WALKING SPANISH DOWN THE HALL

The latest issue of The Apostle's Review.

The latest issue of The Apostle's Review.

Just a couple of random and unrelated things literary / artistic that I have had the honour to be included in. First, an artists’ book called Drop Names that I co-created with Victoria Stanton in 1995 has appeared in the newly-launched ‘virtual’ exhibition Artists’ Books: Bound in Art. The exhibit is a project of Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. Our work is only represented by a single picture, but there’s more than 140 artists’ books digitized on the site and available for browsing.

Second, two of my poems have appeared in the latest issue of The Apostles Review, a Spanish-language literary magazine published here in Montreal. The poems, ‘The Aesthetics of Emotional Control’ and ‘Prayer’, originally appeared in my triple-chapbook set SEX, POWER, MYTH, which I self-published back in late 2004. Alejandro Saravia bought a set at the launch party, and was quite taken with a few of the pieces.

Some of you might remember our performance at the April 2008 Words and Music at the Casa, where I read my poems in English and Alejandro then read the translated versions. At first, he’d translated a few of them just for his own pleasure. Then he floated the possibility that they might appear online. Imagine my delight when they actually appeared in print! It’s a really nice magazine, too, and features a lot of Spanish poets and prose writers, including Saravia himself, Angel Mota and Nela Rio.

The poems were written back in 1994 or thereabouts. Here’s the English versions of them:
The Aesthetics Of Emotional Control

Good taste is
Abstract, soothing, ambient
Smooth flowing lines and
Arrangements restful to the eye.
Good taste is
A DQ cone of soft ice cream
A Braun appliance
Original art that matches your furniture
Peace, order and good governance

Bad taste is
Jarring, disturbing, graphic
Weird harsh dissonance
Sleepless and jangled nerves at dawn.
Bad taste is
A movie dripping with gore
Incest and sexual abuse
Original art with political content
Anarchy, chaos and desire

I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth
A very bad taste

‘The Aesthetics of Emotional Control’, (sex), POWER, (myth). Montreal: Egg Sandwich Press, October 2004.
‘Estética del control’, (Spanish translation of ‘The Aesthetics of Emotional Control’ by Alejandro Saravia), The Apostles Review no. 4, July 2009, Montreal.

PRAYER

We are not killers, but we know murder. Murder of sleep, of sex, of dreams. My dead dreams rise, the shatter table fitted together like a jigsaw …

Osiris, touch me for a moment of time, hold me for a sequence you thought lost forever, love me for this archive of doubt, of displacement, this dark cabinet set with jewels of remembrance bright as the summer moon, deep as the slow heaving winter seas …

Cast off the veil of this time and that, there is a story to be told. Story for the children, story for the men who groan restless in their shuddering sleep, story for the women who find memory like a split lip, a cut, a fresh wound welling with fear the colour of blood …

Fear, the bright edge where memory cowers, where memory quails. Fear that keeps her close by her man. And he who will not call this fear his own in his most secret of blind secret hearts, he waits for her to face it with him, because he cannot face it alone …

‘Prayer’, (sex, power,) MYTH. Montreal: Egg Sandwich Press, November 2004.
‘La oracion’, (Spanish translation of ‘Prayer’ by Alejandro Saravia), The Apostles Review no. 4, July 2009, Montreal.

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