Friday, November 24, 2017

On Writing #145 : Josh Massey

Some of my Current Thoughts on Writing
Josh Massey 

When viewed from an adjacent universe, which constellation does our sun fall within? Eye of a Taurus, tip of some Scorpion’s stinger—I think it would depend on which galaxy we’re observing from, and the tint of our space suit visor.

It’s where the sweet spot for writing occurs, it’s a snag of lint in the illogical design wrinkle of a hastily-built house, with the lost pens and socks. 


—Allison, Alison, Alyson, Allie; John, Jon, Jonathan; Sara, Sarah, Cera; Mary, Marie; Navneet, Navpreet, Nanveet; Amie, Aimie, Amy—

Naming’s wild permutations. The only fixed rule the exception. So the grammarian’s wishy-washy responses to site-specific discrepancies that cannot be proved right or wrong except situationally. The comma supposed to offset non-essential or tangential information. But what constitutes secondary information is a matter of opinion. The situation is, as the media says, extremely druid.

When writing fundamentalism, one of the surface glimmers of meaning must be the fun. Putting the fun back in such and such. The plum and plumb in plumbing. This matters as much as the marmoreal rock recalling such and such classic bust. 


Soaking in hot springs near Nakusp and my friend Cory does poem freestyle. He’s a dentist and we’re monkey-like in steam-soaked hemlock canopy of shale hillside. “The hot water trickles, it brickles…” he says, conjuring the barrier of the water pools.

Once in Montreal I used the world dovely. “Lovely, dovely,” I wrote (a long time ago).

Someone says you can’t just say brickles, you can’t just write dovely, in a proper poem. But in this deviation lies the chewing gum the typist needs for blowing peach-coloured loud smackers.

On starboard deck of the ferry in the Hecate Strait yelling into the wailing winds with Haida friend doing same.

Keeping lint ball at bay with lost pen.

Is where I’m at with this whole writing thing these days. 

Josh Massey is the author of two novels, We Will All Be Trees (2009) set in Northern Ontario, and The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree (2015) which is set in Northern British Columbia. His third novel is centred in Vienna. He currently teaches in the English Faculty at Selkirk College, this after a 9-year romance with Northern BC during which he worked forest and river jobs, took an MA in English at UNBC in Prince George and then was news reporter at The Terrace Standard for three years. The geographies of BC are all contiguous in warping perspectives like some mountainous MC Escher. Totally. He shares his work on Twitter @opallachedweem and

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