30 May 2006

night bus stanzas

orange crescent moon
over st-louis-du-ha-ha
so upright it can't hold rain

sandford fleming time fell backward
an hour—thin moon almost
sitting on trans-canada highway

eye water wets my cheeks
no not crying pollen drop
passed twice through same time

moon slides through night
into trees and irving gas station
auberge motel déppaneur

backlit no smoking sign reflected
outside bus onto moving night
rolling through la belle province

purple and/or red neon outlines
—earth has spun us away
from any more moon tonight

motel claude motion sensor light
illuminated waterbottle on bicycle
—no one waits for this bus

rosary bead red lights climb
night sky—precursor
to hilltop illuminated crosses

ton dieu more obvious here
build into the landscape
like highway approaching seaway

notre dame du lac reflects
lights surrounding the lac
visited 20-some years ago

girl gave hitchhiking me a ride
took me to her family's auberge
fed and put me back on the road

this time i pay for wheels
to roll 'cause the alloted travel
insufficient for no step wings

on one inside the locked cafe
storytelling poem keeps me awake
keeps my prison song on the road

it's a long way to toro
it's a long way to senta
how can i roll without dough

dawn serenade in pocket
bottled water in hand
rather have a beer and fall . . .

roll on buddy past xxx dansers
done the road from maritimes
into lower canada toward upper

my dear a dream fantôme
far away in new hush job
haven't heard how anything

letters not sent covered table
handwritten after mealtimes
—will they ever be read

fox scent enters bus air
orange arrowheads glow on curve
mine the only passenger light on

perhaps it's time to stop
writing before riviér-du-loup:
leaping deer crossing roadsign

© Joe Blades 2006

T-shirt: Ruminator Books
loc: Acadian (Orleans) bus 5462 on Trans-Canada Highway westbound
temp: 22 C
sound: tinny music from headphone on other heads

29 May 2006

(instead of a bike ride)

On Thursday I had a phone call from the ED of the sales group that reps Broken Jaw in Can & USA. Suggestions of an unwritten display-only option for participation in the LPG booth at BookExpo Canada running 11-12 June in Toronto: book cover poster(s), display recent books, BJP catalogues, author tour registery, and galleys of forthcoming books.

Q: All forthcoming books, or . . . ?

Get an email that evening with this answer:
M_'s suggesting, if you can, a few little samplers of aubade, instead of a galley. Then we'd be able to give it away, reach more people. If you think that's possible, let me know, otherwise a galley.
@ 22:14:41 I email rob, the author of aubade:
hey, rob,

I've been asked to make/publish an instant _aubade sampler_ chapbook for promo distribution at BookExpo Canada (&, oui, I'd make a few extra copies for you and me). I'd like your help in picking out 12 to 16 book pages of poems or poem excerpts to highlight the significant range of the book's contents. Challenge is that I need this from you by tomorrow: Friday, 26 May. I have to design, print, bind and deliver these chaps to the LPG by 9 June at the absolute latest (or earlier, if they say so). I know that I travel to toronto next week by bus for my Art Bar reading 30 May, and that you travel to toronto days later for tspg book fair 3 June and yer Art Bar reading 6 June. Doesn't leave us much time to pull it together. Take a deep breath and reply. Thanks :-)
rob phones me shortly after 3 pm, Friday. He just got online. Just saw the email. Is it okay to sent a suggested poem list tomorrow? No time now! Will be online in the morning. Gives me a book order: his own + various cauldron book series titles.

"hey," Sat, 27 May 2006 01:55:41 +0000, email:
im on accidentally now. heres the file of suggestions.

Saturday afternoon, after finding and boxing rob's book order, after biking past some band singing "take a walk in the country with me" in a tent beside Off. Sq. on my way upriver to Hartt Island and back, after realizing while biking that I was missing the exhibition opening at The Blue Door and that I didn't feel up to the crowd scene that would be in the BAG for the Rodin opening [and Rodin wasn't going to be there anyway], Liz called while I was deep in messin w/ rob's 2 AM ms for the near instant chap. When Liz & her littles arrive at The Taproom, I'm proofreading and making notes on my first and only galley of the cover and guts. Later, I went with them to their place for late bbq food.

My note inside the chapbook says:
This aubade sampler was published on the last weekend of May 2006 in an edition of 300. Printed, collated, and bound in-house by Joe Blades in the back office of Broken Jaw Press Inc., in the wild western Maritimes, on a warm, sunny Sunday when he would rather have been bike riding on a woods or riverside trail.
A box with about 250 aubade sampler copies enclosed is going in today's mail to the LPG office. rob's copies will get to him. Broken Jaw's copies will used as I choose, or as necessary (including two copies to Legal Deposit @ Library and Archives Canada). I've also posted the BJP eBook 49 (PDF) edition online, accessible from the Broken Jaw home page and from the aubade book page.

Anyone online can download and/or print the chapbook's PDF edition on five 2-sided sheets of letter-size or A4 paper. Enjoy!

P.S. This morning I've already gone for, and come back from, a bike ride of the Marysville-Gibson Trail loop in No'side F'ton.

T-shirt: "eagles" 100 Mile House, BC
loc: commCtr
temp: 18 C
sound: Counting Crows Recovering the Satelites

27 May 2006

blog post 300

boulder in pond—
apple tree blossoms
petal green scum

Whew! Wipe my brow. Spare time or otherwise I've finally committed my 300th posting on this blog. I'm so not a blog addict but it's been good. I would like more time everywhere in life to write, not just for this blog, but I do what I can . . . and let other stuff, other ideas, slide on by . . .

Time is just like that. If it had feelings, time wouldn't care whether I slept all day, or all night, or woke up before dawn, or had a beer for breakfast, or a fried egg supper. Time is self absorbed and all-consuming, the ultimate "There it was . . . gone!"

T-shirt: Quod nos non necat etiam maxime laedit
loc: commCtr
temp: 20 C
sound: Alice in Chains Unplugged

24 May 2006

APB, 23 May 2006

Ashes, Paper & Beans, (CHSR)
23 May, 7–8 pm.
Host: Joe Blades

Three Canadian performance or sound poets.

Phlip Arima "Human Drag".

Paul Dutton from his cassette
Full Throatale (Underwhich Editions, 1994):
Kit-Talk (1:53)
"For the Letter That Begins Them All, H" (3:13)
Smile (1:07)
Score for Tony, 1st Movement (1:22)
Borealis (6:57)
Northern Lights (3:42)

bill bissett from his cassette
London Life (Nightwood Editions, 1990):
1) th monstr in th wall makes me type (3:30)
2) thees jets wer flying (0:45)
3) what can we dew with our hearts (1:16)
4) toxic blobs calld potenshul disastr (3:37)
5) london life (3:15)
6) running with th liquid dansrs in th sky (1:21)
7) karibu road (2:47)
8) life etc: (2:20)

+ Radio Free Vestibule "I Don't Want to go to Toronto".

22 May 2006

in Pale, Bosnia

Pale was a small mountain town when Sarajevo hosted the 1988 winter Olympic games. There’s still “bilbords” from that time along the main road through town, one of them a Hypo Bank bilbord, directing visitors to Jahorina ski hills for events. I suspect that Hotel Damis, where the Faculty put me up, was build for visitors to those games. Below is a view across part of the town/city with the frame of a not yet completed arena in the middle ground.

After the civil war that broke up Jugoslavia (after the Olympic Games), the population of Pale swelled to 30,000 with people moving from other parts of the federation of Bonsia. Pale is in the Republic of Srpksa. On the suggestion of Vesna Lopicic, one of my book translators, I contacted one of the universities where she teaches in rotation [In Oktbar 2004 I gave a talk for her at the University of Beograd and in Oktobar 2005 I was a participating artist guest at a conference at the University of Nis)].

April 17-18, 2006 I was a visiting lecturer at the University of East Sarajevo, the first literary author to do so. Classroom talks and poetry reading slide shows. The above photo, by Natasha K., is from one of those activities and is posted here with her permission.

The university is quite new, about 10 years old. Founded after the war, they just got their faculty building a few months ago. Before then all the offices and classrooms had been using cold, inadequate space in a nearby factory building. The law faculty has its own new building. Shopping centars are being build tight beside the university to get the most explosure/access to/by the resident students.

Few of the students were born or raised in Pale and the surrounding area. Some still live in Sarajevo, as do many of the staff, and they travel back and forth daily. Most of the professors rotate in several times per month on an elaborate scheduling system from universities in Banja Luka, Beograd and Nis.

T-shirt: CHSR Highland Radio 98
loc: BJP commCtr
temp: 11 C
sound: Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols

Visit to Sarajevo

With three of the Department of English faculty assistants as my escort, I was taken me on a quick we'll-show-you-the-sights roadtrip. Sarajevo, now a city of 300,000 people, a 20-minute twisty gorge drive away for Pale. Folded limestone mountains lightly covered in birch and other deciduous trees. Unexploded landmines on the opposite side of the gorge from the highway.

Waves of red tile roofs undulate over hill and valley buildings. An ancient Turkish hilltop form being rebuild as a historical-tourist attraction. Saudi money pouring in to build new mosques—ones with twin minarets. Brilliant white stones in Muslem graveyards. EU money building highways and other infrastructure through the country. The famous art school housed in a former synagogue. The former Austro-Hungarian city hall boarded up with plans to be restored. A small fifth century stone orthodox church downtown that said to be respected by those of all religions was visited . . . but the adjoining museum was not yet open for the tourist season.

The long-time Turkish market streets adjacent to the old Gazi Husrev-Beg's mosque were busy with people on a beautiful, sunny mid-20s Celcius April afternoon. In one one wall was a drinking fountain with a sign stating something to the effect that anyone who drinks there waters will not be able to leave. None of us drank there. Traditionally known for their silver, textiles and leather work, the shops today are a crazy mix of modern trade brand good and the handmade. Through one shop doorway I saw a man hammering a Turkish coffeepot. I should have bought one. Maybe next time . . .

Evidence of the recent war is still visible. On the route from the Bosnian border to Pale I'd seen many bullet-marked and/or bombed buildings in the narrow passes and valleys, former ambulance and army trucks converted in farmyards and woodlots. Hotel Europa in ruins. The most striking visual, for me, was the "pink eye" hit pictured above on the side of a building on the edge of Sarajevo's old market sector.

T-shirt: CHSR Highland Radio 98
loc: BJP commCtr
temp: 10 C
sound: Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks

A little off

Something is a little off, odd, out of sorts here. Not just me, but out there . . . in blogland. Broken Joe hasn't been getting as much of my attention of late. The onscreen display of its template [Minima Black] has screwed up somehow. When I'm looking at it on my computers the sidebar with profile, archives, and links flickers in place then disappears leaving what Froo Froo the Talking Cat would call "black, black emptiness" (—Radio Free Vestibule).

I don't understand why this is happening. For me it has only been doing this in the past few weeks, possibly a month?

Yesterday I discovered that the sidebar is now showing at the very end, the bottom of the displayed postings. Why? How do I correct it?

15 May 2006

The occupation of Book Publisher

[How and where I spent today.—Joe]

On May 15th in Ottawa, the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) held a roundtable meeting with representatives from the Book Publishing industry to discuss human resources issues in the industry including the impact of technology. The Keynote speaker was Kris Abel, the technology expert from Canada AM, and he talked about community websites and stores as well as the new e-book reader from Sony.

CHRC launched its competency chart and profile for Book Publishers at the roundtable. The Competency Chart and Profile can be used by individuals to evaluate their own skills and to determine areas where they should pursue additional training. On a corporate level, this material can be applied in defining job profiles, developing competency base professional development programs, negotiating and customizing training programs, developing career planning programs, recruitment profiles and individual position descriptions.

The chart and profile can be viewed online at:

The occupation of Book Publisher covers a wide range of possibilities—from the independent writer who self-publishes to the head of a large publishing company with undreds of employees. It also includes those who are publishing traditional print editions of books and those who are trying out newways of content distribution such as publishing on the web and converting the content for use in any number of existing or future devices. Publishers, after all, are in the business of distributing content, and books are only one means of doing that. They must know about the complexities of rights, and understand distribution and marketing; and they must know the global environment with its vast opportunities and challenges.

11 May 2006

land titles

morning for a walk run bike
along south saskatchewan river
five road and a train bridge span
this sun this warm will raise
afternoon wind and make likely
clouds thundershowers hail
weatherbelt sweeping eastward

stepped over saturday globe
leaving bessborough hotel room
outside not-open family restaurant
on-the-street urban summer
youth in jack and used combats
punk patches and chains—no
girl or dog but feel they’re nearby

beside mccrapp’s they try to sell
me one of yesterday’s newspapers
one says you clearly have more
money you’re wearing a suit
confusing sports jacket t-shirt
jeans and sneakers for more
than he spent on piercings and tatts

honking from above . . . geese
on roof edges of adjacent office
buildings . . . quiet pigeons nearby
skein of geese fly high over top
saskatchewan land titles building
picture perfect prairie moment
souvenir of downtown saskatoon

© Joe Blades 2006

t-shirt: Beograd City
temp: 14 C
loc: Acadian Lines bus passing through Sackville, NB
sound: The Best of Tom Waits, vol 2

10 May 2006

Srbin joke! or . . . ?

"Ko je ovde veći Srbin? / Who is the biggest Serbian?"

It's all in the colour scheme of the Canada Post truck. The red, blue and white stripes on the back door approximate the Serbian flag. Coincidence?

Thanks, Natasha. Don't know if you found this one or made it, but hey . . . thanks.

loc: BJP comctr
temp: 12 ° C
sounD: Starsky & Hutch on tv in another room

APB 9 May 2006

Tuesday again. Second Tuesday in a row that I arrived in the wee hours of, after marathon air travel, then had to get through the day to do another episode of Ashes, Paper & Beans.

I kept it simple:
Two Lisa Moore's short stories:
• "Craving" read by the author
• "Close Your Eyes" read by Holly Hogan.
John Stiles with his poem set "Apple Orchard Opera".
Zach de la Rosa with "Land and Liberty".
Utah Phillips & ani difranco: "Bridges".

09 May 2006

Traditional Serbian Meal

Hanging from a pole beside the road, a lambskin curled in on itself. A blackened squared log main building and several outbuildings—all tile roofed, even the well. Two roasting pits: one standing on its own; the other one, far larger, under its own roof. A blackened stump, uprooted, from a large tree, a wooden-wheeled cart displayed in the yard. Half a dozen cars parked in the yard.

We're on a roadtrip to see the countryside of Sumadija and the kings' hilltop mausoleum in Topla, have been there, walked in the crypt and the hilltop forest. Then we slowly drove back towards Beograd.

The roadside restaurant-dinerbarbecuee is where Pedja wants us to eat lunch. To eat a real Serbian meal. Authentic. Not some fancy Beograd restaurant's approximation thereof. We're here for traditional roast lamb rotated on a spit above a charcoal pit until done then left to cool.

Four outside tables with sun-bleached African savannah animal tablecloths and benches. Five long tables inside plus a small corner bar setup. Garlic, dried paprikas and flower wreathes, and horseshoes above the door and windows to keep vampires at bay. An outside tap for washing hands and face.

We start with both Serbian and šopska salads (mixtures of ripe tomato, cucumber and onion but šopska also has paprika and cheese), fresh bread, Jelen Pivo, spicy-hot roasted green Hungarian peppers with oil and crushed garlic over top. The lamb, carved from the chilled whole roasts, is served on one kilogram platters. We clean two platters of it, and everything else on the table. Salt rubbed in the outside crackle. The lamb was so incredibly tender. What a feast!

While we ate and talked, I watched a boy, the son of the family, clean ash from the large roasting pit, then build and light a fire for today's roasting a lamb. Across the field, his father hauls a lamb into a shed . . .

T-shirt: Simple; free your mind
loc: Novi Beograd
temp: 17 C, bright overcast
sound: jets from Beograd Intl Airtport, basketball on the court outside Gandijeva 193, Cartoon Network, Aqua Park Beograd construction site equipment

26 April 8:30 pm

02 May 2006

APB 2 May 2006

Simple show tonight, after the marathon travel. Sunday night I boarded a „Fudeks” minibus in Beograd that delivered me to Terminal 2B of the airport outside Budapest. After hours of waiting I flew from there to Munich, Montreal, then Frederiction, arriving at the apartment after midnight Monday (or in the first hour of Tuesday).

Tonight's show was Lisa Moore's short story "Melody" read by Holly Hogan. "Oscar" by Bud Osborne, "Chic Alors" by Alex Boutros & Kaarla Sunderstrom, "Sound Poem" by Fluffy Pagan Echoes, "Of Glory in the Flower" by Terrance Cox, "This is For the Night People" by Ralph Alfonso.

Trip Note

There will be postings from my activities in April in Eastern Europe, but they'll be late—not in real time. Some travel and events didn’t go as planned. Other events changed, Some activities were added. I was without adequate internet access for the last 12 days of the trip—not even for my web based email options. Oh well, as I prepare to travel west to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for publisher meetings and another sales conference, there will be postings with pictures from Bosnia and Serbia.