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February 02, 2008

bloggers (silent) poetry reading

Why Cathy Lee Gifford is just like the United States of America
by Sky Gilbert

She's mean
She's greedy
She's very very pretty
And of course she's a lying hypocrite
And of course she's on TV every morning
And just like America, Cathy Lee Gifford is a drag queen
And what's a drag queen?
Well someone who just can't stop drawing attention to how pretty they are I
mean Cathy Lee everytime she moves her legs or bats an eye or touches her
hair she reminds you, in that subtle way she has of how beautiful she is and
yes okay so she IS beautiful but more than that each gesture says I'm
beautiful, so beautiful, and that I'm barely, just barely conscious of it,
and on top of that I'm intelligent (questionable) and vicious. I can be
vicious. If I have to, I can defend myself against anything and I'll still
be beautiful, oooh I'm just stamping my little high heels right now and
removing a stray lock of hair with my long long dangerous fingernails yes I
can stand up for what I believe and be glamorous too
And I believe in America (which means myself) Cathy Lee Gifford
And I believe in fidelity and marriage and love (and all the other lies)
And even when you find my husbands fat hairy wrinkly old dick up some
forty-five year old Exercise Queen in a hotel I can pull my life back
together and lie
Like drag queens and the United States of America I can lie
I can exploit Latina women in sweat shops and then I can appear with
President Clinton and I can lie
And you will love me, Cathy Lee Gifford
You will
But most of all, you will watch me on TV
Because that's the way mornings are;
Inescapable, the beginning of all that treachery and drudgery and then
there's me, being more beautiful than you'll ever be
Look at me
I'm Cathy Lee
I'm some kind of an achievement

From Digressions of a Naked Party Girl, ECW Press, 1998

For information on the bloggers (silent) poetry reading tradition, go here.

Posted by jodi at 11:15 AM | Comments (6) | categories:  poetry

February 02, 2007

bloggers (silent) poetry reading

Domestic Animals
by Don McKay

that blue
blush rising in the snow and the dog

follows his nose into a drift:    woof:    weightless
explosion on the moon. Farther off

the dead express themselves
in little lifts of painless terror. Unadulterated

dance. By the edge of woods
they dress and undress mindlessly

shopping, trying on snowsuits
bedclothes, elegant underwear, nothing

fits their windscape.
They'd rather be naked.

Who wouldn't?

we chase the news. We cook
and type. We

Our jobs are on the line, our speed

is Zeno’s car. The same sunset
blooms, fades,

blooms, pursued from one horizon
to the next while sleep

widens its sweet toothless exit
underneath the chair:    the missing

person: the cat's own
ecological niche.

From Camber: Selected Poems 2004.

One year ago last night, Peter called to tell me that our beloved thirteen year old cat, The Fuzzy Pickle, had died, and I was left to struggle with my sadness while stuck here, twelve hundred kilometres from home. Yesterday the day-to-day concerns of grad school caused this anniversary to slip from my mind, just as it had caused Claire's birthday to slip from my mind the day before. So, happy twelfth birthday, Claire. And happy sleeping, dear Pickle.

It's not the fact that pets are mentioned in the poem that made it remind me of Pickle; oddly enough it's simply the image of the dead trying on snowsuits that did it. My dad's wife Sherry used to sometimes hear the sound of people (ghosts?) in the kitchen at night putting on snowsuits, an unmistakable schwish-schwishing of crisp polyester and the long, rough chatter of a fat metal zipper that stretches from ankle to throat. This was in the farmhouse they lived in right before the house where Pickle was born (yes, this is the way my brain works, forging connections where connections should not be and then remembering them forever, which is why an air raid siren will make me hungry, why the smell of cooked chicken will make me think of Peter Greenaway's cooked lover, why sometimes eating apples makes me think of Weebles, the toys that wobble but won't fall down).

More about the bloggers' silent poetry reading here.

Posted by jodi at 04:29 PM | Comments (3) | categories:  poetry : true patriot love

October 11, 2006

mortuary (irving layton)

This winter, I will knit myself a pair of poetry mittens. Fingerless, with embroidered rather than knit-in text, so that I can control the letter style more to my liking. This is what they will say:

Flesh has fallen away. Trees
And buildings are summer's skeleton;
Wind has loosened, disarrayed
The separate ribs, the evidence of bone.
Dead, deposited relics
Shored up clean against a stiffened sky,
Fixed by the mortician cold
Moving his fingers over them ceaselessly;
While the snow, decently to inter,
Drifts between the spaces, everywhere.

Posted by jodi at 08:37 PM | Comments (4) | categories:  poetry : projects : true patriot love

February 02, 2006

A bloggers (silent) poetry reading

A fantastic idea from Grace's Poppies (I found out about it via Rabbitch and Stephanie), and a much better way to honour St Brigid's feast day than attempting to divine the future through the movements of rodents.

from Zone: le Détroit

after Stan Douglas


Breathing yellow air
here, at the heart of the dream
of the new world,
the bones of old horses and dead Indians
and lush virgin land, dripping with fruit
and the promise of wheat,
overlaid with glass and steel
and the dream of speed:
all these our bodies
crushed to appease
the 400 & 1 gods
of the Superhighway,
Nafta, we worship you,
hallowed be your name,
here, where we are scattered
like dust or rain in ditches,
the ghosts of passenger pigeons
clouding the silver towered sky,
the future clogged in the arteries
of the potholed city,
Tecumseh, come back to us
from your green grave,
sing us your song of bravery
on the lit bridge over the black river,
splayed with grief over the loss
of its ancient rainbow coloured
fish swollen joy.
Who shall be fisher king
over this poisoned country,
whose borders have become
a mockery,
blowing the world to bits
with cars & cars & trucks & electricity & cars,
who will cover our splintered
bones with earth and blood,
who will sing us back into -


See how there's no one going to Windsor,
only everyone coming from?
Maybe they've been evacuated,
maybe there's nuclear war,
maybe when we get there we'll be the only ones.
See all those trucks coming toward us,
why else would there be rush hour on the 401
on a Thursday at 9 o'clock in the evening?
I counted 200 trucks and 300 cars
and that's just since London.
See that strange light in the sky over Detroit,
see how dark it is over Windsor?
You know how people keep disappearing,
you know all those babies born with deformities,
you know how organ thieves follow tourists
on the highway and grab them at night
on the motel turnoffs,
you know they're staging those big highway accidents
to increase the number of organ donors?
My brother knew one of the guys paid to do it,
$100,000. for 20 bodies
but only if the livers are good.
See that car that's been following us for the last hour,
see the pink glow of its headlights in the mirror?
That's how you know.
Maybe we should turn around,
maybe we should duck so they can't see us,
maybe it's too late,
maybe we're already dead,
maybe the war is over,
maybe we're the only ones alive.

-Di Brandt, from Now You Care
(I stole it from Di's website)

Thank you all for your kind, kind words about my beloved Fat Boy. I will respond, but right now I don't know what to say, and the pain is too fresh.

Posted by jodi at 03:13 PM | Comments (2) | categories:  poetry : true patriot love