Tag Archives: SA Griffin

My life in verse, or rather, OUR life in verse

Thus far, and including my poetry inside a bomb. See below.

I have several comrades in verse with whom I like to commiserate. We delight in bashing the already fractured literary scene, or scenes, belittling ourselves and our vocation—beating detractors to the punch—while bearing in mind it’s a shared passion and we’re damn good. Sadly, a way with words won’t  necessarily pay the rent. Despite the reality of the situation, my real and virtual friends keep composing the stuff. I’m currently enjoying Miranda Pearson’s Harbour and Clara Blackwood’s Subway Medusa, having recently completed Michael O’ Keefe’s eloquently and variously tragic or comic Swimming From Under My Father.

Other lunatic poetical friends go so far as to take it on the road! Coming to a (U.S.) town near you . . . My pal S.A. Griffin has cleverly devised THE POETRY BOMB Tour Of Words 2010 and according to my commemorative t-shirt, will be leaving Alburquerque, NM to play Austin, TX tomorrow. With all the years I lived in Los Angeles, S.A. is the only actor I befriended. Hmmm. Well, acting is his profession and like the aforementioned maniacs, verse, his obsession. This isn’t the first time S.A. has hit the road. He and the Carma Bums (Doug Knott, Michael Mollet, Mike Bruner, Scott Wannberg) toured relentlessly some of the most undomesticated, unsurpassed performance poetry I’ve been privileged to see.

Lately I’ve been working with my son on his Distance Ed classes, tutoring him in his poetry unit, using verse from my own collections to illustrate simile and metaphor. He detests it, naturally, but we’ve managed to write haiku and free verse and he knows the difference between a couplet, a quatrain and a stanza. I tried to persuade him there’s a close relation between song and verse, appeal to his passion for music but he’s not biting.

I’m spending less time on Facebook (the honeymoon may be over) and more at my own website which is getting spammed regularly, through this blog and WordPress I suspect. Our videopoems-Bushwhack and How To Remain are nearing the final stage of production as I prepare to go to Salt Spring Island to work intensively with my collaborateur Roderick Shoolbraid. Three Blocks West of Wonderland book launch parties are in the works. We better rehearse our AURAL Heather act as we are planning to perform at said launches. Yikes! With all this behind me soon, I intend to spend the remainder of 2010 focused on writing, though I will be working hard on our Visible Verse 10 year anniversary festival and celebration coming up in November. No rest for the wicked, or the poet, apparently.

Aspiring snow birds fly the coop

Obamamania. Inauguration fever. Last day of the Bush regime! Exit interviews? As one of the fortunate survivors of race riots, the LA riots of 92, which seem like only yesterday, this day is very meaningful. Like so many other people, I never thought I’d live to see it.

Josef and I had coffee poolside with my dear friend and fellow poet, SA Griffin before we left LA. We discussed Bush’s absurd farewell speeches, the things he wants people to believe he accomplished as opposed to what really happened. Certainly he is trying to hack the media, the way his legacy is portrayed. I’m more inclined to listen to Keith Olbermann’s Eight Years In Eight Minutes. I don’t understand how Bush got away with all the despicable things he did!


SA gave us several handsome posters of a poem he wrote commemorating Obama’s big day. We said we would be happy to distribute some in Canada and told him about the election night party we had on Bowen Island with its significant population of American expats. At one point, SA got up and gave a poster to a fellow who entered the lobby sporting an Obama-PROGRESS shirt. It seems the entire world is excited, hopeful at the shift in paradigm and it is my hope the world is able to stop hating America. Progress is being made, a characteristically American drive.

I was chatting with a friend this morning who has dual citizenship. Born in Montreal, adopted and raised in New York-Queens-I met Debby in Vancouver, then ran into her in Los Angeles after we had both relocated. We spent years painting the town red together and she is the inspiration for my poem, Three Blocks West Of Wonderland. I told her that I often miss my American friends and have so much fun when I’m down south. The people are generous, vigorous, expansive. After I hung up, I came across a funny article in the Vancouver Sun by Dan Gardner, called Get Over Yourself Canada, If this country were a teenage girl, she would be in for years of therapy which stated many of the things I had bitched to Debby about, including pettiness and parochialism. I am determined to buy a house in the California desert some day and winter there right about the time of year this place is at its darkest and coldest and it’s not just the climate that I am referring to. Perhaps geese aren’t such bird brains after all. Doesn’t it make sense to go where the food and good times are? Follow the sun? Screw borders. I’m a citizen of the world.

SA also has a son who is Aspergers so we share much empathy for one another. He has some interesting theories, Continue reading