...in recent years. But this isn't one of them.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
on a stroll down Summer, one pushing
his chair, the other rolling an oxygen bottle
behind her as they walk, at the stately
pace one might take poling a raft down a lazy
river. In their ward there is no rushing
about, as in ER; no sudden panic
punctuates their days, as it does for colleagues
in Psych. And so they slowly stroll
down Summer, unscrolling the cemetery's
wrought iron fence as they go, absorbing
sun's warmth through lavender clothes. In the graveyard
sunlight leaks through enmeshed leaves
of centenarian hardwoods, spring lilac
blossoms are brown and around broken stones
in orderly rows, the grass is freshly mown.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 12:05 PM
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The poetry in him’s not hard to miss—
Lear’s Kent, steady servant, taking cover
when cynics stormed the stage, but never
hiding out. No lies in him, his honest
talk not florid, stripped of artifice
and ornament. Plain. Don’t take his silence
for indifference, don’t mistake it for a lack
of love, nor his boxer’s skill for violence,
his aptitude with axe and saw and maul
for bloodlust. Flawed? Yes, but what he hacked
apart he raised into a home, a small
solid shield against impending weather,
and at its heart a Jotul blazing hot.
My father was not a man who said a lot.
from Track & Trace
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:18 AM
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
to John McDonald, after Hopkins
I caught this morning's highlight reel sens-
ation, sensei of the second sack, prime
pivot's dazzle and dash, flop, flip, quicklime-,
grass- and dirt-grimed shirt, shy grin flashed, defence
maestro catching all comers like a chainlink fence.
No gilding for his great glove in this high time
of silver slugging guildsmen, but, oh, sublime
the achieve of, the mastery of this diamond prince!
Consigned to ride pine for lack of thunder
in his lumber, no grief or gripe, no slack-
sailed slump drags his practised hustle under.
No less we've come to expect, Johnny Mac,
and yet we gasp, goggle and, awed, wonder
how you render routine the miraculous act.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 10:08 AM
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 4:19 PM
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 3:31 PM
Friday, June 11, 2010
after Jeramy Dodds People who live by a pen mightier than the sword beaten into a ploughshare don't share their secrets lightly. You can't make a silk purse from pigs in a blanket no matter how well you porkbarrel over the falls. If you get caught fucking the dog, deny the devil his Scooby Doo. You've got to give 110% of your ass on the line if you want to get in line for some loving. It's hard to get head when your ball's in the bunker and your club is a spade. Stupid is as smart phones; my darling is an open netbook, a bitter tablet to spit or swallow. That fish out of water is off the hook and into the line of fire. Dead men don't chase their own tails down blind alleys. If I wanted your vice I'd bust my balls to live by the sweat off my bag. Wall to wall shagging leads to black eyes and blots on the bottom line. At the end of the day another day comes knocking. Seize the dayjob you won't quit and throttle it to within an inch of your wife. Pull all the stops out of the dike and throw away the keynote address. Dressing for success is bound to fail the acid test so don't sweat the small stuff in your boxers or briefs if you can't get it up the garden path. Go hang your twisted knickers in the wind.
after Jeramy Dodds
People who live by a pen
mightier than the sword beaten
into a ploughshare don't share
their secrets lightly. You can't
make a silk purse from pigs in a blanket
no matter how well
you porkbarrel over the falls.
If you get caught fucking the dog,
deny the devil his Scooby Doo.
You've got to give 110% of your ass
on the line if you want to get in line
for some loving. It's hard to get head
when your ball's in the bunker
and your club is a spade.
Stupid is as smart phones; my darling
is an open netbook, a bitter tablet
to spit or swallow. That fish
out of water is off the hook
and into the line of fire. Dead men
don't chase their own tails
down blind alleys. If I wanted your vice
I'd bust my balls to live by the sweat
off my bag. Wall to wall shagging
leads to black eyes and blots
on the bottom line. At the end of the day
another day comes knocking. Seize
the dayjob you won't quit
and throttle it to within an inch
of your wife. Pull all the stops
out of the dike and throw away
the keynote address. Dressing for success
is bound to fail the acid test
so don't sweat the small stuff
in your boxers or briefs
if you can't get it up the garden path.
Go hang your twisted knickers in the wind.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 7:07 AM
Ezra Pound has been fathered with vers libre in English, with all its vices and virtues. The term is a loose one--any verse is called "free" by people whose ears are not accustomed to it--in the second place, Pound's use of this medium has shown the temperance of the artist, and his belief in it as a vehicle is not that of the fanatic. He has said himself that when one has the proper material for a sonnet, one should use the sonnet form; but that it happens very rarely to any poet to find himself in possession of just the block of stuff which can perfectly be modelled into the sonnet. It is true that up to very recently it was impossible to get free verse printed in any periodical except those in which Pound had influence; and that now it is possible to print free verse (second, third, or tenth-rate) in almost any American magazine. Who is responsible for the bad free verse is a question of no importance, inasmuch as its authors would have written bad verse in any form; Pound has at least the right to be judged by the success or failure of his own. Pound's vers libre is such as is only possible for a poet who has worked tirelessly with rigid forms and different systems of metric.
***The freedom of Pound's verse is rather a state of tension due to constant opposition between free and strict. There are not, as a matter of fact, two kinds of verse, the strict and the free; there is only a mastery which comes of being so well trained that form is an instinct and can be adapted to the particular purpose in hand.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 6:07 AM
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:45 PM
When he stopped to beg a drop of water,
I misheard him. His mouth was gummy,
there was a horrible hubbub and my ears
have never been that hot. I thought he asked
for a pair of sandals. (The rhyme's more clear
in Aramaic.) Well, a poor cobbler
can't afford to give the work of his hands
away for free, any more than can
a carpenter, and I could see that he
hadn't far to go before he'd need
no shoes. (Prospects for their speedy return
seemed dim.) So I told the scrawny beggar
to move on with his cross and briars.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 6:55 AM
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 3:42 PM
Monday, June 7, 2010
The romantics and the modernists were right to suspect the window frame of standing between ourselves and nature, between us and others, but I suspect they were probably wrong to think this distance could ever be closed. It won't be, not by glass walls, not by flinging windows wide open, not even by blowing up the houses. For even outdoors, even in the pine wood that Thoreau said was his favorite room at Walden, we are still in some irreducible sense outside nature. As Walden itself teaches us, we humans are never simply in nature, like the beasts and trees and boulders, but are always also in relation to nature: looking at it through the frames of our various preconceptions, our personal and collective histories, our self-consciousness, our words. There might be value in breaking frames and pushing toward transparency, as Thoreau and his fellow romantics (the Zen masters too) have urged us to do, but the goal is probably beyond our reach. What other creature, after all, even has a relationship to nature? The window, with its qualified transparency and its inevitable frame, is the sign of this fact of relation, of difference.
--Michael Pollan, A Place of My Own
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 6:26 PM
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Well, I won neither gold nor silver at the National Magazine Awards, but I really didn't expect to, so I'm not disappointed. The gala was a good time; I got to hang out with Carmine Starnino and Jennifer Varkonyi, my good friends from Maisonneuve, which was up for mag of the year for the third time, but unfortunately lost out to Up Here. Also got to meet a few people in person I'd only known digitally, which was very cool.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 8:31 AM
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Heading out on the train today with family for a very brief trip to Toronto, where I'll be attending the National Magazine Awards gala (with fingers crossed that my nominated essay will take bronze) and a Blue Jays/Yankees game. Only in town for two nights, as we have to get back for work commitments. So we'll be spending more time on trains than on solid ground, but train trips are holidays in and of themselves. More anon.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:06 AM