embarrassed their principal. Once I left, they knew that I would not be invited back.


Call for submissions

The coordinators of the Freedom to Read Review 2006, published by the Freedom of Expression committee of the Book and Periodical Council, seek thoughtful fiction, non-fiction and artwork—short articles, questions for our experts, snippets or quotations, experiences, poetry, prose, comic strips, and political cartoons—related to the following: freedom to read, self censorship, freedom of expression, intellectual freedom, censorship; what these terms mean or don't mean to you and where your boundaries lie. Content with a Canadian angle is of particular interest to us.

Send submissions pasted in the body of the email to publicity@theBPC.ca by August 15, 2005. Please query before submitting articles greater than 750 words or before sending an attachment. Please note that contributions may be edited for space or style and that due to space constraints we may be unable to use all contributions. Unfortunately we are unable to pay contributors at this time. For more information on the Review please visit http://www.freedomtoread.ca

03 August 2005

Are you a writer?

I don't know of the existence of Bloggers Anonymous or any similar 12-step program [is that what happens when you get a 6-pack of Maritimers doing the 2-step to some serious fiddle?] but a number of years ago I did commit the following set of questions to paper:

by Joe Blades

1. Has writing ever made your home life unhappy?
2. Has writing affected your reputation?
3. Have you ever felt remorse after writing?
4. Has writing caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
5. Have you ever written to get money to pay debts or solve some financial difficulty?
6. Have you ever lost time from work due to writing?
7. After writing did you ever feel that you must return as soon as possible and edit your writing?
8. After writing a successful poem did you have a strong urge to return and write more?
9. Have you ever written until your last dollar was gone?
10. Have you ever written to finance your writing?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance your writing?
12. Have you ever been reluctant to use writing time for "normal" activities?
13. Has writing make you careless about the welfare of yourself and your family?
14. Have you ever written to escape worry or trouble?
15. Have you ever written longer than you had planned?
16. Have you ever committed or considered committing an illegal act to finance writing?
17. Does writing cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustration create the uncontrollable urge to write?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of writing?
20. Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of writing?

If you answer YES to seven or more questions, you are a writer. As with any other creative compulsion, you may not be able to fully comprehend it by yourself. You may need help. You may need a community of writers around you.

Look, see here

I guess I’m still young. here thinks so. I just finished a telephone interview with their Brent MacDonald. Questions to colour the info pulled from my website for a piece of an article/feature they’re doing on, ulp, “young leaders in New Brunswick.” Questions about Broken Jaw Press, SpareTime Editions, Maritimes Arts Projects Productions, and questions about me. We’ll see what they do. See who else they put on the WANTED poster. ’Least they didn’t sent the paparazzi around.

Questions that made me think. Made me want to run. To hop on my bicycle and pedal furiously out of the city to nowhere in the country, to the real land. Go to ground. But I had just returned from a bike ride to get my body awake and my blood circulating in time to do the interview. Instead, I think I’ll go take a shower and wash the stink off me.

Anyway, the article will be in next Thurday’s here, 11 August, online and in print throughout the province. Might be good. Might damage my reputation . . . me, a leader?

Lost in waiting

yesterday—well, earlier tonight—i tried creating this new blogspot on the computer of lizzie's yarns but her computer was fixated on assigning her personal profile to me and my blogspot. not cool. not good. i'm still waiting for the first posting that i wrote there to show up here in an email. then i could post it after this posting.

yeah, i know: blog or get off the ’puter.

it might show up by dawn. have to sleep now. have to give a phone interview in the morning . . .

02 August 2005

The Lost First Blog

[NOTE: This had been posted for mere minutes before being copied, saved and removed and the "Broke Joe" blogspot deleted because of the problem described in "Lost in Waiting". I don't even recall what this post's original title was. When I got home, I signed on and created this here "Broken Joe" blogspot.]

Looked at the massing grey and black clouds upriver and put off going for a bike ride. It so felt like messy rain was coming.

Worked all day on emails; on directional notes (replies to their questions on stuff in my River Suite and Casemate Poems) to my two Serbian translators—Vesna and Dubravka; and started work on a grant application to get my ass to Serbia for the book launches in October.

Nuked some tofu chili, that I'd made and froze back in May, for a fast supper while watching live disaster coverage on tv: an A340 that, after landing at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, rolled off the end of the runway, crashed into a ravine, and caught on fire. Bad scene all around. Weird thing was that Fredericton and Toronto had exactly the same weather simultaneously: 23 Celsius, thunder, lightning, heavy rain.

Couldn't stick around to watch more of the bad news because I had to bike uphill to CHSR and do my radio show. So weird doing a poetry and writing show again during a big accident. Last time was when I interviewed author John Stiles live on air at CHSR on the evening of 11 September 2001.

Highlights of tonight's Ashes, Paper & Beans were a Susan Rendell short story "The Way to Get Home" read by Deidre Gillard-Rowlings and some great slam poems by Steve Sauvé from Ottawa. Then it was bike downhill to drop off a film at the StuporStore and over to Liz's (where I'm writing this while she's doing craft council board business on the telephone).

Fish or cut bait time: I've finally committed a blog.