Rusty's World

Rusty’s Reading List 2017

September 22, 2017
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Oratorealis2-2

I guess I need to switch to the official numbering. I called the last one #3, when it was probably #2.1 (Why is that, anyway? It is the 4th issue. It should be #4.)

Full disclaimer – I have a poem in this issue, as I have in the previous two. But I don’t just like the mag because they print my work. (Though, hey…)

Just look at the back cover… RC Weslowski, Sabrina Benaim, Jeremy Loveday, Jamaal Jackson Rogers, Rabbit Richards, Elysia Glover, Sonya Littlejohn, Apollo the Child… the issue, as always, is PACKED!

Got it? Get it. Good.

Oh, the poem I have it is called ‘Close’ and is the one I wrote for the closing of Capital Slam.

Books read in 2017

oratorealis # 2.2
Since February – Poetry by V
Coke Machine Glow – Gordon Downie
A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
The Malahat Review #198
Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins

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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

September 16, 2017
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2013 White Board

This is the white board the 2013 CapSlam team used to plan out our performances for CFSW that year. Note all the changes. 🙂

In the first round, 3rd spot down, you can see ‘Romeo’. That referred to a poem called ‘Romeo and Julez’ by V which jus happens to be in the chapbook I just finished reading, ‘Since February – Poetry by V’.

V has always been a super talented slam poet but this book shows that she is much more than that. It is a deeply moving book, as a lot of the poetry comes from a place of sorrow after losing her father.

I was thinking about V lately and was prompted to pull it out and re-read it after imaging a great slam team that included me, V, Erin Dingle, Optimus Rhyme… a team that nobody wants to qualify for.

I am doing a set of poetry at CFSW this year that deals with dealing with cancer. While doing it, I will think about everyone I know (poets or not – thinking of you Paula… Rob…), that know what this battle feels like.

 

 

Books read in 2017

Since February – Poetry by V
Coke Machine Glow – Gordon Downie
A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
The Malahat Review #198
Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

September 11, 2017
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CokeMachineGlow

I think I got this book at that remaindered book store that used to be in the St,Laurent Shopping Centre.

I miss that place.

I bought it on a whim, long before Gord Downie made his diagnosis known. My personal history with cancer (though far from his, thankfully for me), makes certain things have greater resonance.

This book is from 2001 and apparently it once came with a CD, though my copy doesn’t have one. It doesn’t need it.

This is a very solid connection from someone who stands on his own as a poet. This isn’t a case of a lyricist trying to pass as a poet. If anything, it was the opposite, early in his career.

Good book. I’m glad I have it.

Books read in 2017
Coke Machine Glow – Gordon Downie
A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
The Malahat Review #198
Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

September 2, 2017
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FeastforCrows

 

It has been a while since I read the previous ‘Game of Thrones’ book. (I know it isn’t really called that, but that is what they are called now. Get over it.) This i sth one that got a lot of negative feedback and it does feel padded, with only the High Sparrow stuff really standing out.

I am nto a huge fan of Martin’s writing style, but it is what it is. I used to eat books like this up with a spoon. Less so now, but it is still a nice diversion.

 

Books read in 2017

A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
The Malahat Review #198
Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

August 30, 2017
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MalahatReview198

The Malahat Review is a literary mag based out of the University of Victoria. Obviously I was reading it for its poetry content, but I was quite moved by a story called ‘The Fourth Cup’ by Jason Markowsky. It manages to illustrate privilege, loss, and deep kindness without ever announcing its intentions to do so. It made me actually feel sad, as if I was IN the story, rather than just reading it. That is no mean feat.

 

Books read in 2017

The Malahat Review #198
Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

August 23, 2017
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RobertFrost
Sometimes I just have to read poetry.

Three things that leapt off the page at me as I read this…

1. The introduction by Robert Graves. This was written in 1963 and it he says: “The truth is that Frost was the first American who could honestly be reckoned a master-poet by world standards. Poe, Longfellow, Whittier, and many more of his American predecessors had written good provincial verse; and Whitman, a homespun eccentric, had fallen short of the master-poet title only through failing to realize how much more was required of him.”

When I read it I can only hear it in Wallace Shawn’s voice.

Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
Man in Black: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.

2. In ‘The Lesson for Today’, Frost writes:

I’m liberal. You, you aristocrat,
Won’t know exactly what I mean by that.
I mean so altruistically moral
I never take my own side in a quarrel.

3. I am going to copy a whole poem here and leave it uncommented.

ETHEREALIZING

A theory if you hold it hard enough
And long enough gets rated a creed:
Such as that flesh is something we can slough
So that the mind can be entirely freed.
Then when the arms and legs have atrophied,
And brain is all that’s left of mortal stuff,
We can lie on the beach with the seaweed
And take our daily tide baths smooth and rough.
There once we lay as blobs of jellyfish
At evolution’s opposite extreme.
But now as blobs of brain we’ll lie and dream,
With only one vestigial creature wish:
Oh, may the tide be soon enough at high
To keep our abstract verse from being dry.

Books read in 2017

Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

July 24, 2017
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Stickboy

I have known Shane for about ten years now, ever since he asked if the CapSlam team would open for him at the Mercury Lounge back in 2007. He struck me right away as a genuine, honest, caring, strong person. He was generous and obviously talented.
The years since then have done nothing to change my opinion of him.
I have seen him sparingly over that time… maybe six or seven times in that span… and the last time was in 2014 when my team had just finished competing at CFSW in Victoria. It had been an turbulent and emotional year, but it also marked the first time I was booked for solo shows out in B.C., where I was born and raised. I did a show in Victoria and had one booked in Vancouver.
At that time the people at VanSlam had been approached by a rep from the Vancouver Opera about doing a show that combined poetry and opera as a way of promoting their brand new production – an Operatic production of Shane Koyczan’s ‘novel in verse’, Stickboy. I was already booked for that evening but when Chris Gilpin asked if we could convert my feature into this other show, I was thrilled to comply.
We worked with members of the Opera and a skilled pianist to create new works that combined poetry with opera and music. In my case that became a merging of ‘The Stranger’ with the singing of ‘Whither Must I Wander’. It was one of the most memorable performances that I have ever done.
(It was filmed but apparently lost, unfortunately.)

It also gave me the chance to catch up with Shane. The world had really opened up to him at that point. The idea that they had made an opera based on his book was incredible. I was very happy for him.

Having said THAT, I had never actually read it. Somewhat oddly, actually. I had a copy of ‘Visiting Hours’, his previous poetry book, but I have never read that either. How did that happen? I am a big fan of Shane’s work and own multiple CDs… maybe that was it. When I think is Shane, I think about LISTENING to him.

I ordered Stickboy. It went into the pile. I just finished it.

Uh, wow.

What powerful writing. It is Shane’s style, certainly, but the truth comes through in a way that isn’t possible when writing about something you CARE about rather than something you ARE.

Poetic biography doesn’t get better than this.

 

Books read in 2017

Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

July 16, 2017
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OnEquilibrium

I got this at some point at a library sale (I think). I picked it up because I had previously been a fan of Saul’s writing.

Enough so that I already owned the book. I didn’t notice and it went into my to-read pile, but as soon as I started in on it, I realized. And then I read it anyway.

Because it is great. Saul expounds on the different kinds of thought and why they need to be used in balance. (Spock’s pure logic is far from ideal.) Reason is given short shrift, not because it is innately bad, but because it is not automatically innately good. (The other types he talks about are: Common Sense, Ethics, Imagination, Intuition, and Memory.)

Great book, as are all of John Ralston Saul’s books.

 

 

Books read in 2017

On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul
ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

June 19, 2017
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Arc78

This is yet another example of something I got right when it was released (Fall 2015), and read through in bits and pieces but never sat down for a cover-to-cover until now.

This was ARC’s special ‘Spoken Word Issue’, complete with a cover and art section by that Spoken Word Artist Komi Olaf – known in my day as Poetic Speed, a member of our 2009 Slam Championship team and The Recipe. In fact, the cover showcases another member of those two (related) groups, Ian Keteku!

It is questionable whether one can truly explore Spoken Word in print form, but that doesn’t belittle this great issue because many of the great Spoken Word artists are just straight up great poets, no matter what the format. Tanya Evanson was the guest editor on this issue and she did a great job.

Some highlights for me include Ivan Coytoe’s piece as well as the momentary glee when I realized  Chris Gilpin’s poem referred to RC Weslowski’s poem later in the same issue.

It is great that a quality publication like ARC wants to support and promote Spoken Word (and a little birdie told me that they may be doing that in new ways in the future.) 🙂

 

Books read in 2017

ARC Poetry Magazine #78
The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

June 18, 2017
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shayne

First off, I don’t  have a scan of the cover so I nabbed this from the internet. Photo credit: Ron Pogue.

I got this chapbook a while ago… I am pretty sure it was a gift from Shayne… and I have read some of it, but now I have done a cover to cover. First off, I didn’t realize it before but Ruthanne & I are thanked in it! Well, hey! Thanks Shayne!
He says he wrote it while touring with Johnny Macrae and they stayed with us when they were in Ottawa.

All that aside, it is a good chapbook! It is funny the phases Shayne has gone through since I have known him. We met in Halifax in 2007 and somewhere after that he went on a hitch-hiking tour as part of Ghosts of the Highway (their album is still in my rotation). Then he and Johnny became 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, embracing that west coast weird that we love so well. Now he is one of the creative minds behind oratorealis, one of the best poetry magazines going! (And I am not just saying that because when the 4th issue come out they will have published me three times. I have integrity!)

Shayne is a great person, a great poet, and I am happy to call him friend.

 

 

Books read in 2017

The Anthropocalypse is Nigh… – Shayne Avec I Grec
The Associate – Phillip Margolin
Peter F. Yacht Club #25
Forth-seventh birthday – rob mclennan
Li’l Bastard – David McGimpsey
Love is a Tree you Planted – Mary Pinkoski
oratorealis #3
Muybridge’s Horses – Rob Winger
Trouble Boys – The True Story of the Replacements – Bob Mehr
A Magical Mystery Tour – Inside the Coach House Press
Arc Poetry Magazine #80
Dancing Alone – William Hawkins
Peter F. Yacht Club #24
Canticles I (MMXVI) – George Elliott Clarke
Touch the Donkey #9
Touch the Donkey #12
Arc Poetry Magazine #81
The Emperor of Water Clocks – Yusef Komunakaa
Warhorses – Yusef Komunyakaa
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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