Sunday, March 31, 2019


Looking west down East 4th Avenue from Commercial Drive last Thursday. The picture is darker than how things looked, but some of us "want it darker," according to Leonard Cohen, and besides, it's how I felt at the time.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Garden and its Gerund Form

The last week of March, especially when the sun is out.

The earth is soft now, the crabgrass small and thinly rooted. When not weeding I am stripping the beds of dead matter, like the two azaleas I lost to drought. Those and a potted topiary boxwood are my biggest casualties from last summer.

On a healthier note, a daphne I planted ten years ago doubled in size -- this after years of sitting there, shivering. Also, as of noon yesterday, the year's first camellia!

Friday, March 29, 2019


Where a Space is Counted as a Character 
for Lynn Crosbie

a ledger of characters
surging, insistent, limited
its audit requires

an emotional intelligence
I am careful to listen for
though the reigning preposition

is to

I say to myself -- is to
I say it in Franz’s voice, then in Sophie’s
after screaming at them

“Alice Cooper is not a woman!” 

is too!

and this went on for some time
as gunfire sometimes does
spewing youth, taking it

our block a Sarajevo, with me its Princip
we were eleven when I understood how
in the context of learning what we know

someone could think so

our wars ended 
when the street lights came on

I am drifting again
the platforms encourage it

to stay with anything too long
is to risk an explanation; best to just
STFU, if you know what’s good for you

years later Sophie finds me, emails 
“You should be on Twitter!”
I reply for an hour, then hit delete

Thursday, March 28, 2019

"I know what it comes with, but it's not what I want."

I thought twice about posting this clip. Everyone has seen it -- why bother? Then I thought, Just because the interweb has convinced us that everything is at our fingertips, most of us never get past the first knuckle -- hence all that hand-wringing, all that auto-aggression. The world is full of know-it-alls who don't know anything -- and they know it!

Jack Nicholson's Bobby Dupea is the opposite -- a self-imposed know-nothing who knows more than he can handle. Here is Nicholson 22 years later, as Colonel Nathan R. Jessop, still labouring under the weight of what he knows:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"They start out that I'm in here."

From David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001), a dialogue that Vishal Jugdeo and I have acted out every spring for the past ten years.

It goes like this: we select a diner on Sunset and arrange to meet there for breakfast. We say nothing to each other apart from what's said in Lynch's scene (roles are pre-determined by a coin toss). When the dialogue ends ("Right then"), HERB gets up and pays. If Vish is playing HERB, he leaves, and I don't know where he goes; if it's me, I cab it back to LAX.

Here is the scene from Lynch's original screenplay:

Two well-dressed men HERB and DAN (mid 30's) are sitting at a
table drinking coffee. Herb has finished eating his
breakfast, but Dan hasn't touched his bacon and eggs - he
appears too nervous to eat. A blonde waitress with a
nameplate saying "DIANE" lays the check on their table
smiles, then walks off.
  Why did you want to go to breakfast if
  you're not hungry?

  I just wanted to come here.

  To Denny's? I wasn't going to say
  anything, but why Denny's?
  This Denny's.
  Okay. Why this Denny's?
  It's kind of embarrassing but,
  Go ahead.
  I had a dream about this place.
  Oh boy.
  You see what I mean...
  Okay, so you had a dream about this
  place. Tell me.
  Well ... it's the second one I've had, but
  they were both the same......they start
  out that I'm in here but it's not day or
  night. It's kinda half night, but it
  looks just like this except for the
  light, but I'm scared like I can't tell
  ya. Of all people you're standing right
  over there by that counter. You're in
  both dreams and you're scared. I get
  even more frightened when I see how
  afraid you are and then I realize what it
  is - there's a back of this
  place. He's the one ... he's the one
  that's doing it. I can see him through
  the wall. I can see his face and I hope
  I never see that face ever outside a
Herb stares at Dan to see if he will continue. Dan looks
around nervously, then stares at his uneaten food.
    DAN (cont'd)
  That's it.
  So, you came to see if he's out there?

  To get rid of this god-awful feeling.
  Right then.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Friendly Banner's Restaurant

Friendly Banner's Restaurant at the southwest corner of Commercial Drive and East 12th was a Baskin-Robbins when I first walked past it in the mid-1990s. Not sure when B-R became a Banner's (1999? 2000?), but when it did, it offered an inexpensive all-day breakfast.

While Banner's billed itself as a "family restaurant," rarely did I see families of the nuclear variety. Nor did I see more than two people in any one of the twelve booths visible from the Commercial Drive side.

As Banner's neared its end (it closed in 2017), I never saw more than three people seated in the booth section. Rarer still were those seated together, or in neighbouring booths, or in booths less than two booths apart.

The sign in the window says "Free Wifi", but I never saw anyone operating a laptop, a tablet or a smart phone. If they were not bent over their plates, eating, they sat upright, motionless, a hand around their cup, staring straight ahead. None of the diners sat within eye contact of each other. Nor did they look at me when I walked past, pretending not to look at them.

Monday, March 25, 2019


To replace a second storey window a scaffold had to be installed. To install the scaffold meant the cutting back of a fig that needed pruning anyway. To appreciate the arborist's cuts a camera was used to document them. The cut above is from a bottom limb. The picture, as it appears in this medium, was rotated 90-degrees to the right, and for this reason has no basis in reality.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Is There a Room in the House More Utilitarian Than the Laundry Room?

It was only after Alex whitewashed its walls that I saw beyond its washer and dryer and the shelf on which sits detergents, bleach, stain remover and the mustard bucket inherited from Hans Schaubus that I use to clean the lint trap.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Crossing Powells

Crossing Powell (1984) and Crossing Powell 2 (1984) are among my favourite Fred Herzog pictures. Something about a shadow cast from a subject in the path of reflected light. Or maybe it's as simple as knowing where these pictures were taken -- the southeast corner of the intersection of Jackson and Powell.

Friday, March 22, 2019


A review of a recent biography of aesthete practitioner Gabriele D'Annunzio (above right, next to his protege, Mussolini, in 1925) -- with no mention of Trump! Ah, but the review is dated 2013, when a Trump presidency was unimaginable. (Berlusconi's term as Italy's prime minister ended in 2011; you would think he might warrant a mention.)

A highlight of Margaret MacMillian's Paris 1919 is her summary (pp. 302-303) of D'Annunzio's fifteen month residency at the Croatian port of Fiume (now Rijeka). According to MacMillan, "priests demanded the right to marry and young women stayed out all night. The city reverberated, said observers, with the sounds of lovemaking." Not surprising, given that Europe was still "fresh" from what H. G. Wells called "the war to end all wars."

Below is Stefi's translation of D'Annunzio's 1902 poem "La Pioggia nel Pineto".

Rain in the Pinewoods

Be silent. At the edge
of the woods I do not hear
the human words you say;
I hear new words
spoken by droplets and leaves
far away.
Listen. It rains
from the scattered clouds.
It rains on the briny, burned
it rains on the pine trees
scaly and rough, 
it rains on the divine
on the bright ginestra flowers
gathered together,
on the junipers full of
fragrant berries, 
it rains on our sylvan
it rains on our
bare hands
on our light
on the fresh thoughts
that our soul, renewed, 
on the beautiful fable
that beguiled you
yesterday, that beguiles me today, 
oh Hermione. 

Can you hear? The rain falls
on the solitary
with a crackling noise that lasts
and varies in the air
according to the thicker,
less thick foliage.
Listen. With their singing, the cicadas
are answering this weeping, 
this southern wind weeping
that does not frighten them, 
and nor does the grey sky.
And the pine tree
has a sound, the myrtle
another one, the juniper
yet another, different
under countless fingers.
And we are immersed 
in the sylvan spirit,
living the same
sylvan life;
and your inebriated face
is soft from the rain,
like a leaf,
and your hair is
is fragrant like the light
ginestra flowers,
oh terrestrial creature
called Hermione.

Listen, listen. The song
of the flying cicadas
becomes fainter
and fainter
as the weeping
grows stronger;
but a rougher song
rises from afar,
and flows in
from the humid remote shadow.
Softer and softer
gets weaker, fades away.
One lonely note
still trembles, fades away.
No one can hear the voice of the sea.
Now you can hear the silver rain
pouring in
on the foliage,
rain that purifies,
its roar that varies
according to the thicker,
less thick foliage.
The child of the air
is silent; but the child
of the miry swamp, the frog,
far away,
sings in the deepest of shadows
who knows where, who knows where!
And it rains on your lashes,

It rains on your black lashes
as if you were weeping,
weeping from joy; not white
but almost green,
you seem to come out of the bark.
And life is in us fresh
and fragrant,
the heart in our chests is like a peach
under the eyelids our eyes
are like springs in the grass
and the teeth in our mouths
green almonds.
And we go from thicket to thicket, 
at a time together, at a time apart
(the vegetation, thick and vigorous,
entwines our ankles
entangles our knees)
who knows where, who knows where!
And it rains on our sylvan
it rains on our
bare hands
on our light
on the fresh thoughts
that our soul, renewed, 
on the beautiful fable
that beguiled me
yesterday, that beguiles you today, 
oh Hermione.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Backyard Light

When Derek rebuilt the fence he suggested a horizontal design.

Above is what the backyard looked like yesterday morning. Same with the morning before. And the morning before that, when its picture was taken.

A workday later:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Ian's always talking about "the architects" and the role they played in bringing modernism to the Vancouver "frontier." Architects like Abraham Rogatnick and Arthur Erickson, but not Gerald Hamilton, whose H.R. MacMillan Space Centre opened in 1968.

The photo above was taken by "frontier" artist Christos Dikeakos in 1969 and includes Hamilton's  Space Centre at Vanier Park. After completing the Space Centre, Hamilton designed the St. George's Greek Orthodox Cathedral (1970) at Arbutus and Valley Drive.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A small room behind a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

The sun is only now just high enough to light my mother's drawing: a birdhouse she made when she was nine and I framed years later.

The bird has faded over the years (she approached it "lightly -- too lightly"), but the light does what it can to return it to us.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"In these green and white stripes..."

Nice to leave the house without a sweater and scarf, open up the yard with saws and shears, sink into the softness of the earth underfoot.

Nothing follows winter like spring.

I have never heard it said that St. Patrick's Day is a winter holiday, but it is -- technically.

Did Codco ever do a parody of this ad?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

"Spring Song" (1948) by J. C. Sturm

J.C. (Jacqueline Cecilia) Sturm (1927-2009) is an important Maori writer. As spring approaches, I reach for this poem:

Spring Song

Oh certainly it has been a fine day,
so fine I went walking on laughing stones
all laughing at my brain-clock hands
whirling round for a purpose never there
and never likely to be, only tick-tock.

Passing by a gay tree-judge I was tried,
condemned and hung full of care from a careless
twig with a blossom round my neck; quartered
by a sunbeam and hymned by a thrush
with a flooding throat, no tick-tock.

Till a green wind blew me cold into
a daffodil grave to bury my winter there;
rolled in an earth bed under a sun
blanket, was happy to grow as cabbages
grow, knowing nothing of tick-tock, no.

Friday, March 15, 2019


Seven-Up, Seven-Up
we see the light
with Seven-Up

we couldn't have made it through the day
without something to show the way
that something keeps us going

and you can't make it through the night
if you don't have some kind of light 
that's glowing

Seven-Up, Seven-Up
we see the light
with Seven-Up

Abel and Kearns made their 7-Up "Bubbles" ad as employees of the J. Walter Thompson Agency of Chicago in 1974. For some, 1974 was the first year of the 1970s (if you believe that the 1960s ended in the U.S. in 1973, with Watergate).

Here is an ad made in the fifth year of the 1960s (if you believe the 1950s ended in 1963, with the assassination of America's 35th president):

Note that choice ("a car, a wardrobe, movie equipment, skiing in Chile..."), as a reflection of one's individuality, assumes opportunity (through consumption), which is not earned but rewarded randomly ("9, 079 great things"), and at terrible odds.

The 1970s "Bubbles" ad is a song that spans musical and visual styles, from the 1920s to the present. It reprises an even bigger number -- the good ol' Test of Time (continuity) -- as America licks its wounds (racial "tensions," the war in Vietnam, economic inflation, etc.) on the eve of its Bicentennial. The 1960s ad is neither a song nor a poem but an attitude reflective of a dispassionate intellectualism common to TV commentators -- thinkers and ideologues like Susan Sontag, William F. Buckley and Tom Wolfe (as brought to mind by the ad's white-suited host).

A few months back, 7-Up commissioned this numerically and philosophically Christian 3:16 minute "Butterfly Effect" ad for Chinese speakers:

I can't think of an ad that better reflects how the world is "wired" than this one.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Portland Al's

A screen-grab I took from a 1966 B.C. Department of Highways film. The Sprite sign on the building above the Sprite truck would soon advertise the site of Portland Al's (1853 Main Street, at 3rd Avenue), where you could buy bootleg cassettes of difficult to find (or afford) vinyl.

Here is another film (video) of a 1985 visit to Al's.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Lesbian Images (1975)

There are no images in this book; only words and what we make of them, as readers.

Jane Rule (1931-2007) begins her "Introduction" with reviews of her best known book, Desert of the Heart (1964).

"The Desert of the Heart is extremely frank in its treatment of lesbianism. Perhaps a little too frank. The author almost makes it seem desirable." -- Molly Frampton, St. Catherine's Standard, March 21, 1964.

And this from Vancouver, where Rule lived at the time:

"I learned a lot more about Lesbians than I care to know." -- Lorne Parton, Vancouver Province, March 21, 1964.

Capital "L" Lesbians. As in, residents of Lesbos, and the world where books like Rule's are written.

Rule moved to Vancouver from England in 1956 with scholar John Hulcoop, whom Wikipedia says she "entered into a relationship with." Before that, Rule taught in Massachusetts, where she met Helen Sonthoff, who visited often, until she stopped visiting and stayed -- with Rule.

Sonthoff does not appear in Rule's posthumously published memoir Taking my Life (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011). (Clues as to why can be found in Lesbian Images, where Rule discusses the life and work of Gertrude Stein, Willa Cather and others.)

As for Molly Frampton, I've done everything I can to find her online.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"In a riverside trailer..."

"In a riverside trailer, an Electroplater (dancer and choreographer K. J. Holmes) maps the cosmos in cardboard and wire and helps the Engraver immerse his etchings in chemical baths. Diana happens on the Engraver hunting a mountain lion, and later stalks and punishes him by shooting and scarring one of his metal drawings. The film culminates with Diana killing a wolf, the Engraver skinning it, and a wolf pack destroying the Electroplater’s trailer during a solar eclipse, in a scene shot in the path of totality in August 2017." -- Catherine Taft, Artforum (online), accessed March 12, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Park Joy

These trees, standing here, freshly planted, amidst the tan gravel, against the black Elizabeth picked out for them. I don't want to say where this is because it's not my business. This could be Francesca's view; she tells me she takes their picture all the time; but I took this one. Gleditsia triancanthos. That's all.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

from the opening of Chapter 21

"Spring came late to Paris in 1919, but by the middle of April the magnolias were in full bloom and the chestnut trees along the boulevards were starting to flower. The Ethiopians straggled in, tall and handsome in their white robes. The great museums gradually reopened and the children played in the parks."

Saturday, March 9, 2019

2985 Kingsway

The rocks "stand" on the south (Kingsway) side of the Collingwood Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Some of the rocks I recognize, but not the green ones. Were they painted? I should have paid closer attention. Might have been distracted by the VPL's repainting of the structure's wooden portions, from brown to what architect Douglas Simpson's son Gregg, a self-proclaimed "surrealist," calls "lurid blue" -- the same blue the VPL uses to spark joy when it doesn't like what it's libraries are wearing.

Below is Simpson's Modern Module #9 (1993), a 10" x 14" acrylic on canvas:

Friday, March 8, 2019

"The Colonel" by Carolyn Forché

A documentary poem by U.S. poet Carolyn Forché, who visited El Salvador in 1978. I first read this poem in the early 1980s, in Forché's book The Country Between Us, a book given to me by one of my anthropology professors, Peter Stephenson, who encouraged me to explore the ethnography as a literary genre, which I did in my first books. I have only now heard this poem read aloud.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Carolee Schneeman (1939-2019)

Scott MacDonald: Have audiences for Fuses changed much over the years?

Carolee Schneemann: Oh, yes. There was that revelatory time when Fuses was first shown around 1967-68, when not a lot but a certain number of women and a very large number of men in the audience felt that it was giving them back a sort of wholeness. They said it was very positive for them, and women would say that they had never looked at their genitals and had never felt accepting of them and this was a chance to make the kind of integration and ‘fusion’ about self they really wanted. There's a thread of that that keeps going on. There is also tremendous resistance to it—silliness and pain that's masked as a kind of hostility or tacky aggressiveness. One of the most extreme things happened when I was in the audience at Cannes. About forty men went berserk and tore up all the seats in the theater, slashed them with razors, shredded them, and threw all the padding around. It was terrifying, and peculiar.

MacDonald: They came prepared?

Schneemann: I don't know; the theater was full. Fuses was on the program of special jury selections, most of which were socially political (it was 1968) compared to Fuses, which was sexually political. The people who went crazy were French, youngish; they looked sort of middle class in their dress. I don't know what they were screaming or why. I was very bewildered. I thought at the time that it had to do with the lack of predictable pornographic narrative sequence. There was also a fight at the University of Massachusetts in 1973, where some man in the audience said he didn't get a hard-on, so what's the point to it? And a woman in the back row said to him something like, ‘You didn't get a hard-on because you wouldn't recognize something that was truly sexual if it sat on your lap.’ And he turned around and said, ‘Who the fuck do you think you are? You're just another one of those dumb bitches who…’, something or other; I don't remember exactly. Anyway, she called him a stupid prick—this is in the university auditorium!- and the professors were banging on the tables, and the students were yelling, and somebody took a newspaper and hit the man on the head with it. Finally they remembered me and shouted, ‘What do you think about the audience fighting?’ And I said, ‘It seems to be very cathartic for you; it's better than struggling over dull questions.’

In 1972 or 1973 at the Art Institute in Chicago there was a group of lesbian separatists who were extremely angry about the film. They said, ‘There's no role model for us in here, and we don't want to have to look at it.’ Well, of course, I felt that, first, they didn't have to look at it, and, second, they were perfectly justified to object to it, because if they needed a role model, the heterosexual one in Fuses was going to be antagonistic. But then a woman yelled to them, ‘All my life I've been pushed around by fascistic men telling me what to look at and what it means, and I'm not going to be pushed around by fascistic women telling me what to look at and what it means.’ Big applause from another contingent. And then still another woman put her head up and said, ‘The role model in the film is the fact that the filmmaker envisions her own life, and we should see it in that way.’ More fighting and arguing.

About three years ago, in California, Fuses was seen as ‘sentimental shit.’ You don't usually hear much about what people really say or think about your work. Other things invitations, phone calls, who remembers your name, stuff like that are telling you what kind of rating you've got in the art world. Anyway, there was this time in California where, I'm told, people really hated it and booed and walked out. I try to make all my things to go on their own for a long duration; it's up to them to absorb the shocks.

MacDonald: The amount of negative reaction seems strange to me. Just in terms of colors and textures Fuses is so beautiful to look at.

Schneemann: Well, it used to be considered too ugly to look at: jumbled, broken, chaotic. In California it seems to have become too beautiful. Perhaps the California people were into leather and, straps. A lot of things have been considered indulgent in the past couple of years. Heterosexual love has been a luxury that some women cannot psychologically afford. It's too fraught with compromise and diversion of energies that have to be women-identified among and with other women. 

MacDonald: It seems very apparent when I watch Fuses that though you and Jim Tenney had known each other for a long time, you were still pretty fascinated with each other. At least on one level, all the different lighting conditions in the film, the different tones, all the different technical things that go on suggest your long-term erotic exploration of each other.

Schneemann: Also there is a prolonged time duration in it. It doesn't have the titillating quality of dramatic immediacy.

MacDonald: It suggests that you can sustain that level of passion over a long period of time.

Schneemann: Hopefully, yes. That's a normal expectation of mine. Fuses is, in part, an answer to Brakhage's Loving, which Jim and I are in. Brakhage made Loving because of his fascination with the erotic sensitivity and vitality that was between Jim and me. That was something very important for him to be seeing and caring about. But I felt that Loving failed to capture our central eroticism, and I wanted to set that right. Actually, I hate what happens when I'm in somebody else's work, with the exception of a Bill Brand film, Split Decision, which is all invention anyway. I always feel a tremendous distortion has been enacted on me, despite my hope that some coherent self will come through.

Another thing I was thinking about at the time is the issue of equity be-tween couples. There's a tremendous resistance to that; there's always got to be one person on top, right? I always thought it was a particular value that a couple could have this equity between them, and Jim took a lot of flack for that. Men, in particular, thought he wasn't getting the advantages he should. They didn't mean about the sex, but in our daily life. People would be around and see that he was going to do the dishes while I cooked, or that they couldn't come over at a certain time because that's when I was working in my little part of the house and couldn't be disturbed. There was a tremendous amount of hostility towards me, as if he was being victimized by something if I wasn't going to serve him. But it had a double edge; it had an erotic fascination because it was also very sexy. People were always saying, ‘You can't live like this.’ 

Also, they presumed that influences only went one way. Jim influenced me; I could never in twelve years be an influence on him. Almost no one thought we could both be good for each other. That kind of thing is still going on. I used to watch it with other people. When John and Yoko were first together, the general response, other than that of the fascinated fans, was vicious. All the artists would say, ‘Lennon is ruining her quixotic imagination,’ and all the pop people would say, ‘He's with that freaky avant-garde woman, and she's ruining his mind.’ Never the celebration of the two of them bringing to each other what they did.

From an interview with Carolee Schneeman in Macdonald, Scott. A Critical Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1988.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


While tidying up yesterday I flipped through my passport and noticed the expiry date. London Drugs has a good deal on passport photos (under $15), but notoriously unfriendly lighting. Not that I am blaming the store for the bags under my eyes.

After returning home I resolved to do something about those bags. So I read my way back to the 19th century, to the early days of photography. There, I met Robert Cornelius, who accepted my "oddly shaped coin" (a loonie) in exchange for the portrait below:

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A small room behind a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Last night I sat down with the coloured pencils I purchased at Delta's in Edmonton and some super toothy paper to do some drawings of some things that had recently caught my attention -- things I had seen and was in danger of forgetting.

The first was of an older woman at a crosswalk absently reaching for the hand of her preschool-aged granddaughter, who, without looking, raised her hand to meet her gran's. The second one I forget.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


A Small Pile of Leaves

author writes to reader of a tree from behind the tree the author writes

the reader no longer sees the tree only the author hiding behind it writing

the reader writes it is the reader huddled behind the tree carving R-E-A-D-E-R

into the tree with a pen-knife then a key that breaks at the end of R-E-A-D-

now inspired the author deletes the tree and writes of a huddled figure

crying over a small pile of leaves I placed there before I sat down to write

these lines hoping they might be discovered by someone out for a reading

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Poem by Liz Howard, Re-Posted (from Poetry Foundation) Without Permission

Euro — Anishinaabekwe — Noli Turbare

Beauty is my irreparable and today I became geometric.
A faux linear figure that distills a skip trace of First principles.
In a whiteout of Atlantic snow banging stars into the femoral
vein of Euclid while rows of lavender circuits, all porous,
surrounded me. I genuflected before the hospital parking

of my father’s jaundice, for I am a good daughter of the colony.
The colony which begot the immortal heart of the markets.
Resource nursed all young bucks of the florets, a liquidity
I should service or else receive a lesser dessert. With my smudge
cleanse at the ready I find myself dispensing with the usual

future haunt of stability; a survival signaling my relationship
to time, or I’m out of it, entirely. Chanting hell as hair veils
my face as if this is a Western. Come polygon and I circumvent
the disaster, do not disturb my circles. Holy I went, holy
all around my head, the holy I am went careening down

the back stairs of this low-rise rental. Striated by the pinnacle
light of this city that has my blood pooled purple at the center
of its gravity. You can scan the ground from overhead for death
pits. I read this on the internet when I was dehydrated, lonely,
and afraid. Office plants all broad-leafed repositories

for cognition’s patent heart. I’ve gone and been abominable.
A column extended from the top of my head into heaven.
At the edges of my system an Anishinabek or Indo-European
projection of words my nerves could translate into the crawl
space of animal magnetism. White pine verticals send us up

as a stomach pumped by filial love. Oh, inconsequent curb
of my street I refuse to kneel, this day like any other, a cousin
charged with trafficking. Still waiting to be ordained, I make
mask of our features that are retreating. Plush pockets of rust
about another falsehood of water, a creek that pleats. I’ve gone

and got a blister. That summer a black bear’s muzzle was coated
in shellac from the aerosol can she bit through on my mother’s
porch. A half-century after my grandmother’s mother said,
don’t ever shoot a black bear, they are my people. So I continue
to speak more than this mortuary sunrise where I am only just alive.

Boozhoo, today is over.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Elevator Pitch

Okay Jody, here it is. In fifty-two words:

Quit the Libs, sit as an independent, use your networks to gather those you value (loved ones, difficult people, nemeses, etc.) to draft a charter that privileges the land, language and relations, then launch a new party. I will consider voting for it. I never vote in federal elections -- but I will reconsider!

photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld