31 January 2007


© Joe Blades 2007

tonight he can't get far enough
from near full moon to see it and
its storm ring so large and clipped
by his framed eyes and tired mind
living simultaneously in two worlds

the night sky is not modern
but still in its eternal dark ages
plague rat souvenirs for the kids
lemons continue to prevent scurvy
the stout in the den cool and thick

after a day of cutting leather
and rivetting his gorget together
he sits at the darkened wood bar
his tired eyes gone fuzzy blank
on beer taps bottles and clay mugs

seat tax before another cold walk
another mundane night alone
the once gritty ice worn smooth
too much arctic wind blown downriver
so many strangers wasting their lives

the dead are feeling overcrowded
and they will be squeezed for ever
more space as deaths accumulate
from ever more births and lives
in this finite home called earth

T-shirt: Pennsic XXXII
loc: Fredshippingcounter
temp: -25° C
sound: Bob Marley Soul Almighty

30 January 2007

bpNichol Chap-Book Award 2007

T-shirt: NSCAD after "I will not make boring art"—John Baldessari
loc: Fredpobox
temp: -14 C
sound: Spearhead chocolate supa highway

In the MAPP Armoury

In the shadow of the rose window in the limestone wall and of the bell tower of the church across the street I have been working to prepare loaner helms made by Isard for neofighters. Above pic is one with its first layer of foam padding duck taped in place. Below is a larger-head helm before I started on it. After padding it, this is the one I wore this past Sunday during fighter practice.

My personal armouring started with making a needed gorget. Pictured above is leather bought on Saturday at a local saddlery. I then had to draft a needed pattern for the complicated collar pieces.

The cut pieces loosely aligned overtop their pattern templates, with rivets and the not cut leather strip for the buckle straps.

The finished gorget riveted together this afternoon before the addition of foam padding inside the collar and under the front and back plates. It went together quite easily. I'm pleased with the results. Next is some chain mail . . .

T-shirt: NSCAD after "I will not make boring art"—John Baldessari
loc: MAPP Armoury
temp: -14 C
sound: Sting Songs from the Labyrinth

28 January 2007

MAC Feast @ Lindsay Valley

The set table, with Isard in shadow, at this past Saturday's CFB Gagetown Medieval Anachronists' Club feast held in Lndsay Valley Lodge.

Some of the lucky pot food brought by those of us participating. In a variation on a post-Medieval tradition I made haggis eggrolls and samosas, with three sauces, in tribute to the bard, the late Robert Burns, whose birthday is celebrated on 25 January. Other dishes included a mushroom & garlic soup, greens salad, barley & beef stew, crofter's pie, stuffed mushroom caps, cheese, hummus & pita bread, roast chicken, and custard & raspberry tarts.

A view down the table toward the populace gathered around the fireplace before being called to commence feasting.

T-shirt: camouflage
loc: Fredericton
temp: -15 C
sound: Great Big Sea "Mari-Mac"

26 January 2007

Call for Entries: 31 words

FROM: Crane's Bill Books


Crane's Bill Books seeks writing on any subject and in any style for a very spare anthology. Must be (1) prose, (2) untitled, and (3) exactly thirty-one words. Multiple submissions okay.

Thirty-one will be published in 2007 as a small, inexpensive, desktop artist's book. Payment will be in copies. Feel free to forward this announcement to anyone you think might be interested.

Deadline: April 1, 2007

Jeffrey A. Lee
Crane's Bill Books
1907 Buena Vista SE 11
Albuquerque, NM 87106-4148

can you read my...

you are invited to the opening of
can you read my...
photographs on paper and fabric by amber friedman
27 Jan, Saturday, 4-6 pm
charlotte street arts centre
732 charlotte st. fredericton, nb.
please come and bring a friend
T-shirt: SFRJ (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
loc: Fredinbox
temp: -23
sound: Grateful Dead American Beauty

25 January 2007

1996 Dumfries Courier article w/ photo

The announced reading in Kirkcudbright was cancelled because of bad weather, too dangerous for driving. I never did meet or read with Liz Niven and John Hudson. Too bad.

PJ and I did work on poems and a manuscript, and we did publish four collaborative cowgilsinkilts poetry broadsheets while I was there, but the collaborative book manuscript never came together in the end. I still have to do something bookish with my poems from that trip . . .

T-shirt: The Globe Inn (Established 1610) Burns' Howff
loc: Fredfilefolder
temp: -18°C (wind chill -25°C
sound: The Smiths "Singles"

Robert Burns Day

on burn’s day 1996
by Joe Blades

a canadian poet reads
at dumfries academy
200 years after rabbie
lived and died in this town

two canadian poets pose
in front of an art students
replica of rabbie’s tombstone
photographed as gargoyle thinkers
for the observer courier and herald

haggis pizza at doonhamer restaurant
honours rabbie burns’ bicentenary
and giovanni pascoli—a romantic
poet from the owner’s tuscan hometown

the people’s poet in every school
“my heart’s in the highlands”
recited in scots and russian
bagpipes and kilts and crazy
scots dancing in -20°C sun
in snow-cleared red square
afore dancing bears and belly dancers
at a moscow burn’s supper

robert burns scottish ale
flower of scotland whisky
robert burns sauvignon
the spirit of burns: a rare old blend
robert burns claret

and a red fox is struck
by a lorry or rover
to die on a road
out of dumfries

(Previously published in The Reader/Telegraph Journal, January 1997. © Joe Blades 1996.)
T-shirt: The Globe Inn (Established 1610) Burns' Howff
loc: Fredmemorylane
temp: -18°C (wind chill -25°C
sound: The Pogues Waiting for Herb

21 January 2007

Noche Latina, 9 Feb 2007


WHERE: Wilmot United Church – Carleton Street Entrance, Fredericton, NB
WHEN: Friday, 9 February 2007, 6 PM – 9 PM
(Dinner served between 6-7 p.m.)

Tickets can be purchased @ Mazucca's, True Food Organics; and COCUY (Charlotte St. Arts Centre) or at the door: $10 adult / $5 child (5 yr –12 yr) / $20 family

Organized by the Fredericton Chapter of the Maritime Breaking the Silence Network to fund scholarships for students at the indigenous middle school in Rabinal, Guatemala and a new scholarship for Jesus Tecu, founder of the New Hope Foundation in his goal of attending law school.

shirt: black, long sleeve knit
loc: Fredpsainbox
temp: -14 C (-25 C windchill)
sound: Miles Davis "Concierto De Aranjuez"

The Art of the Book '08—Call for Entries

The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild is pleased to announce that it will be accepting entries for its fifth juried members' exhibit, The Art of the Book '08, celebrating the 25th anniversary of CBBAG. A catalogue with photographs of all accepted entries will be published both in hard copy and on the CBBAG web site. Full Details and Entry Form: AB08_Call_for_Entries

The Art of the Book '08 will open in Toronto in the fall of 2008 and travel to several other locations across Canada from December 2008 through to the year 2010.

Up to three works per participant may be submitted and they must reflect at least one of the following distinct but overlapping elements of the book arts: Fine Binding; Papermaking; Paper Decorating (including marbling); Calligraphy; Box Making; Fine Printing; and Artists' Books.

The jurors are Nicole Billard, Crispin Elsted, and Ed Hutchins. Jurying will be held in two stages, Stage One from digital images, Stage Two from the work.

For payment by cheque, an entry free of $25 will be charged to CBBAG members ($85 for non-members, which includes 1-year membership). Because credit card payments are much more work to process (and to encourage payment by cheque), a credit card entry fee of $35 will be charged to CBBAG members ($95 for non-members, which includes 1-year membership).

Deadline for entries: June 30, 2007

CBBAG Book Arts Fair

Event date: Saturday, June 9, 2007

Location: St Barnabas Church, 175 Hampton Av at Danforth Av, Toronto, ON (across from Carrot Common, at Chester subway station)

General Information
Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild is offering an opportunity for bookbinders and book artists, papermakers and paper decorators, calligraphers and printers, book sellers and book arts suppliers to meet with and sell to CBBAG members and the public.

Free to the public.
Pre-registration required for exhibitors.

How to reserve a table:
Tables may be booked from now until May 31, 2007. Complete the Table Registration Form and return it with your payment to the CBBAG office. Reservations will be accepted only on the form provided, with payment attached.

CBBAG members: $40 each table
Non-members: $100 for the first table (includes one year membership) $40 each additional table
Suppliers: $55 each table (suppliers need not be members of CBBAG)

Tables are 2' wide by 6' long. Participants should bring table covers and their own signage. Set up begins at 9:30 am on June 9 and tables will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis at that time. Limit of two tables per participant. Take down will be between 4 and 4:30 pm. A light lunch will be served to exhibitors. Further information, including accommodation information, will be sent with confirmation of your reservation. Cancellations will not be accepted after May 31, 2007. Cancellations before that date will be subject to a $10 cancellation fee. CBBAG reserves the right to cancel the Book Arts Fair due to insufficient participation. In that event all table fees will be fully refunded.

Hours: The Fair will be open to the public from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm with no admission fee.

Book Arts Fair Registration Form:




Postal code_____________________________


I would like to reserve___table(s) for The Book Arts Fair

_____$40 Members, _____$55 Suppliers,

_____$100 non-members (includes one year membership)

Please make cheques payable to: Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild

Visa or MasterCard:

Name: (if different from Registrant)



Please send this form, with payment, by May 31, 2007 to:

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild
60 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 112
Toronto ON M6K 1X9

tel 416-581-1071
fax 416-581-1053

7th International Multicultural-Multilingual Poetry Reading in Fredericton

in conjunction with
The United Nation’s Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry,
World Poetry Day, and Mother Language Day

Organized to foster tolerance, respect and cooperation among peoples

When: 21 March 2007, Wednesday, from 5-8pm

Where: Latin American Cultural Centre, in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, 732 Charlotte St (between Church and St. John Streets) Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Organized by Nela Rio (founder of the International Multicultural-Multilingual Poetry Reading) with the support of the Latin American Cultural Centre (COCUY), ellipse, Broken Jaw Press, Registro Creativo (ACH), and the New Brunswick Latino Association.

Previous celebrations, since 2000, have featured poets and members of the community reading in many languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese Dutch, Danish, Urdu, Turkish, and Amharic among others.

We invite you to join us in the 7th celebration!
This event is open to the general public and admission is free.

Please include your name, postal address, email address, and the text of the poem you will read (use Times New Roman, 12pt font). The poem should have 30 lines maximum including stanza breaks (this is for the purpose of printing and exhibiting the poems at the reading). Send it to nelario@rogers.com
Please note: this community event will not be paying artist or performance fees.

REGISTRATION FOR READERS (you may choose a poem of your favorite poet to read at this event). Please include your name, postal address, email address; the name and country of the poet; the text of the poem (use Times New Roman, 12pt). The poem should have 30 lines maximum. Send it to nelario@rogers.com

REGISTRATION FOR INTERNATIONAL POETS WHO CANNOT ATTEND THE EVENT FOR REASONS OF LOCATION. Please include your name, postal address, email address; the text of the poem (use Times New Roman, 12pt). The poem should have 30 lines maximum. Send it to nelario@rogers.com

Thank you very much,
Nela Rio

Mensaje del Director General de la UNESCO con motivo del Día Mundial de la Poesía—21 de marzo de 2005 / Message du Directeur général de l’UNESCO à l’occasion de la Journée mondiale de la poésie (21 mars 2005 / Message by the Director-General of UNESCO:
La poesía tiene además la virtud de acompañar muy de cerca nuestra relación íntima con la escritura, la lectura, la traducción y la capacidad de compartir, y por ello es, hoy más que nunca, un elemento esencial del pacto que suscribimos, como parte del Decenio Internacional de una Cultura de Paz y no Violencia para los Niños del Mundo (2001 2010), para promover un aprendizaje crítico y fundado en los ideales de creación artística y literaria, libertad de expresión y diversidad cultural. (Koichiro Matsuura)

“[Poetry] has the virtue of being intimately connected to our private practices of writing, reading, translating and sharing. In this respect it is more then ever before at the heart of the pact we have entered into, in the context of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), to promote an enlightened learning based on the ideals of artistic and literary creation, freedom of expression and cultural diversity.”
—Koichiro Matsuura

shirt: black long sleeve knit
loc: Fredsunmorning
temp: -16 C (-25 C w/ windchill)
sound: Joni Mitchell "Tin Angel"

20 January 2007

18 Jan 2007 Broken Jaw Poets Reading

Ed Lemonde, of Attic Owl Bookshop, Moncton, opening the Thursday night reading. Writer Lee Thompson, editor & publisher of the new fiction mag Galleon (first issue almost ready to print) and editor of the WFNB NB Ink newsletter is in the front row with cheese & crackers. Beside him is poet Kimberly Gautreau, after a day spent editing the manuscript of her forthcoming book. There were other writers and artists in the good-sized, welcoming, and decidedly interested audience.

Poet Karen Davidson reading from her first full-length collection Jewelweed (Broken Jaw Press, 2006). Karen will be participating for the second year in a row in CBC Radio One's Poetry Face off.

Edward Gates, on the left, finally being presented with Poets' Corner Award 2006 for his collection Heart's Cupboard (Broken Jaw Press, 2006) by poet Joe Blades, Chair of the BS Poetry Society and publisher of Broken Jaw Press. After the surprise presentation, Edward read selections from the book, his fifth published collection.

After a short break, Joe Blades read a poem from each of River Suite (Insomniac Press, 1998) and Open Road West (Broken Jaw, 2000). Next he read selections from Casemate Poems (Widows & Orphans, 2004) and more recent poems including the that-day published a little something . . . 26 broadsheet's poem "prison song 01". A lively Q&A session followed.

T-shirt: Guiness
loc: Fredcatchupbox
temp: -6 C (-13 C wind chill)
sound: Garrett Mason I'm Just A Man

15 January 2007

One for the Weavers

On Saturday one of my cousins and his wife delivered a box and bag of stuff and a new board to replace a broken one on my livingroom futon.

The bag was filled with neckties. They came from the wardrobe of the deceased husband of a friend of my grandmother in Cole Harbour, NS: Quite a few silk ones. Plus some wool ties from England, Scotland, Shetland, Trimingham's of Bermuda, one from Quebec, and one handwoven by Betty Complin of St Catharines, Ontario. The prize, however, is a score of handwoven wool ties from Madawaska Weavers here in New Brunswick. Upriver from Fredericton, they were woven and sewn in St Leonard.

I'm not a tie man. Own a few out of neccessity. Why would I want to put a rope around my neck? Have always maintained that there's too many ties in the world. I'll do something with these ties. Maybe make a more useful, usable piece of clothing from them? Don't know yet but there's no rush . . .

shirt: blue long sleeve
loc: fredcollection
temP: -11 C
sound: The Beatles "white album"

14 January 2007

Olaf's first fighter practice

Happy Orthodox New Year's Day!

A day to do something new,
something different . . .

I'm still waiting for an email with the link to the pics and vids taken by and uploaded by Lord Isard from this afternoon's MAC fighter practice in Oromocto, but at least, for now, I have this self-portait taken in the middle of putting on the loaner armour (much of it build or bought by Isard while @ King's College, Halifax). Mind you, when he wrote, on list, that he had this armour, he called it "loner armour". I can understand that. Minds me of the "one Wolf" on that ol' funny Laverne & Shirley sitcom. Isard is the only member of the Iron Wolf household in the shire.

Finally, it has happened. I've been waiting a long time for this. I put on armour. Started learning sword & board. The old fart learning from twa of th most unorthodox fighers in the shire, but I will learn. I will position myself and strike. Up against Tony for my first learning is steep. I'm the one with the burgandy arms. He's an ex-Marine whose been fighting in the Society for Creative Anachronism for 15 or so years (and is nine years younger than me). There's a steep learning curve ahead for me! I was hit. I struck his shield repeatedly with my sword.

Pic of "Olaf" from today:

It's a long way to Senta
It's a long way to Rome
It's a long way to Pennsic
It's a long way to home . . .
I really feel like I was doing something active this afternoon, but I don't feel as hurt as I could (or probably should). I'm so not gym-trained, or truly fit (other than legs from walking and cycling, and the rest of my body hefting cartons of stubborn poetry books and unsolicited manuscripts :-) but at least I do something and know/want to do more . . .

Shirt: Canadian Wildlife
loc: Fredfootball
temp: -5 C
sound: NE @ SD (NFL)

11 January 2007

Intended return

Today is the last day for the travel insurance policy purchased last August. Right now I was supposed to be on a transatlantic Air Can plane flying from Frankfurt to Montreal . . .

This is the lable from a bottle of the good stuff brought back when I returned early, almost two months ago, in mid November. This is a grape brandy from Montegegro, strong at 47 per cent, very clear, very cleansing.

What with so much other stuff happening in my space since my return, for the longest time I hadn't felt that I'd actually returned. Certainly didn't get to settle and relax. Things are getting better of late. Straightened out. Sorted. Settled.

I now have some space to breathe. My old space mostly recovered but, realistically, still too crowded with boxes of Broken books and files so I have more to do in the archives and inventory storage departments. Have several author readings or workshops to lead coming up in the next month. Have several freelance work projects falling into place for the next few months. Have ideas to write out, to explore and let run with my imagination. I've things to do, people to see, and as yet no big trips planned for 2007 . . . but who knows what tomorrow or next week may bring?

T-shirt: 100 Mile House, B.C. "bald eagles"
loc: Fredericton
temp: -13 C
sound: The Chieftains, The Long Black Veil

10 January 2007

3-poet reading in Moncton

If you're in the neighbourhood, you might want to check this reading out . . . Meet the poets. Buy their poetry books. Be read to . . .

Shirt: brown turtleneck
loc: Fredcalendar
temp: -1 C
sound: Sarah McLachlan, "Possession"

Two Singers

The cast base of one of the Singer sewing machine tables found in Senta / Zenta, Serbia at the Mojo Club. the lower part of the oval reads "Zenta / Biligzky Karoly".

There's an ironworks in the town of Senta (town's name in Hungarian is Zenta) that made iron plate-wheel tractors and more. Don't really know anything about them. Just walked past the grounds of their plant across the road from the train station. Don't know if they made these sewing machine bases or not. Couldn't find info about that on the Singer site but saw that Singer once had a huge production plant in St Petersburg.

The base of the Singer table my mother has in Nova Scotia.

Have no idea where it was cast. Know that there are several of these bases around. Mother's current Singer machine is actually on the pine tabletop (not shown), and it has drawers. Think one of my sisters has another one of these bases remade. Think there's one for me too, if I ever get a suitable space . . .

shirt: brown turtleneck
loc: Fredfriction
temp: -2 C
sound: Talkin' Roots—Volume 1, Various Artists

01 January 2007

Happy New(s) Year

or Bonne année!
or Happy Nude Year
or Happy Dude Year
or Happy Snooze Year
or Nova godina
or Happy New Year
or ¡Feliz Año Neuvo!
or . . . .

To everyone, everywhere:
May the year 2007 be a better year!
Cheers! Slante! Živjeli!

T: blue, not-marked
loc: Fredwolfnight
temp: -10 C
sound: Bruce Guthro live on stage from Parade Square, Halifax, Nova Scotia, on ATV