Tag Archives: poets

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

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!

(Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

A rollicking rapid-fire, mixed-media introduction to The Beat Generation – made especially for youth (specifically, a 11th grade lit class at a DoD base school) – with topics including:

  • what made The Beats, the beats (ergo: time, place, circumstance, intentions, global mindset, searching for “holy”)
  • characteristics of style (freeverse, spontaneous prose, collaboration, diversity, art + craft + integrity)
  • notable writers and characters including: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • roots and branches extending from the Beats like: Merry Pranksters, folkies, hippies, yippies, punks, DIY and even “digital nomads”
  • riffs about censorship, “obscenity” trials, sexuality, religiosity
  • call to action about the importance everyone with something to say “saying it” – including YOU
  • plus more notable writers: Gregory Corso, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Weiss, Diane DiParma & currently working Ron Whitehead and Anne Waldman
  • namechecks and cameos for: The Clash, Tom Waits, Jello Biafra, Ken Kesey, Wang Ping, Masa Uehara, Nanao Sakaki many more…

Presented from a historic barn in provincial Japan with vinyl records, artifacts, ephemera, loads of books, postcards etc – by storymaker Dave Olson who invites you to ask questions via postcard (address included within).

Continue reading (Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

Items: arrived by post (regarding poets and ramblers)

Three items arrived by post:

a card and dossier of treats from a rambler in Salish Sea (w/ lovely inky pen writing; Richard Brautigan collage poem from a mysterious source as a tribute for the poets birthday; &, Jack Kerouac 100th birthday tribute double CD from Bear Family Records in Germany.

Memo: Poets and “Major Media”

In reply to someone’s “hot take” about how major media doesn’t give a shit about poetry (whatever)…. I replied: 

Do any poets give a shit about major media? 

Roll your own chap books, build your own culture, wander widely to find your audience, make *things* every day, stick poems to message boards in grocery stores & telephone poles next to lost cat flyers, mail 500 poetic postcards a year, find the renegade youth to mentor, transcribe stories from grandmothers, but every used great copy of poetry you come across for $3 and abandon them on buses with a note, go *everywhere* just to find coffee shops with a good table in the back corner and write so fast you’re inky pens run out.

Then paint poems on post boxes, make a painting of the poem on the post box and do an exhibit with other paintings of post boxes with poems (preferably at a goat farm in the country)…

Strangely, people show up, people ask questions, people want to be part of whatever it is that they’re doing even if you or them don’t understand it.

Doing these things, I find very little time for erstwhile mass media or even submissions to *highbrow* literary journals (plus rejection letters need a return address and well, I don’t always have one).

Poetry is for you to create and share with those who seek the goods. Carry on accordingly. 

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Riffs about home reform with new rooms, woodstove and tea ceremony area (thoughts of Ichiro and pals coming home from school) heat pump for humidity control for responsibly curating and collecting books for a legacy library.

And a rundown of recent new/used records including acknowledgement of Shred Kelly, Nice Horse, and (Buffalo Tom’s) Bill Janovitiz’s community building in times of tumult + musical memories in tangible form with David Bowie Let’s Dance picture disc, Hüsker Dü covers, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth’s Dirty (Europe 92), War on Drugs (comfort foods), literary keeners The  Weakerthans from Winnipeg, and importantly pal Pat WOOD on Awesome Death’s “To Be Determined.”

Thanks to postcard club participants and folks mailing stuff my way and Casa Rosa for safe haven for library staging.

Fondly, dvo at Giggling Piglet Atelier and Consulate

PS Investigate Forthwith:

Quote: G. Snyder (Wildness)

“Civilizations east and west have long been on a collision course with wild nature, and now the developed nations in particular have the witless power to destroy not only individual creatures but whole species, whole processes, of the earth. We need a civilization that can live fully and creatively together with wildness.”

Gary Snyder in Etiquette of Freedom / Practice of the Wild

Quote: J. Garcia, re: J. Kerouac

More Jack #Kerouac riffs – this one from the mighty Jerry Garcia

 “I can’t separate who I am now from what I got from Kerouac. I don’t know if I would ever have had the courage or the vision to do something outside with my life – or even suspected the possibilities existed – if it weren’t for Kerouac opening those doors.”

Jerry Garcia, remembering Jack Kerouac who was born in Lowell, MA on March 12, 1922

PS Remember Jack Kerouac’s “on the road“ scroll is coming to Kobe in May with my workshop kicking things off on April 29.

Quote: T. Van Zandt, regarding the present, love and naps

“Humans can’t live in the present, like animals do. Humans are always thinking about the future or the past. So it’s a veil of tears, man. I don’t know anything that’s going to benefit me now, except love. I just need an overwhelming amount of love. And a nap. Mostly a nap.”

Townes Van Zandt

Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 - Everything is ephemera
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 – Everything is ephemera (maps, tickets, pins, pennants) #daveostory

Artifact dossier: Collage art boards from “Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions)” spiel presented in various formats at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver, All-start edition, and Northern Voice 2013 closing keynote. Video and roundup of both prezos exists elsewhere in this archive.

Each collage “slide” was handmade (obviously) with ephemera from my personal collection (exceptions credited on final “slide”) then, arranged on hemp cloth “storyboards”, photographed by Rachel Ashe, then disassembled. An analog to digital remix of sorts. Presented here in rather large size for your printing/screensaver/ amusement and posterity.

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 - Young time stories
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 – Young time stories

Continue reading Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards