Dear Mr. George Elliott Clarke,
I write this to you nearly three years after the fact, not seeing you, not hearing you, not even reading your books but there you are in my subconscious sitting at a dinner table in Toronto with A. Moritz , K. and Marg. I didn`t know you then, just knew of you and my landlady invited me downstairs to a dinner party with you and Al as guests. I was impressed to hear you and A. Moritz talk - very good with the words - the night could have gone on forever. It was like a girl once told me at a College tutorial: John, I remember that you held my attention and I thought you were smart but I can`t remember anything of what you said.
Why did I not thank you for writing a blurb for my book. Was I an Insolent Boy? I want to thank you now. I want to thank you immediately. I want to thank you with gusto and verve.
Why not? To answer this correctly: You, a fellow Maritimer. You a fellow Valley Boy. Well Windsor, N.S. is The Valley - Ask Sam Slick!
Part of the reason I didn`t contact you is that I was newly hired as a school teacher at a French School and I can`t speak French. Also the school was out by the Toronto Airport and it was so cold in 2002 and 2003. I wore a hoody and rubbed my hands together, learned a little French too. Metro, Buleau, Dodo. (Travel. Work. Sleep.)
I was also followed across the lawn of that school at sunrise in the middle of winter by two earnest young men from the maritimes. They had a little camera with them. The lady at the office, who never liked me much said: "How awful! "Paparazzi!"
It was awful but I was broke and in Love. Oh yes and I was in an awful desperate way. In fact instead of emailing you or asking to email you I asked Corb Lund of the Corb Lund and the Hurtin Albertans to drive off the 401 and park the band van at Wendy`s so that I could get in and tour with them after school was out. And I did. One of them said: Sties! Again?
But now is the time to thank you. I`m so happy that you are doing so well with your poetry, Rue and George, The Execution Poems, Beatrice Chancy to define the people and the place of Nova Scotia. I don`t even know you, really at all but I am so impressed by you. I love a great many of your words, the patois, the undercurrent of racism, the africadian expressions, Loyalist decendents. I`ve been there on the Acadia Lines Bus travelling along at my own speed into the Halifax North End. I`ve been there for the 1970`s Acadia University Basketball Games. Victor Soares! God Love You Mr. Clarke, I salute you. Please be Canada`s Poet Laureate!