Two poems of mine have appeared recently in literary journals:
“Shadows the words” is in this week’s (June 4th) issue of UnLost, a fantastic journal of found poetry that’s openly accessible online. This poem’s an acrostic (certain letters in every line spell a word) and a cento (a poem made wholly of lines from other poems)…so I think that makes it an acrosticento.
And “New patriot love” is in the current issue (#3) of Milkweed Zine, a bold and diverse queer feminist erotic ‘zine based in Toronto. This poem’s a dirty riff on Canada’s flag and national anthem — just in time for Canada’s 150th! 😉
“Montreal is still small enough to have one or two centres, one or two late night centres, and into this funnel is drawn everyone who happens to be up that night or at least a representation of the various groups operating in the night, and groups operating in the night always have a special kind of interest and a special kind of ritualistic atmosphere.
“And into these places, these special places in the city, and Ben’s is one of them, is drawn this very urgent cross section of people who have somehow committed the first rebellious act that a man can perform: refusing to sleep.
“That’s the real rebellion against life and the generative process. That’s the real human idea: I refuse to sleep. I’m going to protest the idea of sleep by turning night into day.
“I’m going to revel and drink and womanize all night and this way I show time, death, the natural process of destruction, decay and regeneration — I show it all with my mind and my will that I, man, triumph. And so they come to Ben’s.”
–Leonard Cohen, quoted in Ladies & Gentlemen…Mr Leonard Cohen (NFB, 1965)
[A thousand thanks to you, Mr Leonard Cohen, for showing us how the light gets in. And for being the light.]
I’m pleased to see two of my poems reach print.
1. “Here Is Where”:
Existere, the long-running literary journal based at York University, has published my poem “Here Is Where Was” in its current Spring-Summer issue (35.2). The poem appears without its Works Cited list: I know poems tend not to attach such things; and I guess the editors get to make that call; and I’ve read some compelling arguments, like David Shield’s, for borrowing without citing. But, unreconstructed scholar that I am, I still feel obliged to cite credit where it’s due:
“Here Is Where” Works Cited
- Brand, Dionne. No Language is Neutral. Coach House P, 1990, p. 22.
- Frye, Northrop. “Conclusion to the First Edition of Literary History of Canada” (1965). Northrop Frye on Canada, vol. 12, edited by Jean O’Grady and David Staines, U of Toronto P, 2003, p. 346.
- Johnston, Basil. The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway. Minnesota Historical Society P, 2001, p. 221.
2. “Lunar Sonata”:
Tigershark is a small-press British e-zine that publishes theme-based issues by subscription. My poem “Lunar Sonata” appears in Tigershark 11, the science and technology issue. “Lunar Sonata” is a cento, a found poem composed wholly of selected excerpts from a news article, “Audio recordings document ‘weird music’ heard by Apollo astronauts on far side of moon,” by Lee Speigel; his story ran in the Huffington Post on Feb. 20, 2016.
Issues of Tigershark can be requested by emailing the editor, DS Davidson, at email@example.com.
Athabasca University’s MA in Integrated Studies program is pleased to offer a new group-study* course for the coming fall semester: Poetry and Drama of the Canadian Prairies (MAIS 752).
The course is open to enrollment by students not just in Athabasca U’s MA program, but also in other Canadian and international graduate programs that recognize and transfer AU course credits. Interested grad students can e-mail AU’s MA program office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to enroll. (Enrollment deadline: Aug. 15.)
Highway 13 sign pointing to the town of Forget, Saskatchewan.
* “Group study”: Some of AU’s graduate programs use an online grouped study format. Students in these courses augment their studies with online group discussions and learning activities. Online grouped study courses are usually 13 weeks long and start in May, September or January. There are no extensions for these courses.
February is “National Haiku Writing Month,” or #NaHaiWriMo on social media. The project, like haiku itself, seems straightforward but is deeply subtle: write a haiku each day this month. The event is based at this Facebook page.
My first foray, below, tries to meet all the criteria of organizer M.D. Welch’s checklist, which, like his other articles on haiku, is helpful and illuminating. (Personally I like the challenge of strict syllabic form, but will experiment with loosening up.)
in the bare-branched bush
sparrows hush as you pass: chilled
kids near a cop car
“An ‘Anti-Niqab’ Campaign is Anti-Canadian” is a lipogram about Conservatives in Canada’s current federal election, which I’ve written and published at Medium.
A lipogram is a poem with specific language constraints; this lipogram uses only the vowels A and I. For instance, the poem opens as follows:
Barbaric capitalists and patriarchal partisans spin fascist charisma, baiting and panicking nativist Canadians with rabid, atavistic claims: against migrants; against statisticians’ gravitas (as if trivia)…
Read the whole piece at Medium.
This partly automated sonnet-cento, about copyright present and future, is composed of lines from my tweets with the technical help of Poetweet (which I can’t stop using, now that #writing201 has alerted me to it).
“Can’t we cut a little bit more, drawn from our collective pasts”
you to go to jail for sharing files
despite undecided legal challenge
and anti-democratic trade deals
poverty and climate change
and clarify notice-and-notice
amendments on controversial
users with baseless legal threats
for the use of copyrighted material
information in payment demands
models and monopolistic advantage
emphasis on the need for balance
use of Canada’s cultural heritage
exec started making some calls
your personal information to trolls