Archive for June, 2005


west coast lai

June 29, 2005

West Coast Line editors Glen Lowry and Rita Wong have fashioned their most recent issue in the image of sci-fi novelist and poet Larissa Lai. Glen and Rita asked colleagues of Larissa’s to submit work to the issue, and i’m pleased as punch to’ve shared an excerpt from Wide slumber for lepidopterists (from “Parasomnia: Somniloquy”). Larissa’s When FOX is a thousand has had me hot and bothered for over seven years; it’s one of the top canadian books i loan to friends and acquaintances.

what are your top cdn loaners?
has anyone *seen* the new issue of WCL yet? i’m antsy for a copy.


start screaming

June 29, 2005

the scream literary festival kicks off this evening with Eye Scream III, a collision of text and visual art. curator daccia bloomfield mismatches artist statements with artists to breed new work. featuring artistic intrigue by local phenoms katy mcgown, beth learn, sharon harris, and others.


ambergris march

June 28, 2005

bjork and matthew barney breed luscious curiosity with drawing restraint 9. bonus: tanya tagaq lends her throat singing to pearl!!! curiouser and curiouser…


digging roots

June 28, 2005

last night, we filmed the performance segments of two episodes for heart of a poet. kateri akiwenzie-damm and rudyard fearon were the subjects. i first encountered kateri’s work a few years ago in a course on native canadian literatures; her poem stray bullet (oka re/vision) impressed me with its clarity of image and politics. i later found out that kateri collaborated with joy harjo (poet and saxophonist) on kateri’s standing ground (a spoken word and triphop-esque music mix). this excited me, as i’ve been a fan of harjo’s she had some horses since i was fifteen.

kateri’s performance yesterday was accompanied by raven kanatakta on guitar, ryan on stand-up bass, and al bee on drums. at times sensuous, at times political, and all-around funky, the poetry and music improv were a delightful mix for a snoozy june evening. raven’s a genuine, charismatic performer, and al bee’s warmth had me bewitched from the moment we met. very cool to be introduced to an excellent band while at work; i hope to check out this group (known as the cleverly-named digging roots) sometime soon with frontwoman shoshana kish.



June 17, 2005

last winter, NewStar published Jordan Scott’s first collection of poems, Silt. Silt‘s a good read, and Jordan’s a fantastic poet with a flair for captivating performance. lexiconjury had the good fortune of Jordan onstage for a reading in January 2005, and the scream literary festival is gearing up to have Jordan on its high park mainstage july 11th.

Silt is fine and dandy, but i’m oozing with anticipation for blert. blert is Jordan’s current project, an energetic bumpy ride of a manuscript focusing on the poetics of the stutter. still in draft stages, i’ve had the good fortune to be a reader for this text on a few occasions, and IT’S A STUNNER. i can’t wait for this text to be publicly available. a short excerpt from blert will appear in this fall’s anthology Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, edited by derek beaulieu, Jason Christie, and me). beyond this, i predict blert will be snapped up by a lucky press VERY quickly.

there are a handful of other as-yet-unpublished manuscripts that i wish i could help usher into public space. these include
–> Indefinite Sweat by Jason Le Heup, a pornographic text made curious and alien through multiple translation procedures
–> Another Word for Pirate Treasure, or, The Booty by Jill Hartman, a manuscript housing a line tattooed on my brain: “The language we use is the language we desire.”
–> The Robot Suite by Jason Christie, prose poems with wires and teeth and unbridled curiosity for the lyric through android eyes
–> Cara Hedley’s novel about women’s hockey; this should have been offered a publishing contract, like, yesterday
–> Brea Burton’s debut collection of poetry, air-tight innuendo-heavy poems about piracy and sexuality


for dads who kept bees

June 15, 2005

Wide slumber for lepidopterists is dedicated to dads who kept bees, Stu Rawlings and Walter Ceolin.



June 15, 2005

an excited yelp this afternoon: i’m through my third editorial pass of frogments from the frag pool by gary barwin and derek beaulieu, a fantastic book of poems riffing, translating, and revisiting matsuo basho’s famous frog/pond/plop haiku. the collaborators are contagiously playful in their experiments, which they balance with pockets of epiphany and seriously delightful scholarship; i’m quite excited for this book to meet readers… and excited for beauwin barlieu to receive the third pass!


sylvan valley to skookum lake

June 15, 2005

summer’s so hot and humid in the city; i feel greasy. i feel my body two feet outside my body. at night, i dream of sylvan valley, of the ceolin property, of crownland, of lake superior, of skookum lake. i dream of kayaks; he dreams of falling out of trees. i wake up and i phone northern ontario.

“hello?” northern ontario sounds like so many early morning beaver ponds and deer yards through the phone lines. i place the receiver back in its cradle and walk through the day with a head full of kayaks.

at night, it thunderstorms in the city. low-slung clouds of a greenish hue growl, spit rain and lightning. i’m two eyes to the sky, hunting for funnels. here, the city is a cartoon. i place one hand on my belly and dream of cartoons and kayaks. northern ontario dreams it’s fallen out of a tree.


toronto reading

June 14, 2005

june 14, 2005, 8pm: canadian poetry night @ art bar poetry series, victory cafe, toronto. 12 canadian poets will cover 12 different canadian poets. i’m reading excerpts from Journal by bpNichol (Coach House Press, 1978). other readers include sandra alland, bill bissett, kevin connolly, and stuart ross. free for the masses! air conditioning = likely. massive thunderstorm and heavy downpour = 100%.


insomnia/egg —-> REM/larva to chrysalis

June 13, 2005

Wide slumber for lepidopterists. internal logic of segments. insomnia as prose poems. REM as prose poems woven into one another.

dreamers may process day’s activity. if final hurried thoughts are overworked, scattered, desperate, then dreams reconstruct last waking thoughts.

insomnia segment = 4 pages.
REM segment = 4 pages.
each insomnia page aligns with a REM page.
page 1 insomnia characters are re-used on page 1 REM. no additional letters are recycled for this page. the dreaming poem recycles, reconstructs, reconfigures the last waking thoughts of the insomniac.


We descend on a field by a lake. The lupin, sleep, the fog. Fireflies, silent moths. We bury our legs in earth, sand. Sound through sand is dormant. We desire sleep to enter us virginal.

We stretch our feelers toward the warm body. Slowly, hands fog-damp spin plants, form air-filled hollows, breath cocooned, fur-soft and blurred, heavy even heavenly. Soft like quiet.

Soft like we quiver.


on a lake by a field. Submerge

Soft lies quietly.

the slumberwing semplif

We house warm hollows, then

drill or seep

the winds a torrent. Flail

eggs or screen EEGs, heave
spiny storm-winds. to hind, aft, feverwind.

We ody dhou quiver,
like soft-heavy plants
put evenly Ballast fore hull luff. desired eeends
in the earth, Spoondrift, starboard. cocooned,
ur-soft and lured.Wake


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