Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Edible? Handbag

And for something completely different:

More here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

St. Pete's - Lingering Thoughts, a Few Photos

Is it possible that I'm still re-grouping from a mere 4 days in Saskatchewan, five days later now...All those things that need arranging ahead of time, and then coming back to a full inbox, a rather large to-do list, and well, all the usual. I feel like I haven't written forever, and now it's spring break, which makes that difficult to squeeze in as well. I loved St. Peter's, the college, and was inspired by all the great readings, especially the one given by Tim Lilburn. It was wonderful to re-connect with beloved friends, and to make new ones. But I'm a serious homebody and was also reminded how difficult it is to throw these sorts of trips into a life that is already (always) precariously balanced.

I was delighted to see the desk in my room at the Abbey. It reminded me of this, for one thing.

Anyone who has been out to St. Peter's falls in love with this double hedge around the graveyard.

What a cool bookstore - Between the Pages in Humboldt, where I read from Calm Things. One of the warmest and friendliest crowds I've ever had to a reading.

The reading at St. Peter's College took place in this amazing room, which was full to the brim. I read first, then Tim Lilburn, followed by contributors to The Society. It was a great night - a fabulous mix of readers. I can't remember when I enjoyed a reading more. (Maybe this was because I went first, and could then sit down in one of those supremely comfortable chairs and concentrate on everyone else's words...)

The Society (available at the college bookstore) is a beautifully produced magazine, whose contributors this issue include: Bert Almon, kimmy beach, Dennis Cooley, Myrna Kostash, Robert Kroetsch, Tim Lilburn, Dave Margoshes, Susan Musgrave, Joe Rosenblatt, Allan Safarik. There is an abundace of visual art sprinkled throughout which makes for some very interesting juxtapositions. My own contribution is titled, "Do Not Overdo the Bag," taken from the play by Beckett, Happy Days. At some point I'll post that piece here - it's my take on the Capacious Project, as you may have guessed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Readings - Saskatchewan

I'm heading to Saskatchewan tomorrow for the Pelican Bay Arts Collective's Annual Poetry and Literary Festival. More details, here. I'm particularly looking forward to the launch of The Society at St. Peter's College, and hearing Tim Lilburn read. I'll be reading from my contribution to The Society, which is titled, "Do Not Overdo the Bag" - a line taken from Beckett's play, Happy Days. I'll also be reading from Calm Things at Between the Pages in Humboldt, along with a poem or two from my forthcoming book, Red Velvet Forest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How the Day Escapes

How does the day, each day, seem to escape from me? Why so little time left for reading, writing? What am I doing with my time? Some precision is required. When I require precision I begin to make lists.

Yesterday, for example, I spent: walking the dog, blogging, checking facebook, emailing, running errands including buying a typewriter for my 10 year old (she's not allowed on facebook and this seemed a good consolation prize), answering, connecting, questioning, responding, staring blankly at screens, waiting, filling, emptying (in boxes, out boxes), clicking on emoticons, sending, receiving, overpunctuating in hopes of unflattening sentences on screen, hyperlinking, doodling, staring out the window, backing up files, driving, photographing, yearning, (and photographing yearning) listening to the tapping of keys, to a bird singing through the gray and snow, looking at small things caged, opening the door to the small cage, thinking about how after being interrupted constantly the space one finds oneself in afterwards holds a strange humming, more answering, more emptying, checking, checking, ignoring, noticing, phoning, waiting, sipping wine, cooking, baking, cleaning, tapping, blinking, connecting, craving spring, craving a typewriter of my own, forgetting what a terrible typist I am, organizing, searching, surfing, researching, making notes, revising, uploading, printing, scheming, praying to a variety of gods, thanking same, watching Star Trek (TNG), reading this blog and that, commenting, meaning to comment but too tired, writing in diary, doodling in diary, nagging, cajoling, assembling, at some point, sleeping.

But this, too, is imprecise.

And maybe why I have the craving to have my own, working, typewriter. (The carriage on the one below needs repair). I want to hear the sound of the key flying up, rising to meet the page, and that satisfying moment when it connects.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Be Melting Snow

I'm feeling very quiet today, melancholy too. A good quiet though. The kind of quiet in which to read snippets from Rumi, contemplate the coming of spring (even though it seems it will never quite come). And to plan, and scheme, and wonder, and yes, worry a bit. To pick up this book and that one. To take snapshots of little bits of things I find comforting and lovely.

Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.

I bought this notebook (workbook!) at the MOMA gift store on our recent trip to NYC. It's what I think may be the perfect notebook - and aren't we writers always searching for the perfect notebook? Well, this may well be mine. The pages are unlined, made of kraft paper, but with a sliver of a section that is bright red. Also, the end pages are red with white clouds - the brand is rED CLOUDY. I've not yet written in it....

Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.

I also indulged in a wee replica of one of the lions from the NY Public Library. Is this Patience or Fortitude? I need both....

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don't think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there.


And last, but not least, a snapshot of a beautiful book of essays, that have only lately fallen into my hands. I've long been a fan of Roo Borson's work, but only recently found out that she had a book of essays out with Pedlar Press. The book itself is gorgeous and I'm in love with the quotation on the back cover. (So refreshing - a blurbless book!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fiddling Around with Wordle

Wordle: Capacious Hold-All Blog

I think this is also known as being deep into procrastination mode.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Keiskamma Canada Blog

I've also posted the above video on the new Keiskamma Canada blog. I've volunteered to set up and maintain the blog for Keiskamma Canada. My friend Annette Woudstra moved to South Africa with her family last year to work for the Keiskamma Trust. The art project, as you can see in the video, does some amazing work, providing people in the community with jobs which are otherwise incredibly scarce. I've written about the wonderful bag that Annette gave me that was made in the project, and also interviewed Annette as well before she left for South Africa.

Keep an eye on the Keiskamma Canada Blog if you're interested in buying one of the wonderful bags or pillow covers that are made in the project. I'll be showcasing one or two a month and will open the comments for bidding. (Not unlike what Joyce, at Bags for Darfur does).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Window Shopping

A few shots of the windows in NYC....The art was amazing. It's going to take a while for everything we saw to sink in properly. I feel like I'm still spinning.....

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