Archive for February, 2010

MM13 Available Now!

I’d like to thank everyone who attended the MM13 launch on Thursday, February 4. It was our biggest launch yet, and I was thrilled with the turnout. Thanks also to Julie Crawford (and her husband Guy) who manned the merchandise table with resolve in the face of chaos.

MM13 is available for order online (send me an email at jim.johnstone@utoronto.ca) and at This Aint The Rosedale Library. Its a steal at $3.00. Below I’ve posted Nyla Matuk’s The Kiosk-Attendant, one of my favorite poems in the issue.
 

The Kiosk-Attendant

He cleared out his hut one rainy Tuesday in March
while the water of the rushing world
arrived as a strange Superior inside the station entrance.
He’d been selling Paris Matches and gum for fourteen years
at St George’s grimy, hospital green end; he’d cut his teeth on
Goodge Street’s Beeb crowd, their politesse for a W.O.G. always
on the wane by the time it was time.

Evenings, you heard his muezzin call
as you rose from the escalator knowing
why the caged bird sang.
You’d make the call from the telephone booth,
saying you need one true thing,
then remember that old uncle on Valparaiso’s funicular,
a beer gut on him a treasure as vast as a carny’s smile,
a shining iceberg melting like a memory:
the Mermaid Bar, the Dolphin Show,
the House of Mirrors with a laugh track.

Your gaze fixes above that disappearing silver riser,
and the day’s wonder is deep in your briefcase.
You did it every night on the way home:
like the cobra
charmed out of its basket, forgetting
the lynxes, lunacies, rote financial digital parades
at Bay and King.

You thought (you said so when you got home)
that his kiosk was better than the elevator attendant’s,
the parking lot paymaster’s,
the valet guys’ at the psychoanalyst’s up on St. Clair.
In the subway, we’re all individuals.

 
  Nyla and I at the 2009 Best Canadian Poetry in English launch, Novemeber 2009.

February 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

“Linda Rogers, you’re a bully.”

Thanks to both Zach Wells and Jacob McArthur Mooney for their blog posts highlighting Linda Rogers’ response to Candace Fertile’s review of Rogers’ recent poetry collection Muscle Memory in the Times Colonist. All of these links are well worth reading (Rogers’ response is so outrageous it borders on hilarious), and highlight the extreme lengths some writers will take to undermine critical discourse in the name of self-interest.

Especially laughable is Rogers’ assertion that she should be immune to negative reviews because this was “the first negative poetry review in a lifetime of writing and most of [her] poems have been published elsewhere and won national and international awards”.  Never mind that Rogers goes on to evoke hate-mail and Haiti, or that she attempts to use her position as poet laureate to throw her weight around.

It says here that Linda Rogers should be stripped of her laureateship for what Mr. Mooney describes as bullying.

February 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm 3 comments


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