Music, music

I was doing some musical stylings on the computer today, from an album that dates back to 1972, so when I saw Amy’s blog post–also linked on the side bar, which should, some day, wander back up to the top– I was curious to see what the number 1 hit was in 1972. I looked up the month and date of my birth in 1972 (not really the year of my birth, although for today I’m pretending) and found that the song was “Brandy–you’re a fine girl”.

The conversation

…in film class revolved around Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation last night. The conceptualization of mass culture politically made me realize the rockstar was missing in action, the counter-counter subcultural poetic hero had gone underground (anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts please contact the comments bar in this blog immediately–how can the rockstar go missing when his very presence is vital to cultural mainstream poetry in action, vital to the way we ride the wave of capitalism through language–where is his propaganda?).

The movie, of course, is one that I remember watching years ago, but not really understanding. (Gene Hackman plays a terrific wiretapper, but I kept wondering what was with the plastic raincoat he wore everytime he went outside? What on earth was the significance of a see-through, grey, plastic raincoat? Was this just another stab at mass culture? Mass capitalism? The way of mass production and the plastic way we consume?) I’ve been thinking about mass culture ever since, the universality versus the particular, and, with that, I remembered coming across this article by Adorno a while back when doing some work with Hegel. It’s not the lightest of reads, but interesting, if one is interested in any particular way in the not so mass ideas about the mass. ??

My first sonnet

…was the item I left in lieu of my presence for the Thursday night final colony reading. More information about the evening here from Rhona. I finally recharged the batteries to my camera and took a picture of my handy art work. The bark is from the cedar trees at St. Pete’s and the lines are wood planings. (I had some help with the wood planings from artist/restorer/musician Terry). They were tight curls at first, which I straightened, after dampening the wood, with my large-barrelled curling iron–I had to use what I could. The bark and lines are glued onto a liquor store bag.

Here is the sonnet:

One Last Sonnet

In this note I’ll just say that I’m leaving
I’m selling off those years as the farm,
nailing old letters and boards to the barn
announcing an auction of ill feeling.
Each year the flax and the wheat would not grow
and all the cows in the pasture have died.
Now you’ve confessed in my arms that you’ve lied
so I’m making a fuss even though
I’m certain you’ll know how to make do.
I really won’t stay but I’m pleased it is you
so falsely beseeching from the house
that I’m leaving. Goodbye and what a louse
you’ve been, is what I’ll proclaim really terse,
although, I confess simply: I was worse.

Collecting the bark and putting the piece together was fun. It kind of hides the fact that the sonnet is mediocre–to say the least. I might do more along the same lines with different kinds of paper and poems. Maybe I will do a show of poetic papering. Or not.

I feel Purdy

…oh so purdy.

One last look at where I was, for now. I’ll be back next year I hope, or sooner. The two weeks rocked. Work was great, the people were great, the writing went… oh so purdy.

Last night was a busy night.

Here are some shots of the CBC Canada Reads event which was held in conjunction with Saskatoon’s Her-icane Festival–which takes place March 2-12. My camera batteries have now died and I’m unable to post the rest of the pictures so these two will have to do for now.
I was reading from Al Purdy’s rooms for rent in the outer planets.Thanks to everyone who came out to hear this special event. I’ll be reading my own work at the Her-icane Festival on March 9 at McNally Robinson so if you’re around, come out, come out…(although I can’t promise that I won’t sing).

Jeanette Lynes reading from Miriam Toews A Complicated Kindness and Jeanette’s own book of poetry titled A Woman Alone on the Atikokan Highway. Jeanette is the writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library.

Later I drove back to St. Pete’s for one final bash with my fellow colonists. I arrived just in time for the sing along with all my fellow accomplished writers, musicians, singers, and artists. Most of our accoustic stylings were happily provided by artist Terry O’Flanagan . Lucky for us, Terry is not only a talented artist (he was doing restoration work at the college while we were there), but picks out (his playing and singing were great) many sing along songs on his guitar. I’m sure we wore him out with all our requests. Mari-Lou serenaded us a wonderful song and Kimmy sang her lovely heart out for us. Bernadette and I stayed up too late, which was just fine for my last night there. Rhona lent me a fresh pair of batteries for my camera and I had fun filming a few videos. Ah, the release from the utopian world was, as always, fun but sad.

My singing happened on the way home when I put the stereo on–I don’t listen to much when I write so I was ready to blast the music–and listened to Joss Stone’s Soul Sessions (and myself) belt out “Fell in love with a boy” and “Some kind of wonderful”. Of course, this was after I played all my usual sappy songs that I love to sing to in the car. And like all happy endings, I was able to get home in time to surprise my children when they strolled in the door from school, reaped my award of many hugs–which I missed–and within five minutes was happily scrounging to find them something to eat. Home, home on the range.

Sometimes we

…play with words. Left to right: Paula Jane Remlinger, Cherie Westmoreland, Maureen Scott Harris, Mari-Lou Rowley, Kimmy Beach, Anne Pennylegion and Bernadette Wagner.


On my walk with Brenda around the grounds of St. Petes, these are things I saw. (If you look closely at the ckickadee, it has a peanut in its mouth).

Here we are

Here we are: Muenster, Sk.

Brenda and Annette above standing on the road in town and Brenda is riding the train. The drive was fine, not too windy, or snowy and all is fine in the world of St. Pete’s.

Writer’s Utopia

Well, the time has come, it’s February which means it’s winter colony time. I am heading out to St. Pete’s, which is just outside of Muenster, to spend 2 idyllic weeks cavorting (I love that word) with many other writers in our own mini-idealistic community. I hope to finish some edits, start a novel, write a book of short stories, finish a couple of non-fiction pieces, complete 3 essays, and maybe just for good measure, a poem or 2. Or not. It’s an idealistic world isn’t it?

I thought I would leave you with something until I’m able to figure out how to download (or even if I’m able to download from a remote computer) some pictures. Here is a wonderful picture from a few years ago of 2 of my favourite colonists doing the ferret dance. The story is– there is no story. We dance, we sing, we play, we think, we write, we ferret, we build, we decontruct the build, we contemplate the build, we celebrate the build. Utopia!

Artist Honor Kever and writer Brenda Schmidt