Saturday, November 23, 2002

praying for a recovery
Check out this excellent set of links on Iraq. One sobering, and quite true, assessment here is that the question of war will really be decided not by Democratic or popular opposition, but in the struggle between the less-insane and completely-insane wings of the Republican Party.

Friday, November 22, 2002

all i can say about this is...
riding in cars with poets
Though you can find George Bowering and Ryan Knighton's new title Cars online at the Coach House website, you owe it to yourself to buy and read it in book form. Yes, you. You know who I'm talking about.

I'll go easy on the Blurb-O-Matic 2000 language. For the record, Cars does not chart a topography of love and loss in a voice as raw and uncompromising as the Canadian Shield. It is, however, one of the best collaborative books I've read in recent memory -- a collection of flawlessly executed, playful postcard memoirs that are affecting precisely due to their lack of sentimentality. I often find myself using the word "restraint" when I'm describing poetry I admire. Cars is a perfect example of it. Restraint, gentle wit, and thoroughly amusing banter between poets who obviously play well together.

I'm starting into Rob Budde's The Dying Poem right now, another Coach House book. And one more thing I have to say: those books are beautiful. Even if you don't care for the writing (thankfully a rare occurrence with Coach House, at least for me), the mere physical fact of the book just makes you feel good to be holding it. You know, like... like a lover inviting you into the fractured jolts and fissures that make up the tectonics of a self and force you to come face to face with the realities of longing, sorrow and memory in a small Newfoundland outport...

back on top
Well, I think I'm finally going to be back to a more regular posting schedule, so thanks to the 1.5 of you who read this blog for being so patient with me. And not, you know, going all crazy and rioting in the streets or anything.

Apart from the forces of evil (or maybe just terminally shortsighted macho stupidity) now all-but-totally controlling that big country to the south of us, not much has changed. Dubya and friends continue to manoeuvre for their pet war, in latest news by drawing a fallacious comparison to World War II appeasement strategies to try to bring Europe's reluctant leaders on-side. [Newsflash for Dubya: if there's anyone in this whole scenario who represents a rampaging, aggressive threat that must not be appeased, it's you.] All the while, of course, studiously avoiding mention of that slippery Osama guy, who is apparently at it again.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Ashcroft and friends, now unfettered, continue to prosecute their increasingly spooky war on American democracy, complete with major decisions being made by secret courts in which only the government is represented. So it would appear the verdict is in, and an extremely dark chapter is about to be written in American history. Here's hoping the Republic (and the world) can recover from it, and all sympathies to the American voters who didn't ask for this. Whatever insensitive things the rest of us may have said, we really do like your country and never wished for it to turn into the lost draft of an Orwell novel.

On the home front, my friend jonny and I are collaborating on a new poetry weblog where we'll air our thoughts about aesthetics, theory, a book we're supposed to be working on together, beers with fellow poets and other such things. He's also posted some interesting notes on fetchpoetry definitely worth checking out.