Goodness me, I’m bad at blogging. I was sort of hoping my blog would become sentient by now and just blog itself, like those machines that build machines. That didn’t happen.
Last month I came to Toronto to see the opera “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass. It’s this four-hour long piece that bankrupted its theatre company when it was first produced, or something. The songs are up to twenty minutes long, and the dancing is incredibly repetitive, and there are no intermissions, and there are snipers who kill anyone who tries to leave their seat. (One of those facts isn’t true.)
Not pictured: confused exchanges between audience members
This was the day after my convocation, and less than a week after my teaching job wrapped up. Aside from lots of awesome people, I didn’t have much keeping me in Ottawa, so what I did was I stayed here. I kept quiet about the plan because, on the off-chance that things went south, I didn’t want to return to Ottawa with my tail between my legs. Luckily things did not go south. After staying on my brother’s couch for a while, I scored a job and found an apartment and bought new shoes and saw a squirrel and blah blah blah. And I did a lot of knitting in front of the television.
What Ben Knits In Front Of: An Infographic
So that’s where my body and brain are currently located. But what about my poems? Obviously, they’re the primary concern. The new issue of The Malahat Review has three of them, and is available at most Chapters locations, as well as many independent magazine shops. Equally exciting, though not nearly as attainable, is the first issue of Conduit, a magazine that just launched in Ottawa a few days ago. Edited by In/Words alum Peter Gibbon from Australia, this magazine has no real online presence, on purpose. It’s part of Gibbon’s mandate to ensure that the contributing poets don’t lose their ability to publish their poems in other magazines that, in the editor’s well-argued opinion, obsess needlessly over printing never-before-seen material. The first issue of Conduit is also the twentieth issue of YES, and I won’t try to explain the legitimate historical significance of that. Or maybe I’ll get around to it but later.
As for the not-too-distant future: in September, Prism International (a Vancouver-based print quarterly with excellent taste in WordPress layouts) will be publishing three of my poems, and CV2 will be publishing two.
But if you’d rather not move your eyes from left to right over and over, and just sit in some room while poetry happens all over your ears, then come to The Ossington on July 31, where I’ll be reading alongside poet Andy Verboom, and fiction writers Jamila Alidina and Andrew Sullivan. It’s a midsummer literary party thrown collectively by Dragnet Magazine and U of T’s literary journal Echolocation. Those kids at Dragnet always deliver. Should be fun. Til then, eh.