Where are you now?
I am currently sitting in the living room of my apartment in the neighborhood of Sunnyside, north of the river in Calgary, AB. It’s snowy outside and 10:43 pm, the time I start feeling productive and do things like write answers to interview questions, call my mom, or vacuum. Unless I have brought home burgers as a bribe, my future wife tends to resent these late-night habits, though our cat does not. At 28, I am amid the so-called prime of my life and the beginning of my career, but please don’t tell my life or career that.
What are you reading?
I’m halfway through A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch, a novel about the romantic entanglements of a close-knit group of bourgie mid-lifers. It’s very well written, and though the prose is purpler than grape drink – everyone is petulant, clever, and dashing beyond believe – I feel I’m learning something about writing complex motivations. I’m also reading through a box of chapbooks I recently received from rob mclennan at above/ground press, including stuff from derek beaulieu, Christian Bök, Stan Rogal, the Touch the Donkey series, and much, much more.
What have you discovered lately?
My most recent discoveries include: the trade economy existing among author, artist, and publisher types whereby creativity otherwise monetized or unavailable is exchanged in kind, building community and opening access where it might otherwise not exist; and an increasing fascination with concrete and visually-oriented poetry, especially that which incorporates novel advances in consumer media and technology (like scanners, printers, computer manipulation, social media, etc.) into the exploratory process.
Where do you write?
The bulk of my writing is done sitting in the living room of my apartment in Sunnyside, though I have been known to scribble into a battered notebook elsewhere from time to time. I try to switch up my writing implements, as I seem to hit different rhythms with, for example, a typewriter versus a pen and paper. Thus, I write into my computer, my journal, the notepad function of my phone, on my typewriter, or a scrap of paper. Luckily, all of these are instruments are mobile, so my writing practice is more dependent on state of mind than time or place.
What are you working on?
At the moment I’m working to complete a book-length project of visual poetry I’ve been referring to as ‘Barcode Poetry’. Each part is a unique typographic code generated on my 1940 Remington Rand Deluxe Model 5 typewriter. As I hope to build some public enthusiasm for the series while I get it up to 100 parts (it’s in the 60s now), I’ve been sending out early drafts of the project for publication, and am having some surprising success. Otherwise, I’ve been working on a variety of print media via my small press, The Blasted Tree Publishing Co. In the last month we’ve put out several leaflets, longsheets, and the like, and we have a chapbook and a short poster series coming out over the next couple weeks.
Have you anything forthcoming?
I am personally looking forward to the publication of two excerpts from ‘Barcode Poetry’, both of which will be appearing online. The first comes out from h& on Friday, February 10th, and we should see the second batch posted by Bottlecap Press on February 18th. I also have a review of Svetlana Lilova’s experimental poetry book, Metaphysical Dictionary, forthcoming in filling Station magazine. My review attempts to replicate her dictionary-like form as a way to demonstrate my impressions of the book. Meanwhile, The Blasted Tree will see the publication of obscuritysquared, a neuroscience-inspired chapbook of poetry by Montreal scientist, musician, and poet Michael Smilovitch, then a poster series made from visual poetry by Columbian designer and author Laura Rojas. Exciting times!
What would you rather be doing?
Less of the day job, more of the writing/publishing. Obviously, paying the bills is hard (i.e. impossible) without the former, though I spend a lot of time doing the latter, and wish it were more. Some of the happiest times I’ve experienced were when I was free to write (perhaps a little inebriated) without haste, when I’ve connected with friends both new and old over the subject of writing, or when a product of my creative labour is well-received by the community I aspire to serve. To that end, I would like to do more of what I am doing, but better, more effectively. Unfortunately, the double-life routine is a little taxing, yet I know I’m very fortunately to have a bourgeoning creative practice I can tend in my spare time.
Star light through sextant:
In through the
Near side lunar module
Moon the L4 sextant module
Specific solar corona segments
earthshine by region
Dark surface fields
eclipse the light
> Found poem rearranging “Command Module Photographic Tasks” table (pp. 3-89) from Apollo Program Summery Report [JSC-09423]