Tag Archives: gun control

A Very American Problem

A Very American Problem

In the wake of the recent mass shooting…
in the wake..as if the mass shooting is an ocean liner
and we are sailboats helplessly bobbing.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
the President will talk about mental health (not his own)
and find someone to blame.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
Anderson Cooper and his panel discussed how in future
the notification of victims’ families could be speeded up,

the acceptance of the inevitability of mass shootings
inherent in this discussion
saddened me more than anything.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
thoughts, hearts, prayers will go out,
in a mass exodus of platitudes.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
no one will ask how someone who can’t legally purchase alcohol
can purchase an assault rifle.

This observation, this juxtaposition
has become so obvious, so commonplace,
it no longer qualifies as an insight.

Slim at the Vancouver Folk Festival (reprise)

One hour into the folkfest

and a mellow, minor key, melancholy

is seeping into Slim’s bones,

he feels it like an arthritic ache

and he wishes that someone

would duck walk across the stage

shooting staccato bursts of distorted guitar

at the chill, Tilley clad audience

who, unlike Slim, have a default mode

other than anger.


I thought I would reprise this one. I spent yesterday at the Vancouver Folk Festival. The photograph shows the on-site solar-powered ATM. The ATM is housed in a Volkswagen van which is indicative of the post Woodstock festival vibe, in fact some of the people looked like they may have been at Woodstock. At times they must have felt, looking at the current generation of festival-goers,  that they were looking at their former selves – long straight air, flowing dresses, tie-dyed shirts, garlands, beards, that swirling hippy dance. The solar-powered ATM is indicative of the environmental consciousness or conscience of the event ( there are attendants at each garbage bin station to ensure that people make the right recycling choice).

In recent years, local authorities have allowed a beer garden, which means that beer can be purchased and consumed behind a chain-linked fence but not carried around the festival grounds. This is good in that beer is available but having to drink in a compound dampens the free spirit vibe a little bit. It is ironic that at the Republican Convention this week, guns can be open-carried and here in Vancouver, it is forbidden to open-carry a beer. Sometimes erring on the side of safety is a good thing.

Some great acts that I hadn’t heard before = the Moulettes, San Firmin, Hayes Carll.