Brick Books 2019

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Unidentified Poetic Object has been longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award from the League of Canadian Poets.

Writing is like dream thinking in zones of undecidability; words rub up against each other – words phrases, stanzas, events – where they collide they produce fields of indeterminacy, of hybridity.

They refuse easy detection, recognition, want to evade by always being on the point of morphing, their being is in phase space.

The writing I’m after now is a kind of attempt to stay in the virtual, the not yet, the yet to come. I think it’s how we see things as they verge and come into being before they are identified, before they have identity.

Or maybe the poems are zombie poems existing in that space between the living and the dead; or across both; they flow transversally (Deleuze) through subject and object. In these days of increasing constraint they are looking for a way out.

At any rate we’re forced to see these whatever- they-are things as things w/o predetermined use. Or w/o merely human use. Playful objects, haunted objects, objects w/o addresses. Vagabond objects. Partisan objects. The world is not a human world; humans are in it. And these small perturbations also live here.

Because you can only experience one thought or feeling at a time this exposure of undecidability is a clamour of the possible.

I find it a useful practice for freeing up my viewing, my perceiving of the world. We all tend to get locked into our perceptions and understandings and then living and life don’t seem to be on the same page. I put a lot of different things on the same page. Just to see. What might happen. Because things are always (as William James has said) things-in-the-making. And isn’t this where hope lives?

Quill and Quire Review of Unidentified Poetic Object

Bruce Whiteman’s review of Unidentified Poetic Object in the Toronto Star.

Sample Poems:

The One About The Non-Givenness of Things

Everything seemed fine until a minute ago a small fragment
Of one of your memories seems to have slivered
Itself into my skin oh that’s not you everyone
Seems to be speaking another language politics
Misrepresenting its own truth laundering flashbang
Pronouncements squid ink black cohosh lighting
Up the shade a moment of perpetuity as
Different from eternity assuming of course we
Could agree on definitions the awkward grace
Of vultures dialling in their dihedrals the sky
With its many coloured ribbons where clouds effortlessly
Age let’s agree at least there are moments of
Suspension shrunk nearly to human
Comprehension lipogramic centrifuges contact
Cement hudson eight one four eight four
The Cisco Kid the interpretation of breathing redside
Dace where each thing can open the world
Well if not shouldn’t there be

This Is a Photograph of You

on the beach where the swash zone
is luminous timecurves sliding bittersweet saffron
ivory alizarin goldenrod ghost white cherry blossom
polished and tarnished silver up to your feet
your back to the lightwaves and wavelengths
of the sea the sunset a fast squadron of black
skimmers skimming wave tops

You are looking into the eye of the camera
into me into the night I have turned my back to
to look at you

You are almost shadow
head tipped slightly to the right
you hold your right elbow with your left hand
legs apart left knee bent in mid dance hair blown across
your eyes shadowed by the coming night

You have caught a timecurve
in a gesture I love
and draw everything through the eye
of the needle of itself
including our being here many times before

Being is longing
and though nothing really belongs to us
you answer that just like this
as if we were dreaming
a world beyond whose shimmer and shadow
we have no need to see