Weekend Workout: Writing About Loss

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it challenging to write a satisfying poem about a loved one who has died. What words can fill the space the person held? In honour of dear friend and poet Gabrielle Bouliane, who died of cancer one year ago today, I wanted to write something to/for her this weekend. This workout is something I’ve never tried before, so I’m experimenting with it. I’ll post the results after the weekend. Instead of sitting down to write a poem or letter or story in one go, eeking out inadequate language for a heart-ripping loss, I’m going to keep Gabrielle in my thoughts all weekend and carry several index cards with me wherever I go. Any time a thought or vision or image or anecdote comes to mind, I’ll write it on a card. It doesn’t matter...

Monday Potes on Tuesday: Retro-Pome

I’ve been wanting to write about the birds for weeks. We have character birds in the neighborhood. They are my confidants. But alas, the poem has not unwound itself from the glue-sticky of fresh wordness. So, I am posting a retro poem. If you can call the early 90’s retro. I was flipping through an old poetry chapbook I printed 16 years ago and found this funny little piece. The idea of the poem was to write 3 stanzas using all the the same words, but in a different order each time. I notice that I stayed with the same 4 commas, semi-colon and tab space, too. But I did take one small liberty. Can anyone spot it? It’s not as hard as you might think. If you do, I will mail this chapbook to you. It feels like freshman Danika Dinsmore poetry, but at...

Monday Potes: 3:15 Rides Again

I JUST finished typing up my 3:15 poems from this August. This may be a record for me. Usually I finish a few months before the next round. What was so amazing, though, is I barely remember writing the last several poems. As well, as the month went on I obviously had a harder and harder time staying awake (the writing grew barely legible) and the work got a bit more surreal. Below is one of my favourite poems from the month. I remember I was reading a dystopian novel at the time where they couldn’t see stars. Stars were the stuff of myths. So, without stars, what would poets compare their lover’s eyes to? Aug 20, 2010 – 3:15 AM Vancouver, BC without the stars the life of us is a very lonely place of singular miracles spiders without wings but...

Monday Potes: from 3:15

From this year’s experiment. This is the first 3:15 poem I’ve ever written from a hospital room. I had to take my husband in one night. (He’s fine, btw. He had a nasty virus.) Aug 4, 2010 Vancouver General Hospital Vancouver, BC the moon is red like a sci-fi planet surreal in the night out the emergency taxi window three cats to the wind then all windows vanish and replace themselves w/white hum disembodied voices test for cures charts mark the anaesthetic blocks to your hands and feet you’re the patient under the sheet you have a fever of 101˚ you ask if you are dead not yet on the TV a man kills 8 in Connecticut but you are safe for one more red moon rise             more red blood sun the plasma rays reach out touch earth skin heat it like...

Fragments at 3:15

17 more days until the 2010 3:15 Experiment begins! Every year you think it may be the last, but you can’t help yourself. You must write. It’s like playing the same numbers on a lottery ticket each week. That poetic gold may come. You succumb. You buy a magic journal and pen. You set your alarm. You are a 3:15 warrior. This year I know is gonna be awesome. I can just feel it in me bones. I JUST finished typing up all my entries from last year and I pulled out a few fragments to share. The logic and wisdom of 3:15 half-dreamness. It never gets old. from 3:15 it’s too hot to jump through hoops and dog biscuits make more sense than love ~ ~ ~ dream saboteurs keep me locked in an office of noncommitment ~~~ the Doctor says make happy before you fall...