Monday, September 19, 2016

POEM IN SEPTEMBER




First rain in five weeks—
sumac and creeper aflame
spreading asters bloom
tire treads ripping wet asphalt.

















Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Interview posted

Of all the things I've written in my life, I don't know if anything's received more attention than the short article I wrote for The Walrus recently on real estate and related matters. This morning, Ryerson University's radio station aired this interview with me:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Article online

I haven't been doing a lot of freelance work of late because I'm very busy these days in my role as Chief Shop Steward in Unifor Local 4005. But the other day Carmine Starnino asked me to adapt a Facebook post about my adventures in real estate into a web piece for The Walrus. That piece is now up. I got into the specifics and details (although some were cut for length) because I think these are too often things that are not talked about, things it's almost taboo to talk about--but they're things we should be talking about. Class has become a really sticky wicket. It's very strange to be, as I am, simultaneously an artist, a seasonal grey-collar worker (who has been on EI almost every year since 2003), a labour rights activist, and a landlord. My priorities are often in conflict and are very hard to integrate. I certainly didn't cobble all these things together on purpose; it's symptomatic of how a person needs to hustle these days to get ahead--even if one is born with a lot of advantages.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Interview online

When I was in Vancouver in June, I met up with photographer and Vancouver Review founder Mark Mushet. We had a conversation and he took some portraits of me. Our talk is now up on the VR website.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pivot podcast: Blackman, Warner and Wells

Loyal CLM readers may remember a much talked-about reading I was doing in February at the Pivot reading series. I meant to post the podcast when it went up last month, but it slipped my mind till now. Click play to hear Jeff Blackman, Pat Warner and, finally, meself.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A CAIRN FOR WM HAWKINS






Bill, I know you loved driving down to the sea
from that crazy river-abounding town,


as all things that flow—and all things flow
quoth Heraclitus—ineluctably must. So here I be


on this beach doing what I like doing best
(because I too, pressed by the mouths I feed


and wearied by work, have turned from poesy,
which is to say it has abandoned me):


I am stacking one red rock atop another,
taking them as they come, fitting them snug


with no chisel or hammer, giving to each face
a bit of batter, so that one stone supports


the stones it leans upon and settles firm
against the hearting. Which is a stupid


futile stay against entropy, since even
the cliffs at my back are one good storm


from crumbling, but fuck it, Bill, it should
withstand at least one tide, and it served


no sensible function in the first place, now did it?






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

METTLE






The rebel Viking hairs that copper-threaded
my Semitic iron spade were first to fade
silver as fuck tomorrow ceded way to fretting


over pension and investments. Berserk
no more in middle age, nihilistic
abnegation whelmed by surging waves


of care for kin and colleagues' welfare,
I laid aside my pen and page, muted
rage and issued antiseptic grievance.


And grieve I did, my father, for you, whose
rogue and sober ways have forged me
even as your blood and the auburn hairs


of the grizzled beard you daily shaved bequeathed
to me the tempered mettle of my steel—
and debility in speaking what I feel.