Friday, November 30, 2007


  • The old creative juices have not dried up - there never were any to begin with. I have been winging it all along. I have it on good authority.
  • I have not given up on the prospect of publishing my poetry in the form of chapbooks etcetera - not by a long shot...
  • If you're an editor & you have not received a submission from me...I just haven't gotten it out of the gate recently. Don't worry you'll have ample opportunity to tell me my poetry isn't quite right for your publication or any publication for that matter.
  • I still love poetry and read it extensively. I'm just not blogging about it as much. Mea culpa!
  • If you've stopped reading my blog...Then what the hell are you doing here!
  • If you're wondering why you don't see me anymore on poetry workshops online critiquing...It's not because there isn't a will, it's because there isn't a way. My work/personal life has taken a front and center stance recently.
  • If I haven't been posting comments on your blog as of late...count yourself lucky
  • If you think my poetry sucks big-time --- tell me. Go ahead---It'll probably spur me on to write better.
  • If you consider my poetry as not being marketable and think that I'm gonna stop writing any time soon...think again!
  • I will not brown-nose in order to get my poetry published - I'm still idealistic enough to believe that it will get published on its own merit.
  • If you find me offensive, pedantic and ought to know that those are my better qualities.
  • I don't have an M.F.A. - but that doesn't mean that I'm poetically illiterate.
  • If you have anything constructive to say - I'm all ears...


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poetry in Vitro - Vol 3, No. 7

The Fear of Open Faces

Hell is other people!
--------------------------- Jean Paul Sartre

Tonight they gather to his credit; drink
to his name. Laughter hangs on the clothesline
of his liquored breath. He notes the first increments:

preliminary steps towards the scaffold
where disdain for the social is built;
the crawl down a fire escape
away from the flame of open spaces --
the burning skies of free discourse.

Trapped in that place between
agoraphobic alibis and the embrace
of the dramaturgical. He feels suffocated
by intrusive faces and the pungent smell
of Homo Sapiens Sapiens - Humanity twice removed
would suit him fine right about now.

first appeared – Spring 2004 – Snow Monkey

Thursday, November 22, 2007

NōD Fundraiser

NōD is thrilled to announce its first fundraiser!

NōD Fundraiser - November 22nd
7:00-10:00pm Weeds Café

Help publish the University of Calgary's undergraduate magazine! Come out to Weeds Café Thursday evening for an amazing set of readings, tasty coffee & tea, and prizes. Admission is by donation, but includes a voucher for a free coffee & a treat!

Featuring Readings by:

Jonathan Ball
derek beaulieu
Christian Bök
Sina Queyras
& others!

Event Details:

Thursday, November 22nd
Weeds Café
1903 - 20 Avenue NW *

Admission by Donation*

How to I get to Weeds?

Take the C-train to Lions' Park Station; walk North along 19th Street and turn left onto 20th Ave. It is about 1 block down 20th ave (you'll pass the funny little Edelweiss building). It is less than a 10-minute walk from the Lion's Park station.

Contact: Bronwyn and Ian -

NōD Magazine
Department of English,
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive N.W.
Calgary, AB
T2T 1N4

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Poet as Non-conformist

The first occasion that I can remember where I questioned the poet’s role in society was in my exposure to the caricature of the poet in early sitcoms. Inevitably the poet was portrayed as a beret-donning bohemian beatnik. It was both comical and derogatory a depiction. I envisioned poetry as a means to an end – usually some form of social activism – rather than an end in and of itself.

That the poet is seen as critical of society and his/her role therein stands to reason. Questioning the social construction of reality would seem to be consistent with the image of the poet as eccentric, outsider and rebel. “The romantic figure of the poet-rebel has pervaded our conception of poetry for almost two centuries: …evok[ing] pictures of reckless young men/[women] in uncompromising pursuit of individual self-expression revolting against conservative morality, political oppression, authoritarian rule and personal insincerity. The romantic view of the poet as tormented outcast even survived the rise of realism and naturalism in the second half of the 19th century.” (Mathias F. Adelhoefer)

This romantic image of the poet always intrigued me. Perhaps it was because I could never really embrace the fashion in which society was forged by the “haves” leaving the “have-nots” in the lurch. Questioning the social paradigm one finds oneself in is a sane way of looking at life in my book. Clearly, in order to gain insight into an otherwise monolithic social entity the poet must exercise detachment from the socially compromising roles that they must assume in society. This aloofness allows for some startling observations vis a vis this commonality - providing just the right rhetorical fodder.

Have today’s poets lost this detachment? I’m not sure. But it does appear that many of today’s poets are - by trying to become established becoming the establishment. Are we as poets just feigning the outsider role? Are we quick to join the established order at the drop of a beret? Perhaps Adelhoefer was right in saying that “in the West the belief in the power of poetry as a decisive social force has all but evaporated…”

excerpts from: Thoughts of The Times: Poetry--A Cultural Dinosaur?
By Mathias F. Adelhoefer

First published in: The Korea Times, Seoul, Korea, 17 June 1993, p. 6.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Charles Simic

The Initiate

St. John of the Cross wore dark glasses
As he passed me on the street.
St. Theresa of Avila, beautiful and grave,
Turned her back on me.

"Soulmate," they hissed. "It's high time."

I was a blind child, a wind-up toy . . .
I was one of death's juggling red balls
On a certain street corner
Where they peddle things out of suitcases.

The city like a huge cinema
With lights dimmed.
The performance already started.

So many blurred faces in a complicated plot.

The great secret which kept eluding me: knowing who I am . . .

The Redeemer and the Virgin,
Their eyes wide open in the empty church
Where the killer came to hide himself . . .

The new snow on the sidewalk bore footprints
That could have been made by bare feet.
Some unknown penitent guiding me.
In truth, I didn't know where I was going.
My feet were frozen,
My stomach growled.

Four young hoods blocking my way.
Three deadpan, one smiling crazily.

I let them have my black raincoat.

Thinking constantly of the Divine Love
and the Absolute had disfigured me.
People mistook me for someone else.
I heard voices after me calling out unknown names.
"I'm searching for someone to sell my soul to,"
The drunk who followed me whispered,
While appraising me from head to foot.

At the address I had been given.
The building had large X's over its windows.
I knocked but no one came to open.
By and by a black girl joined me on the steps.
She banged at the door till her fist hurt.

Her name was Alma, a propitious sign.
She knew someone who solved life's riddles
In a voice of an ancient Sumerian queen.
We had a long talk about that
While shivering and stamping our wet feet.

It was necessary to stay calm, I explained,
Even with the earth trembling,
And to continue to watch oneself
As if one were a complete stranger.

Once in Chicago, for instance,
I caught sight of a man in a shaving mirror
Who had my naked shoulders and face,
But whose eyes terrified me!
Two hard staring, all-knowing eyes!

After we parted, the night, the cold, and the endless walking
Brought on a kind of ecstasy.
I went as if pursued, trying to warm myself.

There was the East River; there was the Hudson.
Their waters shone like oil in sanctuary lamps.

Something supreme was occurring
For which there will never be any words.

The sky was full of racing clouds and tall buildings,
Whirling and whirling silently.

In that whole city you could hear a pin drop.
Believe me.
I thought I heard a pin drop and I went looking for it.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007


W. Bouguereau

"Le Jour Des Morts" - (1859)