WAR POET

…well, even though I’m dragging my tired butt around the kitchen tonight, I thought I’d post a post before I dive under the comforter and snore the night away. A good friend of mine, SM Steele is preparing to go to Afghanistan as one of five selected artists in the 2008-2009 Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP). Right now she’s in Shilo with the army checking things out. You can follow along with her journey on her newly made web page. The whole program sounds interesting; I’m not sure I could do it, but I wish her the best on her journey.

CONCEPTUAL POETRY

…something large to start your day, and something small because mine is a busy one. I’ve a passion for the modernists, in case no one has paid attention here, and I enjoy browsing the ubuweb when I have extra time, or when I’m procrastinating having extra time, and I’ve been going to the conceptual poetry section on a regular basis, trying to read one of these a day this past week, so I’ll start you out with the second one I read, Howard Fried “The Cheshire Cat, Part 1.” I won’t be back until next week. Meetings, meetings, and meetings await my presence. So does Saskatoon. Maybe they have a saloon or two I can attend as well. Learn a few new tricks. Yeehaw.

HOW DO YOU SPELL FALAFEL?

…Or more to the point, what is a falafel? These are some of the questions that arose from the Nightowls & Newborns reading in Regina last night. It was a delightful reading, done salon style, and more questions found their way into the after-session with Kerry Ryan and Ariel Gordon.

After the reading, I had a chance to ask some questions of my own, and here is the questionable interview (well, in multiple choice form) with Kerry Ryan, author of The Sleeping Life, that arose from our gathering:

Kerry: I like reading. I don’t find that I’m usually nervous, although I was for the initial book launch in April in Winnipeg this year, which was packed with nearly 100 people. I haven’t had any special training, such as theatre classes, but I like looking at the audience’s reaction when I catch their eye, and it’s interesting to see their response when I do.Tonight some of the people were even taking notes, probably Gerry’s students, but it’s great to see them engaged with the poetry.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Do you spell comfort with  a “k”?

2. Where is Regina?

3. Do you own a trained elephant?

4. How do you feel about reading, in particular the reading tonight?

Kerry: I feel it’s my job in a way, my duty. Community service. I don’t write poetry for money, but for fun. Although, it’s work, it feels like the thing I should do. Writing is my obligation, but doesn’t come easily, which is what I’m trying to say in my poem “29.”

when i realize

at 29 it’s too late

to become a child prodigy,

that–at best–

i might merely be ordinary,

competant at something

only i am interested in

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Could you talk about the waters?

2. Where is the Comfort Inn?

3. Why do you write poetry?

4. Are you an entertainer?

Kerry: Not really. I had many short poems to begin with which my editor cut, but I snuck some back in that I thought worked. Clarise Foster, my editor, was good, and the editing process was heartbreaking but inspiring. This was my first time working with an editor and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m pleased with the strength of the book that resulted from the process.

1. Where are the rye bread, marble cheese, kielbasa, ripple chips, French’s mustard, and pickles?

2. Is there dip?

3. Did you see that woman with the mossy teeth?

4. Do you see your smaller poems as interruptions in the sleep process?

Kerry: I begin from notes in a notebook, usually they can be snippets I hear, or read, words, phrases, but I find that often what starts the poem is what will eventually be cut from the poem. The trigger so to speak. Often I try to save it, but usually nothing comes of the what I’ve cut from a poem.

Please pick the question you most think fits this answer:

1. Do you want to join my book club?

2. Have you ever tried bison carpaccio?

3. Where is the bathroom?

4. How do you write, what is your process?

Kerry: The tour has been great so far. Ariel and I get along really well; we both respect each other’s work, and are peers in Winnipeg. We plan our readings in the car between cities (the tour has hit Saskatoon, Edmonton, Regina, and Prince Albert), which is fun. We try to come up with new ideas on reading the poems, to make the reading interesting for the audience, as well as to break it up for ourselves, so we don’t get tired of the same routine.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Does that necklace only come in black?

2. Would you like a cookie?

3. Are you still pregnant?

4. How is the tour going so far?

THIS IS HOW

…I know I’m busy–I procrastinate doing anything and write a post on the blog. It’s true; the more I need to do, the more I fritter away my time writing things that really don’t need to be writ, on the blog that really doesn’t need to be writ, on the web, that sometimes should be off the writ…see, see the dribble? See what I mean?

Tonight I’m making a list and checking it naught, of all the things I have to do within the next few weeks–astounding, even for me. So what I thought is that perhaps I should post a blog post, telling you to get yer butts off the couch and out to this reading by two wonderful Winnipeg writers,  Ariel Gordon and Kerry Ryan :

Nightowls & Newborns Launch

October 9th @ 7:30 pm
Reading,
Rm. 208, Luther College/University of Regina
Regina, SK

In honour of their arrival, I’ve decided to clean the house, another reason I’m sitting at the computer writing a bunch of twitter. Isn’t twitter a good thing these days? Isn’t there a twitter among writers that to twitter is better than to totter? Or better than to teeter? (My apologies, how does one take anything I say seriously?) I imagine the house cleaning will eat up a good portion of my day (there is lots to do, not to mention lots of house), but my two lovely guests will be so much happier knowing they won’t have to wade their way through the piles of books, papers, and discarded proposals. (I’m in the midst of my MA proposal as well (I hunkered down at the computer for nearly a week, stared at the screen, typed an amazing amount of words, then began checking to see if anyone had sent me any email messages (only every 20 minutes), kept the fb open (uselessly), the chat on (vainly), while struggling to find that certain edge that will develop or at the very least put an end to the whole process.))

The following weekend, after another round of meetings (tell me again why I volunteer on so many committees?) I’m off to the SWG  AGM where James Romanow, renowned wine expert, is receiving the volunteer of the year award. Yah James! Also, I believe I owe him a bottle of wine after he let me beat him in scrabble. I think I will surprise him with something not of his choosing (he keeps going on about the quality, bah).

So here I am. Procrastinating the so many jobs at hand. And feeling not one bit of guilt that you have to read all this pratter. Heh.