Sunday, 20 December 2009

It was all very lovely but a long time ago

Is that the sun going down? It's not even 4:30. Time to haul out the images from a summer solstice on Emma Lake. Here comes one now.

Might look chilly, but really it's the mosquitoes we needed jackets against.

Rowboat trips before and after--this one to check a beaver dam on the north side of the channel behind the campus.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

And a Portuguese phrasebook

The writing of Daphne Marlatt has always had high notability quotient--writing so live you want to read in every direction, a reading experience so active you have to quit it every two seconds to write.  This of course keys into a piece of advice my father used to give me: Read with a pencil.  Causes marginalia, is the only problem.  The endpages of my copy of The Given have run out of room.  Writing that opens into its own past and present, says the first note.  The story in so many fragements, it is fragment where all the action is, says the last (awkwardly).  The way I'm thinking about my work in the next while, some Marlatt and maybe Paterson and one or two other books is all I'll take with me to Europe.  That'll give me plenty to read my own material through.

Monday, 14 December 2009

La Verendrye, fur trader and explorer, after whom a street is named,

approaches an idea first glimpsed at a distance.

 He continues.

 He's not sure he likes what he can't quite see.

Formerly an undeveloped lot behind Motherwell, the corner of Hillsdale and 23rd has been rezoned Residential Multiple Housing.

He enters a clearing just off the northwest corner of Roberts Plaza, on LaVerendrye Way.

He gets this far.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

How cold

Winter in Hillsdale. Right now, a Saturday, mid-December cold SNAP. I thought it was rain earlier this morning but that didn’t make sense. I’m tempted to buy a week-long resort package in time to be home before Christmas. That’s what winter does in Hillsdale.

The opera singers need extra time to warm up in a winter like this. They spend their morning hours on high notes, occasionally rising like shards of broken bird. No need to rehearse winter, though.

And it doesn't help to sing along with some soprano. She’s got winter of her own, a bloodstream frozen with debris.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

After Latta, that cold

Good thing it's a short street--13 houses, the street bent 90 degrees at the church.

Where my sister got married for the first time.  I snapped the newly-weds in an angled frame.  They were coming out the south door into sunlight, August 1964.  Confetti, a gauntlet of well-wishers, 25 years of marriage straight ahead.

Wearing a fawn-coloured blazer, I held a Kodak instamatic.  About the size of 3/4 of a pound of butter.  It was honey in my hands, that's for sure, that angled pic a hit.

New as the church was then, it's my borrowed Nikon, courtesy my brother-in-law, I'm working with today.
I dawdled for a moment when I got to Latta, then felt the cold catching up.  Heading briskly for the north end, I shot all 12 driveways (one a double), not taking long to compose each shot. 

The light felt good.  And no glares from behind closed blinds.

Before Latta

A whole Latta driveway: every one of them, about 8, shot in colour from the bottom of the driveway up.  Don't want to freak anyone out.
Might walk there.  Cold out, though.
Finish this game of backgammon first.  (A win--gambles taken, dice good.)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

With some Hill here and there

Says Jason Dewinetz--poet, publisher, Okanagan College instructor--the idea of the Vertigo Gallery reading series he runs in Vernon "is to have a conversation with the audience, to discuss poets you appreciate and are inspired by, specific poems that speak to your sense of poetics, and to tie all of that into a reading of a handful of your own poems. I hope that you'll involve the audience in the discussion, so that we can avoid the standard one-direction, reader-to-audience presentation that is so many readings." 

I'm looking forward to the chance to pay tribute to some of my literary fathers and mothers, a notion I discussed in an earlier blog.  Some Purdy and Ondaatje, Wayman and Suknaski, McFadden and Calvino, Wah, Kroetsch, Marlatt and nichol, Olson and Williams--I'll be happy to lay a taste of all of them on my three sisters and whoever else is there tomorrow night.