Monday, May 30, 2005

GLG (gotta love google)

Though I don't get out that much, working from home and all, I wouldn't exactly say I lead a sheltered life. I mean I may be over 40, but I can still talk the jive with the kids, if you know what I mean. But today, in casual conversation with a buddy who is all of four years younger than me, the term "bitch slapping" arose (don't ask). Now, while it may be fairly self-explanatory to many of my dedicated, RSS-feed-junkie readers (you know who you are), and though I've heard the expression before, I--being the meticulous type--wanted a specific, OED-type definition, just in case I had to use it in one of my translations. One must sound like one speaks from authority in these situations.

Google to the rescue: bitch slap. Not exactly the OED, but now I know. I also now know the term "pimp slap," which I had never heard of before my quest for enlightenment. I suspect the young folk are using other new-fangled idioms that I'm not yet aware of, but two is enough for one night.

Teapot update: still nothing. Went to The Bay tonight with moderate hopes. Turns out, they have the same brand I had before--James Sadler--which I would have bought if the biggest model they carried hadn't been a measly six-cupper. I mean, what am I going to do with such a minuscule teapot when me Mum comes over for a cuppa? I ask you!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Don't listen to the weather forecast

It'll only get you down, and it's all LIES!

Anyway, today, despite the negative vibes put out by Environment Canada, was quite a beautiful day, and the first one in weeks (it seems). S. and I went for a walk in the park and, for all you birdwatchers out there, it was warbler city! Eleven species of warbler in all, including a blackpoll, which we hadn't seen since moving back from Winnipeg 14 years ago. All told, we tallied 38 species today. I guess the birds were as happy about the weather as we were.

In other news (albeit late news), last Friday, I broke the spout off the teapot I've owned since I moved to Montreal in 1987. I don't normally put much faith in such things, but my friend Aisha recently made a post on the Brown Betty teapot. I've always thought mine was a Brown Betty, but it says Stadler on the bottom. I guess I subconsciously wanted an authentic BB. Anyway, I'm off to see if I can find the most English of teapots in this most French of North American cities. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


With the mail this morning, along with International Musician (time to feed the recycling bin), was a very fat padded envelope with my two contributor's copies of In Fine Form, an anthology of Canadian formal poetry in which my pantoum "Lucy, Lucie" is published. This is my first (and so far, only) appearance in print. The book is published by Polestar, an imprint of Raincoast Books, which, incidentally, also publishes the Harry Potter books in Canada.

The book looks great, and I must say, has been worth the nearly two-year wait since I first submitted. It's pretty neat to be anthologized with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Irving Layton, and Al Purdy, to name a just few of the Canadian poetic all-stars that appear in this book.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with this cheque I got with the books. I'm thinking it might be better to just frame the darn thing. It's not like I can retire now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thanks Aish!

My friend Aisha and I were chatting on AIM when she said, "give me a line break and I'll give you a poem." Well I did, and she did (it was pretty darn good too, considering it took her about 5 seconds). Then she challenged me to do the same. I'm not nearly as quick witted as she is, so I couldn't send her back a poem that instant, but I did take the challenge seriously. Here's what I had to work with: "straddling a fence Wednesday/ on". Yikes!

Well, here's the result:

A Week in Provence

Two wheels beneath me
since Saturday, I imagine myself
riding the Tour, try to empty
my mind of all but the Champs-Elysée.
But I can’t shake the feeling I’m merely sitting on
—or rather straddling—a fence. Wednesday,
on my way up Mont Ventoux, I
stopped once, not to catch my breath,
but to admire the Rhone flowing single-minded
to the Gulf of Lions. Now, pedalling
slowly through Carpantras, I admire pretty
provençale girls strolling narrow streets
and realize that Friday is almost gone;
tomorrow I fly back to a life pedestrian,
and still, I have decided nothing.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Your weight on the page
Your mass sitting on my eyes
Your immovable presence
forcing me to go around
and not straight
to where I want to go.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Lame five-minute pseudo-sonnet. Don't laugh too hard

I think I'm going to go back to my roots
start writing formal poetry, the stuff
that got me into print in the first place, boot
my butt back onto lyric land, huff and puff
my way back into the arms of Erato.
I've been away too long, poor Penelope
waiting on the strand, hoping to
glimpse my barque on the horizon. Me
I've been goofing off, having pretend adventures
"discovering" my cool new computer
but now I'm 40, I've got to wear my dentures
like a man. And if I want her
to stay, I'd better start living up to the hype—
I could lose a hand tomorrow and never again be able to type.