Archive for January, 2013

Two poems in Prism 51:2

I have two poems, “La Cumbre, Argentina” and “Another winter on the marsh,” included in the new, food-themed issue of Prism International. (Food and drink, actually – and mine are rather drinky.) In the very good company of Sarah Selecky, Laisha Rosnau, John Barton, Rhona McAdam and many more. And let’s talk about that magnificent giant peach on the cover!


Robbie! How did you get here so quickly?

I made some grand pronouncements last Robbie Burns Day as to how I would celebrate it this year, but today I’m knee deep in a big editing project, don’t have any scotch on hand and most definitely did not attempt to make haggis. I can, however, share the link to this wonderful video of Robyn at Calderwood Primary performing “To A Louse”:

(Don’t miss the bit where she brandishes the trophy.)


Orlando and the elkhounds

I don’t generally show much follow-through with structured reading plans, but I seem to continue to make lists anyway. This year I made two. First, I’d like to reread my Classics degree (not least so that I can stop saying, “But don’t ask me anything!” the odd time it comes up in conversation). Second, I’d like to reread some of the books I think of as my favourites but that I may not have read in a decade or more, just to check in on them again, maybe see if anyone might need to be asked to get down off the podium. I won’t share the entire ambitious list in case the whole thing blows off course next week, but there have already been some good surprises, including this one:

…“Take the swiftest horse in the stable,” he said, “ride for dear life to Harwich. There embark upon a ship which you will find bound for Norway. Buy for me from the King’s own kennels, the finest of elk hounds of the Royal strain, male and female. Bring them back without delay. For,” he murmured, scarcely above his breath as he turned to his books, “I have done with men.” (from Orlando by Virginia Woolf, 1928)


Welcome, 2013.

From the first chapter of my first read of the new year:

If you’re lucky—very lucky—it’s sunny, and it’s evening, so the slant light emphasizes the slight rise of the figures from the rock (their epirelief) and calls them to special eloquence, along with the deep nostalgia that dusk always lends its subjects. Pure memory. It is 570 million years ago on the other side of the Iapetus Ocean, an ocean that by the end of the Paleozoic will have closed like a slow gigantic wink, along the continental shelf of Gondwana, the parent continent of both Africa and the Avalon Peninsula. Slim creatures sway at different heights in the tide, giving and taking from the water, existing in a world without predators. It is also, say, a Tuesday in September on the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula; the sun is setting; you’d better get going if you want to reach your car before dark.

from “Ediacaran and Anthropocene” in The Shell of the Tortoise by Don McKay (Gaspereau Press, 2011)