Wednesday 19 December 2012


I got the idea a couple of years ago to set a poem on every street in Hillsdale. Alphabetical order backwards. Arbitrary, for sure, but the last street would be Anderson, an avenue, where my parents moved us in 1961.

Enter here the notion that I could dedicate the poems to mom, who's 97 but in '61 was moving into the only new house she and dad ever owned.  Four kids, three at home. We moved on their anniversary, August 3. I remember in Herbert on moving day reminding mom and dad what day it was. They went inside.

Streetpieces has just been published in chapbook form by The Alfred Gustav Press, run by David Zieroth out of North Vancouver. 12 pieces, the rest to show up in the book, scheduled for the spring of 2014 from NeWest Press. David chose other than reverse alphabetical for the sequencing but I okayed it.

In the book I'll end the section with "Anderson Streetpiece: for Mom" (which isn't the title but could be). She spent more time in Hillsdale than the rest of us put together, I'm guessing (thinking of Betty Friedan's notion of the "matrilineal compound" that was any suburb post-war). CKCK used to show movies on weekday afternoons, not to suggest mom spent much time lying around, though she may have seen a movie or two (think Greer Garson).

The book will cover all this. For now, Streetpieces is fun to read and hold, I admit it, and so beautifully produced by David. Buy it and the other fine work at his press! (The exclamation point, normally banned, here signifies my shame at evoking "buy" in December.)

Friday 14 December 2012


Over New Year's I'll see old friends from high school. We agreed last visit not to keep talking about our bodies (more or less broken down). It's what we talk about at our age, Bryan said.
This morning around 9:00, at the central YMCA, seemed to be grandpa hour. One guy went into the men's can by the spin bikes and didn't come out for a while. I was starting to worry.
I heard this lyric:
Stiff back or stiff knee
you stand straight at Tiffany's 
'cause diamonds are girl's best friend.
I'll try to work that in at New Year's up by Pigeon Lake.

Saturday 1 December 2012


Not the kindest name for what my students are about to go through, me too. Finals, like nothing's left when they're over.
I asked one class how much they cared about their work over the last week of classes and final exams. A lot they said, with details.
I haven't prepared finals for my classes yet, at least not the fine strokes. I'm toying with the idea of something radical, I told one class.
Oops, "I Saw Her Standing There" has just come on and I have to go dance.