Tuesday 28 February 2012


I went to pick up my overcoat today, the one I'd ordered from the high-end (highest-end) menswear store in Regina. To be honest, I admit that the look I wanted was the Jerry Seinfeld overcoat look. 12 to 20 years ago. That look no longer applies maybe? (Betsy, my ex-New York friend, would say, "No, 12 to 20 is about right, by the time it gets to Regina".)
Anyway, I don't care. I want a long coat, below my knees. Being a tall fellow, maybe an out-of-date fellow, I found all the overcoats in the high-end store to be too short. So I ordered one, paying about as much as I paid for my first car.
Today I parked on Hamilton, took off the coat I was wearing and stepped inside the menswear store for the new coat (which is Italian, by the way, a Biello, in a charcoal wool).
"Let's try it on," said the high-end guy, the latest of a hundred sales guys to flummox me, except in this case I'm so sure.
"You bet," I said. Well, the coat was way too big--gorgeous for length but wide through the torso, long and wide through the sleeves.
"Tell you what," the guy said. "We'll order you another one, a smaller one. We'll try to get it here before winter's out."
I don't care about this winter. Me and the coat are good for twenty winters, I told him. Just a guess.

Sunday 19 February 2012

One Afternoon During the Midterm Exam

Eight essays remain on the table, but only seven of the writers are present.
Eight people are present, but only seven get essays. How so?

Monday 13 February 2012

Fourth Letter Home

The traveller sees Don McKay
reading "Sometimes a Voice" on YouTube
as Hillsdale voice, the same
facial track as Woody Allen but
a voice from the trees
in Monroe park grown now
and from lights over back doors
and from that dark over McKay's left ear
the easement draws.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Not Sure What to Call It

I heard scene and fiction and narrative. And not sure but the lines felt long. The word poem seemed slow to come. Tomorrow I want to speak of that but don't know what I'll say. What comes to mind first is that in a poem you make a line and you end it. After that, what you call it matters not. I'll show a few examples.
Pretty soon what my students write turns into poems that I might write.
Nevertheless I press on. You give me action in your lines I'll be happy.

Monday 6 February 2012

Update re Loco Log

You fans of my Loco Log (hello Uncle Martha and Aunt Pete) have been clamouring to find out whether I counted that photograph of a CP locomotive. The answer is not yet. But should I? My own eyes didn't see it but there it was, paused over Albert street, joined at the rear to 9132.
(I told my daughter Lucy one day on a road trip, the two of us, she was about 15, that the CP locomotive we zoomed by east of Belle Plaine was one we'd never again see. So we wrote it down, or I did anyway. By now I've logged about 50--number then location, day, time.
Lucy didn't take to the idea at first. Six or seven years later, she's weakened a little, I'm guessing. The prize: spotting a locomotive a second time.
This idea I blame on direction.)