Tag Archives: poetry

Three books: various kinda & important for various reasons

Three important book, of various kinds and origins.

1) Taisho/early Showa era commercial art about which I am quite fascinated – plus, the cover reminds me of my wife // this era of Japan before militarism took over and there was for a brief golden time with a burgeoning international mindset, a “jazz age” of sorts, s3xual opennesses and class conventions dissolving. Curious to peruse the book further

2) “Confidential” one of the many journals, scrapbooks, scribble books, diaries etc. I filled up this year with words of course, but also items, dried flowers, artifacts and memos… Reminding myself that I didn’t “publish” a lot beyond my own channels, yet I created a lot of material, it’s just confidential for now // ps seen behind is the Shawn Parkinson designed print issue of Narwhal from Vancouver

3) 70 from my dear sensei Larry Harper who introduced a 17-year-old high school dropout at the community college that creative writing is a noble endeavor and life pursuit. This is his book “70” with appropriately, 70 different components including short plays, poems (long and short), stories of various lengths, and lists – it’s very punk rock as there is no ISBN, UPC barcode, not available on that major international book reseller. And yes, there’s shades of me in here, including a blurb, a riff and an inscription

Still life: books of lists, etc for (Shaun Usher)

still life of books under a mosquito net on bedsheets
Lists 2. Of 3. Note.

(for Karina, Billy and Danny)


As seen under a mosquito net in a cottage in provincial Japan – with

Wade Davis' "into the silence"
RickRubin's "creative act"
notebook/pen for scribbling musings, freeverse and of course, lists
{kerchief from India}

Note: Shaun Usher has curated/compiled/edited a remarkable series of beautifully designed oversized hardback books containing “letters of note” and in this case “lists of note”.

So very highly recommended for the obsessive and curious. I understand there are even performances with actors on stage reading some of the letters but I don’t really know the details.

“Ahead by a Century” for poet Gord (on ukulele)

Ahead by a Century (or maybe behind by two centuries)

For “the man who walks among the stars” the great poet Gord Downia on anniversary of his untimely passing with brief soliloquy about the importance of supporting the indigenous peoples of the land colloquially known as Canada.

And special appreciation for my favorite album/book “Coke Machine Glow” + special regards to survive in the band mates of The Tragically Hip who are telling stories, making songs and re-issuing albums (tyvm).

my favorite of Gord’s recordings… well for now, i can change my mind anytime right?

Yeah, just waking up, in bed under a mosquito net (with adorable pajamas) in a cottage in provincial #Japan with apologies for mediocre unrehearsed baritone #ukulele playing and marginally acceptable “singing” / croaking. It’s the sincerity that counts, right? Right.

Please donate to the Downie Wenjack fund {https://downiewenjack.ca/} and write your own poems to share your story.

Fondly, dvo/uw

what it looks like to *walk among the stars* (in my kura barn library/lounge)

Post’d: dispatches for “world postcard day” a bit late but hey…

A step behind for #WorldPostcardDay but hey, grapes and turmeric tea on a bamboo bed desk, scribbling up handmade/printed Postcards to pals (met and not yet) in Sussex UK, Torrey (Utah), St John’s (AZ not NL), and various points around the region currently known as British Columbia.

Yes, that’s me with the beard, Richard Brautigan’s book of poetry, my own poetry postbox, and Don Mee dim sum in Victoria.

So very fondly, sent with affection (and decorated with inky & postal stamps)

Poem / notes: ‘recalling a scene’ #handwritten #draft

I’m always filling up notebooks: sometimes there’s a “system” where I have one that’s like a diary, another a scrapbook of a ephemera stuck in with tape and glue, another for logistical annotations, another for *pure poetry endeavors* or sometimes – well usually – the books of all sizes and shapes all kind of get smashed together.

So here we are, keep your expectations and chat, i certainly have.

Some other writers, documenters or general scribblers keep their notebooks well organized: labeled, chronological, even weighed or at least dated / whereas mine are scattered everywhere, sometimes spanning years/decades… opened to random pages, with undated riffs and what have you.

Especially recently with my delightful barn studio, endeavored to transcribe the often-illegible pages and sometimes i come across snapshots taken of a book which I’m not quite sure where it is or why I took the snaps but i can only surmise the pics are a message to my “future self” (meaning now) to put these pages somewhere where won’t lose the words – as insignificant as they may appear at first blush.

Fresh out of defiance #draft

One is as good as the next I suppose
Fresh out of defiant slogans
Too exhausted to scowl
Done with rhetoric and angst

Given up on raised firsts
Just my eyebrows for now
I run but slowly
On the hamster wheel
Stroll languid towards oblivion

Lay flat, do little
Let the system squander and powers collapse among
Hubris, greed bah!
“i’ll Take apathy to go”
With a side of indifference


Evidence: forged passport (on Pender)

A lazy day on pender, decoding myths, excavating legends

Ephemera, snapshots, stamps of all kinds, snippets of poetry, forgotten claim checks, former “safe house” addresses, secret compartments and whatnot all conspire to create a passport – with decoder book not included (consider Lamb’s edition of Shakespeare, without the poetry)

Everything is significant, coincidence is futile

Post’d: “the present is an unfinished…”

sometimes words aren’t needed, just stamps (postal & inky) and strategic bits of washi tape

“The present is an (un)finished #postcard… ergo: added a few more decorations before finally went into the box (created while holding my sleeping toddler in lap at a coffee shop)

This one went off to Vancouver to be delivered to someone who is sitting next to me at the time at gloss coffee shop and gallery.

Accompanied in the mail drop (i arrived at the postbox just as the pick-up was happening like some kind of fortuitous timing) along with a few to mutual friends and one to our own house (yes I do that frequently for ¥70 of thrills).

Diary + Snaps: 6 views at goat farm & various disintermediated notes

At this point, it’s no longer an “secret hideout”… Rural Caprine (goat) Farm obviously my favourite place in Japan and where we go for a break to regroup, check in with my buddy Mac-san – who teases me endlessly and unrelentingly about me, showing up, broken down, obviously, needy, and basically useless in the summer of 2018 which changed my life. 

Anyhow, in this case me and darling wife and adorable son, had finished our morning chores, hot and sweaty so we took a trip to the farm to cool off, have lunch and possibly pick-up some pallets for some projects.

Turns out, unbeknownst to us – although we should know such thing – it was “Marine day” which is a quasi- national holiday, so quite a few people coming through the farm and surprisingly, many kids younger than our wee bairn.

Anyhow, I took my ukulele, listened to Jerry Garcia band at Cape Cod Coliseum from 1982 while feeling a little melancholy about missing the Dead and Company shows, (although the thought of going to a big stadium with loads of people and light shows is completely and unrelentingly unappealing).

“the goats’ milk must be sweeter after hearing me play” wrote one of my more sympathetic correspondents (dang look at those l3gs)

So played a little bit of music of my own for the goats, who remained unimpressed, took a look at the pallets, but found were all more beat-up than we really want to deal with, as well as quite dusty and dirty, too much so to put in the back of Agnes the van (which has a protective sheet). Also looked at a stack of old tatami mats which could possibly be used in a project in reclaiming/regenerating the Kinome land (which has some water retention and excess weed and leveling conundrums), chatted with some ladies who came all the way from Osaka to visit Mac-san’s impressive wine cave, and gave the various hellos from friends who have come by over the last months in years.

As you’ve no doubt heard before, goats love hearing music, so there’s an old time PA system streaming endless tunes to the animals (all day and all night) while inside, Mac-san’s much higher quality stereo system (though the Denon CD player is having troubles) is wedged in between all the artifacts, tchotchkes, memorabilia (including a whole section of items from us), and his ever-expanding record collection, plus variety of gourmet food goods for sale.

{noting that nephew Lee was off on a barbecue/hot spring adventure of his own with a youth group, so it’s not on this expedition}