Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wells and Lebowitz, Best of the Best

A bit late with this "news," but hey, I haven't posted anything since February, apparently, so I'm sure no one's keeping track anymore...

This year, Tightrope Books has published, for the 10th anniversary of their Best Canadian Poetry in English series, a selection of 90 poems from the previous nine years. Molly Peacock and Anita Lahey have kindly included my poem "One and One" and excerpts from Rachel's Cottonopolis sequence. We recently got our contributors' copies and there are many other fine works included, no surprise.

This poem of mine has proven to be quite successful, as poems go, which is further proof that there can be no formula for writing "good poetry." As I said when I first posted it on CLM, I'm at a loss to account for where it came from or what, precisely, it might mean. Its cycling syntax and basic diction seem to have broken the Poetry Assessor machine, which scored the "One and One" at 9.4, which, I was told by the person running the Poetry Assessor's Twitter account, is--or was at the time--the highest recorded score for any poem run through the Assessor's software. FWIW, caveat emptor, etc.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Commentary on "Waypoints" recital

I just came across an unfortunately lukewarm review of last month's recital. But hey, no press is bad press, etc. I have an obvious bias, but I don't really hear any "Broadwayish" elements in the composition. Ah well.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Toronto performance of "Waypoints" song cycle

If you're in Toronto during the day tomorrow, I hope you will attend the latest performance of the song cycle "Waypoints," lyrics by yours truly, scored by Erik Ross, sung by Phillip Addis, accompanied on piano by Emily  Hamper.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I read The Dark Is Rising to my son.
Outside, the dark has risen with passionate
intensity and weak light contends to gain
conviction. The falcon veers back late,
alights upon her master's sleeve; rooks
gather and agglutinate; an unseasonal
skein of geese thrums south, wing-
beats synced to distant drums. Meanwhile
the centre holds. And holds. And mutters
its appeasing song: We are better
than this, we will not be brought low, we must
save our strength for the fights that matter
most. But the darkness is upon us, son,
and throngs midwinter's gibbous moon.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Don Coles, on rhyme

If that search for the rhyming sound to end your line with, that clink that locks the rhyme in, isn't a true search, i.e. if it doesn't send the shaft down to the deepest level this poem you're working on can live at, deeper than you could have reached without this self-imposed rhyme-search, then you stopped digging too soon, you accepted a word merely because it rhymed, it simply slid into place without making anything new happen; and if this occurs even twice, no, even once, your poem's probably already dead in the water, it's already, flottaison blême et ravie, lost to human sight.