December 23, 2009

Sea Otter Catches Colonization Under a Rock

Still salty Salish air in fall
and the small flounder crunches
between her teeth

The otter numbers are up
not like stocks but spirits

She sits on a rock munching
the discourse called trade

that Spanish / Russian / British squeeze
in the straits when skins
came off with a sick sucking noise

Globalization dribbles off her pelt,
her nonchalance, her pregnant belly,

this counter-colonial moment in
English Bay, the tide just turning

her satisfaction in being

December 8, 2009

the largest service centre

perfectly situated at the crossroads of two major highways and two
water ways also the junction for

the alaska highway

786km from

one of four secure custody centers in it both open and secure custody based

one of those gateways you first visit on business

also a staging centre for mining and prospecting

currently experiencing

bolstered by a body of reporters from 100 mile house through smithers

a leader in all facets of business and intends to be northern 's fastest growing call centre market

a great place to

currently experiencing enormous growth and improvement

located in the center of a vast

with many assets

an excellent choice for professional customer service

the perfect place to retreat after a hard days work

now home to 416 low

a northern capital

a bustling of 80

changing a vibrant of 70

located at the confluence of the fraser and nechako rivers

located at the confluence

about 800 km from

located in

known as a northern

located in the north central region of at the junctions of highways 97 and 16

the fourth largest in

"right in the middle of it all"

not any worse than the rest of the province in this category

a manufacturing and distribution center for an agricultural and lumbering region

a hub of activity offering visitors an

only local rival for impressive architecture

becoming one of the west's most popular snowmobiling destinations

home to approximately 65

the largest centre in our region

not allowed

ideal for those who utilize public transit or who

located in central approximately 496 miles from

the last of twenty

the primary trade and service area of 110

the regional service centre for post secondary education

directed to

located on a spur of land at the confluence of the fraser and nechako rivers

located right in the middle of and the regional centre of business

located about 400 miles north of vancouver on the fraser river

the voice for volunteerism in

all about


one of the cornerstones of this strategy

the only one of its type known to be preserved or to survive in canada

one of canada's investment hot spots

pleased to announce that a family has been selected for our first build

the main of the central interior


known as the northern capital of a regional icon and a jewel in the crown of

fast becoming the jewel of

conveniently situated in the downtown core

what it

for all those reasons

dependent on the logging industry for its economy

a mid

the getaway that has it all

a cozy of 60

a sports persons parade

very excited as another prestigious event comes to our

in the heart of northern

the major transportation hub

situated at the confluence of two rivers and surrounded by extensive boreal forests

service driven

of the opinion

simply not true

The History of Listening

nearing this heft, nearing
tides and lamplight and
accumulated heirlooms placed
in a row, tambourine-like, against
the pressure of outside, out
of hearing, struck instead
by the riotous friction of cells
on cells, hunger, tissue rustling
just to the left of profound—and
silence is cradled in your impossible mouth
a wordless o obediently biting
off a reply to propriety, a vital levity
in the parabolic viscera, those homey
keys to absolute knowing, knowing
the space your voice should be going,
should be a nostalgic scent in the fabric,
should be resolutely circling the already known.

September 5, 2009

Downtown Revitalization

therapy for the rescued
handouts and a reconnection
to the river, assessments
of who is here and why

the heights harbour such
tax relief

the car no longer keyed
conversations begin on George St.
where none were before

it begins partly in a fourplex
on Spruce where awareness
is assembled on corkboard

it begins with that early contradiction:
love for the violent place,
the men who left, the women
who took over

like millworkers and treeplanters
eyeing one another at
Second Cup—a culpability
and an invitation over—
the first question being
‘what’s going on out there?’

July 17, 2009

Walking with Ken

down Victoria, or up the hill
through crescents to Central, the powers
tilted away from speech,
each of us looking at the poem
before it is and then
rethinking why

Cranbrook Hill by the Dakelh name
and the cutbanks surround
the cupped hands of the city
taking and giving
while Ken speaks of outside, Blackwater
where the mountains are reflected
into uncertainty and systems
begin to inform the masses

I would not want to be
anywhere else but walking
with Ken, thinking about how
to stay and not betray

—if we were on a lake
it would be in a strong, well-made
canoe unlike the one
I leave in the yard unwritten

June 21, 2009

Poem the Pizza Guy

older now, cognizant of commerce
base and superstructure service
the Poem of back then
rebellious against the sure thing
in everything and why not buy
a big goddamn
university degree, the canon
and all those myths out of fashion

now, Poem’s kids eat plain
cheese with multigrain crust

a different kind of economy, love

the shifts are similar, the structure
of directed apathy or panic, the mandatory
sequel, the media spin on feelings

Poem remembers the bird lady at the door
placing old coins in his palm
one at a time, slowly
reciting the full price intensely
focused hunger

“measures of wealth, well-being . . . “
begins to say something standing at
the corner of ethics and art
but the playoffs are on, jobs
are being cut, there is no time to think
we might be not possible

June 5, 2009

Linh Dinh from the NY Times

"Confronted by a torrent of bad news from our capsized economy, many people anticipate at least the kind of unrest that has already broken out in many countries, but we are so docile, really. Some people I know speak of heading for the hills and stocking up on canned food, potable water, guns and slugs — the bunker mentality. But instead of fleeing one another, like we’ve already done for half a century or so, shouldn’t we figure out how to be closer in every sense? Why not shorten distances and trim all excess from our lives?

"More Americans are experiencing poverty by the day, and I’m certainly not making light of destitution, but it doesn’t seem to me that increasing consumption — “growth” — is the answer. My ambition was to become an artist, before I switched to something even more practical, poetry, but one need not be a bohemian to value activities that reward the mind and spirit.

"Smaller portions are in order. Simplicity is O.K. It’s time to slim down.

Linh Dinh is the author of four books of poems and two short story collections, including his most recent, Blood and Soap. His novel, “Love Like Hate,” will be published in 2010 by Seven Stories Press.

May 26, 2009

We Dream Backward: A Glosa

the standing address, naked and constitutional
mirrored or thinking of one—one—
self many times: the thick air, re mind
divided between affiliations/mind
an ecology

independence a vitamin
or waterway erosion
the force of dissatisfaction turned

lovewords and systembreaking
and breath

such an address’s
mediation is the subject—classrooms waver—
20th Century bodies are new and
old—the text of skin, skin of
text’s bones, bones of one’s own senses coursed (“all” and
“you” Fr.) into Main St. discourses
with rules, miscreants, war . . .

if there is a narrative it is recurring and
repressive; if there is a poetic it is
non-industrial food and an expenditure

meaning/gender: in it
doing nothing worthwhile

for me, the body is a metaphor of energy, intensity

May 3, 2009

The Liberal Poem

the social is a line
out front or in the book that changed
the way words looked but now
Poem finds his home in an ethical
moment—here and there—love and generosity tented
against the wind and mobile like
strange associations

camped outside the headquarters of
who and how long the murmurs
of mythical men who believe, truly believe
and hurl epitaphs from large passing vehicles and Poem
wonders about that too while
ducking and continuing to prepare a
small meal

you see Poem doesn’t want his way to hold
sway and won’t try to convince you of what

anything means anything

this, Poem supposes
is the frightening part

“influence” stands surveying, a uniformed
part, part potential, part in-
security, a role that has something to do with fear
something to do with death

if there is no outside and inside
when then does Poem end?

this is a start

The Uses of Poem

diversion glides randomly close to
Poem stationed near the door of sense
in case he must leave quickly

a concentric gyre spins in the language
of the strange room we’ve built to house
questions—an aversion of conformity in
motion once the speeches are over
Poem reads the quiet as acquiescence
is disquieted, shuffles to the bar

Poem meant to say something about desire or
faith but understands these ideas don’t work anymore, gears
ground down and toxins leaking from the power
source and Poem gives them to the pawn shop in case
stability is still needed somewhere else

cascades cascades and palliative care chanced
upon by the newer born become tactful in
the ways of tricking hierarchy away from itself

famously, Poem churns down the boulevard hoping
not to find any inspiration in the evening light

such sentiments seem cynical but no,
no, Poem knows the age has turned and
symbols are falling around us everywhere

using leverage is not the mind’s best

March 17, 2009

Poem Considers Quietude Vs. Post-Avant

and the history of the sign
that got us here, locked
chain-link barriers to the oversky

Poem remembers standing at the top
of some famous building, maybe
the CN Tower, and looking through
one of those quarter binoculars
on the clunky swivel

you can imagine: the competition
for Poem’s attention was multiple

the material word like this one
stands or scans and the moment,
like this one, takes a side

grain or rallies or trees or technique
and any hope of integration is lost

Reader walks up and asks Poem,
“what are you looking at?”

the answer is a matter of
attention, a field of vision
turned down to the small logo
pasted to the binoculars or
up sweeping up all the details
into a vision of the city and why

particle or wave, Poem
supposes, process or
what it gets you

later, Poem answers,
“the commodification of social life”
but it’s a little late
don’t you think

the plunge to the ground
is punctuated by a history of forms

February 28, 2009

Indices: Fourth Quarter Returns

poetic value creates nutrients from the energy of the sun, a metabolic pathway for advancement of the reading organism as well as the immediate environment

Firefighters could not control the blaze and the poem burned to the ground in minutes. No one was injured but damage is estimated at least 35 cents.

This is not a shopping list for big spending, but rather a call for smart, affordable policy. Global economies will rebound and poetry needs to be ready for when they do. Our competitors will be challenged with issues as diverse as deforestation, competing pressure for frontal lobe use and rising passivity. The market for poetry's proven sustainability will grow enormously. Now the federal government has to follow through.

poetry recall affects literally dozens

whereas individual speakers may respond to the person to whom they are speaking, the media can respond only to the aggregation of whom they believe to be their audience, and poetry can respond only to speakers and media

if the elements are ungrammatical they will create a dissonance that will negate one of the perceptual dimensions

what, exactly, do you want from me

The double bouquet cells in the cerebral cortex increases covert attention and contrast sensitivity

"One cannot speak of a narcissistic disturbance," Lyle Ashton Harris says, "without its most crucial variable: redemptive narcissism, or self-love as a form of resistance from the tyranny of mediocrity and as a sight of solace"

regret, I suppose, the regret of the poem, the necessity, what it is, what it is doing, what it must do

My first shoplift was in a small corner store in Yellowknife with a large Coca-Cola sign out front and a dizzying magazine rack along one wall. My friend Cameron would talk loudly about the video game at the back to distract the guy behind the counter while I stuffed candy bars into my parka pocket. Cameron liked the candy more than I so I let her take most of it home. My mom would have known anyway.

feedforward, lateral and feedback connections to the classical receptive field center and extra-classical receptive field surround primate neurons

any offer of purchase has a fixed timeframe, after which the offer becomes null and void. Do you have a sense of when this poem will end?

poetic value is a mnemonic trick

The sensitivity of neurons to walking sequences versus the degree of articulation in static images creates a strong semantic tension

Microsaccades—the clinamen swerve of oculomotor control, attention, and visual perception—move a stationary stimulus in and out of a neuron's receptive field, thereby producing transient neural responses. Microsaccades might account for much of the response variability to text

her statement hung in the air for a long time, without any cognitive reference, and the state of suspension still exists as I move through every day

According to rumor, Mazra threw a rock into one of the caves, seeking a lost goat. The sound of pottery shattering drew him in, whereupon he discovered ancient jars containing scrolls wrapped in linen

“I now freely and openly attest that the best way to get general readers to start to read poetry is to present them with broadly appealing work, with strong emotional content and a clear narrative line."

The visual phantom illusion: a perceptual product of surface completion depending on brightness and contrast –ah, the absent center of what; this illusion is the primary tool of most administrators (see UNBC a history)

The role of familiarity in the recognition of static and dynamic objects outweighs any reliable scientific identification of a thing’s thingness. I am I because my little dog knows me.

tax breaks or infrastructure spending—let the reader off the hook or push the limits of what text can be

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how much does this wank make in a year and who’s he in cahoots with

poetic value is a resonance energy transfer

poetic value leaps that stone fence down by the cemetery looking for a way to travel across town without seeing exactly where the next turn is and finding inscriptions on sidewalk a useful guide

poetic value dawdles

or when I got caught doodling instead of solving physics problems

‘Rob, the problem is you read every poem like it is a love poem’

the strange suspicion that neoliberalism has something to do with a character’s name in the film The Matrix

I don’t know you tell me

Product This week Last week
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“Poetry should astound and frighten, not make you giggle for two seconds”

Because clich├ęd writing sounds so familiar, people can complete finish whole lines without even reading them. If they don't bother to read your poem, they certainly won't stop to think about it

Ah, one, ah, two, ah one two three boom boom-boom boom-boom, boom boom-boom boom-boom nah nah-nah nah-nah nah nah-nah nah-nah

If you want to check grammar and spelling, make sure that Check Grammar With Spelling is selected in the Spelling and Grammar Menu

poetic value’s page count multiplied by page size and cover stock minus the time it takes to show me the door

“With e-distribution and e-books, writers will soon be able to put this incompetent and often philistine racket behind us. It couldn't happen too soon."

Although bankruptcy adversely affects a person's credit rating, most people going into bankruptcy have such a bad credit rating that nothing will make it worse. In fact, after bankruptcy, a person is a better credit risk because he or she has no debt. Personal bankruptcy is a powerful vehicle for a debtor to get a fresh financial start.

Automaker CEOs hold a wine and cheese gala to celebrate carmaking excellence in Canada.

ecomony shonomy—just bring me another beer

poetry and vampires—both immortal, both sexy, and both blood-sucking; coincidence, I think not.

this venue rental was donated

capitalism begins / when you open your eyes

a cache of images, a store of knowledge, a wealth of experience, the richness of his prose . . .

February 22, 2009

The Wanting to Write About Poem

became the problem, typing, with Poem
in my head, not wanting to write the poem but
capture the spirit of Poem unmediated
by genre or tricks of form

for example: weather—you win or lose

sometimes Poem doesn’t want to be written about;
she sneers and says “what have you done
for me lately?” and it’s true

why does Poem have to do all the giving?

so the other day I says to Poem I says
“Let’s you and me just take off—
Haida Gwaii or Barkerville—and just
you know, be together without,
you know,


January 15, 2009

Indices: Third Quarter Returns (The Bay Street Buyout)

the sequence is the sorting of order, like coming up with the sentence so not the same but real

codeswitching: a poetics hinged between one discourse /
and another (see “poetry futures”)

what irony?

like the poem’s axle

two signs of the new order: a foucaultian porn site and the vampire ideologies on daytime t.v.

dude, that’s a random state apparatus you got there

Ken reads the webage with a keen adze and thinks of steelhead wakes

poetic value is an asterisk noting the controversy

damn, my transcendental signifier is stuck in traffic

standing here / nohghuni boduz’eh

the compassionate conservative

the Budde effect interrupts the pastel, ups the beta-carotene, stops so you wonder why

tuna DNA spliced into the genetically modified voter

since the crash, corporate culture has returned the christian values that got them there

once upon a time time a once time upon a time once upon a once and so on

“and which codes did you wish me to switch?” they all replied lustfully

oolichan grease the superstructure

ah, like the oh when confusion mercifully returns

the same, just performed in a different dialect

a tumor-like form

the object the subject smacked syntactically

if the narrative does not ‘flow’, if the images do not ‘cohere’, if the speaker is not ‘stable’, if the structure is not ‘structural’, then learning is

the poem’s to-be-looked-at-ness is the traditional feminine; its outward gaze is the traditional masculine; real poetry flips on a multilayered veil, closes both the eyes, thinks

the sound of the written word a trick of neoconservative opportunism

the sound of the written repetition is
is an illusion

poetic value is paradoxia as placebo—an ‘and’ for an ‘or’

canceling my subscription to the Canadian Journal of Disjunction Weekly

the 2010 Winter Olympics is a site—up north we recognize a land management issue when we see one

at the all-candidates forum, the federal front-runners disagreed on the efficacy of language poetry

when torque is lost, the scree hits the fan

the squirrel tore through An Inconvenient Truth like there was no tomorrow

when reading this, part of the interpretive strategy might be considering how much energy it took to make (see ‘consumptive theory’ and ‘planets for poems consortium’)

the railswitch swings the line, the line over to meet, meets an alternative switch, switches the line

poetic value is in the fancy icons you can download and cycle to impress your friends

yes, these are just parlour tricks, turns of phrases, a kind of gamesmanship, a sleight of hand writing

what irony?

poetic value is knowing that if my kids can read this, they can read the signs that might try to hurt them

verbal, dramatic, or cosmic—either way we are doomed

the Belford effect is to recognize the colonial stage of development in each text and write in old-growth gnarls and unusable neural paths

something to give, something, this, to give you, a gift, to you, you

a water-rivulet-like form

poetic value is codeswitching in the middle of mass and passing gas station scratch-and-win displays with mixed nimble symbolism erratically arrayed

not anarchy, not eloquent, not apologetic, not successful, not slick, not pompous, not manipulative, not opportunistic, not realistic, not fatherless, not gregarious, not manageable, not straight, not cursed, not easy, not noticeable, not nice, not mean, not oppositional, not negated, not forgotten, not letting go

ah, just hand over the cash