Rusty's World

Rusty’s Reading List 2015

December 29, 2015
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Arc-75-Fall-2014

This was the second issue of Arc I read this year, yet the previous one was the one that was published after this one.

Time is an illusion, publishing schedules doubly so. Or something.

No, I quite enjoy Arc, normally, yet I will admit that this one fell a little flat, right up until the end. Maybe it is me but while there were certainly good poems, nothing jumped out. A line from Bonny Cassidy’s essay on Australian Urbanisation and Poetry said (while referring to Henry Kendall’s elegy for Charles Harpur), that “It’s a sweet but pretty ordinary poem”.
Maybe that would be my review of this issue – which was produced by the Australian magazine Cordite Poetry Review, rather than the usual Arc staff, in some sort of exchange program, I think.

That is, until I got to the end, ‘Axis 2: Apex’ by A.J. Carruthers was quite interesting, if a bit opaque to my uneducated palate. And then, the last poem in the book, tore it all wide open.

‘Ania’ by Ania Walwicz is a treasure. It changed my opinion of the entire volume. Once you get past the wall of text and see how appropriate the format is, it is transformative. Beautiful.

Will this be my last book finished this year? The next one my pile is a chapbook, so if I find a bit of time to sit down with it before Monday, there could still be another.

If not, my favourite of the year…hmmm…  maybe I will do another post on that once the year is officially finished.

My year in books:

Arc Poetry Magazine #75 – Fall 2014
Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now – Daphne Marlatt
Falling Wallendas – Michael Brown
Lighthead – Terrance Hayes
Escarpment Pages – Rob McLennan
Arc Poetry Magazine #76 – Winter 2015
The New Yorker Reader: True Crime
X – Shane Rhodes
Plane Tickets Printed On Broken Glass – Mike McGee
Issues with Etiquette – Sean O’Gorman
Madness, Rack, and Honey – Mary Ruefle
The Hottest Summer in Recorded History – Elizabeth Bachinsky
^^^^^^^^^^ – Stevie Howell
Zurita – Raul Zurita
What Does A House Want? – Gary Geddes
Twenty-five Years of Tree – James Moran & Jennifer Mulligan (ed)
Thanks For Nothing, Hippies – Sarah Clancy
Ocean – Sue Goyette
Come Cold River – Karen Connelly
Touch the Donkey Vol. 1
Memory – Ottawa Capital Slam Poetry Team – 2014
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Some Remarks – Neal Stephenson
A Brief Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien – Nigel Cawthorne
Distrust The Particular Flavor – William Gibson
Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

December 8, 2015
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liquidities

 

This one was tough for me to get my head around at first. I tend to be a little literal in my poetry – not completely, but more than some.
This book sometimes reads like random words thrown together, until you step back and read the whole.
Two things:
1. I want to hand this book every time someone critiques my grammar in a poem. Read this: “Lie when we / outwalk our dragons, thus, their future tails: catch on / fire.”

Yes.

2. Years ago I had the opportunity to perform at the National Gallery, reading poetry inspired by art housed there. (That was the first time I did that. The second was as part of the Caravaggio exhibit.)

I read two poems. One was inspired by ‘The Discourse of Elements’ by BGL. The other was ‘Pavane’ by Jen Paul Riopelle. The poem I wrote was called Step Back and the sentiment in it matches what I feel about this book at times. Kind of.

Oh, and Kevin Matthews poem inspired by ‘Pavane’ was better. 🙂

My year in books:

Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now – Daphne Marlatt
Falling Wallendas – Michael Brown
Lighthead – Terrance Hayes
Escarpment Pages – Rob McLennan
Arc Poetry Magazine #76 – Winter 2015
The New Yorker Reader: True Crime
X – Shane Rhodes
Plane Tickets Printed On Broken Glass – Mike McGee
Issues with Etiquette – Sean O’Gorman
Madness, Rack, and Honey – Mary Ruefle
The Hottest Summer in Recorded History – Elizabeth Bachinsky
^^^^^^^^^^ – Stevie Howell
Zurita – Raul Zurita
What Does A House Want? – Gary Geddes
Twenty-five Years of Tree – James Moran & Jennifer Mulligan (ed)
Thanks For Nothing, Hippies – Sarah Clancy
Ocean – Sue Goyette
Come Cold River – Karen Connelly
Touch the Donkey Vol. 1
Memory – Ottawa Capital Slam Poetry Team – 2014
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Some Remarks – Neal Stephenson
A Brief Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien – Nigel Cawthorne
Distrust The Particular Flavor – William Gibson
Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

December 4, 2015
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FallingWallendas

Two poetry books in two days – not because I am rushing through them but because I was reading one at home and one at work on my lunch breaks.

The latter was ‘Falling Wallendas’. I am not going to heap as much praise on this as I did on ‘Lighthead’. It is a solid book, but there are definite hit and miss elements.

It became a solid hit right near the end of the book. First off, at one point I searched on line for info about Brown, and because I included the book title, I came across video footage of the death of the Wallenda patriarch, as he fell from a high wire. That kind of soured me on the book title.

Until the end. And, oddly, not due to the poem of the same title, but one eleven pages earlier – ‘The Clown’

“it’s the price they pay for lifting our eyes.”

Does this line appeal to me as an artist? Does it appeal to me as one he feels like art – a poetry specifically – has given me a life worth living while also yanking that life from underneath my feet and punishing me for expecting too much from it and from those around me?

Maybe so, but it also put the entire book in a new light, from cover to cover. (Including a cover that at first glance made me think that Rod Pederson had a secret life as a high wire walker.)

My year in books:

Falling Wallendas – Michael Brown
Lighthead – Terrance Hayes
Escarpment Pages – Rob McLennan
Arc Poetry Magazine #76 – Winter 2015
The New Yorker Reader: True Crime
X – Shane Rhodes
Plane Tickets Printed On Broken Glass – Mike McGee
Issues with Etiquette – Sean O’Gorman
Madness, Rack, and Honey – Mary Ruefle
The Hottest Summer in Recorded History – Elizabeth Bachinsky
^^^^^^^^^^ – Stevie Howell
Zurita – Raul Zurita
What Does A House Want? – Gary Geddes
Twenty-five Years of Tree – James Moran & Jennifer Mulligan (ed)
Thanks For Nothing, Hippies – Sarah Clancy
Ocean – Sue Goyette
Come Cold River – Karen Connelly
Touch the Donkey Vol. 1
Memory – Ottawa Capital Slam Poetry Team – 2014
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Some Remarks – Neal Stephenson
A Brief Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien – Nigel Cawthorne
Distrust The Particular Flavor – William Gibson
Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

December 4, 2015
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Lighthead

 

I recently mentioned that if some asks me what my favourite book of poetry is, that answer will change based on my mood.

Based on my current mood, that answer would by ‘Lighthead’ by Terrance Hayes.

I was given this book on my 44th birthday by a talented poet named Sepideh (who I believe is currently travelling the world and hopefully spreading her poetic talent wherever she goes). As such it already has sentimental value for me. That year was when Danielle Gregoire conspired to hold a surprise party / tribute show for me. It was pretty special.

As is this book. Even if I only read the first poem, ‘Lighthead’s Guide to the Galaxy’, I would still consider this book a treasure. Hayes has a way with cutting through the crap while still leaving a layer of art that gets you thinking about what you just read, rather than just reading it.

Highly, highly recommended.

 

My year in books:

Lighthead – Terrance Hayes
Escarpment Pages – Rob McLennan
Arc Poetry Magazine #76 – Winter 2015
The New Yorker Reader: True Crime
X – Shane Rhodes
Plane Tickets Printed On Broken Glass – Mike McGee
Issues with Etiquette – Sean O’Gorman
Madness, Rack, and Honey – Mary Ruefle
The Hottest Summer in Recorded History – Elizabeth Bachinsky
^^^^^^^^^^ – Stevie Howell
Zurita – Raul Zurita
What Does A House Want? – Gary Geddes
Twenty-five Years of Tree – James Moran & Jennifer Mulligan (ed)
Thanks For Nothing, Hippies – Sarah Clancy
Ocean – Sue Goyette
Come Cold River – Karen Connelly
Touch the Donkey Vol. 1
Memory – Ottawa Capital Slam Poetry Team – 2014
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Some Remarks – Neal Stephenson
A Brief Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien – Nigel Cawthorne
Distrust The Particular Flavor – William Gibson
Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman


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