Friday, May 01, 2015

We Who Are About To Die : Amanda Earl

Amanda Earl is an Ottawa writer, publisher and visual poet. Her poetry book, Kiki, came out with Chaudiere Books in 2014. Her collection of filthy tales came out in 2014 also and is entitled Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl. All money from sales of the smut goes to GMHC, a global organization trying to help people with AIDS/HIV. Amanda gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Ottawa for Saint Ursula's Commonplace Book. More info can be found at

Where are you now?
Ottawa, in my office, having just returned from a long solo evening meander that involved red wine & eavesdropping.

What are you reading?
Flow Chart by John Ashbery;

Glass-From the First Mirror to Fiber Optics, the Story of the Substance that Changed the World by William S. Ellis;

The Daydreams of Angels by Heather O’Neill;

Master of O, the other side of the story, by Ernest Greene;

Long poem manuscripts for the AngelHousePress call for submission for long poems;

People, clouds, minds and hearts.

What have you discovered lately?
that a few crocuses still bloom in the spring on Parliament Hill;

Terrence Maalik’s Days of Heaven;

The Lazarus Corporation’s Text Remixing Desk V. 2.0 ;

colourfield art;

Judas Priest.

Where do you write?
In a little yellow notebook I carry around in my purse;

On the red couch with a view of 19 stories;

At my desk in my office on my computer;

In bars and cafes.

What are you working on?
a long poem about regret under a pseudonym;

a long poem entitled Ceremony under the influence of Ashbery’s Flow Chart.

Have you anything forthcoming?
a poem in Arc Poetry Magazine this summer.

What would you rather be doing?
At the moment, I’m content with what I’m doing, if I wasn't I'd figure out how to do it.

POEM (excerpt from Saint Ursula’s Commonplace Book)

The journal is warped, soaked with rain or snow,
I don’t know. I am prone to wandering.

My prize is this book by a woman who is prone to wandering.
I can’t always read her handwriting. wild loops

and tight script in all directions. Pages ripped out.
There are fragments. Words scratched out

She writes her dreams and visions
of a saint with her name, Ursula.

Some pages are dotted with blood. Filled with nightmare art,
demons crouched in dark trees, a ship on a stormy sea, a tangle

of green waves tossing people over the bow. A sharp sword, its blade
covered in the blood of angels. An arrow lodged in a broken heart.

I walk because I need to escape. I walk the city streets 
in the early mornings with commuters.

I discover untended gardens in the backyards of strangers. I walk
across the river over metal bridges covered in ice. I stand in cold groves

packed with pure white snow, surrounded by branches as black as crows’ wings,
the ground reddened by the stain of chokecherries.

My favourite spot is beneath the bridge.
Where I find this journal, Saint Ursula’s Commonplace Book.

A gust of wind blows the book open to the first page.
I shiver in the cold and begin to read.

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