Monday, September 02, 2013



September again. Is it possible? August flew past in a tumblesplash of wonderful company, 
End of August, Kootenay Lake

postcards, incoming and outgoing, 
Received, so far

and the 3:15 Experiment in which I only missed two nights this year! That may be my best effort, ever. Mind you, I haven't yet typed them up, or even so much as looked at them, so I may have to take back the bit about 'best'. 
I'll need a new book if I do 3:15 again next year

Back to the postcard fest, as I mentioned in previous posts, I chose to write epigraphs on my cards this year and took them from the 2013 Griffin Anthology of Poetry's seven finalists. What a great way to get to know some new poets! I am now very fond of Brenda Shaughnessy and will be keeping an eye out for more of her work. And Ian Williams. And the two winners, Ghassan Zaqtan and David W. McFadden. It got to be a most interesting exercise, finding two or three lines, applying them somehow to the image on the card, then writing a poem that somehow related to either the image or the epigraph, or both. (Or neither).

It's late, and I want to post this, so I'm just giving you the images of the cards I wrote plus the poems (unedited, other than spacing) without adding information about to whom or where they were sent. I didn't always send in the order of the list. 

Suffice it to say, if you were one of the 31 people whose names were directly beneath mine on the list, I sent you a card. I know some go missing in the mail. I know dogs eat them. I know people forget to put the right postage on them. I did that myself, with two of my cards, but happily I know both of them arrived at their destinations regardless.  Thanks, Canada Post! I know it's better to give than receive, but I'm still hoping to find a few more in my mailbox this month. 

All of the poems were written directly onto the cards. Here are the first seven of the 41 cards I've written so far. And I'm probably not done yet!

“Beneath the light
their dust was coming apart”
                        Ghassan Zaqtan

The ones who felled the trees
knew dust, absolute
and everywhere,
each particle
a blossomed universe,
the forest floor a galaxy
readying itself for an invasion
even the mighty Kauri
could not withstand—
the inhumanity of humans,
dust the only truth.

“My heart has an Embassy
for Ecuador where I will seek
                        Jennifer Maiden

These days you have to

take a number
when you line up
with the asylum-seekers,
whistle-blowers, the woodwork
spilling activists like impure thoughts
at a church convention,
this casual invitation
to the underworld almost welcome
to the look-over-your-shoulder crowd.
  “The present tense
is the body’s past tense
                        Alan Shapiro

Am I, with this

distracted scratch of pen,
leaving anything at all
to be found in eons hence
by someone shuffling through
sheaf of letters long forgotten,
past and present drawn
in petroglyphs of story,
tentative and touching,
an uncertain sigh,
a story writ in stone.

“He howls with such fury and clarity
I must believe him.”
                        Brenda Shaughnessy

Belief—a fractured 
concept I’m loath
to trust, remember
minnows at lake’s edge
fleeing my clutching hand,
evaporation the first thing
on their tiny minds,
the abomination of touch.

“Thank God I’ve forgotten
my desire for perfection.
It was in my blood, then one day it left me.”
                        David W. McFadden

You, over whom I lost my head
are no more than a mirage,
a broken sunbeam trapped
by moths ascending,
once I swore I’d die for you,
and you, the intimation was,
            for me.
Then time and time and time
went by the window of our years.
I have to hand it to you—
or I would,
            but I lost them, too.

“the boy inside turns on the lights and sings
the sympathy of not inhuman things.”
                        James Pollock

            when the hours move
            too slowly
            we take a breath,
            close a book,
            a chapter, a window,
            follow metaphoric dots
            across the wide field
            your mind is,
            that shortest distance
            from me to you.

“Problem is
            we did not want children. Problem is we did
            not want each other until too late.”
                                    Ian Williams

            The town’s namesake no longer
            lives there. Why would she?
            It is not a toothsome place
            to be. Or not to.
            Bee hive in a windstorm
            clearly struts with nature.
            I am so lost, so gone,
            so certain of your next-room
            breathing I cannot wait
            to tell you where I’ve been.



Carla Braidek said...

Bravo! what fine play. Some beautiful postcards and delightful words. The headless and handless made me laugh. If these are truly one-offs, my hat off to you. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Crosfield said...

Thanks for reading, Carla! And they were honest-to-God written directly onto the cards. I kinda cheated the first couple of years I did this, but have discovered a whole new freedom in just not giving a damn and going for it. Sometimes I do edit them afterwards, but this is the real deal.