Tag Archives: Tina Schliessler


Check it out! Here it be, our videopoem adaptation of Bushwhack, the book I’ve collaborated on with visual artist Tina Schliessler. Some images are colour, some are black and white. As I said, my old school punk rock cohort Chris Coon and I composed the music and he scored Bushwhack in the 11th hour. I don’t have it up here yet but you can watch it at YouTube in the meantime if you like, and I hope you do.


midrib splayed
dual cedar blades

Bare, pushing bare,
singing Be,
columns stand,
bear heat, stings, ruptures
to make sound,
bring form to mound
and limbs.

Lowering maven trembles.
Hourly swells
rustle spores,
galloping life.

Heaven supporting pillar
in this below
her hide.

Slattern in the grove
whisker in Eve,
flymphs and treasure within.

Twisted sideways for the sake of light
shedding, blushing lost in cinnamon.

Barmy birds eye pistachios,
fooled by flying V’s Icarus molting.

Sunlight mackled nub,
pert tummy truncated mute,
spread legs spring ovules.

Giraffe freckled legs,
whistling monkey mouth
sashay past vivisection.

Closely furrowed strut
hecklers scattered to the wind.
Power to divine.
Her brawn perpetual,
stance, a pledge.

Persisting many seasons
in lace bark
peepers penetrate,
ogle, wink.
Spy or witness?

Coarsely fissured bole
muscles in on a finite niche,
damp, narrow, coastal fog belt.
Hardy, assurgent,
frontal as weather
prehensile Pan grasps
blundering larvae.
Spared by the hand fallers
for his perceived charm,
multifarious bush ape
trounces rot.

Unfallen, unadorned
unashamed hydra,
free of thorns, caprice.
Plenary femme sole
indulging in whorling,
forsaking heaven for nirvana.
Brandishing titties,
budding insurgent
claws Adamite armour,
grips the root,
embraces the earth.

Gestation leads to frustration

Ah, it’s an artist’s life . . . the only life for me, alas. It appears Roderick (Shoolbraid) and I—AURAL Heather—are stuck. A filmmaker friend said he would help with crucial digital/special effects for our How To Remain video but has disappeared. I said we need to come up with a Plan B, Roddy. Not surprisingly he’s been wrapping his brain around the problem. “It’s old school,” he said of a possible solution. “I think it will work.” Fine by my old school self. Whatever it takes.

Frustrations on another front as well, the Bushwhack front, the book I’m collaborating on with Vancouver photographer Tina Schliessler. We’ve been seeking a publisher for a while and she is starting to second-guess the title and become discouraged. Par for the course Tina. It’s f***ing hard to get published and only getting harder as the medium dies out. Bushwhack is a powerful vision, a provocative book, finding a home for it a huge challenge under any circumstances. We must not weaken. We’ve decided to drum up a videopoem version and a gallery show which should help raise its profile and find a publisher. Ultimately. It took (too many) years to get Three Blocks West of Wonderland published. It sucks but that’s that’s show biz. Long gestation, longer frustration, what we artists are in for.

Play It LOUD-“Caniculares dies” 09

Ugh. Caniculares dies. Dog days of summer! Staying cool isn’t easy today. I am relatively used to it, having lived in southern California for so long but still, these low 30 temperatures are brutal. One of the worst aspects, besides the fire hazard, is the perspiration. I’m just sitting here and sweating as if I were hiking up a hill. I wash my hands all day, still feel grimy. Think I’ll do my workout after the sun goes down. Fortunately, things usually cool down around here at night. It’s much worse back east, heat and humidity relentless.

I can’t seem to get the video shoot off the ground, feeling vexed that certain aspects are not coming together. I need a costume sewn, was given references to two people on the island but they aren’t getting back to me. So screw the Great Gatsby spoof, I won’t bother with the period piece clothing, will just dress Continue reading

Gazebos, golf, books, shows, deadlines and more!

I just walked through some woods on our property that I haven’t been in before. We picked out a spot for our gazebo, overlooking the pond and adjoining creek. It’s lovely, veiled by spruce and cedar boughs, the white noise, music of rushing water close by. My first opportunity to blog in a while, so going back in time . . .

Saturday, May 9, 09

At the Magnolia Hotel, in the morning, with Pete, after driving down to Victoria yesterday from Nanaimo, after crossing the water on the big boat. In our element, it would seem. He’s happy to see his old buddies Jim Christy and Robert Priest and Trevor Carolan at the reception for the Pacific Festival of the Book. We had a hell of a time finding the church hall where it was being held, my bag of books and computer weighing me down. I met Richard Olafsun of Ekstasis Editons, my new publisher, who explained that he “likes to embrace chaos.” Should I be worried? In any case, he’s a friendly fellow; I’m encouraged that we’ll be able to work together on Window Seat.

Sunday, May 10

We were planning to leave after our readings at the Mothers Day gathering today, went over to Centennial Square after a reunion and brunch with my old girlfriends Solly and Jenn to find the usual confusion. No one seemed to know when, or even if, Pete and I were slated to read. It was cold, windy and our butts were still smarting from three hours in a church pew the previous night. We just looked at each other and Continue reading

Disturbing dreams; snowbound, shack-wacky musings

One reason I can’t abide the holidays is that my already shaky schedule gets tossed out the window as we navigate through social obligations and many people book off work. It was worse when I lived in the States as they start holidaying with the advent of Thanksgiving in November which makes it nearly impossible to take care of business for over a month, Nov. 22-Jan 2. I need to organize, so I can produce some writing. Sure enough, I have not accomplished much of it since I returned from my retreat on Salt Spring Island. I convinced myself I would carry back some of the momentum with me but it has all dissipated as I become bogged down on the domestic front. This in spite of a minimal Christmas celebration; in fact, it’s been more like an anti-Christmas. We all agreed to ignore putting up lights on the house, trimming a tree (which was a big relief). There were a few times when I missed the tanennbaum but for the most part, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass.  I was torn from the time Junior was a baby whether to celebrate Christmas or not. We are culturally Catholic, certainly not observant. It seemed hypocritical to celebrate Christmas though I soon stopped resisting the holiday’s powerful pull. As much as I detest organized religion I find religious-especially Catholic-iconography beautiful, captivating. I understand as well, the human need, and reliance upon, symbolism and ritual. The holidays do provide an opportunity to commune with family and friends so when Junior was little making him happy was our main motivation. He certainly had Santa figured out but we always tried to remind him of the significance of the holiday, who Christ was and how his teachings changed the world but now at fourteen, Junior is his own man and couldn’t give a rat’s ass either.

Josef and I have never been big on arbitrarily exchanging gifts on birthdays, etc. We prefer to spend time together as a way to show love for one other; go out for dinner or cook a lovely breakfast and when we’re really ahead of the game, as we will do in a week, fly off somewhere. We went to Haida Gwaii in September and will go to LA for a week in January. Christmas carols fill me with nostalgia though. As a girl, I loved singing them in choir. I do have mixed feelings. I could never understand the boozing and bingeing that went on at our house every Christmas. No matter how broke we had been in November, come Dec. 24, my parents would fill the house with rum and rye whiskey, candy, oranges and nuts, the biggest and loudest being my Uncle Reggie. Invariably the house would fill with yelling and strife as well.

On the other hand, perhaps we are afforded a little time to reflect before tackling another (new) year. 2008 has been interesting to say the least. Continue reading

Intrepid terriers and trembling aspen

A frolicking pre-injury SamIAm

Poor SamIAm. Our pup Sam had to have surgery on his leg, a damaged ligament. He’s in a lot of pain and managed to rip the bandage off even with a cone on his head. We have to keep him immobilized which is requiring constant vigilance. He is a terrier through and through.

I was cleaning out our despicable crawl space yesterday—crawl spaces are truly evil, forcing you to hunch over though I invariably bump my head anyway—and was startled to hear one of the boxes I grabbed break out into “I feel good, like I knew that I would !” by James Brown. I inspected the contents and found one of those musical greeting cards. Cute.

While on Salt Spring I spotted some typical islander humour. Along one stretch of Walker’s Hook road was a place called The Meadows. It looked like some sort of retreat centre; there were stables, a dining hall and cottages. A little further down the road was a dilapidated old house on some overgrown acreage and a crude, hand-painted sign boasting The Brambles. Islanders don’t like pretentiousness, do like to knock people off their high horses whenever possible.

Working on the tree book. I didn’t know the native aspen were called trembling aspen. So poetic. I’ve incorporated it into Whore In The Eddy, which has been selected for Continue reading

Poems for forthcoming arbutus art book with photographer Tina Schliessler


Tremulous leaves quiver

but barmy birds eye

pistachios, fooled

by the flying V disciple’s

green skin peeping out

curling red pants of shell.

Crutch free at last

he climbs sunward,

higher than any other

for a glorious hour

of ecstasy, whooping hubris

before seeping sap loss,

Icarus molting,

plummeting boughs.

Helios thrill killing.

Winking navel

above the fork

must heft life up

out of the maelstrom.


Bark wattling,

coat warping, woofing.

Waning cockle stirrings,

withering crack,

lowering maven

trembles in a torrent of milk

mist, shudders at clonks,

crane calls,

dire sawing, rattling sheep

to slaughter

swarthy timbers falling.

Thunder in the chapel

beckons ample pressure,

staunchly wicked bush

germs, seething hands,

grizzled calculations shouted,

fleeting bounty,

illusory beneficence.

Barely blogging

I’ve been too busy to blog but I managed to write the first poem for the new book project with Tina Schliessler.


Pushing bare

singing be

scars rest

pelt loosens.


define apart.

Hourly swells

rustle spores.


bathed columns



bear heat





to make sounds

bring form

to mounds,




the girl

growing chaste