30 December 2008

APB, 30 Dec 2008

The last Ashes, Paper & Beans episode of 2008 . . .

Started the show with several poem tracks from a Bruce McRae (Victoria, BC) demo cassette received: "Sum Over Parts", "Grass In My Hair", Tiny Photographs", "Blueprint", and "Tough Luck".

The feature, though, was a live guest tonight: performing songwriter Yves St-Laurent of Fredericton and Montreal. The wide-ranging interview included performances of his "The Underwear Song" and the multilingual "Not So Very Far" plus his cover of a Johnny Cash tune: "The L&M Don't Stop Here Any More".

Ended with "Palmas" by Luis Rodriguez.

22 December 2008

from Birth of a Nicola

This past Saturday night, on the last day of autumn 2008, we finished filming for Birth of a Nicola, a project of F. Chris Giles.

Back in August we built a 12+ foot high, 21 x 24 foot square film set on the floor of the auditorium of the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. We borrowed stuff—flats, furniture, fake library, a door—from Theatre New Brunswick then added stage risers, steps, ex-Radient Darkroom's revolving door, and more walls build mainly with materials recovered from the restaurant set of the Diplomatic Relations film from earlier this year. Jim Lavoie in the foreground.

Scientia (played by BronweN) with potato baby in the kitchen of the set, as seen from the labratory through the window opening.

Chief Qzuiliv (played by Dennis Poirier) of the Quecheua peoples high in the mountails of Altiplanu praying and accepting the first potato, come from another dimension, in the starry night. Allan Galloway with the slate; Jessica Holt up on the stepladder.

The Potato Goddess (also played by BronweN) on her thone in the underworld.

At the Silver Wave Film Festival 2007, Chris Giles was presented with a New Brunswick Joy Award for this project. He is the writer–director–producer.

20 December 2008

from La Voz de Montreal

Before the start of our double book launch on 11 november 2008 at Volver café culturel, we (Nela Rio, Hugh Hazelton y Joe Blades) were interviewed by Alberto Antonio Méndez for La Voz. He was assisted by Natalia Gnecco, who took our photographs, and who translated for me. A copy of the La Voz issue arrived in yesterday's post.

17 December 2008

O Kandahar

O Kandahar! Your home and native land!
For peace and love with all that guns command,
With roadside bombs you make us rise
from a True North far away.
From far and wide, O Kandahar,
We stand on guard for thee?
Please make your land glorious and free.
O Kandahar, we die on guard of thee.
O Kandahar, we’re standing guard on thee.

09 December 2008

APB, 9 Dec 2008

The radio show tonight (2nd last live show of the year):

Vince Tinguely feature from the soon-to-be-released CD: I Am Burdened With A Past: Poetry Recordings 1986-2006.

From Silver Wave Film Festival 2008 Industry Series: Canada Feature Film Panel-Case Study-Nonsense Revolution(L-R: still from Nonesense Revolution, Ann Verrall (Writer-Director), Thom Fitzgerald (Producer), Doug Pettigrew (Producer).

"Sweeper Don't Clean My Street" by Reg E. Gaines.

06 December 2008

Farewell, Gram

My last living grandparent, my Mom's Mom died early this morning. Picture above is of her and me in St George's, Newfoundland just a few years ago . . . when I had my 2nd b'day.

The phone call from the nursing centre in Halifax woke my parents and me after midnight . . . though my parents weren't swift to tell me---guess they were waiting until they knew I was awake . . . and I was so awake, waiting upstairs, that I was reading and waiting until I had to trek downstairs for the bathroom . . . after all, why else would their phone ring after midnight?

When I saw her this week I could see she was so tiny, the cancer having eaten almost everything. Just her kneecaps raising the still, burgundy-coloured blanket; her head way too close to skull-like, open mouthed from the painkillers. I watched her trying to form dad's name and mine with her near-useless mouth and tongue when she couldn't say anything. So little left of such a solid, firm, and loving woman already less than half her real weight, and so much shorter. I hope I can live up to my obligation to cracking and eating lobsters for her for many, many years to come . . .

Pic above is from August of this year, Gram now in the wheeled device, with my youngest and younger sister in the courtyard garden at Northwood. Thanks to Ruth's husband, Mike, by brother-in-law, for taking this picture with my camera.

The service will be a week Monday in the morning in Dartmouth. What with the back-to-back storms predicted for the next few days (at least one a nor'easter) I came back to Fredericton earlier than planned. My sister, Carol, is expected to fly into Halifax Intl next Saturday. I must travel there again than day, or Sunday, depending upon the weather.

03 December 2008

APB, 2 Dec 2008

"I'm a Stranger Here, Myself" by Cin Salach & Sheila Donahue.

"Beat the Drum" by Christopher Stewart.

"New Work" (poems) by Marilyn Iwama (photo on right).

A Morsel by Paula Belina.

01 December 2008

Day without art

30 noemberi 2008


spaghetti plate with greens
steak and fries     coffee and
water     ginger ale

     keith a john
and john a waiter

     bag light
     diva lite
     red heads

kitchen safety practice:
apron / delantal
goggles / gafas
gloves / guantes

and hours later     across
town     it’s a picture wrap
with picaroons winter
warmer in the hour before
month-end and december’s
day without art arrives

30 November 2008

29 du 2008


on the outside
like a brush of paint
               on canvas
wrangling snow lines
     in small hollows
on very green grass
          wilmot park
now military base land
berries and hipped bushes
leaves brown and blown

caution water
     very hot
high voltage restrooms
coffee tea
tea coffee
     fan switch
pop and water
     sodium 101
quiet program
     in session

leave the cover on
do not adjust thermostat
     theatre material
mercuy and venas
nuptune and urenas
passing through a hole
in a cone
     a parking pylon
     then a safety shot

black water daisy
     on art table
hello my dolly shot
mad bowler hatter
in family resource
     centre window
seniors stone stepping
towards the shore
     many used glasses
     a larger coffee pot
and used food plates
     from five adults

29 November 2008

28 marraskuu 2008


biked to city limits
     & turned left

product placement brewery
set dec
     wall signs
          ($250 per to make)
     table talkers
     waitstaff apron

motion (sensor)
television &
     theatrical equip

     support our troops
sign design okayed to use
—zero killed tonight

criminal record swag
     work less
you didn’t say please

geo list
     electors by street

banana or
chocolate chip cookie(s)
     or both?

hand-knotted oriental
     rugs & carpets
     . . . beauty speaks
     for itself
     delivery date
     sold by

abso no peanuts
     or peanut butter
     on set tomorrow

support our tropes

27 November 2008

27 noyenbe’r 2008


       head awake b4 body
in pre-dawn fog
       ice drizzle

remember clothes and bedding
       tumbled last night
in a heated steel drum
       no calypso rhythms
              in the basement
laundry room
       (be)cause there are no lines
              for drying outside
the walls

       no drinking either
according to missive from the lord
       claiming ownership
              of this small plot

everyone knows
       eating and drinking
              occurs within
one’s own body
       what’s not wanted
              is obvious
public consumption
       sure sign we’re not pure

hence the ongoing miracle
       of stones with holes

bibi’s empty heads / the senate
       wood-fired pottery
              in northern alta

rings on fingers and toes
       and chains that continue
              to bind people
and other animals against
       their freewill

before school buses open
       doors for however willing
              students to enter and sit

other fired-up moving stones
       roam the streets
              to tip and empty
dumpster holowed stones
       curbside and behind builts
before the flying wise guys
       pigeons and gulls
              have a chance
to feed on our waste

sounds of not seen action
       as if cloud-encircled mountain
              —this small uphill
retained more snow
       at elevated ’tudes
and thicker fog up
       above the river valley
              never cleared

fog remained fog
       with a cooling
of freezing drizzle

T: Guinness
loc: artdeptprep
temp: 1 C
sound: Watermelon Slim and the Workers No Paid Holidays

26 November 2008

26 noēmvri 2008


don’t have a significant
     for the dinner
not a problem
     for the poet
but some shites never come

who likes anonymous
     snark hiding
not patron matron or
     anyway supportive
just to make it home before
     cold rain

not to confuse not posting
     with not writing
sometimes too busy doing
     and creating
to distribute for other’s
     convenient reading

want some me time
     not just work
for or with other people’s
chanters cucumbers pod

always someone ready
     to sell
darkness in the heart
     and mind
always someone wanting
     needing to buy

final week neutered or mute
     not censored
feel worn face stubble
     and sawdust
sandbagged eyes dead
     to the world

no pie interviews
     spooky pieces
music to songs
     new canned goods
lc every capital or upper
     for others

APB 25 Nov 2008

Ashes, Paper & Beans last night featured Silver Wave Film Festival 2008's Documentary Filmmakers panel w/ Chris Campbell, Kevin Matthews, Brian Francis, Kent Martin & Rachel Bower.

"Part of a poem by Alden Nowlan called Ypres: 1915" (song) by NQ Arbuckle.
"Window Seat", "Habitat", and "My Mountain" by Aural Heather.
"Whisper" by Andrea Thompson.
"The Density of Fire" by Sharon Singer & Bob Mover.

25 nufimbir 2008


ice pellets rain or snow
—all expected to happen
today tonight tomorrow

thankfully not on the road
poet at a desk plotting
simultaneous art exhibition
tours around the province

friend coming to town
this afternoon hoping to met
up before radio program

silver wave doc filmmakers
and what else to play on air
before a run further uphill
to find and obtain goods

visit doesn’t happen
stuck in forest hill
or somewhere beyond

poet’s small paper day
filed an expense claim
hung some art too
asked for time off

25 November 2008

24 listopad 2008


day for night even though
night coming soon and a splash
of seen beyond the tarp outside
livingroom picture window
while filming up the stairs
from basement holding
p-o-v into the kitchen

change film magazines
powder foot for beauty
none on black nails
no socks in knee-high
black leather

wild sound: zipper
smoother down
than up . . . can be
reversed in post

everything ends up
in the beginning

camera is reading boot
three hits to kill then
she puts the boot back on
cool as a cucumber

boot is the money
swing through frame
sells it

no pause
no reaction to the hit

the blood . . .
where does she get splatter?
face . . . her cheek

24 November 2008

23 nov studeni 2008


all the plans of bored men
committee members and the deputy
fug you asshole     drunk on queen

flip taps (slit
when used as
a one-piece box)

first positions     please
quiet for rehearsal
quiet on set
lovely used/personal household goods
sleeping beauty has unwanted cowlicks
super action woman hair too poufed neat

next shot to be after the kitchen fight
doped orange juice containers on the counter
boot killed li’l striker on the floor

roll sound     speed
camera     frame
read slate     action!
so tired eyes burn
yawning jaw drops sideways
not used actor snores in makeup

big gusty winds roar and push
almost empty house door open
set dec grabbed for personal use

23 November 2008

22 wintermond 2008


bagged baby carrots and chicken pot pie craft
hero soy burger in origami parchment wrap
last night’s filming ended at dawn per usual

normally not up all night working and not outside
in sub-zero snow     almost went to farmer’s market
after the challenge of getting a battery boost

enough to get home and crack open a dark strong
lager while emptying loaded pockets and eating
before a few hours of daytime sleep before . . .

insert shot of the great burger toss
everyone kept in basement holding
quieter than mice in the old walls

or grips in snow erecting lights
flags and bounce boards for later . . .
what use a dartboard without darts?

burger toss again and again with harvest
from the tofu burger bush with fries
for leaves awaiting ketchup rain or gravy

cofey in the jug and head pills for the ache
waiting for the miracle of action and cut
and tomorrow in the wee hours of this

or next predawn monday the closing
that’s a wrap! but hours of tonight still
to film after driving the picture car

21 November 2008

21 hadar 2008


the old typewriter has wound itself
too tight to permit the movement
necessary to writing with that device

resort to pen and journal
to one of the computers
to capture the flow of words

like clouds blowing over this town
the threat of a winter storm nearby
but light snow only for fredericton

first set in police station basement
smoking gun on the pistol range
bull's eye target pierced 15 times

20 noémvrios 2008


small blue dolphin card
found beside the road
nearest the obey store
—seal oil and orange
juice purchased—far
inland near tidehead
of a river it’s not known
that dolphins ever swam

creative child of a tempest
and a fishmonger—far from
tierra del sol     the silk road
the santa fe trail—learning
about le dauphin of France
eldest son of the king the heir
apparent until the monarchy
beheading revolution

in another childhood     flipper
a lively intelligent bottlenose
dolphin living with     assisting
and protecting a park warden
widowed dad and his two sons
was played by a string of females
in drag who had girlfriends and
who even fathered an baby

19 November 2008

19 shiyiyue 2008


snowflakes out of light
grey cloud-filled sky
the coming winter’s first
swirl of white over us
chinos shorts inadequate
even for indoor wear
with wool socks and fleece
no gas heater or woodstove
in jelengora art studio

leafless tree branches hold
their breath as snowflakes
almost land on their bark
cedar trees in the garden
confident     almost pompous
as this year’s young fir tips
not harvested by wreathmakers
eagerly await holding first snow
with their tightly wrapped leaves

18 November 2008

18 dawa tchngtchipa 2008

crane arrived at dawn

cool morning deer
grazed on frosted highway
grass still green on sun
ward slopes and crests

they ate in safety
that close to passing
vehicles on trans canada
highway with a scattering
of hunter’s parked trucks
far enough off the road
edge to lean into ditches

frost melted away
today by midafternoon
but ponds still have ice
ducks near the edge

crane left at sunset

17 samhain 2008


metal typewriter floats on a blanket
newfoundland wool knit by grandma
its quieter this way to compose
than metal banging on wooden desk

take art for a walk downtown
the cathedral just sits on the green
its photograph moves but doesn’t see
that it’s bound for an office hanging

the disappointment artist says no
so     so many more times than yes
but it’s impossible to yes everything
just a no shouldn’t mean rejection

walking or driving backwards does
not undo the wish i hadn’t done that
water and wind erase many footprints
but what of human’s destructive hands

16 November 2008

16 phagun 2008


the holes are not black     just
absent of paper—no wonder
with the excessive rainfall
a nursing students’ pub crawl
and on every street a strew
of tilted letterboxes     mail
drops     and bags of autumn
tree leaves gathered     plus
a bonus on regent street:
a toppled freezer of bagged ice

stomach sounding like a video
game machine not played     hero
encountering obstacles and foes
in the power-control labyrinth
grand mother throwing up in the night
but the cancer’s got her bones
without cure as morphine dulls
grandson riding the silver waver
all night walked home laughing
for a few hours of morning sleep

animals grow hairier every day
whether cleaned-up or never quite
consumption a hunger cancer
as sleep results in not

T: Silver Waver 2007
loc: rain show(ers)
15 C
sound: Kansas "Dust in the Wind"

15 November 2008

15 sip-il-wol 2008


on the trail to the teepee
rain falling out of the fog
flowing river rain-swollen
somewhere nearby     unseen
nonthreatening calm waters
as he leaned and turned toward
the cliff with its talking stick
broadcasting into the vast air

but no one was in the teepee
recently     likely yesterday
by the signs     but not today
so he left his friendly mark
beside the entrance then turned
to select mushrooms and
bison from the convenient cache
then took the downriver trail

story images swirling inside
he composed while travelling
as all of us travel our lives
in the ever of now . . . now!

t: Heroic Oatmeal Stout
loc: pre NB Shorts I & II
temp: 14 C
Sound: The Rocky Horror Picture Show "Time Warp"

14 nobyémbre 2008


the bone folder has taken spines
bones and the veins out of leaves
has taken the heartwood from trunks
the souls of blood-making cells
to leave them sickly     empty
as a crescent moon that cannot
hold water so it falls to earth

stains on the sidewalk and streets
the rust of deveined maple leaves
nose-bleed blood whether from fighting
too much pressure or whatever
spray-paint ed hearts red and blue
and the yellow numbers marking
depth of the gasline underfoot

tree branches     even skyscraper
steel cement and glass     have more
give     more built in flexibility
than our animal bones at any age
some snap easy as icicles
some bruise but never break
some rot within     fill with poison

the bone folder wants them all
for a few seconds on inattention
or the strains of overexertion
just a simple roll over in sleep
might be enough for the bone folder
to claim you as his own—till then
we can do nothing less than live

T: NBFC: 15 years of filmmaking, 1979-1994
loc: saturmoring desk
temp: 12 C
sound: John Prine Souvenirs

14 November 2008

10–13 nov 2008 poems

13 novembar 2008

suitcase ka-thunking over sidewalk
cracks     they walked him to the bus
station with gutted restauran—a flag
of the former socialist federal republic
abandoned overtop an empty beer fridge
—much as he wished for that souvenir
the days of asking were well and gone

       he was following rivers and trees
       in texts long before he learned
       what they were—running eye
       or fingertip in the white spaces
       between words to find images
       hidden treasure or to escape bullies
       like a line of defensive football players

even if shrubs in the park across
from city hall still spelt out tito
tonight he would cross the border
for the last known time . . .
heading for budapest and flights
west though frankfurt et montéal
to a known     safer life in fredericton

12 blod-monath 2008

miércole dans le plateau de montréal
he can’t find the cutlery—not in drawer
or jars—found the large cutting knives
for animal flesh—le pain 7 grains
beurre d’arachide and jars of preserves

late last night’s walk past ’réal bagel
shops on saint-vaiteur took him back
decades to two sherri goldberg poets
—one published and reading at the word
the other writing     attending and wanting

blod-monath not certifie biologique
not bio-terre but back then we didn’t
have industrial animal husbandry
no chicken hell-coops like today
no conveyor belt lettuce factories

ths poet dressed in black not
a hunter of beasts for table or bed
under an almost full moon he looks
around him at friendship hope love
in the interactions of almost everyone

11 nojábr’ 2008

from the corner of the basement
he looked up at the grey light opening
saw iron stair treads heading up
to nowhere     to the nothing above
saw some bush of tree leaves
branches with lumps that might
just might be small apples

he’d missed seeing them last night
had been enough in the darkness
to chance upon shelter not in mud
all seemed quiet     no crossfire
no aeroplanes     no rumble
of tanks or trucks     no shouts
of soldiers on patrol     no

10 azaroa 2008

applewood print     origami brown deer
a stained glass great blue heron
came home with him in the dark rain
he must continue     must finish packing
for the road (again)     hochalaga bound
it’s good to be     he sings in his head

       the poems     the poems are calling
       o poet boy     what will ye do?
       méxico might be good for winter
       italy or a greek island     too
       this town is difficult in snow

so unlike destructive carpenter ants
the construction pigeons waddle
about the deck and scaffolding
raised and piled outside the church
they perch equally atop the highest
edge of a chipboard sheet leaning
towards the old limestone wall

fog in the lowlands below ridges
of leaf-bare hardwoods and turbines
he passes a transport of p.e.i. hogs
quebéc abbitore bound     like him
travelling to and in lower canada
a hunting hawk hovers close over
grass between twinned highway

09 November 2008

9 nëntor 2008

9 nëntor 2008

sharper the blade the cleaner the cut
—great in the kitchen for slicing
dicing and peeling—but in war
its dirty blades that sing victory
with their nicks     burrs and rust
in torn flesh of the opposition
—wounds to fester and never heal
despite negotiations and treaties
signed in allegedly neutral places
watched by church     state and business

running through fields will crush
flowers and plants no worse than wind
or torrential rain and hail     we can’t
simply do nothing and stay alive—
for us to live means other animals
and plants live and die on     within
and outside compassioned bodies
a bois d’acadie     a rose heart
a broken eye     a candle burning
where no candle should ever be lit

catching people’s clothes and hair
a large green glass vase centrepiece
filled with crabapple branches bearing
fruit     small sunflowers     roses in bloom
and green apples not haws stuck on thorns
but those branches are still hawthorn
black clouds loosen cold rain again and
again against open windows—into the studio
of the poet writing cold November poems—
soaking poem pages written     in his absence

Double Book Launch + Noches de poesia reading in Montréal


Lanzamiento doble / Double Book Launch

Broken Jaw Press y / and las Ediciones de la Enana Blanca
los invitan a celebrar la publicación de / invite you to celebrate the publication of

Aquella luz, la que estremece / The Light That Makes Us Tremble
poemas de / poems by Nela Rio
traducido por / translated by Hugh Hazelton
(Broken Jaw Press y Ediciones de la Enana Blanca)

y / and

from the book that doesn’t close
poems by Joe Blades
(Broken Jaw Press)

Martes 11 de noviembre de 2008 / Tuesday, 11 November 11 2008
7:00 pm
Café Volver
5604, avenue du Parc
Montreal QC
tel: 514.272.4419

+ / &

12 Novembre 2008, Mercredi / Wednesday

Noches de poesia
1730: lectures débutant à 18h00 jusqu’à 20h00

Le Dépanneur Café
206, rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal QC H2T 2K4
T 514.271.9357

Programme : il semble que le Nouveau-Brunswick visite Montréal ce soir!!!
• Herménégilde Chiasson (français) et sa traductrice littéraire
• Jo-Anne Elder (anglais +)
• Nela Rio (espagnol)
• Joe Blades (anglais)
• Sandra Le Couteur (français) musique et poésie.

08 November 2008

8 noemberi 2008


you’ve woken suddenly out of deep
sleep and if you go with him
he can show you why he smells that way
but maybe you don’t want to go
perhaps you don’t ever want to grow
a basketball-shaped hump out front
or to bring life into this world
—photographs and stilled life art
enough—what with all the questions
responsibility and expectations implicit

after stopping a man from driving wrong
way up a one way off-ramp     you crossed
the street     entered the loading bay
and tried climbing deceptively broken stairs
so led down     some end abruptly
at a wall or turn into stacked boxes
and hollow wall-less crates
you trip-stumble     fell onto a door
and into a room filled with fabric
bolts and women at sewing machines
as another waring roller skates
fell against you     her armful of bolts
spilling around you as you fell and she
landed on top “what are you going to do now?”

07 November 2008

7 Nopember 2008


two face-jewelled young women
one a mother pushing child in stroller
away from downdown     nerdman behind
music-plugged ears après workday
oh     november showers have arrived
me     still dressed all in black     back
(again) from stupidstore with red wine
biking like a not-mormon outreacher
or naughty nurse halloween spirit
receiving deceit receipts

phat rain like in the tropics . . .
should be crouched under jungle
leave large as umbrellas or
naked not caring worrying about
getting wet or chilled cold
where rain like sun simply is
but i’ll not be out there in this
november rain until necessity
pushes this crap into the ground
feeding my poor pitiful poetry

perhaps he is a loser rehearsalist
a cut’n’paste kid passé passant
“campy trash” and rocky horror lips
plastered on the journal’s cover
a dozen ugly chapbooks bound & folded
help numerous envelopes get stuffed
tup and roasting pan filled with
dirty dished come out of dark hiding
to (finally) get washed by a truly naked man
in his kitchen on friday afternoon

loc: pregalopenings
temp: 10 C
sound; Elvis Costello "When I was Cruel"

06 November 2008

6 Novembro 2008

blessed fog in the head     in the
river valley this morning     shrouds
everything from church steeples
to dump trucks     school buses and me
hauling a coffee table     boxes
of new books and sheet styrofoam
to storage @ 334 queen basement

if the meeting happens here     i will
clear my bookbinding table (again)
and resume physical work afterwards
snap dulled blades for the next new
to slice trim cut through the blocks
of paper now books bound for a launch
with a glass of wine tuesday in montréal

this morning     black coffee and an apple
soon     the literacy fair and luncheon
at old government house with me cleaned
up in suit coat and black dress shirt
pesto chicken salad sandwiches and pink
lemonade     20th anniversary cake too—
fog between trees and over river lifts

05 November 2008

5 Novemba 2008

art bank weekend and hump day one
rolled together in cotton bedsheets
when flannel should be the order
of the day with electric heat still
off in the compartment and studio
—day grey under cloud cover

more bare branches than leafed
excepting the evergreen trees
17 degrees celsius and a snow
bot with blade on the front
just rolled up south on york street
the poet     wearing shorts and a t
about to go cycling on no’side and
to the stuporstore for supplies

lamb roast in the oven with fresh
rosemary and rock salt—a small tribute
to whole lambs on rotisserie skewers
in those travelled balkan mountains
am i     or was i     naïve? fuck! i’d love
some gorky list     roast goat or jelen pivo
but i’ve been back two years in fredchicken
—no risk here of becoming another zet

t: Smooth Rock Falls ● Canada
loc: aftrdrkdsk
temp: 14 C
sound: David Bowie "Under Pressure"

04 November 2008

APB show, 4 nov 2008

From a 19 March 2007 reading: Ken Babstock poems & Jan Conn reading mostly from Jaguar Rain (Brick Books).

"Ode" by Andrea Thompson.

"Three Blocks West of Wonderland" by Aural Heather.

"Into the Deep" by Sharon Singer & Bob Mover.

shirt: burgundy dress shirt
loc: postradio
temp: 8 C
sound: The Highwaymen Super Hits

4 juuichigatsu 2008

the gopher in the bathroom floor
stuck its tongue out at me and
it didn’t understand my peeing
into a basin of water cold—
deep underground river brought
up here for this purpose? stupid

night bus to montréal passeth
seven nights from now might i
be on the same bus and route
home-printed and hand-bound
copies of from the book that
doesn’t close
because the real
is suspended–waiting on ottawa
or     more precisely     hull to deliver
and not the snow si’l vous plaît

air damp enough to cut through
flesh to our aching old bones
—only a week until the war
ends (again) and the red poppies
with green then black centres
are returned to the ground
at the foot of so many memorials
from ocean to ocean to ocean

03 November 2008

3 noviembre 2008

darkness begins a Monday
out of it fell the frost
on plants and objects real
or human-made     why curse
the white sheet on your wind
shield because your ancestors
moved about and chose or not
to settle in this wondrous
place both très chaud et très
froid—here comes winter

the cave of our local history
twice visited for work today
still didn’t look or feel
like home where i should be
winds off the bay of fundy
shook the truck for many hours
as we dismantled recent acquisitions
and hauled them away to storage
limbo before i—dressed in black—
refuled the truck with irving
processed prehuman sea creatures
and my right hand exudes diesel

sun ring (earlier) twice as wide
as divided highway      danish beer
and deep sea scallops await me

T: black
loc: postroad
temp: 4 C
sound: Mark Lalibertier "No Good Way to Say It, But I Try"

02 November 2008

2 novembre 2008

i fell with the clocks backwards
into another time nonexistent or
twice created by us humans and
our constructs—truth like time
and i missed day of the dead honour
for kith and kin—graveyards here
not filled with families gathered
communing and conversing with the gone
and i'm not there cycling past unseen
but it seems that i have been
communicating with archangel messengers
here on earth     in the arts
—an ace of clubs/wands on the sidewalk
canadian tire money in the old burying ground
with autumn leaves between crumbling stones
a medley of dead soldier bottles and cans
mouths open     lie in still green grass
their audience gone the way of revellers
who lean on trees to drunkenly piss
on the trunk and their costume shoes
then stagger into the street to spectre
taxis into stopping for the pile in
of bodies on top of other bodies
—another wild night mass burial
to hurt but so not remember tomorrow

t: Steamworks Heroica Oatmeal Stout
loc: the write desk
temp: -1 C
sound: Gang of Four Return the Gift

01 November 2008

a month of daily poems

I don’t really need a challenge so much as routine to put time into writing poems routinely when this so, so much other bust in my life between the Art Bank, publishing, freelance work, writing and art, and filmmaking projects . . . But I received a F’book message from Robert Lee Brewer about a PAD (poem-a-day) Challenge: “to try writing a poem a day in November with the view of trying to have the makings of a chapbook heading into December” while the NaNoWriMo writers are aiming for 50,000 word novel manuscripts by month’s end. His Poetic Asides blog covers poetry from the perspective of a published poet and long-time editor of writing market guides: Robert Lee Brewer. Check it out at Poetic Asides.

This could be a more reasonable challenge where I'll on the road a fair bit this month and my novel writing currently is much slower than a 50K-word month but I have written several book length poetry manuscripts in two-week, part-time, public, artist residencies and lesser amounts of poems in shorter periods of time (such as for the 24 Hour Zine Thing).

01 november 2008

perhaps november is the second or
other cruelest month—after the year’s
harvest from fields and orchards
the hunters take aim at ducks and deer
as soon as there’s a hint of morning
light and a distinction of wings
from the rest of the universe above
or beyond or surrounding and within

the standing up poet wears orange
at the typewriter     he carries a journal
pens and a camera or two when out
in the woods and alongside rivers
lakes ponds and swamps to see and
feel and smell everything     to not kill
anything except edible berries picked
and eaten right there like a bear would

real thanksgiving on the spot
for the food and for every sunny day
—especially warm ones—air crisp
as biting through an apple’s skin
anytime now night ice will stay
frozen all day and the rain will turn
colder until the showers are snow
covering gardens roads homes and trees

31 October 2008

Found photo du jour

Found 12:28 pm, Thursday, 30 October 2008, in the intersection of York and George streets in downtown Fredericton, NB, while I was biking on a short lunch break for Art Bank work first to Simm's then back to Old Government House on the Woodstock Road.

Buddy is from K'ville near the top of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, likely a uni stud here in F'ton . . .

T: Cerveza
loc: commdesk
sound: Gang of Four Return the Gift
temp: 4 C

28 October 2008

APB, 28 Oct 2008

After starting tonight's show with "Natural Resources" by Utah Phillips & ani difranco from the CD the past didn't go anywhere, we slid into an interview with live guests: Yolande House and Susan Douglas (Fredericton) on National Novel Writing Month. I think this unexpected version of the logo is a DJ Crisis Detector version, somehow, of the CMYK PDF online . . . let it go, let it go . . .

Second half of the show started with "longstoryshort" by Sekou Sundiata, followed by the Silver Wave Film Festival media launch of this past Thursday. "How to Remain" by Aural Heather.

shirt: burgundy dress shirt
loc: postradio
temp: 13 C
sound: BronweN Silent Victim

23 October 2008

Book Launch: The York County Jail: A Brief Illustrated History

“... a friendly combination of anecdote and academia. The writing is crisp and clean with plenty of visual elements—photos, illustrations and official documents. Intriguing scraps of human interest stories are peppered throughout.”
     —Mireille Eagan, [here] fredericton review, 23 Oct 2008

The York County Jail: A Brief Illustrated History, by George MacBeath and Emelie Hubert, will be launched by the authors on Thursday, 6 Nov. at Science Centre (in the former jail), 668 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB. Starting at 7:30 pm people can have a tour of the building and dungeon museum. Books will be available for purchase.

The York County Jail
by George MacBeath & Emelie Hubert
Sept. 2008
6 x 9, tpb, 72 pg
40+ b&w ill. & photos
ISBN 978-1-55391-065-7
$18 CDN, $20 US

The book was published by Broken Jaw Press in Fredericton. More information on the book’s catalogue page.

25 Oct: International Artist Day

website: http://internationalartistday.com

blog: http://internationalartistday.blogspot.com

22 October 2008

APB 21oct2008

"Puerto Rican Literature on the Island and in the USA" by What's the Word? Radio Series (program 146) produced by the Modern Languages Association of America, NY, NY.
Governor General's Literary Awards 2008 finalists announcement.
"eating filet mignon" by bill bissett.
« À Moncton » par Gérald LeBlanc, Fayo.
WFNB Fall Fair and other arts event news.
"Oscar Wilde and Friends" by Monty Python.

T: black
loc: predawn
temp: 2 C
sound: Lhasa The Living Road

14 October 2008

APB, 14 oct 2008

Howlin' full moon Canadian election night . . . I wanted something grounded, local . . . something to hear, to listen to, and to think about. I dug out my recording of the 2007 Christina Sabat Memorial Lecture by New Brunswick artist-craftsperson Peter Powning.

After that I read a spew of arts and writing/reading notices:
● UNB Writer-in-Residence Gerard Beirne is available for student and general public writing consultations: Tues & Thurs, 11 am to 1 pm, Rm 242 Carleton Hall, UNB Fredericton, ph 452-6356, email gbeirne@unb.ca
● 16 Oct, Thursday, 8 pm reading from Asylum by novelist André Alexis, Memorial Hall, UNB Arts Centre, 9 Bailey Dr, Fredericton.
● 16 Oct, Thursday: noon Artist talk; 4:30 opening reception for BEYOND WORDS exhibition by 19 NB artists incl George Fry, Peter Powning, Suzanne Hill, Kathy & Sue Hooper, Peter Thomas, Brigitte Clavette, Linda Brine, et al, NBCCD Gallery, Queen St, Fredericton.
● 18 Oct, Saturday, 24 Hour Comics Day 2008. In F'ton, contact Jason or Derek @ Strange Adventures 450-3759.
● 18 Oct, Saturday, 5-7 pm: Exhibition openings at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 703 Queen St, Fredericton.
● 18 Oct, Saturday, 8 pm: Reading by D.Y. Béchard and Mark Anthony Jarman, Alumni Memorial Lounge, UNB Fredericton, 13 Bailey Dr, Fredericton.
● 22 Oct, Wednesday, 6 pm: Gallery ConneXion AGM to be held @ Doodles Café, basement of Charlotte Street Arts Centre, 732 Charlotte St, Fredericton. Ph 454-1433.

"He Sings" by Fortner Anderson + tape/head.
"Rainbow Mewsik" by bill bissett.
"À Moncton" par Gérald LeBlanc, Fayo.

shirt: black & purple striped dress shirt
loc: postwerk-postradio
temp: 11 C
sound: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

13 October 2008

giving thanks . . .

local butternut squash and wild St Croix cranberries
tandoori turkey drumsticks
Picarons Timberhog Stout and Best Bitter
pesto deep sea scallops, tomatoes and farm fresh eggs
tour Eiffel pâte, smoked ham and pineapple
fresh farmed Atlantic salmon
Elke's foot-long buffalo sausage with sauerkraut and mustard
old world beer and Rumbo Sur Chilean wine
spicy hummus and Camembert Vaudreuil
pitas, flat bread wraps and sourdough
hot samosa delight stuffed triangles
harvest medley all-natural rice
fresh ground Breaking the Silence coffee
. . . yes, indeed, I am giving thanks this weekend

t-shirt: Sage Hill Writing Experience
loc: the revised desk
temp: 14 C
sound: Great Big Sea Play

10 October 2008

Career Development grant received

After the fact is still good news. A letter and first installment cheque arrived in today's mail. I hadn't waited for results of my grant application of early August before buying the Air Can tickets (in late July) for the WORDspinner Fall Literary Extravaganza last month in Grande Prairie, Alberta; Dawson Creek, BC; and points in between. My participation in the readings tour and related events wouldn't have happened if I had waited until now to receive word I'd been awarded a Career Development: Arts-by-Invitation grant. Thank you very much!

This activity / tour / event is supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board. Cette activité / tournée / performance est soutenue par le Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Joe Blades reading at South Peace Secondary School, Dawson Creek, BC, on 19 Sept 2008. Photo by Dymphny Dronyk.

Joe Blades talking at Peace Country's First Small Press Fair. It was held in The Rabbit Hole Bookstore, Grande Prairie, Alberta, on 21 Sept 2008. Photo by Dymphny Dronyk.

Joe Blades reading poems of his, published in The Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, at The Rabbit Hole Bookstore, on 21 Sept 2008. Photo by Dymphny Dronyk.

Joe Blades writing "Storefront Poetry" at The Rabbit Hole Bookstore, Grande Prairie, Alberta, on 24 Sept 2008. Photo by Dymphny Dronyk.

07 October 2008

APB, 7 octubre 2008

"Howl" & "Footnote to Howl" by Allen Ginsberg. Publishing in the Maritimes with Jo-Anne Elder (revue Ellipse mag); Joe Blades (Broken Jaw Press) & Biff Michell. "How to Remain" by Aural Heather.

shirt: "George" short-sleeved
loc postshow, presleep
temp: 7 C
sound: St Germain Tourist

03 October 2008

Fredericton Poet to Commit ‘Random Acts of Poetry’

Random Acts of Poetry, a celebration of poetry and literacy, begins its fifth year during the week of October 1st to 5th, 2008. Random Acts of Poetry is a project of the Victoria READ Society, a non-profit literacy organization, established in 1976. Random Acts of Poetry is funded by The Canada Council for the Arts.

During the week, 25 acclaimed poets across Canada, from Victoria to Newfoundland, will commit Random Acts of Poetry in their cities and adjacent small towns. On buses and subways, in donut shops and cafes, police stations, grocery stores, shelters, curling rinks, on city streets and country lanes, poets will read poems to strangers and give them their books. Poets will also read their poems in ESL and Adult Literacy classes and, as well, will present poetry in middle school classes, and give the students a book of poetry written by middle school students, We Can Say This, published with support from of the TD Bank Financial Group.

Fredericton poet Joe Blades will read for his second year with Random Acts. Blades has published four books of poetry, hosts the weekly Ashes, Paper & Beans on CHSR 97.9 FM, is Vice President of the League of Canadian Poets, and is a member of the BlackTop MotorCycle Gang writers group.

Patrick Lane, one of Canada’s premier poets, says of Random Acts of Poetry, “There are no accidents. Nothing is random. A poem sits in a poet’s pocket and jumps out when you least expect it. It can nestle in a mechanic’s ear, a politician’s hand, a waitress’s bright eye, somewhere, anywhere. You look up from work and there’s a poem. It reads itself to you. It asks you to take a break. It says: Right here. Right now.”

“Poetry,” says Wendy Morton, founder of Random Acts of Poetry, “is the shortest distance between two hearts. I have read poems to hundreds of people, many of whom hadn’t heard a poem in thirty years, and watched their eyes fill up with tears. Some burst into laughter or laid a hand on my shoulder, hugged me, took my hand. Poetry can connect us with each other as humans as no other art form I know. Poetry is a gift that we can create from whatever life has in store for us.”

Across Canada poets will commit random acts in: Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Pickering, Trenton, Ottawa, Port McNicoll, Windsor, Montreal, Laval, Fredericton, Edmundston, Charlottetown, Halifax, and St. John’s.

Joe Blades, T/F 506 454-5127, joe@joeblades.com, Fredericton, NB.
Wendy Morton, T 250-642-3542, email: wendymorton@shaw.ca, Otter Point, BC.
Claire Rettie, Victoria READ Society, T 250-388-7225, crettie@readsociety.bc.ca, Victoria, BC.

30 September 2008

APB, 30 sept 08

finally, an alive show . . .

as part of this year's Side by Side Festival Côte à Côte, a live interview with Governor General's Literary Award-winning Cape Breton poet Don Domanski including him reading "Drowning Water".

Second half of the show was "ww3: war on the worms" & "memo from the gods" by R C Weslowski; "Freya's Wedding" by Lord Torvaldr Torgardson ; "Sin City" by Sheri-D Wilson; "Sea Creatures" by Sharon Singer & Bob Mover; "Don't Shoot Till You See The Whites Of Their Eyes" by Jean Smith.

storefront poetry


by the elvis (presley in
leather     not costello) clock
on bookshelf end     i see it’s
about time to wrap today
but first . . . more photos
of me in action (oui     two words)
will be taken . . . my camera
has not yet captured me at
the typer in residency here
in grande prairie and tomorrow
this ends . . . hopefully with
a full two dozen poem pages
written and taped to the windows
a cookie and cappuccino reward
the fireweed gone to gossamer
seed wispy as fairies in the dell
or the monarch’s milkweed sticks
to pants and arms     sleeves     as
it’s ready to travel to wherever
you’re going consciously or un-
—folk wolf loup farkas vük—
all of us monkeys at the inkwell
dipping our tail tips then brush
the paper the canvas the wailing
wall rocks by the river tree trunks
hoping to make letters to write words



no laptop computer on today’s
desk beside the ol’ north star
war correspondent typewriter
é the only sticky letter
metal finger worn-out back
in the day back in the zone
the geese are not yet leaving
are feeding on the wheat oats
and barley on harvested fields
the past week’s fallen leaves
have turned to sticking brown
mush atop brick sidewalks and
in kurb & guttered roadways
the highway west and northwest
swept clear by convoys of white
trucks coming from or off to
collect their next merit badge
of oil patch dirt     three cheers
for those lucrative overtime hours
heard in the gymnasium auditorium
but not everyone cheered     some
celebrate words and trust sharing
giving selflessly without being
asked and are there time and again
the paths to wealth not the only
ones grossing this vast land



morning-after elements lump
in york hotel parking lot
beside herd of wild horses beer
store and a really green emerald
taxi mini van or they hang . . .
hug wall under too small roof lip
shelter outside riker’s—cold
and too skinny or rounded fat
looking double their years worn
cnleopseod in the pre-stein hours
c.o.d. and letter carriers double
bagged with real mail and junk
smile under their blue boonies
delivering bills and whathaveyou
good goals but poor tactical are
a parachute that doesn’t open
or your seat as a flotation
device when the water is small
as a downed kite’s string in grass
it’s too late to not tell them
i write poems not ad copy not
adventure novels or literature
i didn’t apply for rcmp training
the army navy air force with my eyes
nor to sell new and used cars



i have spent some of the best
days of my life making salads
bicycling along riverside trails
writing poems in artist residencies
i have wasted days in file cabinets
of heartless administrative paper
in the potwasher’s corner staging
rebellion instigated by hererik
i have been blind numb dumb
to the interest in me by others
to the concerns wants and dreams
to my best potential to share
i have fallen asleep in the act
have seized up like an oil-dry engine
or soldier sensing a landmine
underfoot—injury and death the options
i have wasted my mind for countless
days and nights in the kitchens of
others for their profit and leisure
in the bottles and tins of oblivion
i has swam in rivers lakes canals
several oceans and seas of this world
and lain in sand and on hillsides and
been held in the grip of other animals
i want to hug and kiss and laugh
my way my days with genuine smiles

25 Sept 2008

25 September 2008

storefront poetry: 15-20


grim rainbow out there some-
where over the prairies—sun
caught moisture linking—how
does that happen     really? no
choreographer in the clouds
just sunlight travelled millions
of miles kilometres whatever
and condensation likely moisture
picked up over the pacific ocean
the other side of the rocks
and their stony companions
in desert and cooling heels
feet in oyster-rich sunshine
coast’s waters . . . oh for a pillow
to lie my head on . . . not coffee
as the pony express rides again
and runners run their messages
on trails through the canyon maze
and across the truly wide horizon
always moving across everyone’s
personal landscape uniquely
the plate defective empty
somali taxi drivers and food
restaurant in the new york hotel
just around the corner from here



victorian-heeled boots and biker
head scarf trailing a rattail braid
the goofy smile of a bushed man
but patti smith from the speaker
takes me back thirty years to
saturday morning $2.99 door-crasher
lp specials at sam the record man
k-mart plaza tachoma drive dartmouth:
hearing her for the first time
amazed . . . jaw-dropping stunned
by the power and poetry immediate
visceral palatable right there
like little or nothing else heard
sex pistols the clash rats siouxie
—all still over there in merry olde
snuck in songs on cbc gold rush with an
ex-mountie’s mango-flavoured imagination
pigeon grey carpet under his table
mushroom soup in his crested mug
fisher-price toys in a stationer
shop near the foot of portland
street . . . just up from city hall
back sore from working this small
coal face on my side with pickaxe
and little wiggle-room . . . no escape
if the mine above suddens
makes a sinkhole of my heart



boxing books and tools     less-
worn clothes brought     for mailing
east before i fly across goose
instinct and the shuttle sightings
of geese weaving their way south(ward)
feel that i’ve barely touched down
in this wonderful grande prairie town
and i’m about to hit the road     džo
possibly to be replaced by other
writers artists musicians fortune
tellers and shamans of the wor(l)d
birch leaves not fallen keep
frost off tomatoes and cukes
the small bed of red potatoes
leaving hairs between the sheets
skin and nail clippings the makings
of a hoodoo voodoo coochee boy
doll with beer and wine arteries
gluestick heart     lavender grate
for a whale mouth wired shut
against talking and interrupting
something new     anything not tried
viking conservative right wrong
as assertive fine arts l wing
and housed across the parking lot
from nurse engineering and all else



shopmen of new t-shirts rock
the ribbon reverses itself
endless supply of ink to
instantly printing letters
nothing like a bacon wallet
or the november artist nicole
bauberger planning to make
a hundred small encaustic dress
paintings in ten days in the
pillars area of grande prairie
regional college caffeteria
a sloan song has me thinking
bacxk to adam yesterday afternoon
talking about classifies being
from elmsdale enfield area and
that two of his (adam’s) relatives
play in grand theft bus in fredericton
—such a small world—and ann
manuel’s “his last breath” painting
in prairie art gallery newsletter
jon driscoll still in belarus
learning russian while zoya and
iza are in wild western canada     eh?
wings on a girl’s ankles covered
—one who wanted books by hand
on a different day or night



what transforms a student—scared
expelled frustrated angry paranoid—
into a newscast’s gunman: columbine
regina toronto montréal wherever . . .
waving a gun or mock gun about
doesn’t transform student into man
even if it makes him a killer
taken suicided or killed by a sharp-
shooter for peace enforcement
perhaps prison songs and this store-
front poetry could become one book
—after casemate poems (collected)?
I’ll be riding the silver wave of film
in fredericton at the same time
rob has arranged for span-o to
clean ottawa’s litterary clogs
c’est la vie—rob lost this one
the life of a half reading given
here with alta baggage rather than
orleansexpress.com bus to otterwater
with a terminal montréal deli b’fast
en route before dawn home entertainment
the capitol shelved until late January
next year when i’ll be treed—not
hibernating or garret-chilled writing
and writing my was thru the world



drop the toy and lose it—you’ve
been told—time to go for a walk
cool off (in the autumn breeze)
go home and get/take a nap?
movies milk and a gas fireplace
typewriter sliding left off the table
as i write more and more poems
boys with tape and band posters
stopped by the racked creatures
i’m something new in the shop
in the rabbit hole of wonders
but i’m not part of the security
i want so many books in here
with the time and fireplace
perhaps the west chezzetcook
stored papasan chair to curl in
so i can read and read and read
tonight is a school something
a birthday fallen on presentation
of awards or scholarships or what?
and i said i’d be there as sure
as his opa and grandmother bibi
coming in from their japanese
pottery studio and kilns in hythe
a donkey named after el vis     the
mexican elvis impersonator golden


23 September 2008

storefront poetry: 12-14


talking instead of writing poem
stuff—neither exoskeleton nor
guts—not the three parts: head
thorax and abdomen     wasps attracted
to the glowing beer glass’ heart
eye the surface and the open space
between there and your mouth before
putting it to your lips     where is
the poem: at the tip of your tongue
at the top of your throat quivering
in the back of gibbous cave open
then closed wind tunnel talking
talk’s rumble through breaths and
a listening exchange with adam
irish from the land of people
of the eastern dawn (door) . . .
cape breton . . . here for his last
year of high school—writing     making
music and smoking a little skunk
en route to foundation year at king’s
in halifax . . .writing and journalism
to create self-sufficiently with
friends sharing and caring the days
in sun through blood into seed and
winter towards new green promise

23sept 2008


columns of cloud truncated
clipped like a head in a misjudged
hanging—drawn beyond hope—
above the student lockers Ase
after case filled with stuffed
birds and other animals—some
amateur or obsessed taxidermy
project—little man bent over
his bench magnifying glass in
bright domed light     wiring wings
adding glass eyes and labels
what is it that places insects
and sailing ships—wooden models
all—in a display together?
zoya with all she imagined
needing for four months in canada
in her suitecase(s) packed . . .
The billowing clouds darken
scorned like salt & vinegar kettle
potato chips and i wonder about
the underworld of the potato
goddess and the great alpaca
sacrifice for eternal foodstuff
for the hungry mountain folk
so celluloid far from rabbit hole

23sept 2008


a row of marilyn on photocanvas
above my head—some would see
the poses of an angel—desire
or fallen—but embodying dreams
rounding out the column doric
blackening clouds spit on intent
to move 50,000 comic books this
afternoon . . . that’s quite a haul!
ropy-headed goth chicks in blue
jeans with little star and spider
purses . . . small hail pings off
truck hoods and sidewalks wet
i’ve learned that the pod resides
upstairs through beaded curtain
like a moroccan office manager
—wild billowing curtains over
opened window as shelter-seeking
pigeons fly through hail pellets
in their mostly black & white lie
world whatever on foam platforms
with even the pale pink & blue
feeling greyscale dinosaur breath
and a furrowed brow reflection
of lone wolf feet walking away
from the cashe display case

23sept 2008

22 September 2008

storefront poetry: 6–11


their accents sing of other
islands     other steppes     other
river valleys and forests
howling rabbit afternoon song
the growing domesticated and
natural plants and animals
—all know the sun is dying
back these shortening days
lengthening nights and not
even duct tape can stabilize
the spinning wobble of earth
black coffee my crude fuel
rain or shine—elbow patch
tweed only     no thanks—
on the table and countertop
bar or diner—fine food fast
never mind the greased pigeons
huddled under the exhaust vent
all the scent without any food
like watching exercise television
while slumped in chair or up
against the wall—beer in hand
mystic forgets their muse
late-breaking news—s o s—
the reporter longhands notes
flips pages over the spiral

21–22sept 2008


i could sleep and sleep
through the later dawn and
not think about meaningless
school buses or sirens elsewhere
in this small c larger than
the one how far southeast of
here how many road pops away
homer marley and wilde oscar
—if they have found homes
in grande prairie     anyone can
this is not quite the wilder
buttcrack towns deeper in
the patch hungry and growing
growling too fast down the
highway on their way to bacon
and pickle bandages     patchouli
and eyes wide open peasant skirts
and tourism department sunshine
a shower of yellow leaves like
aging and dying are fun
and i feel i'm a tree forever
watching traffic approach
and roll on past like clouds
without enough space to relax
moth at the window glass with
almost the whole world out there



a man wants js and che
jimi janice james dean
jim morrison john lennon (not)
john wayne to cowboy up!
and johnny cash too
che for his fellow greys
tfig sdrac elbaliava ereh
plus marilyn—just because
blue parking police ticketing
the parked too close to hydrant
i’m building the second pillar
or column framing the doors
closed to today’s cooler vent
drum and bass opera pawnbroker
björk on the airway book gulp
nothing like dead stars in hand
or their past lives to share
and celebrate eternally like
colourful birds of imagination
preserved in approximate amber
for doubloons pantaloons and wine
as skeins of geese lift up up up
honking out of reach of quill pen
intentions for some with a jar
of mushroom ink for a slow draw
of letter-by-letter words poetic
stroked across paper receptive

22sept 2008


desire the motivation for some
a dish aimed into the vast
out there so beyond missable
but where are the worms     the
other planets with communicable
life and the endless challenge
of recreation—ready or not—
and how to pass the afternoon
the apple rum and fingers evening
the night whooping itself hoarse
coarse to hide sensitive shrieking
and the shock of being alive
and stressed before all time
in a nebula of relative proximity
with rings of the disintegrated
or not fully firmed—either
or both not stable or sustainable—
it wasn’t like that     some say
as adult world so nearby but
condoning or seemingly unaware
how could they not feel the chaos
the game not lust not love but dare
and the young players playing
as if reputation is the only risk
not body–mind and possible futures
beyond the small orbit of now



incense and scented candles burn
side by each and twirl around
each other too sweet and sticky
candy parking in my no parking
zone like throated brazil nuts
i can’t escape by not breathing
and i can’t shatter like the pane
of broken smoke next door in the
canton restaurant’s walled wind
4x4 big country overdrive job
this poetry for rent not hire
copies might become available
for slippery purchase of its dark
flavour—a relish consumable
ink under the skin stretched
or signature facepaint around eyes
for wednesday’s alice or f’ton
friday midnight’s rocky horror
—oh     what a choice so soon
after autumn equinox’s respect
and thanks for everything living
that has given or been taken with
thanks prayer and offering—
like the red wine in my cup
at the end of another poem page



a man walked in the door—
beige and brown sweater and pants
a cooked salmon-colour dressed woman
with bird-confusing big eye sunglasses
a black convertible beetle passes . . .
better than a burning van with
a body nearby—accident or . . .
not yet decided—or the man chased
who died not in the crash but before
spike belt flattened sierra tires
a long-barrel firearm companion
to the emotionally distressed deceased
as local gun owners continue to rebel:
shed fire and fence fire unrelated flares
in these pre-election bored nights where
poetry and mediation     school days and
consensual free-range style not so
acted ultimate fight club occupy
many much of the time but not enough
to obliterate or obscure wonder that
there might be something else out
there worth wanting beyond sleep
or another grocery store visitation
and seeming funky world beers
coffee beans ground before dawn
and a gato phat poking at my head


T: Silver Wave Film Fest 2007
loc: Grande Prairie
temp: 10 C
sound: chopping & stir-fry in the kitchen

storefront poetry 5

in the media's eye     the raven's
glean     crystals around my feet
on land built of dung and dead
plants and eon-pulverized ground
rock made digestible absorbable
osmosis into plants and animals both
in the rain on the cusp of boreal
forest and great northern prairie
bison and elk on the rolling hills
a candelling sentinel tree     on
one ridge     rounded above like a
mushroom cloud above a desert
to the south or above a city
a death-tree spreading     its limbs
left fallen like a spoor print in
spring after a heavy ice storm
dry cumulus clouds foamed up
rise above the hazed horizon
combine harvester dust and dirt
roads with a fear of lightning
strike fires in bush grass woodlands
widely-spaced aspen lodgepole pine
tamarack and swamped black spruce
—nose mountain somewhere beyond—
and my ears feel like when i am
swimming underwater     my water-
logged frog leg kicks and kicks
the thickened surrounding body

18 September 2008

storefront poetry 4


comix for the workers     misfit
collectibles for the ever
rebelling youth     cow-
girls in shorts and leather boots
the rabbit hole a centre of counter-
and under-the-counter culture life
shakespeare behind me on the floor
tolstoy twain desade heaney facing
me as tom waits sings to the store
i’m told we made the front page
of the dawson creek daily without
crimes committed or outrage
claimed or accused thereof like
houseflies in the storefront open
door attracting novelty seekers—a
display of action figures under
glass and racks of t-shirts from
the edges of the past that don’t
won’t go away unless all humans
get disappeared faster than dinosaurs
gone like codfish from the nose
of the wonderful grand banks
once to the west of civilization
in secret      off the charts harvest
and collection of church tithes
in parts not mapped—the new found
land of basques and jersey merchants
or pirates from la manche home ports
reaping unimaginable riches from
the sea and sandbar shore tuskers


storefront poetry: 1-3


on the edge of the rabbit
hole on the grande prairie main
street wagon trail a special agent
of the regular canadian manual poets
writes types on his typer while
the drive-bys and the pied-footed
walk and sometimes look in at
the stranger observing the latest
new to him parking metred road fribble
en route to wherever they’re bound
atv and gas cans on a big truck
crew trucks with drive-thru coffees
and surprises for locals of however
long they’ve been in this place
more than books and music—new
used recycled attributed alleged
the dogs image wellers graving
yellow fire hydrant bait for
unsuspecting dogs and dog walkers
in a town growing wheels in webs
out out out across the landscape
but this is not a painting bucolic
nostalgic for the farmstead smithy
collected and catalogued years ago
by the glenbow for the remember when
of decades not centuries or millennia



willie on the road and joe
on the typer on the poem (again)
writing like he meant it or had
something worthwhile to say to write
and not just filibuster time
occupying an opening in the cloud
cover in the groundcover behind
the bush-beater’s known associates
another dead trickster on the edge
of the highway—struck by a truck
going driving outside the lines
of the mounted over grassed prairie
the not-so-far mountains obscured
by haze and the arriba dust of
the drive for more and more taking
and leaving less future here
abandoning emptiness when pressure
drops away or the price isn’t profit
viable for the guzzlers and reapers
far from this working field—an ex-
ocean pressed in rockbeds lifted
high above sea level as the rocks
slowly push higher into thinner air
than the dublin home of kilkenny
and guiness as the rift the mid-
atlantic ridge widens between olde
and new-to-then worlds on this one



battle brawls peace preserves and bad
girls made with love body piercings
tattoos accessories tools giftware
coyote of the fresh air team tagged
dimland almost dinsdale near here
garnet in the rough before arrogant
worms blue and pink-blonde hair
dyed dry as the d- word not spoken
yellow leaves on the downtown side
walk made of the same bricks and
country-wide improvement incentive
program federal funding sameness
fredericton to grande prairie and
beyond east west and north subliminal
tripwire poetrymines attached to
the hole the doorframe—come on
and dive into what you didn’t know
was here with cappuccinos out the
back door so far from bloor street
with no desire for that trophy
cats at my back i’m connected
with my lapdog no steer no boeuf
no noble bison wild and free here
some farmed as we are farmed
our growth our output harvested
and shelved in another bound book

T: highland radio 2005
loc: Rabbit Hole bookstore, Grande Prairie, Alta.
temp 22 C
sound: Tom Waits

13 September 2008

joe’s going west

Joe Blades will be participating in a Fall Literary Extravaganza, 18-25 September 2008, in Grande Prairie, Alberta along with related activities in Dawson Creek, BC (about 1.5 hrs drive west of Grande Prairie). Alongside Jenna Butler & Dymphny Dronyk, on 19 Sept, Joe will be giving reading–workshop presentations to high school students at South Peace Senior Secondary School and 7 pm reading at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery that evening.

“Joe does a thing where he sets up his typewriter, an old manual typewriter he’s got, and he sets it up on a desk either in the entrance or in the window,” See explained. “He’ll (then) spend some time composing poetry kind of on-the-fly while people are coming by, while he’s watching the streets.”
—Henry See, The Rabbit Hole Bookstore, quoted in "Small Press Fair going down the Rabbit Hole" by Nick Kuhl, Encore!
Writing in the Window Residency
@ at the Rabbit Hole Bookstore
10020-100 Avenue, Grande Prairie, Alberta

September 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd: afternoons

featuring Joe Blades: poet, artist, publisher
poetry inspired by Main Street, Boomtown, Alberta

watch words at work
“Books By Hand”, hand-sewn chapbook making workshopled by Joe Blades. Chapbooks are a really creative, unique way to create small collections of poems or short fiction. September 23, 7-9:30, $40 per person, minimum 6 participants. For info: Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie, info@creativecentre.ca 780-814-6080.
The Peace Country’s First Annual Small Press Book Fair

Celebrating small and independent presses!

Location: Rabbit Hole Bookstore
10020 100 Avenue, Grande Prairie AB T8V 0V3

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time: Fair - 1 PM to 5 PM
(Fair Set-up starts at noon.)

Display space: $10 (send cheque or money order c/o Rabbit Hole or pay at set-up time)

Contact: Harrison or Henry c/o Rabbit Hole Bookstore

Phone: 780-539-7999 or fax 780-832-0141

Email: rabbithole@telus.net
loc: 'tween crew shifts
temp: 13
sound: Captain Tractor Land

12 September 2008

Excerpt du jour

One day a poet appeared before the leader of a country and gave him a puzzling problem, saying that if he could not solve it satisfactorily, his country would be destroyed.

Joe Blades
from the book that doesn’t close . . . (forthcoming)

T: Cerveza
loc: pre-HJAB work
temp: 12 C
sound R.E.M. "The One I love"

10 September 2008

Found photo du jour

Found 10 AM-ish, today, beside the sidewalk at the top of York Street, Fredericton, between Jobs Unlimited and the Priestman Street school. Pretty obvious who is in this cut-up photo ID card.

Also found on this morning's great circle trek to the eye doc's and Blue Cross were a silver hoop earring and a large wine goblet.

shirt: WindRiver Outfitters cabining shirt
loc: computerstn
temp: 14 C
sound: Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik

04 September 2008

Join Popstart if the shoe fits


Welcome to the September, "Back To School" edition of the Popstart / RAIQ monthly Newsletter!

Check out www.popstart.ca and http://www.artsinterdisciplinaires.org for complete news and notices postings.

New items appear weekly.

A Few Words From Our Team
The RAIQ welcomes our new General Manager

Dear friends, members of the RAIQ and interdisciplinary artists at large,

I am pleased to announce that as of September, the RAIQ has a new General Manager, Lise Gagnon. Lise's tremendously varied background clearly demonstrates her passion for artistic hybridity and experimentation.

As Director of the new media centre Studio XX from 1999 to 2004, she was instrumental in the organisation's development and growth. Lise holds a B.A. in Dance, a Masters in Art Studies, and is currently the Director of the prestigious Cahiers de théâtre Jeu.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to give Lise a very warm welcome--we look forward to working with you!

Lise is replacing the RAIQ's fantastic outgoing Coordinator-Director Virginie Belhumeur, who has run off to join the circus! She is now at En Piste (Québec's Regroupment for Circus arts), but is planning to join the board!

--Miriam Ginestier, President of the RAIQ

The RAIQ's AGM is just around the corner… On the menu: coffee, bagels, chat, games, and, (of course) elections!

Dear members and friends of the RAIQ,

I am extremely happy to find myself among you. Having just started this new position I am currently preparing for the AGM, in collaboration with our Board of Directors. Our annual meeting will take place on Friday September 19, 10am, at the Studio 303. I will soon be sending out more info, but I invite you to mark this date on your calendars right away! We hope that the AGM will be a fruitful encounter and plan for it as an opportunity to exchange ideas, set a list of current priorities, and discuss our involvement in responding to the Harper cuts. Please don't hesitate to invite potential members. And a reminder: memberships can be renewed at this time as well. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

--Lise Gagnon, General Manager of the RAIQ

And More: RAIQ & Popstart

First off, thanks to all those came out to the demo on August 27 in protest against the Harper government cuts to arts and culture. According to Culture Montréal, we were 2500 strong, filling up the large main space inside the SAT and spilling out into the park and surrounding street outside. Demos this week in Quebec City and Toronto will continue to rally support for our cause. To read the Culture Montréal press release, and to download and sign an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, please visit

On the Popstart front, we are actively recruiting new members to join our network of Interdisciplinary artists and presenters, so if you know anyone who should know about us, and who should join, please send them our way!

And finally… coming soon: our new Newsletter look. Stay tuned for the snazzy re-make of our monthly bulletin.

--Victoria Stanton, Popstart Coordinator

News & Notices Highlights

• Bénévoles recherchés, Les Escales Improbables de Montréal – Montreal, QC: Sept. 11 – 14, 2008

• DARE-DARE: call for submissions – Montreal, QC: deadline Sept. 12, 2008

• The Lab Sessions 4.0 "Deconstructing Hip" – Toronto, ON: deadline Sept. 19, 2008

• International Videoperformance Festival of Mexico City – Mexico City, Mexico: deadline Sept. 26, 2008

• RAIQ AGM election time – Montréal, QC: Sept. 19, 2008
Submit your candidacy for the RAIQ's new Board of Directors!


• QUEBEC CITY: Folie/Culture Presents Cinéma en plein air

• TORONTO: A Space Presents Pilgrimage of Wanderers

• MONTREAL (1): Factory Project

• MONTREAL (2): The RAIQ holds its AGM

Topics & Sites of Interest

"-empyre- soft_skinned_space"

-empyre- is a non-hierarchical, online community, based in Australia. Founded in 2002, the site facilitates critical perspectives on contemporary cross-disciplinary issues, practices and events in networked media by inviting guests -key new media artists, curators, theorists, producers and others to participate in thematic discussions.


Popstart / RAIQ Listings

Just a reminder: If you are registered with the Popstart or RAIQ site, you can post your news independently. Notices go through an approval process, so please post AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE. If you haven't logged in yet, please do! Many profile pages could still use updating. Let us know if you're having trouble getting logged in.


Connecting Canadian Interdisciplinary Artists
Le réseau des artistes interdisciplinaires du Canada