Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This, this, this and this

Some notes on Insomniac Press: from eyes outside Toronto.

A great many young writers have had their starts with Insomniac Press and, arguably, the press has been successful in getting media attention for their writers in the past. This could be due to Lynn Crosbie`s widely derided but still remarkable book about Paul Bernardo, Paul's Case. The media firestorm this book created - in Toronto, mind - was a powerful indication that Canadians are not sobre, quiet, church mousey types, or boring, earnest mouth breathers, but rather pissed off farmers with baseball bats looking for fields of ripe pumpkins. Don Cherry crossed with Rosie Dimanno crossed with buddy from the Whitby legion. Look out! Lynn Crosbie made her name with this book, though published a better, more mature book, perhaps Liar, ten years later w/ Anansi.

A great many respected writers have come out of the Insomniac stable - Sherwin Tjia,
(Pedigree Girls and Gentle Fictions), Joe Olmann (Chewing on Tinfoil and This All Will End In Tears), Adrienne Weiss, Awful Gestures, Emily Schultz, Black Coffeee Night, Chris Eaton (The Inactivist, The Grammar Architect), David McGimpsey, (Certifiable) and Olive Senior, recently nomiated for the Governor Generals Award, Canada`s most prestigious literary prize. And now, of course, Nick Thran. The list must go on and on. The jibes and derisions have been, "How many literary awards?" or "Is it an Insomniac book?!!" (meaning?) or "Don`t they have a copy editor?" This of course is petty, catty and boring. And the books have sold, bestseller lists have been attained. Years after the fact, are typos a concern in the works of Shakespearre? Insomniac Press is not Anansi - and it keeps its edge. Like grey hairs, it is an elderly amongst the children.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Who, you say?

Nicknames for people you might, but probably, don't know.

1. Thumper
2. Garden gnome
3. Pig Pen, aka Seth, aka Queerby, aka Judgement Day Lund, aka the Mormon
4. Mr. Sun Glasses
5. Numnuts
6. Mr. Gagagoon, Mr Fagagag
7. Boo, speck
8. Fancy Pants, aka Monkey, aka Papi
9. Pinnochio, Kemp
10. Pelt
11. Mr. Involved
12. Wicky
13. Hodji
14. Eddie, Sinjer
15. Teej
16. Ladybug
17. Joachim
18. Curtis
19. Donald and Hazel
20. Pauly
21. Vin the Spin
22. Cattle Driver
24. The Righteous Reverend Rick Renoos
25. Cuppy??

Wickit! Innit?

This will be good.
Think of it as the fishing party with friendly folk.
All said and done... here

Monday, September 18, 2006

Notes on my mother

Notes on my mother...

Many years ago my mother started up a used clothing shop in a small town. It only lasted a short while and was bought out by a hippie food store and then my mother had three kids back-to-back, so she stopped working there. I`m not preaching here, my mother was not perfect; no one is perfect. However my mother used to pick-up garbage off the streets, used to pick-up hitchikers in her car and used to talk to people other people wouldn`t want to speak to. My mother believed in things; being honest, taking responsibility for what you say, having good morals and so on. People liked my mother. She was a character.

Our mother told us good things happen to those who wait and to treat other people nicely as you don`t know what they have been through and so on. All three kids tried to grow up in the shadow of my mother's virtues. Don`t we all? The reason I`m firing on all these cylinders is because we are living in morally ambigious times, where whatever your faith might be: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Bhuddism and so on, people will tell you that things are otherwise: dissent and skecticism are promoted through the internet and through other mediums. The world maxim has become: 'that which makes money equals that which is good.' How can this possibly be true?

In all of this confusion I say this. Listen to your heart. Is it right to kill, condemn, malign and so on? When you were a child and you saw these things happen did they make you feel good? I say step back. Slow down. We are not in any particular rush are we?

Wayne... or Wendel?

Q: Why are all the best players named Wayne? Wayne Rooney, Wayne Gretzky...
A: They`re not. Wendel Clark, 1966.

"In England fans fight in the terraces. In Canada the boys settle the score on the ice."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Not too too bad... Lee Wilson

Lee Wilson back from a stint 'incognito' has just published a debut book of poetry: You've got an eyelash.

Click to enlarge

Recently reviewed in Ambit.

From Lee:

"Here's a couple of poems that haven't been in other magazines for
your 'how yah doon' suggestion. You could put a link to my bit of
myspace - - and possibly even
mention, if you like, that an ebooklet of extracts from my book is
available by sending a blank email with 'send sampler' (without the
quote marks) to wilson at eyelash06 at orangehome dot co dot uk"

"Though a few of these poems are from my book, there is one that's
not and a new one that only has a working title of 'Jenny' so if you
use this let me know and I'll try and think what the real title is.
(I've always wanted to be a slacker but could never sufficiently get
my shit together for that heady world.)"

Possibly see you Tuesday, then,


Fist and grasp

by Lee Wilson

There was once here a single bookshelf
where stood red, leather-bound pleas for Empire
my dad spent Sundays driving to amass.
He worked through them nightly; I felt
a peripheral but certain respect
as I turned in sync the pages
of Doctor Strange, or Aquaman.

Did someone die to force those sales –
or was it some familiar thing
my dad’s life, now, is shedding, at sixty-one?
I imagine a string of andropausal types
holding their tongues for an easy twenty,
leaving their pitch at a need for space,
when the truth is they’d found some.

Sublimation, like God, works in mysterious ways.
My teens I spent drawing muscles
I’d never have. Steve Rogers
was skinny too, before that injection.
If my dad knew he fought the Nazis
like me he never said.
Lacking a dialogue, you find your monologue.

The line is broken now
between the deed and the word;
between fist and grasp. My neurons
are marching up to Belson;
cutting the barbed wire. Those part-works
are boxed up in the attic.
No, sometimes an attic is just a cigar.

(Ed Note: David Kessell also has a new book of poetry out with Survivors.
You can hear his words here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

How Yah Doon? Kevin Reinhardt

New Year

by Kevin Reinhardt

Balloon suicide is rife.
They'd rather take their own Helium,
than be raped by revellers.

I, said the sparrow
I murdered disco.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How Yah Doon? Babylon Burning

A new anthology from nthposition. Donations to Red Cross. Some notes on September 11. September 10, 2001 did first ever television segment on CHRO news in Ottawa to promote The Insolent Boy then took the night bus to Fredericton to do a Radio Show at UNB with Joe Blades: Ashes Paper and Beans. When I got in in the morning I called Joe and I said "Joe, How yah doon?" and he said, "Not too good. Have you seen the TV?" Since I was at an Irving Station when I called I went to a local Frenchy Bar in the mall to watch it all happen. We still did the show that night played the smalls "Murdering Me."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Yah Doon? Pat Woodcock

Keith and the Kirkjug
by Pat Woodcock

It was near the center of Reykjavik,
in a cemetery where they would later
dance and sing upon mattresses of moss,
that they found the KirkJug.

There were even trees, yes, and an
upright-bass lumbered
through the graves like a ship’s hull
dragging land to water over land. Do you

believe in their trumpeting? They were building
song out of stone and lead.
They were praying that chanting
Long live bins who court the dead.
Long live bins who court the dead.
Would suffice.


(ed note: a more elaborately laid out vs. of this poem exists but my editing software is held together by gum and string. Oh. Oh. Oh. Layton!)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

How Yah Doon? Paul Hoover

How Yah Doon? Paul Hoover, co-editor with Maxine Chernoff of New American Writing now in its 24th year. (see left)

According to Paul, "While in my pictures file, I found two other covers of interest: double issue 8/9 (Fall 1991)... (which) contains..."26 New British Poets," edited by Ric Caddel; cover art by photographer Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. Also, the cover of OINK! 1 (1971), out of which New American Writing developed in 1986. That's right, I've been editing a literary magazine continuously since 1971, co-editor Maxine Chernoff since 1974."

Copies of the British issue are available for $8 US plus a $10 US mailing surcharge. People can order copies or simply correspond by using this email address: viridian at The magazine's website is Paul has a blog at

**Ed note**: Last years edition (NAW 23), edited by Todd Swift contained 20 New Canadian poets amongst some strong Vietnamese and American Poets. There are some surprises, so I won`t give anything away. Why not grab a copy from the publisher?

Anyone interested in reviewing this new edition (NAW 24) for How Yah Doon? please send me an email: info at


Derrida: The Movie

by Paul Hoover

Derrida has left the building: world.
Derrida has left the word: life.
Voyeur through a keyhole: Derrida at rest,

Derrida on fire, Derrida with a pipe,
Too handsome, too knowing. Derrida
The haircut, his stylist on the phone.

The man who wrote voluminous essays,
Notes, considerations; whose gaze was fierce,
Heart mild; who starred in the film Derrida.

Keyhole shaped like a woman, whose
Mouth is shaped like a keyhole.
Jacques Derrida, the concept and the scholar.

Derrida swallows. Derrida wallows.
I will briefly discuss. I will then examine.
I bestow the object. Derrida: fearful.

Two facing mirrors, Derrida between them.
Subject to “infinite regression,”
Derrida the object arrives at true despair.

Footsteps of the beloved: Derrida desires.
Cashmere sweater: Derrida acquires.
Intractable data, what Derrida allows.

Keyhole: mountain. Keyhole: lion.
Keyhole: fountain. Keyhole: crying.
Derrida takes a shower. Derrida glowers.

Nature as the actual, nature as realm.
Derrida: the sailor. Derrida at the helm.
Light writes the real. Light paints the town.

Derrida pales. Derrida: the flower.
Derrida wails. Derrida: empowered.
His eye climbs a staircase, falls from a tower.


By Paul Hoover

Famous snow falling,
covering a mountain famous for its snow.
Famous cedars leaning in the wind.

A stone is famous at the bottom of the river.
But the river is normal enough.
It goes from here to there.

The famous dust is falling,
in nondescript corners and the famous corners, too,
where you stood or I stood

and someone will be standing
for the first time soon. Cup famous for some reason.
Bowl famous to its spoon.

Sunlight famous, most famous of all
as it climbs the garden wall.
Famous moon, coming through night

notorious for its darkness,
and Earth that is famous only on Earth,
with its sweet smell of history.

Friday, September 01, 2006


small note a reckonin'. new magazine coming from two farm boys who are actually Londoners. And one looks like he should be in the Sadies. And he`s an accountant.

the delinquent is the mag. From the lads...

“Some of you may remember unpublished and its glorious 7 issue run.

The delinquent is a step-up.

It will look like a paperback book with a colour cover and have 100plus pages.

It will run for years. It will also be downloadable.

We want & need diversity.

Send us whatever works. Words on a page. Things that haven’t been done before.

We want poems.

Short stories.

Diagrams & folk art.

Some articles/reviews.

Drawings/cartoons/doodles – anything that will reproduce in black & white.


We’ll also have a letters page. Non-personal rants welcome.

We want work that challenges what a poem can be, do. (but not exclusively – we want what works).

We are committed.

Send submissions to:

love from

jason & jel”
How Yah Doon? - Blogged