Sunday, September 26, 2010

THE PORCUPINITY OF THE STARS: BOOK TOUR


VICTORIA, BC
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

University of Victoria afternoon TBA
Evening TBA

VANCOUVER, BC
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5:

Vancouver Launch of The Porcupinity of the Stars
with Elizabeth Bachinsky and Jordan Scott
Spartacus Books, 684 Hastings Street East
8 p.m.
Free
Spartacus Phone Number: 604.688.6138


EDMONTON, AB
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6:

The Olive Reading Series
Leva Cappuccino Bar, 11053 86th Avenue
7 p.m.
Free


CALGARY, AB
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7:

Flywheel Reading Series
Pages on Kensington, 1135 Kensington Road NW
7:30 p.m.
Free

LETHBRIDGE, AB
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8

University of Lethbridge Afternoon TBA

Acoustic Owl Lounge
411 3 Avenue South 
Lethbridge, AB
8pm

TORONTO, ON
Thursday, October 14

Coach House Fall Launch
Revival
783 College St.
8pm
Toronto 
Jonathon Ball, Gary Barwin, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Jonathan Goldstein, Dorothy Eleen Palmer, Gail Scott.

KITCHENER, ON
Monday, October 18

Small Presses at the Starlight Lounge
featuring Gary Barwin, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Natalee Caple, Evie Christie, Sheila Heti and George Murray
October 18, 2010
Starlight Lounge, 47 King Street North
Waterloo, ON
7 p.m.
Free

TORONTO, ON
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gary Barwin and Emily Schultz
St. Clair/Silverthorn Library Reading
1748 St. Clair Ave. W.
Toronto, ON
7 p.m.
Free

COBOURG, ON
Thursday, October 21

Gary Barwin, Roy Kempton and James Pickersgill
Thursday, October 21st
66 King Street East
Cobourg, Ontario
7:30 p.m.
Free

WINDSOR, ON
Saturday, November 6

BookFest Windsor
Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Book Blender: Poetry/Fiction/Multimedia.
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Karl Jirgens, moderator.
Gary Barwin, Louis Cabri, Frank Davey, Adam Dickinson, Karl Jirgens.
Wilkinson Room
Art Gallery of Windsor
401 Riverside Dr W
Windsor, ON N9A 7C5, Canada

coming soon!
DETAILS ABOUT HAMILTON, MONTREAL, PHILADELPHIA, AND NYC 






Saturday, September 18, 2010

On Kindness and Compassion: Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin

Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin. Ottawa Fertility Specialist. My father. Recently the subject of outrageous claims and innuendo in a civil suit that has been widely reported in the national media.

When asked by my daughter for a school report who I mosted admired, I considered a variety of people such as Gandhi, Mandela, but chose my father. Why did I choose him, even though it might seem cloying to decide on one's own father?

Kindness and compassion.

My father is simply the most kind and compassionate person that I know. He is this way with his patients -- his speciality has been women's health and infertility -- and he is this way with his many friends and with our family.

How we are and how we act as invidividuals makes each of our worlds. He makes his world to be one of kindness, understanding, and compassion.

There are a vast number of people both in his professional and personal life that he has helped, supported, cooked for, made comfortable, looked after, looked out for, done a thousand little extra things for, performed a myriad of little kindnesses for, and empowered with his generosity of spirit and understanding.

No one is without complexity -- these many complexities make us human, complexity is what being human is -- however, when I look at the kind of generous, moral, ethical, and humane world that my father has created, I am inspired. The world may not be perfect, but it can be infused with kindness and compassion.

He has always deeply believed in understanding and valuing who people are, who they want to be, and what lives they have a right to live. He has also demonstrated a rigorous and exacting approach to science, medicine, research, and ethics in his professional life.

He has demonstrated extraordinary moral courage in standing up for his patients' rights and for advocating what is right, sometimes quietly in his actions and his medical practice, sometimes publically. These actions are also a form of kindness and compassion.

I don't know what else is in the media or on the internet about my father, Dr. Norman Barwin, but I know the values that he lives by, and what he values. These will not change, no matter what is said or claimed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The First Joke



we see our brother

father

daughter

sad bones

sisters to the cave and animals
night then day

then night again


the first joke

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Right to Bear Italicized Arms?


There is a font called "2nd Amendment" on the site fontpark.net. Aside from the mind-boggling political/constitutional aspect of a font created out of guns (the right to bear italic arms?) there is something very unsettling about translating a text into firepower. I took the poem "Gun Lips" from my new collection The Porcupinity of the Stars and set it in this militant font.

Readers now can look down the barrel of my poetic gun. Could the poem be summarized by totalling the arsenal of its letters? Could we play one poem against the other on the basis of firepower? Did I just write this poem as a deterrent, and never intend to use any of those letters 'for real'?

The first time I posted this poem, along with a picture of a 'mini-gun', I received (and indeed continue to receive) more visits to this blog than for any other posting. I won't ever take this poem on an airplane. I'll keep it away from kids. I'll make sure that, in case this poem goes off ill advisedly, I'll store the meaning separately from the text.

Capitals point the other way.

Be careful with letters.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Underwater not an Underwood



Lovely video for Mark Dunn's new book, Ghost Music. I especially like the submerged Underwood at the end. Could there be such a thing as a drift-typewriter, or typewriter-glass, the letters made smooth by the current, the keys buffetted by fish? It takes a school to raise a Hamlet. An Underwater, not an Underwood.


*
MOUSE BONES

The son took his guitar and travelled to another city. In his basement room, the mother found a crow sleeping under his blanket, its head resting on his white pillow.  It wouldn’t join the family for meals. It wouldn’t walk the dog or take out the trash. At night, the father heard the thrumming of this new son’s wings as it circled the low sky of the basement. My brother continues to be an opportunistic omnivore, the sister said noticing the remains of diverse vegetables, animals, and grains in dishes discovered about the house. Early morning, the younger brother heard his new brother’s creaking voice talking on his cellphone, found strange garments in the laundry. There were shiny things in the living room. A broach. A watch. A glass eye. They could hear zither music after school, its tintinnabulation delicate as mouse bones, as tiny and as sad.

Later, the old brother came home with a beard.


*

My eldest son, Ryan, is in Ottawa. He just moved away from home and started university last week. But the above little piece couldn't refer to him. He's already got a beard. But, he does have a fantastic website featuring his brilliant pedal steel guitar and other guitar playing.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

An Asemic Rebus and the End of Something Plato Said

pszren runs a great blog out of of Poland entitled poemicstrip exploring the intersection between conventions in the comic strip form and poetry. His recent Call for Participation sent me to my notebooks. The above are a few little pieces that I came across while looking for some appropriate work to send him. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are sketches for something that I created to send to 'archliver' (cf. archive, archiver, archivist) Geof Huth. Interesting how a comic strip is like a notebook, each pane a severed page, your eyes doing the work that a book asks of fingers.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

THE UNIVERSE WITHOUT CHAIRS


THE UNIVERSE WITHOUT CHAIRS

three men sit upon the last chair in the world
some kind of Cerebus of laps

one man on a chair
the other two, the other’s chair

this universe, then another.
a chair that doesn’t exist

a wood-eating woman tells a joke
distracts the the chairs

in our bodies, the idea for chair
a rich purple drawn from the mucus of snails

the wood of chairs
what joke does she tell?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Family Photograph

My parents, their children and their partners, and their grandchildren (and a partner)



family stand beside each other

I am going to take a picture


the lawn is made of

many blades


there’s a moment between breaths

where nothing happens