Friday, April 28, 2006

The Vibrators are gonna be in Montreal in May. How lucky am I. Some of my favorite songs to destroy my guitar with. Beautiful! I'll have to buy some "V" hotpants to go with my SNFU t-shirt.

You should all be listening to The Vibrators. Right now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I call this agency

I'm moving through end of term like a Hoover. Just finished exam, one more and two papers to go. If it doesn't kill me... I will not be dead I guess. Perhaps my grumpy mood will improve in, oh, a week, when all this rushing about to get brain to work is over. At least until I start a summer class. Because summer school is fun! Scottish contemporary lit, what could be cooler than that.

Eating chinese take out, watching Hitler's secretary, going to bed. Tomorrow I have to finish up essay.

If anyone's keeping track, got back Wonder...Eliot/James essay I blogged about a week or two ago. A-, woo! Took a fiction course with the dog-lovin vintage kool Montreal fiction writer Tess Fragoulis--got me an A- too!

I have a question though, when, in all this brain-knit handiwork, do I have time to write the poems I got in me?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fucking Apathy

"If I could dig a hole and hide from everyone, I'd do it."
"Do as elephants do--when they're unhappy, they disappear."
(Faites comme les éléphants -- quand ils sont malheureux, ils disparaissent.)
A Bout De Souffle
Jean-Luc Godard

First let me say that it's 12:22 am and that I've taken a pause from watching a brilliant Jean-Luc Godard movie (À bout de souffle) that I wasn't aware existed on this planet (brilliant cuz I ditn't know, and too, because I grabbed it as a 7-day rental--5 movies for 6 bucks--and thought "French New Wave? Cool"... It's such fun to quote one's own thought on one's own blog.). I'm sure everyone else on the planet, on my planet, knows this Frenchie director guy. Anyways, my pause:

I returned about an hour or two ago from the Coach House spring launch held right here in ole Montreal. As usual, I'm disappointed by the lack of conversation among poets about poetry. True, could be my pissy mood considering I've lots of papers and exams to complete, coupled with the fact that the entire world seems bordering (bordering?) on irreversable apathy right now. I dunno. Call me poet. I'm tired. Or maybe I'm a replicant. Okay, but why is it that poets never say to each other exactly what it is their faces are telling you what they're thinking of saying.

But I took some photos. From a distance. I prefer the expanse of space between words leaving mouths and reaching me. I need time to consider. I should have been even farther back, in fact. Sina's reading made me poke a stranger next to me to ask for a cigarette. Good God it was good. The reading. And the cigarette. But really, Sina Queyras is phenomenal. Was it the striking pinstripe suit? Maybe. I will have to contact her at some point; ask for some things to be sent in exchange for some useless Canadian money. If I'd been in a better mood I'd have stayed to chat about, say, why lemon and why hound, although I have my inklings--I once wrote a poem about lemon and things which I won't get into... Bowery, good?... gay is cool no more?... and of course, the exhorborant amount NY'ers spend for vintage. Interesting. I buy mine cheap, or not at all. I've been forced to sew a dress or two in the past. I'm not beyond that. My mother educated me on how to pull (push?) sharp objects through porous material.

Christ Ewart, reading from Miss Lamp

Angela Rawlings, reading from Wide slumber for lepidopterists

Jon Paul Fiorentino, reading from Theory of the Loser Class

Sina Queyras , reading from Lemon Hound

Melissa A. Thompson, reading from Dreadful Paris

And hey, have you all gotten a copy of the spring Carousel Magazine with my long poem in it? Cuz you should. I don't publish that often you know. (unless you've seen the latest fhole from Toronto, with a 4-piecer of mine in it) Just get one. Buy poetry. It will love you more than your cat. Maybe longer. Buy it here.
My hair smells like smoke.
And now, to sleep. Essay completion to do on the fabulous Daphne Marlatt in the morning, & comparison with some Livesay material. Tomorrow, tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2006


One Word Survey:

Yourself: wo
Your Lover: nope
Your Hair: dry
Your Mother: serialmonogamist
Your Father: blair
Your Favorite Item: pillow
Your Dream Last Night: showerheads
Your Favorite Drink: water
Your Dream Home: round
The Room You Are In: bedroom
Your Pet: abyss
Who You Are Now: peripeteia
Who You Want to be in Ten Years: polyperipeteia
What You Want to be in Ten Years: pseudopolyperipeteia
What You're Not: tall
Your Best Friend: quick
One of Your Wish list Items: russia
Your Gender: femininey
The Last Thing You Did: think
What You Are Wearing: snappyshirt
Your Favorite Weather: fresh
Your Favorite Book: the stranger
The Last Thing You Ate: raisintoast
Your Life: yes
Your Mood: handsquashedinface

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Heart of a poet

The XPress cover story is up. Can be found ici and this-a-way.

If you're in Montreal, there's a reading at the Green Room this Sunday, the 23rd. Read all about it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wide Slumber

Reviewed a.rawlings Wide slumber for lepidopterists yesterday. As of midnight last night I forked it over to the editing hands of the Ottawa XPress. Stay tuned for Thursday edition. If it's really very far removed from my original, I'll post here.

In other news I wrote a survey today for Concordia. It asked me what I wasn't happy with. I said the Creative Writing program. Sample: When I enquired about the graduate program, creative writing option, it was suggested that since it was extremely competitive I should apply to someplace like UBC instead.

I've also decided to give some serious thought to how we are naming the poetry that we write--titles that currently exist, like avant-garde, postmodern, postpostmodern, experimental, blahblahblah--are just not offering any kind of solid understanding of what's going on, AND is not really leaving room for any of us to define our poetics in any NEW way, now is it. So, for now, to simplify, I'm calling it all "avant-aware". I know I'm contradicting myself here, filing it all away under one title, but until I have a better idea, there it lives.

Working on essay #2: How Helen is representative of all women. Also doing book job to hand in tomorrow and working on US Lit Journal Web site. Woo-ee!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

First poem

Over on Jessica Smith's blog is a first poem. I'm inspired to share mine.

I have a copy written in crayon still, my mom saved in a photo album. Reading it again, I see more than what should have been there for a 9 year old. Oh my.

to mom:

my love for you will never fail
so long as pussy has its tail

Hey, I didn't say it was good.
So school's almost out (my last class tonight) and so begins the summer look for work. I have an interview on the 20th (same day as my 10-page interpretive essay on Euripedes' Helen is due, groan) but in the possible outcome that the job thingy doesn't work out, I'm offering my services. I used to do Web Design during my few years in Ottawa. I just finished my latest site, for author Mark Frutkin. If you'd like to hire me, I'm all for it.

Tonight's last class of my first year back at university: Modern Canadian Poetry. We'll be looking at Anne Wilkinson and Irving Layton, and possibly other things too. My 10-page paper for this class is due on the 24th, 2 days before my American Lit survey exam, which I still have to read FAR too much lit and make study notes for (double groan).

What should I write about for my ModCanPo essay? Comparison of Livesay and Marlatt's longer works (ie. Steveston), of Jack Spicer and Layton concerning elements of hubris, of Layton himself--some sort of comparison of his earlier drafts to later ones--focusing on some common element such as the superiority in his verse, or, maybe I could select from a variety of topics from my last paper which I didn't choose... I've come to realize that I need a solid thesis to move forward on essay material. And that takes me the length of days sometimes. I don't have the luxury of time now...

For Helen essay, I will try to prove--recylcing research from my first paper involving why women's sounds were bad to hear for the Athenian male (thanks Anne Carson for insightful research material) and how they alarmed them--how Helen is representative of all women. This thesis I need to significantly build up. A closer reading of the play should help. Which I will begin tonight, after my late 8:30-10:45 class, once again at the library that is open until 1am.

And now, to interview some fancy poet for some weekly paper thing...

Could I have more to do? Oh yes, I'm also working on a journal Web site in the states.

I really don't have time to be writing this now do I.

Finished the essay last night! Got it in before the office opened! It was on time! Horray! And, I'm somewhat pleased with it. Title I went with:

The Wonder of the Wonder: the Preoccupation of Unconscious Law in T.S. Eliot and Henry James

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The beast and the lovesong

So I'm currently writing an essay on Henry James' The Beast in the Jungle and comparing it with Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock on some relatively loose existential bend... this idea of the unconscious betrayal of self; this idea of the the law that rules us; this idea of being marked without precise measurement, or of with precise measurement (with spoons) ; this idea of life as divided into such small quantities that it may be too difficult to compile them all if that is what one wanted to do, considering one would not have recorded the tiny tiny fluctuations of non-choice; this idea of waiting for something that happens right in front of you. And not seeing it. At all.

Working title: the strangeness in the strangeness: the preoccupation of unconscious law

So many notes to work in yet... so little time.

What the?

So I had one giant planet of a dream last night. I've decided to turn it into the next latin dance hit*! (with some modification, of course) Or, some random new philosophy that involves me, and cheap-o island in some neighbouring-ghetto-of-the world-where-they-can't-wait-to-sell-it-to-some-eager-Canadian-with-big-big-dreams-who-has-no-idea-how-the-selling-of-an-island-works, and, well, a canopener I guess. This random text may in fact make as little sense as the following dreamscape. I can not be held accountable:

ulcum com laude phd baclaurat minnesota kant kant kant
what is this little book?
we have to read it all.
it is not scripture it is not (do not laugh), you are late.
we have to read it all less we offend the god.
the god did not give you this
this is from the library. it talks of biography.

white salt waves three men australia white salt turned carpet
teal blue hexagon shaped short brush turned back turned carpet

key. choose a key from a bowl. this will be your room.
this will be your service. your duty. and you, yours will begin at 10 am.
it is 9 am.
yes it is.
but i must sleep.
there is no time.

you will lead the service this morning.
I can do this I did this once.
here is your verse book. you will teach it all.
all? yes all.
but it is not verse.

we are reading this book now. it is biography. people are raising their hands in praise.

on the beach a professor stands. a friend stands and asks about professor.
a professor laughs then leaves.
he is tall, skinny. he did not choose a key. he does not like to remember awkward things.

on the beach which is now a carpet i am remembering there are three men swimming.
they are from australia. we are in australia. because i asked them i know.

in a room in that city that is not at the bottom of the world are two naked people.
they are being laughed at. there is a woman with a man's instrument who is having a good time. i know this man.
there is anger or there is fear.
in that room there are ideas of love in one person's mind. but no one else can.
the toilet is full and will not flush.

there is a bus there are birds lots of birds there is a larger one.
it turns and takes over and we can not stop it and we land.

malcom cum laude bea tu phd. kant kant.

*latin dance composers need not apply.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The growth of things

I attended a very fun Classics department wine and cheese last night where I made a brief appearance as Athena. What fun. Had a good discussion with a prof about Irving Layton and discovered that in a room in the library building that's dedicated to a number of works and collections of his are included a few earlier manuscripts and personal affects. I will be very happily researching things in that room for an upcoming essay. Maybe some comparison of earlier drafts showing larger (or lesser) amounts of hubris, as he was known for a certain superiority (of ego).

I've also just discovered a letter that arrived from the Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards Committee. It turns out the bursary I applied for in December came through, and was even more than the $300 I'd applied for. A thousand bucks in fact! And just when I'd wondered where my rent was going to come from for May. Glad I've been keeping up that 3.30 GPA.

I registered for my fall and winter classes too:

Fall term:

Poetry workshop with Robert Allen (full year course)
Prose Poetry workshop with Mary di Michele
Restoration & Early 18th Century Lit.
Introductory Ancient Greek (full year course)

Winter term:

Poetry workshop with Robert Allen (full year course)
Introductory Ancient Greek (full year course)
Greek or Roman Lit, Aristotle, Plato, or Existentialism (haven't decided yet)
Literature of the Mid-18th Century

I may take a prepratory Greek class this summer at one of the language schools in town. I hear it's a tough learn. My Russian background will come in handy, they tell me. Hope so.

Going to help out with some of the Blue Metropolis events. This one, next week. I'm now officially a member of the QWF.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Submit to ImPress

Geez, my blog is certainly photo-happy these days. Here's something new:

Submit to ImPress. Details here.

In other news:
I ate half a chocolate bunny today, then went to the gym, then had some skinny french fries with spicy mayonnaise at the French restaurant/bar--only one within 10 blocks of my house that stays open past 9pm. I read half of a postmodern play (which is very interesting: Parks "America Play"), part of Aristophanes "Birds", a political satire, or straight up comedy--however you choose to see it, of the Athenian "state", etc., and will be critiquing two fiction stories for tomorrow's workshop in my bed that I am about to fold into. I'm going to wear some crisp pajama pants, pet my cats, and take a nice deep breath before getting out my marking-up pencil. Last day of classes tomorrow (less one more on Monday). Then I prepare for essay/exam craziness. Three research papers and two exams in the next month. Oh what fun.

Interesting bit of learning that came up today. The idea of metaphor being that which simply represents movement from one thing (or place) to another. That movement can be representative of things such as "constructivism" in opposition to "realism", sharing the idea of "sophistry" on the realist side, and "the poet, or poetry" on the constructivist end. As Aristotle deems, the two could be interchangable, for in effect, the poet is also sometimes representative of the "liar", which relates either directly or indirectly to "sophistry"... so it's all the same damn fabric... and not.

Interesting prof. I hope to have more classes with him. And, in part due to his excellent form (in teaching... ) and superb intellect, I may in fact be adding a minor to my degree: classics, a la Anne Carson, whom I respect and admire, and was quite into about a year ago. I was able to write a classicist dramaturgical-focused paper on an essay she penned awhile back just a month ago. Her points were interestingly valid to our current climate of state vs. class vs. gender, and her scholarship was/is exciting.

All for now. Must to bed.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It's 12:30 am

And it's officially my birthday!

Here're some highlights from last year. Sadly, some photos do not relay the enormous amount of fun that went down, but I'll try:

Here's Johnston trying to conceal the fact that he had a little jig with the devil herself a few moments before he a) stumbled over to Pizza Pizza b) hopped in a cab to travel 6 blocks c) scarfed down 3 slices, then gave me my birthday pizza... or something like that. The ever cool Jena B. gave him her sexy hat to wear. I'm hoping there will be sexy hats this year too. I'll be sure to hand some around, just in case.

Jena B. herself, posing nicely for an alley side action shot. (reaching for cigs?)

And then there were balls...

And scores...

And scores! (wink wink, McNulty)

At some point we were at 1) the bowling alley 2) the Carleton Tavern 3) Jena B.'s lair of lust... and made a few rounds in between, which are sadly not captured on camera. Likely too scandalous.

So that was then, and this is now...

Having some friends over for dinner, some new Montreal folk. We'll see what happens afterward. 33 no more. 34.
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