Monday, June 11, 2007

Back Home

What with freight trains, flooding and broken rails, hauled into Pacific Central Station yesterday 7 hours late. One of the downsides to being assigned instead of a spareboard employee is that such delays rarely result in any overtime, since I'm guaranteed 40 hours a week and if all my trips are on time, I come in well under an average of 40 hrs./week. Still, it was a good trip--almost no passengers from Jasper to Vancouver--and nice to have a run of six days off. I'm heading up to Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast Wednesday to visit Adam Getty, who's left Hamilton for the summer to write out here, and Silas White. Adam and I hung out once, a couple of years ago in T.O., staying up till all drunken hours yammering about metrics (yeah, we're that cool). Silas I've corresponded with a fair bit over the last few years, and we've had some rousing disagreements, but we've never met in person. Should be fun.

On Thursday, back in Vancouver, to catch Rachel reading at the Robson Reading Series with Christopher Patton and, apparently a late edition to the bill, Shane Rhodes. I reviewed his new book and found most of it uninspired, but there are a couple or three very good poems in it. Patton's writing I've been following for a while and am looking forward to reading his book, recently published by Signal Editions. He's an excellent, intelligent critic and I've liked very much several of the poems I've seen. Speaking of metrics, he's one of a rare breed: a devotee of syllabics. I've always found syllabics, because basically visual, a bit of an odd, even arbitrary, method to use in a stress-heavy language like English (my own bias is towards the accentual side of the accentual-syllabic divide), but there's no denying the fact that Marianne Moore--and now Patton--have fashioned fascinating verse forms from it. Another example of why one should make an orthodoxy of nothing in this craft and sullen art.

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