Archive for January, 2006


how’s the weather?

January 31, 2006

weather. i love talking about weather. i love predicting weather by reading cloud formations. reading, predicting, forecasting. meteorologists: modern-day fortune-tellers?

in toronto, it feels like spring, and has for a month. warm-ish; occasional flurries, some rain. grey sky. sun, at times. it’s pretty creepy for winter, though i’m growing accustomed to it. maybe nature’s trying to make nice after giving toronto such a crap march last year (31 grey days at 0 degrees celcius; not adored).

when greg, mark, rob, and i visited buffalo last weekend, it was cold and windy. colder and windier than toronto, any rate. and then philadelphia, when we arrived, was a dream: 13 degrees celcius and sunshine! it rained the entire drive home, though when we entered toronto boundaries, the rain stopped abruptly and dense fog shrouded the city.

this last year, i’ve seen increasing proof that toronto has its own weather. major systems will bypass our tiny spot on earth, or new systems will form within the atmosphere above the city. perhaps you think this torontocentric-speak, but i swear it’s true! urban meteorologists, our modern-day cosmopolitan fortune-tellers, have been studying the heat flux and surface energy balance in urban and rural areas, and something’s definitely fishy… “i sense… a man… a P… his name begins with P? d’you know this man? his presence in your life brings you unanticipated fortune… and misfortune…”

other canadian locales are experiencing bizarre weather… natalie and nikki are talking about it. jordan curses it constantly. larissa blogs about it, too: i feel for you, vancouver.

on the east coast, blizzard! blizzard! blizzard! conor spent his morning shovelling driveways and sidewalks with his temporary neighbours.

how’s the weather in your neighbourhood?


online audio: where’s the cdn poetry?

January 24, 2006

sina queyras posted a call-to-action on her blog, requesting a comprehensive website comparable to the excellent phillytalks or ubuweb. comprehensive of what, you ask? audio clips of canadian poets and poetry.

i’ve heard rumbles from folks in the scene interested in creating such a resource, but as yet nothing substantial has come to pass.

  • sina notes the new, very cool bpNichol resource at UPenn as well as ubuweb and phillytalk’s archives.
  • cbc poetry face-off features short-lived audio clips every year, though it doesn’t look like they archive the sound anywhere accessible.
  • the scream at one pointed flirted with the idea of a large database with potential audio/video footage.

rabble radio

January 23, 2006

today, posted episode twelve of their online radio podcast. a 5-minute shift & switch interview i gave lisa rundle, editor of rabble’s book lounge, is included here.

sunday, posted the second half of the interview. rabble’s podcast allows radio-style interviews to be listened to online. the second half can be heard here.


boycott to button

January 22, 2006

At zero degrees in Toronto’s fashion district, protesters stage a boycott against KFC as, a few storefronts east, a fabric retailer blasts “I Will Always Love You” (the Whitney Houston version) to lure customers.


pontiac quarterly

January 20, 2006

attended pontiac quarterly tonight. the night started on a few sour notes for me…

  • the event’s held in the drake hotel’s underground; i am not a fan of the drake. i’ve been to several events there, and four of them have suffered from double-booking. it boggles my mind how a venue can repeatedly double-book a space, requesting without so much as an apology for patrons and organizers of the second event to wait well past their event’s start time. annoying. the first time i witnessed this was a year ago; the event suffered low turn-out (how many people left?) and didn’t start until 1.5 hrs after its scheduled time. tonight, conor and i got a call from one of the performers about the double-booking. i almost didn’t go, but wanted to see a few of the folks and to support the event.
  • second: an ass of a bouncer made me pour out my peppermint and valerian root tea (clearly made at home) before i entered. i nearly left; the presence of mark higgins persuaded me to dump my tea.
  • while pontiac does a neat job of varying arts (dance, film, live visual art, poetry, prose, biography, advice column, music), i often feel like i’m witnessing a marathon. so much to see and hear, not enough time. that’s the magazine life for ya. oh, and the $10 cover makes me squeamish.

i was glad, in the end, that i attended. on a few positive notes…

  • the evening’s theme was sports. when maggie helwig took the stage, i wondered how she was going to fulfill the theme. such an eloquent pre-amble (apologies for paraphrase): “for some people, sports is a religion. for me, religion is a sport.” she then read a handful of blood-raw poems that had the otherwise chatty, ultra-cool crowd in hushed rapture. maggie’s a master of the line break, and she proved master of pontiac quarterly tonight.
  • bill kennedy read from the apostrophe engine, always a treat. he also read “wendel clark” by john barlow. that’s one hell of a poem, and was a perfect way to end the night.
  • neil hennessy recited his hockey rendition of “tiger, tiger, burning bright…” for bingo mic.
  • conor and i cobbled together a remix of mark truscott‘s “winter” for bingo mic: “Knowing he’s injured, Lindros plays Forsberg. / Knowing he’s injured, Lindros plays Forsberg.”

shift & switch tour

January 19, 2006

january 13 & 14, we launched shift & switch in ottawa & montreal. rob read, mark truscott, and i took a road trip from toronto through each city, meeting fellow anthology contributors max middle, matthew hollett, and jon paul fiorentino along the way. matthew and mark share tales of driving and reading here and here. january 27 & 28, we’ll launch in buffalo and philadelphia. rob, mark, gregory betts, and i will caravan from toronto to meet geoffrey hlibchuk, trevor speller, and andrea strudensky in buffalo, as well as janet neigh in philly. we’re planning copious vegetarian snacks for the road trip.


january’s lexiconjury

January 18, 2006

what a tremendous lex last night! adam seelig warmed up the crowd with repetitive exercises and shared the opening of his newest play. dave mcgimpsey schooled us in comedic timing, gun haiku, and tony danza credits. sharon harris acrobatically leapt from project to project. open michellers karen sohne, david clink, nadia halim, and jacob wren shared plum-filled texts drizzled with kahlua and grace.

lex audiences can be a hell of a lot of fun. heckling was at a premium, which filled the room with a familiar and jovial timbre. i knew about half the folks there (i usually know everyone, so this was a neat experience), and was super happy to see newbies and oldies alike enjoying the readings and cameraderie. dave, who’d come all the way from montreal to feature, told me afterwards the vibe was like reading to a room full of friends — in a good way. w00t!

another look at the lex eve from imperfect offering… and another from mark truscott.


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