Improvisation as Narrative: Some Thoughts on Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter

Coming Through Slaugher Michael Ondaatje House of Anansi ISBN: 0-88784-051-5 156 pgs As a poet and a trained fiction writer, I generally greatly enjoy where lyricism and narrative meet and illustrate the world to us. Not to mention, I am a large fan of jazz from it’s origins a long the shadier streets of NewContinue reading “Improvisation as Narrative: Some Thoughts on Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter”

On the Receipt of One Cardinal Feather: the Weariness of Testifying and the Weight of Colonial Voices.

About a month back, Creator was kind enough to have given me the gift on a single cardinal feather. After a tough meeting, it came a welcome and powerful message that I spent consider time pondering and deciphering. Suffice it to say something as simple as it reminded me to take pride in who IContinue reading “On the Receipt of One Cardinal Feather: the Weariness of Testifying and the Weight of Colonial Voices.”

To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon

Let’s start here. I met Campbell McGrath during my first semester at Indiana University – Bloomington. He was in town to do a master class with my fellow MFAers and doing a great deal of talking about his most recent collection at that time, Seven Notebooks. He took time with some of early work asContinue reading “To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon”

Why Political Prizes Don’t Matter

Let’s start here: When I heard that Bob Dylan received a Nobel Prize in Literature I thought it was an Onion piece. Sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve enjoyed Dylan. My first published poem was actually an homage to his Nashville Skyline album set on the highways of Missouri. He is a first rate singer-songwriter that sharesContinue reading “Why Political Prizes Don’t Matter”

The Swagger of William T. Riker

Let’s start with an observation. Smooth-talking bearded men who flip their legs over chair backs to sit in them shouldn’t be given commands of starships. Bad things happen and generally speaking the ship gets busted up something fierce when they call the shots. Yet, in the grand spectacle of mishaps such as these, none ofContinue reading “The Swagger of William T. Riker”

Kicking at the Roots with Dick Hugo’s Montana of Yore.

So the last time I posted there, I had definitely started in on little bit of “look at my roots as a writer” action by talking about Richard Hugo. And lo and behold, I’ve found myself returning to him a lot more this week. The collection of poems I’m working on, “Devil in the Woods,”Continue reading “Kicking at the Roots with Dick Hugo’s Montana of Yore.”

The Thing with Essays on Craft

Let me begin by saying this: Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town is one of the most important books that I’ve ever encountered. For those that aren’t familiar with either the collection or the individual essay, you should know that Hugo was the most important poet to come out of the Montana in the last century and theContinue reading “The Thing with Essays on Craft”

Competing Mythologies: Comparison is not Inclusion

So I was reading along in this fine copy I recently picked up of Ralph Gustafson’s Sequences when I came across his poem “At Moriane Lake” and was struck by something that I just haven’t been able to let go. The poem opens with the line “Canada, a country without myths.” Right away, I wasContinue reading “Competing Mythologies: Comparison is not Inclusion”

Rail Jumping: Working Two Genres at Once

One novel, one poetry collection, and grant writing. In the midst of a heavy writing season here at the old homestead, (albeit a very urban homestead, but I generally like the idea of a homestead, so let’s call it a homestead) and I’ve doing some interesting mental gymnastics here. Maybe not gymnastics, but more aContinue reading “Rail Jumping: Working Two Genres at Once”