Category Archives: Writing Life

links and asides about writing craft, writer’s lives, creative processes and publishing + discourse about literature

Poetry Reading: Muriel’s Journey “Fire in the Heart” book + round-up

Gist: I read a poem at Word Vancouver online event with a splendid group of poets! Thanks to Isabella Mori and Muriel’s Journey folks for including me, and hat-tip to Kyle Hawke for editing.

me and my “set” ready to go (since the book is called “Fire from the Heart” i set up in front of woodstove with fire painting by Timothy Wilson-Hoey and some candles + my cup mug o’ joe) looking sleepy :)

Tip: buy the “Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize” chapbook and read these poems. Powerful medicine!

Score directly from Amazon Japan for ¥964 {Also available from other country specific Amazon of course}

“Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize”

Event: On Sept 17 (Sept 18 in Japan), i read at a unique & enchanting poetry event: The “Muriel‘s Journey“ poetry prize reading as part of “WORD Vancouver” (prev announced). I read my poem “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” (in a slightly different iteration) as awarded the “random prize” (hooray!)

here’s the whole event, stick-handled by Adam, i’m around the 28 min mark

Rehearsal: Because of a typhoon rolling into our area, I recorded a rehearsal video in my beloved barn studio “just in case” and for my own enjoyment and possibly yours.

me in kura studio doing a take about Alchemists and Hypnotists

Poem: i’ll go into it more than another time if curious, but in brief: the poem is about coming to grips with the onset chronic and complex disease and the conundrum of being in lovely/spectacular places – from Jamaica to Suez – but being plagued by pain, anxiety, ghosts and confusion and misunderstanding of friends who didn’t understand… and just wanting someone to help me sleep after being so frustrated after seeing seemingly every kind of doctor possible (and having to make a big long list of everything for various paperwork) so I laughed to myself, “the only type of doctor I hadn’t seen was alchemists and hypnotists.”

Book: Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize (amzn)” featuring: Janet Kvammen, Brad Akeroyd, Jacquie Pearce, Kamila Rina, Dave Olson, Natasha Sanders-Kay.

Buy via Azn for only $8 CAD or better, ask you local bookstore (Iron Dog Books for example) to order from Ingram. If you have a fave bookstore who can hook this up, please drop a comment.

Fire from the Heart with some wonderful poets, and me in a hat transiting the Suez Canal

Special for you: if you order a book from Muriel’s Journey, let me know and i’ll send you a postcard to say “thanks” and you can use as a bookplate or bookmark (or put on fridge). For expedited service, please use my Postal Club form and mention “Muriel’s Journey” in the notes.

Continue reading Poetry Reading: Muriel’s Journey “Fire in the Heart” book + round-up

Poetry: Reading “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” for Muriel’s at Word Vancouver (but from Japan)

I’m reading at this unique & enchanting poetry event. Online & in person in Vancouver as part of 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry prize at Word Vancouver..

  • Canada/USA: Sept 17, Saturday, 4-5PM Pacific (7-9PM Eastern)
  • Japan: Sept 18, Sunday, 8-9AM

Tickets are free but you gotta register >> Free tix here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/word-vancouver-2022-festival-tickets-395743488427

Swan’s matches not provided as the reading is remote through ‘warm media’

I’m reading “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” / A poem which came out of my long healing ramble.

Update: you can also purchase a book “Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize” (from Azm below or better from your fave bookstores to order from Ingram) featuring the poems of the various award winners, including me.

PS when you buy your copy, let me know and I’ll send you a postcard to say thanks & you can use as a book plate/bookmark.

Please join me and other compelling poets for free hugs & magic. My heart would be so bright knowing you were at the other end of the screen.

Riff: Find a medium to fit your story

Tell your stories in the way that feels comfortable, like your favorite pair of shoes.

all the mediums are yours, just bring your unique story to make

Document in the way it feels natural to you. Doesn’t have to be a blog, can be a notebook with colored pencils, or buy yourself a fountain pen, or an audio recorder.

Indeed, whatever medium/form”add context and interestingness to tell a story,

Fck stats make art.

PS Vincent van Gogh was a heck of a letter writer, Henry David Thoreau was a solid botanist, Bob Dylan is a great painter, Joni Mitchell even more so, Nick Cave is an exceptional organizer… shall I go on? No no, you go on. (And let me know what you make)

Riff: blueprint for a creative process / Vancouver Stories (prezo plan)

The “origin document“ of Forgotten Vancouver Stories talk

Projects of all kinds, a talk/presentation in this case, usually start with some kind of plan… (seems obvious so i’ll explain further).

In this instance, this is the *origin document* of what turned into a talk for Pecha Kucha night Vancouver “All-Star edition” at Vogue Theatre in the 20 slides for 20 seconds each format. e

Later, the “slides” became part of a longer form version at “Poets, Punks and Revolutions: Forgotten Vancouver Stories,” Northern Voice in a three-dimensional mixed media environment (campfire on stage, easels, record players, a comfortable chair and so on.

The idea started at a sort-of-secret-hideout with single malt, in conversation with a (now-former) mayor of Vancouver, his chief of staff, and the CEO of a significant company. Realizing the mayor didn’t really know a lot of renegade Vancouver stories, especially around counter-culture, I riffed off a few and later thought might be useful, amusing/educational/entertaining, or whatever for a wider audience.

Continue reading Riff: blueprint for a creative process / Vancouver Stories (prezo plan)

Riff: We are a *new/old* movement whether it has a “name” or not

Written (maybe March 2021?) in reply to an association/community of creatives riffing off the Jack Kerouac writing for Japhy Ryder (*cough* modeled after Gary Snyder) about a rucksack revolution.

My feeling is the beat generation, the lost generation, romantics, punks/hippies/pranksters and/or whatever movement you want to namecheck are labels of convenience (we love to categorize) and – importantly – don’t live fossilized in amber.

Ergo: people who are creating today *honestly and authentically* are part of a continuous strand which occasionally picks up names along the way.

daveo
stash your gear in a rucksack and go be in the world

We are a *new* movement whether it has an “name” or not. If you are writing, sharing, wondering, wandering, rambling, sharing, filling notebooks with joy & impunity, endless letters to lovers you’ll never meet & living full on, going going going.

We are who we are, regardless of generation and accidental timings of birth or state of the world, we take in all that came before us and (perhaps) we spark what will come after us. We are the rucksack revolution who found a place to sit calmly, share widely, create honestly, give openly, inspire gently and carry-on intrepidly through it all.

Indeed for decades when I would ramble on about these literary heroes, most people would stare blankly, even lots of Deadheads didn’t trace the lineage but now, what was once “counter culture” has bubbled up into consensus reality so often.

We are the ambassadors and the diplomats but also the practitioners … and we have mighty tools available to us! So many writers were never “known“ because a suit in a New York City office didn’t *take a chance* on them (their efforts sequestered in shoeboxes in attics and lost to unknowing grandchildren or recycle bins) but now all of us can publish everything / all the time / everywhere and (importantly) cultivate a community like one does with a garden.

Now I’m so pleased and proud to help amplify these classic & contemporary stories in Japan through exhibits and examples, plus – again importantly – inspiring other people to create their stories and sprinkle them out to the universe in whatever form they choose.

Fck Stats, Make Art.

Right here / it’s all about the cycles: they showed us the way, keep your notebooks handy & pencil sharpened, remember to share, remember to seek, & remember to go go go.

“I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures …”

Jack Kerouac *fictional quoting* Japhy Ryder in Dharma Bums

Evidence: Kerouac in Kobe, Jack in Japan (slowly working on video, maybe kinda…)

Further evidence of “working on some thing” about Jack Kerouac exhibit in Kobe, Japan 2021 – hardly shocking I know, but hey, here are many “On the Road” etc related items. Plus the typewriter to show I’m serious(ly) slow.

{What I’m trying to say is}, I keep trying to make/finish my “Kerouac and Kobe” video but keep on make more complicated, I made an *incredibly awesome* static-montage stop-motion animation intro, and recorded a vaguely-loquacious and informational outro but… it’s the middle part – you know, the part that actually matters with interview with Prof Matt Theado – I’m stuck at because requires sitting in front of the computer screen and my goodness, my eyes are kind of shot these days.

Keep on thinking I’ll finish it up but I haven’t so this is me killing time and trying to stoke the stoke to sit at the big screen (yes, I have a monitor that is made for “sensitive eyes” but still…)

Anyway, maybe you can play iSpy (with your little eye)?

Quote: “a book is…” Baudelaire

What’s on your shelf?

“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.”

Charles Baudelaire

Gary Snyder Tribute from Library of America

The great poet Gary Snyder’s “entire” collection of published – and previously uncollected works – was recently assembled and published by the “Library of America” (realizing here I don’t really know exactly what the Library of America is but certainly recognize their distinctive cover art).

In this case, from LOA (edited by Jack Shoemaker and Anthony Hunt) comes a mighty tome of Gary Snyder, ergo:

Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems | Myths & Texts | The Back Country | Regarding Wave | Turtle Island | Axe Handles | Left Out in the Rain | from No Nature | Mountains and Rivers Without End | Danger on Peaks | This Present Moment | Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations

Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, there was a video-teleconferencing-event with various collaborators, writers, enthusiasts, naturalists, acquaintances, a noted elected official, and so on providing personal anecdotes about esteemed Mr. Snyder as well as reading a few particular favourites from his extensive canon.

For my own reference (and yours), here are a couple of screenshots from (what was the early morning in Japan) event with Gary and Poet Wang Ping who shared her wonderful story about Axe Handles which includes a real life incident involving *the* axe handle, the real kid (now adult), and the actual Ezra Pound book – whew.

Included for your edification is the video from the aforementioned Library of America YT channel. Enjoy!

Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

[Audio transcript from an updated/location undisclosed recording / Pasted, uncorrected]

Completely unrelated snapshot

Some of the projects I want to make over the next little while:

I want to write a collection of short stories that is just all wacky times, immediately leading up to or following quitting jobs.

Specifically, there is leaving Star Sand Beach Club very quickly and going to Palau and Yap, going directly to the airport and disappearing rather than going to the beach club (in retrospect, seems like the best job ever but for reasons, it just wasn’t.

There is the ATG drug testing, going to Belize incident.

There is the SS Neptune, leaving-to-be-a-schoolteacher-and-getting-karmically-bitten-in-the ass idea.

There is the leaving Kinko’s with a fax at six in the morning and going off to make a film story. That is a pretty good one.

There is the Wirthlin Group phone survey job that was such a nightmare and getting fired from that for not asking personal enough questions, then crashing the office party two days later and mooning the boss in front of everyone and pulling out while the cops pulled in the other way. That was a really good one.

There is Sharpey’s, but I didn’t quit that one, Well I quit but you know with noticing on good terms planning to go back to university of Utah which in retrospect was a colossal mistake. That one was a nice job. The stories aren’t as funny but they’re nice. Although, there was that good incident of getting my car crashed into and taking the insurance claim – this station is called Joyce Collinwood now – taking the insurance settlement money and parting with it and pulling out the dent with a coat hanger.

There is also the Pizza Beast and Pizza Feast incident, that one is a little harder of a story to tell.

There is also the real estate weekly route that me and brothers and I have, where all the papers went into the side yard to make a giant paper of file of pulpy wetness and that was pretty good.

There was also Bob’s story working for that jackass in White Rock that sits by the sea, going in there and me having to play some bodyguard for him. All we wanted was try to get his paycheck. That one wasn’t too bad although not great either, I suppose.

Then there was the job of delivering fliers for the travel company around the campuses in Utah. That one is not bad.

While at University of Utah, geez, I had three jobs there for awhile. “Cinema in your face”, that was a good one, where I delivered the newspapers and fliers to every bar in Salt Lake City – bars, bookshops, coffee shops, etc.

Then I worked for Bing Christensen Land Surveyor. We’d drive up in the hills in a jeep and stand out there in the middle of nowhere until he radios me and tells me that he got the shot and then I stumble down somewhere else.

Teaching WordPerfect classes while sleeping in my van. Well, not simultaneously. During that period, I lived in my van and I also taught the occasional WordPerfect 4.2 or 5.1 or something for DOS classes. But those jobs sort of faded away more than exploded.

Then of course the other really big one I should tell is the story of the job in Japan with the mushroom farm and leaving that day on Mike’s bike and that I have taken up in the trunk of the K car and running away from that horrible job up in the hills with the old ladies.

So if I could bust out ten stories of a thousand or two thousand words each, where it’s really just talking about quitting a job and going someplace rapidly, I think that would be beauty.

Continue reading Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice

I bought Kevin Kelly’s massive Asia photo book series through a crowd-funding-dealio >> [intro at his website] arrived recently and it’s massive, colossal, dense, fascinating, (literally) heavy series – 3 volumes packed in a slip case, plus I got a signed artist proof )carefully flattening now).

Kevin Kelly promo for Vanishing Asia series

Such an interesting layout as (for example) there is a whole page spread of nothing but doors, and another nothing but spires, and another of nothing but women’s faces and so on. Such attention to detail with maps in flyleaf and all sorts of maximalist nuance.

(I took photos of “unboxing“ but heaven help me if I remember where they all are… Drowning in data, but it’s all so wonderful)

[Update: Found the snapshots, here we go!]

You can still get one for yourself, not *cheap* but very worth it as this is an Asia which is very different (coming from a guy – me – who has rambled alot of these places):

Today my 50-year passion project goes on sale on Amazon. The 1,000-page Vanishing Asia is a bargain at $270 with free shipping. Ask anyone who has seen it. You’ll enjoy the long trip.

https://amzn.to/3sVRMgz (no affiliate code)
Continue reading Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice