Category Archives: Photography

I Often ask Myself the Question ( James Comey and other imponderables)

 

148

1

I often ask myself the question:
Is James Comey a bit of a wanker
a self-aggrandizing prima donna
who only looks honourable
when compared to Donald Trump?
I often ask myself that question.

2

I often ask myself the question:
can a man
mansplain to a man
or can a man
only mansplain
to a woman, and if so
if one explains something
in a condescending manner
to a member
of one’s own gender
is one, in effect,
cisplaining?
I often ask myself that question.

 

Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (update with photos)

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee

IMG_0409

Why did Yeats need Nine Bean Rows? (a slimverse)

he could have

had five to

rhyme with hive

contrived? Wha?

 

What brought this on?

A friend of mine told me recently that he had no recollection of studying Yeats at school. When he said this, the above lines from The Lake Isle of Inisfree, sprang in to my head along with “clay and wattles made” and “bee-loud glade” and of course  the opening line “I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree” which I have heard  so often that it has now taken on an orotund, stage Irish plumminess.

Our  English teacher, Mr Courtney, loved that “bee-loud glade”.

(of course, nine, bean, honey is more musical)

The Toddler King Part (1)

 

IMG_0269 (10)     IMG_0269 (8)    IMG_0269 (9) 

    Orange is the New Bleak 1 (3)

The Toddler King Part (1)

5 am in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

a five hundred pound ball
of carbohydrate and grease
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store,
no one notices

assault rifles take stock

the second amendment
thinks about making amends

the founding fathers
find themselves wanting.

 

Tree (woman with stroller)- 2

 

Nature Poem (a slim verse)

you call your

self a tree

my bank has

more branches.

 

tree-6-2

 

plus a bonus poem in which Slim escapes the 3 syllable shackles of slimverse and displays an uncharacteristic lightness of being.

 

The Low November Sun

The low November sun
hits the silver birches
and the cherry tree
sending the bush tits
and the black-capped
chickadees
into a flitting frenzy
Who pulled the alarm?
Which one is my nest?
Where did I leave that worm?

Both poems have appeared in other posts, this combination was prompted by the Daily Prompt – ‘branch’.

Word of the Day – Cisgender

Word of the Day – Cisgender

Origins:
‘Cis’ is a latin prefix meaning ‘on the same side of’. ‘Cisgender’ is a term used to describe people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.

Examples of use in a sentence:
1. Last night at dinner, he told his family he was ‘cisgender’; they said: “what’s changed?”
2. I am a cisgender, bi-national ( two passports), white male.

Assumptions that can be made from sentence no.2:
Never assume anything about anybody based on a label.

What I dislike about the word:
It was spawned in academia and therefore is more likely to obfuscate rather than clarify.
It has a whiff of fundamentalism, totalitarianism to it; it has the odour of doctrine.
When I hear the word, I hear the language police knocking on my door.

What I really dislike about the word:
There is no poetry in it; no alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme. Not one letter is repeated. All those wheedling slender vowels, the awful hiss of that first syllable like a snake slithering across the floor. And then, and then that doughy ‘g’ which can’t be saved by the late arrival of that hard ‘d’ like an ambulance to an accident.

Other than that……I’m fine with it

img_0589

Photo: English Bay, Vancouver, A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER, by Yue Minjun.

All Aboard / Poetic Ailments / Onion Soup For The Soul

IMG_1333 (2)

Poetic Ailments

irritable vowel syndrome
arrhythmia
pain in the assonance
acute enjambment
inflammation of the lower case
latinnittus
typographical dysfunction
fear of sonnets
halibunions
grammaroids
the irrational fear that someone in the room is going to recite a Robert Service poem.

IMG_1333

Onion Soup For The Soul

I was reading Trish Hopkinson’s excellent blog  last weekend and I came across a post titled “20 Paying Lit Mags”. This intrigued me, there are so many Lit Mags to submit to and it’s difficult to know where to start, so I thought: why not try submitting to the ones that pay. I started to examine the list.
I will use the phrase “don’t get me wrong” twice in this post. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there is no money in poetry and that most people that run Lit Mags are doing it for the love of it.
What did I find? Well, on the whole, Paying Lit Mags don’t pay much. The lowest payment was $10, a lot of payments were in the $15 to $25 range for a poem or a short story. My favourite was this one:
PAYMENT: For original commentary, fiction, and poetry, Contrary Magazine pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of the number of works or nature of the submission. Reviews and Contrary Blog posts are usually unpaid. Author must email us an invoice within six months of acceptance for the payment to be processed. If no invoice is received within six months of acceptance, author forfeits payment, but all rights remain in force. Upon receipt of invoice, payments will be made through Paypal.
You have to chase down $20 and no matter what “all rights remain in force”. There should at least be a “no thank you but I insist” stage to the process. Then again, it is called “Contrary Magazine”.
One magazine, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, stood out. They pay $200 for a short story or poem. Could this be the magazine for me? I clicked on their website where I found a list of categories for which they needed submissions. For example:
Stories about My Mom
We are collecting stories and poems written by sons and daughters of all ages about their moms, step-moms, grandmoms or someone that is “like a mom” to you. Tell us what this special person has done for you. Is she always right? Do you still turn to her for advice? Does she annoy you with her advice? Have you become your mom even though you swore you never would? How has your relationship changed as you’ve gotten older? Share your best stories – ones that will make us laugh, cry, or nod our heads in recognition. We are not looking for general tributes (we know your mom is terrific) nor are we looking for biographies. We are looking for specific anecdotes about you and your mom or stepmom or grandmom. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is SEPTEMBER 30, 2018 for release in March 2019 in time for Mother’s Day.
I began to get the feeling that I might have trouble mustering the requisite wholesomeness for “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure they are good people who are providing a valuable and popular service…hell, they are paying $200….but…you know. Also, I don’t think my mom would fit the “Chicken Soup” model, she had a somewhat colourful turn of phrase and an unerring ear for bullshit or pretentiousness.

She had this expression “plus fours and no breakfast” which always made me  think of  landed Irish gentry from  a JP Donleavy novel; their fortunes dwindling, living in a damp, draughty, decaying castle in rural Ireland tended to by a skeleton staff of loyal eccentric servants supervised by an ancient butler – a bead of rheumy moisture permanently suspended from the end of his nose. She had many other expressions a bit more profane than this one but I don’t think she would appreciate having them repeated here. So maybe I’ll try Contrary Magazine and if I get accepted I’ll invoice them for half the amount just to be contrary.

 

IMG_1334

 

 

Brexit at Tiffany’s

IMG_1385 (3)_LI

 

Brexit at Tiffany’s

I ask Slim for his response to a recent report that Nigel Farage thinks it would be a good idea to re-do the Brexit referendum. We arrange to meet for a few pints in ‘The Post-Coital Beetle” to discuss his response and catch up. Slim is late, so I get a booth, and order a pitcher of Blue Buck. On the television screen suspended from the ceiling, two ex-soccer players – Matt Holland and Phil Neville – are discussing possession stats for the English premier league; apparently, the team that keeps possession of the ball usually wins. Not rocket science, but then Matt and Phil are not rocket scientists. They both look trim and fit in their English sportscaster casual wear. Phil is wearing a beige V-necked sweater, a white button down shirt, tight black pants and fashion sneakers. Matt is wearing a black crew neck, tight black pants and, yes, fashion sneakers. They look like their mothers dressed them.

I have never met Slim’s mother, but I doubt if she would have dressed him in the outfit he is wearing as he bursts through the pub door like an overweight, balding Kramer – faded baggy jeans, a MEC Gore-Tex anorak whose wicking days are long over and a white T shirt, one size too small, with the message “Fragile” on the front. He slaps a sheet of white paper on the table and says:
“Here you go!”

On the paper lies the following poem:

Disparaging Nigel

Nigel Farage
will be remembered forever
as the man who made
the word, ‘wanker’,
seem inadequate.

Very good, I say, “disparage”, “Farage”. What do you want to call the post?

‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’.

Ha! Or how about : ‘Guess who’s coming to Brexit’!

Slim looks like he has just swallowed a cup of Drano.

I think you’re missing the fucking point. It has to be a movie or book with ‘Breakfast’ in the title, like, say, ‘Brexit of Champions’ or ‘The Brexit Club’.

Well, anyway…… so it’s not a homonym, it’s not a synonym, it’s not really a pun, what is it?

It’s a malapropism.

Who took Sidney Poitier to dinner?

Katherine Houghton

How did you know, no one ever gets that right.

I know because every time you have a few drinks, you ask the same fucking question.

Poutine?

Why not? Life’s short.

It’ll be even fucking shorter if we keep eating Poutine.

We both lean back and laugh. On the screen above our heads, Manchester United score a goal and the colour commentator says:

“See, what just happened is that United have put the ball in the net and it’s been proven time and time again that if you want to score goals you have to put the ball in the net”

**********

looking at me (2)

A Brexit poem from Slim’s locker:

Come what? May?

Hard Breggsit?
Soft Breggsit?
Breggsit  over easy?
Not on the menu.

Stilt Walker Redux / Willie Nelson Once Said/ Mnemonic

 

 

img_0500-2

Willie Nelson Once Said..

Willie Nelson once said:
if you fail at something long enough
you become a legend
by that metric
I’ve got some failing to do.

**

Bobcaygeon!
What an explosion
that word is.

**

don’t tell Gord Downie
what the poets are doin’.

img_0494-2

Mnemonic

I wish I could recall
what that word means.

Very droll!
Not a dry seat in the house.

Laugh? I nearly cried.

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.
Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me.
Aunt Mary Hangs Out The Washing.

One of the above
is not a mnemonic

And If The Eagle Flies At Midnight
we’ll still be on the ground
our feet stuck to the pavement
of that going nowhere town.

Now where?
Did that?
Come from?