Thursday 26 April 2012

New Post

In Banff I'll start drawing. First this screen next to a window looking into a slope of Tunnel Mountain. Whatever's around. See what I can do with a pencil. Finish that Hillsdale book.

Overcoat Update:
They sent the second one back too, the one the Portuguese guy was going to tailor. The plant and the store talked over "sizing". A third coat is on the way. The manager of the menswear store threw a scare into me when he mentioned the "outdated" system of sizing at the plant. I thought at first he was talking about the style of my chosen coat. As I said before, mainly lawyers and the odd actor wear coats as long. I got over any fear. The coat's in it for the haul, and I don't mean Hall of Shame. One of these years I'll wear it down a mountain.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Overcoat, Part Three

Many of my readers--thanks for the postcard from Zambia, Aunt Sally and Uncle Huck--wonder if I've taken possession of that long overcoat I bought from the high-end menswear shop (the coat that had to be returned to the plant in northern Italy and, when it came back still too big, assigned to the Portuguese tailor for alterations). No.
In the middle of last night I caught the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, a movie I enjoy. Steve Martin wears a long overcoat, more of a long raincoat I think.
And I've discovered long-overcoat central in Regina: the court house I can see from my window. I guess when you're admitted to the bar, job #1 is a visit to that high-end menswear shop, the one with the Portuguese tailor who's by now taken my coat apart, snipped off a few mm here and there, and stitched it back together. Lawyers in long coats, a stream of them, those extra-wide briefcases the size of mom's Singer.
I don't care that the coat, when I take possession, will hang in my long closet until autumn. It's forever, this coat--an evercoat, you might say.

Friday 13 April 2012

What's Next

Nobody asks, but I answer anyway. I heard from a woman who'd taken my Writing With Style session at Banff. She's published, been sending stuff out, made travel plans.
My students who just finished 252 (U of R English code for the first creative writing class) want to fight through exams and get a job. Their writer selves will take hold, I'll say, and commit to a piece of writing.
Those geese on the lake--must be time to bed down and get those eggs going, or maybe I'm way off.
The engineer in the studio in New York, February 1962, when Sonny Rollins lay down "Where Are You?" (with Hall, Cranshaw, Riley), must have heard the universe through a horn.
That manwith the plastic bag over his left shoulder, walking past the Court House, Victoria's next.
I'm going to finish this entry and head over to Beer Bros. to work on some poems and meet my daughter and her boyfriend for a beer.
If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
First the Rollins has to let me go.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Good Night, Blue and White

One of my readers--thanks for the note Aunt Cynthia!--thought she'd see more poems here. A second reader (anonymous, but I have suspicions) said fewer poems, more on the Leafs (a sure sign, I reckon, of someone chained by the neck to a favourite team, like me).
On that latter point, when every sports reporter in the land points out how many years it's been since the Leafs won, how many since they even made the playoffs, I say I don't care. In my lifetime I drove dad's '65 Plymouth to band practice or something at school, it was June, and sat there long enough to hear the end of Game 6, Stanley Cup finals, Leafs beating the Habs.
Eight or nine years earlier I collected cardboard rings on Rogers Corn Syrup jars and sent them in for 5x7 (maybe larger) black-and-whites of Brewer and Baun, Duff and Keon, of course the Big M and the rest.
More recently, my son and I (I'd claim I did nothing to influence his choice of favourite team, if anyone would believe me) felt together the trials of playoff runs in '92 and '93, the Gilmour/Potvin/Burns years. Tom made a cardboard playoff standings display, hand-coloured icons the size of thumbprints attatched with pins and slotted left or right with the fortunes of their team.
Now that I've lived such joys, no one season, even a dozen seasons, can mean much, except the year the Leafs break though, truly.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

More About the Rumpus Room

If you heard Aunt Maxine upstairs looking for at Uncle Pete--stomping around, swearing at him--for sure you'd find him shooting pool. Gets noisy down here he'd tell us. Sometimes you can't hear people. I could hear her, though, threatening to take him apart, poor guy. I was afraid to go up there myself.

Monday 2 April 2012

In Praise of His Rumpus Room

I call it his because I see him in it, trying out his games. He painted curling rings on the tile floor, 4 feet in diameter, for a set of hard-plastic rocks filled with sand--1/4 the volume and weight of real rocks--mounted on bearings. They'd slide; I don't remember much curl.
The 4x8 table brought pals over, his and mine. He rigged up a rod strung with wooden disks you moved with your cue to keep score. For snooker. And he loved billiards, eight ball, any game he learned. You could beat him, but you could lose.
The frame of the door leading to the laundry room and deepfreeze--and the darker corner where he shone his shoes, and the cold room where she kept her jars--jutted to within two feet of the pool table. He built a stubby cue, tip made from hockey puck. You'd have to hunch over, do your best.
The pool table, a rocking chair, couch and tv, and his piano at the far end. I call it his piano because he's the one who stood there, tapping on the bench as you played, reading the notes the teacher left in your book.