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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

printing, publishing - it's in the blood!

Hi Ed,
Yep, typography & printing - it's in the blood! ... my Brit granddad, George Faiers,  was a printer (Newmarket, Suffolk).

When I was 10 or 11 my parents gave me a printing set for Christmas. Best gift ever! There were piles of type, & metal liner trays
to place them in. My first project was a newspaper, the Neighborhood News (Yank spelling) - which I spent hours laying out, hand printing
& then handing out door to door to amused and befuddled neighbours on Key Biscayne, Florida. Wonder if there's an issue
somewhere, perhaps in my mother's locker on Hilton Head Island?

Then we moved to a suburb on the far outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, where I published THE NORTHCREST NEWS using a gestetner.
Published it for at least a couple of years - even had advertisers & about 150 subscribers. I asked my younger brother, Jeremy, to write an
editorial (he wouldn't have reached 10 yet), & he scribbled something about how our isolated suburb was supposed to have a community
swimming pool.

I put this piece as the feature on the next issue, & got an incredible response (I was 13). The Tucker Bank had bought an ad (!), & I approached
them & got permission to hold a public meeting in their downstairs meeting room. I called some local contractors & organized a public
meeting - & the fucking pool got built! 

All this done by a 13-year-old kid! and his baby bro ...  maybe the highlight of my writing/journalistic career  :  )

Yes, there's something about mucking about with ink, metal type, layout, the smell of beautifully poisonous chemical machines cranking out
our written words of wisdom  :  )

I've cut my own palms open & used the blood when I couldn't find ochre to smear on cave wall publications & artwork ... (but that was in another lifetime, long, long ago).

printer's devils, yes, it's in our blood :  )

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase ... wrfffffffffffffffffffffffff!


On 2012-11-27, at 12:15 PM, Ed Baker wrote:

had i but discovered Daniel Berkeley Updike in the 50's when I was studying printing I used to LOVE
mixing inks and smearing the mixture on that wheel..
   black plus a little red plus a little blue ..   was the only class in junior high school that I repeated 4 times
and got a A each time....  then  in high school I apprenticed   as a printer to Irving Lean  should have stayed with Mr. Lean and printing
rather than that temporary hook-up with Doralynn (Dorrie) Jacobs ;

here is a comment that I just made on that Steve Fama blog-essay re: that 4-volume Larry Eigner production:

I've just discovered the writings of the VERY FAMOUS
  Daniel Berkeley Updike

via William Peterson's

The Well-Made BOOK   Essays and Lectures by Daniel Berkeley Updike

and  just by page 19 of the 360 + pages

one can IMMEDIATELY see

where this four-volume production of Larry Eigner's
work  went wrong !
albris has this $55 book  (NEW) for $8.00 !

I wonder what will become of me
when in my old age
a robot or Nanny-Cam keeps track of my every move

above all else
will this machine be able to wipe my ass ?

cheers, Ed

pee est:

here is Steve Fama's article:

full moon
above all else
who will wipe my ass ?


speaking of ochre   check out name of press that in 1974 published my The City:

the first printing set i got was type made out of an hard rubber... red  and a metal hand-cranked little press..

here is   sort uve the kind of press I worked:

to finish off my Thanksgiving squirrel .... tastes just like chicken        Ed


Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "printing, publishing - it's in the blood!":

here is the EXACT press that i had:

Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 27 November 2012 13:42


Ed Baker's email thoughts on 'culture clubs' & publishing
Dec. 10/12

Many men think that studying printing all by themselves
is a dull and lonely business and may be better accomplished
in groups or associations, apparently feeling (as Mrs Wharton
once said of members of women's clubs) like "one of the la-
dies who pursue Culture in bands as though it were dangerous
to meet alone."  Hence we have companies of Book Builders,
Book Clinics, and what not, which are supposed to impart
knowledge with a minimum of suffering to the patient.  I am
not so sure that much is accomplished by such gatherings, for
"good work means tête-à-tête  with what you are doing and is
incompatible with the spirit of picnics."

this is from an address that he gave in 1937 in Providence
at the opening of a collection that a library there took-in of his

"Mrs. Wharton" is Edith Wharton   his friend and who a lot of her
book he (Merrymount Press) printed and designed...

a coincidence   the editor of this collection, William S. Peterson
just retired after about 35 years teaching  from the U of Maryland....
down the street

from where I graduated in 1967.  maybe I should look him up...
maybe he can help design a title page for ARS POETIC HER,
select an appropriate font, say, American Garamond, and a paper
to  peint on ?



not much of a "stretch" to say same as above about our  Now Poetry and The Teaching of't

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Wilber's 'squirrel shawarma', worms, beer, Keebec, Eel Pie Hotel,

email blather Nov. 24/12

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the thumbs up from Christy.  There were many there at the Milton night I didn’t have the chance to talk to, but if nothing else it was good to see so many familiar faces. Like so many poets who have just gotten fed-up with other poets and people in the arts community I too have my nemesis and can’t bring myself to be in the same room with Wilber at any public event.   It is bad enough I have to put up with him in private.  However, I am sorry it prevented me from connecting more with the friends who showed up there that night.

Wilber and I got home safe-and-sound yesterday just as it was getting dark.  In a surprisingly spry leap Wilber hopped out of the Van and immediately grabbed a squirrel that was running up to me looking for seeds due to the fact I had been away and the feeder was empty.  Wilber wrung its neck and proceeded to gut and skin it, mumbling something about how the whole time he was in Toronto he hadn’t managed to find one eatery that served “Squirrel Shawarma.”  Who knew there even was such a thing????  In no time he had an outside fire going and proceeded to cook it spread eagle on some contraption he made out of a coat hanger.  And the amazing thing is in a wrap with lots of garlic sauce, and the fall herbs and mushrooms Wilber found in the woods, it wasn’t half bad.  Wilber claims the key to squirrel is the garnish.  And like most things… it is hard to argue with Wilber. And why would you bother????

Old Comrade, thank you so much for all your hospitality and for facilitating my being able to be part of this big city event.  Ask Chase to forgive me for Wilber taking his bed… I hope the old shit didn’t smell it up to much.  If Chase needs to stay off of it for a while I guess that would certainly be a comment on Wilber.

“Eel Pie Island Dharma is a magnificent hippie haiku reflection of times-gone-by.  From the Canadian master of the haibun form; poems like starry eyes, twinkle out from the text, a haijin’s worn face.”   Jim Larwill

“Eel Pie Island????  Oh that old derelict hippie hotel.  I crashed there once.  So Canadian Chris was that furry grave digging little twerp sleeping in the closet at the top of the stairs?  What a flaked-out looser he was.”  Wilber Walnut

Sorry…. Wilber had said you looked familiar and when I was working on my quote for your book he saw the cover and it sparked his memory.

Need to go get more twigs for the fire….. thanks again…. And sorry again for Wilber drinking most of our beer…..

RK  aka  Jim


Greetings Jim & Wilber,
Good to hear you 2 reprobates made it home safe & sound! I almost emailed to make sure, but thought that would be a bit too close to parenting (altho Wilber sure could have used some decent parenting early on - about a century too late now). Good to know you guys eventually found yer way back to the shack across the Keebec border OK.

Glad the new book is growing on you ... thanks for your kind words, & as for Wilber's comments on Eel Pie and me being a furry grave digging "looser", well, I f***ed all the skoolgirls while he snored holes in his rotten sleeping bag in the corner of my closet. Man, he was so ancient even back then a few chillums of Nepalese Temple Ball knocked him on his butt. Liquor, maybe, but the old fart sure couldn't hold his soft drugs ...  

(Phone call interrupted these important correspondences - it was Dan at Malone wondering if we survived our trip to TO. I lied thru my remaining teeth & told him the gig was a super success.)

Anyway, hope the squirrel vindaloo doesn't come back to haunt the 2 of you in the middle of the nite. 

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase (who's going to get wormed tonite after havng Wilber sleep on his couch  for 2 nites) ... wffffffffffffff (a pitiful plea for no worming, pls - it's Wilber who should be wormed!)

p.s. until an appropriate pic of Wilber appears somewhere on the web that I can cut & paste, I'll just have to use a generic pic of a hillbilly - apologies to Wilb ... 

                 X X X X X X X X X X 


Squirrel: It’s what’s for dinner in Romney, W.Va.

Erin Julius - Calvin Riggleman stirs a batch of squirrel gravy during this year’s Squirrel Fest in Romney, W.Va.
ROMNEY, W.Va. — The news that another critter has been added to this year’s Squirrel Fest buffet fails to impress at least one arriving guest.
“I don’t want no ’coon,” he says, even as he meets the man who supplied it and is told how it will be prepared.
Not to worry. Tangy rabbit nachos, a vegetarian lasagna, potato soup, a salsa-inspired raccoon dip and fried raccoon did not divert attention from the headliner at the 13th event of its kind held the Sunday before Thanksgiving: a giant vat of squirrel gravy, lightly caramel-colored and smooth on the surface, with shreds and chunks of long-cooked meat waiting to be ladled up and onto biscuits and baked potatoes.
In this 250-year-old seat of Hampshire County with a population of 2,000, where vegetable farmers turn in their hoes for hunting gear as the weather turns cold, small-game season is a big deal. Squirrel hunting in particular.

Residential squirrels help themselves to bird feeders or scamper into attics. But hungry rural squirrels can wreak havoc on a farm. Squirrel Fest host Calvin Riggleman, son of Gary Riggleman (the raccoon meat raconteur) says the bushy-tailed Sciurus carolinensis digs up newly planted seeds and munches away at apples ripe for the picking at his 85-acre farm. A boom in the squirrel populations of some Northeast states this year led to sizable crop losses on orchards in Vermont and New York, according to recent Associated Press reports.

While pest experts use chemicals to control squirrels, the farmers here have a sustainable solution.
“I’m not sure why there’s a season for squirrel,” says Cal’s mother, Linda Riggleman, who has been making squirrel gravy for years. “We never have run out.” The gravy’s a standby; last year, Riggleman made squirrel potpie for the fest and did, in fact, run out.

American squirrel cuisine has something of an official birthplace in Virginia’s Brunswick County, where in 1828 four of the critters, onions and stale bread went into a pot and became the dish known as Brunswick stew. The Irish Times reported in January 1997 that the “American habit of eating squirrel has arrived in Britain,” chronicling a sampling of roasted squirrel and casseroles with herbs and chanterelles served at an estate owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The U.K.-based Wild Meat supplies grey squirrel meat (an invasive species) to British grocers and sells online.

Cal Riggleman returned from two deployments with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006 to start his own farm and family in Romney, next to the 80 acres of orchards farmed by his grandparents.
Now 31, he was just out of high school when he started Squirrel Fest with a few friends at his parents’ house. It grew; when the number of attendees hit 250, Riggleman moved the operation to a commercial kitchen and warehouse he bought with a business partner two years ago. (His Bigg Riggs Farm sauces and jams are manufactured there.)
The free event coincides with the start of deer-hunting season — something folks here tend to appreciate.

“Makes me want to hit something on the way home!” Kevin Moore, a friend of Riggleman’s, said as he cleaned his Squirrel Fest plate.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


\Hi Marvin,
Returned from TO an hour & a half ago. Wilber Walnut is still keeping me company - we are drinking Zywiec beer, because we already drank the ritzy Quebec beers Wilber
'acquired' somewhere.

The EVENING WITH MILTON ACORN & FRIENDS last nite was a super success. The event started out as a potential disaster, as the shift manager at the pub wasn't aware of our room reservation. But all of us fed on the chaos, & I sold about 12 books, & gave a few copies to people I owed one to (e.g. haijin John Hamley, who wrote the intro, poet Bruce Hunter, who has given me copies of his books, & Anna Yin). I sold 5 package 'specials' of EEL PIE ISLAND DHARMA & ZENRIVER: POEMS & HAIBUN  for $20 (all I had). I'm very pleased at the positive reception EPID received - I packed 15 copies for the gig, & returned home with just one!

Everyone performed at the top of their game, from the opening skit of "finding Milton Acorn" to David Fox's professional reading of a number of Milt's poems, to Joyce Wayne's reading from her new novel. Morley Ellis (my best bud) started the whole shebang off with his music, & provided background music at the break. For the first half hour+ we all struggled without a mic against the backdrop of rowdy drinking Ryerson students. But once we were miked, we took over the upstairs room - hard to believe a raggle-taggle group of poets could hold a room against a bunch of drunken students, but we did - showing the power of poetry & Milt's legacy.

It was about the time we were getting amplified that an orange-uniformed SWAT squad of 5 swarmed thru the crowd - looking for ?????  - completing the anarchic fun & confusion of the first part of the evening!

By the halfway point of the evening, the students hellbent on rowdying had left, & the more astute of their number remained, captivated by this circus of Canadian people's poetry at its living finest! Terry Barker read 3 poems, and then was shouldered aside by Jim Larwill's alter-ego, Wilber Walnut. Wilber brought down the house, as I knew he would. His eye-popping performance (literally! - fortunately it turned out to be a pickled egg, which was unceremoniously juggled by several audience members - possibly eventually eaten) kept the entire room HUSHED and spellbound by his charismatic literary codgerisms. One sexy & bold young thing bought this horny old centurion (?) - 100-year-old-dude - a scotch & gave him her phone number with hugs & kisses. Wilber disappeared soon after, only to resurface for the ride back to Marmora, where he's now bragging of his conquests & giggling in a nasty way while drinking MY beer! Of course, Wilber is the author of "The Carnivoresque Self-help Guide for Swingers" and is used to "helping" him self.

Wilber & I are starting to fade as the beers & last nite's adrenalin rush are starting to take their toll   ...

whatever else we might write now could get us jailed, or bring back the SWAT team ... ?????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peace & pootry poer1
cris,m, wilrv, chse, ect

p.s. when the haz clrs well ti to rmeber who els wz trhe

On 2012-11-20, at 6:35 PM, marvin orbach wrote:

Hi Chris,
  I must add to my previous e-mail a great big thank-you for your
very kind inscription in my copy of EPID.   It was a big honour for
me. I am still enjoying the book.
  Have a great time in Toronto.
  Woof woof to Chase.

On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM, Chris Faiers <> wrote:
thanks for the support, Marvin
A quick thank you note, as we're heading off to TO in a couple of hours.
back to you when we return,
thanks again! glad you like the book!!!
C&C ... Wrfffffffffffffffffffff!

On 2012-11-20, at 11:20 AM, marvin orbach wrote:

Hi Chris,
 I received your Eel Pie Island Dharma  just yesterday.  Thank you
very much.   It's  a great work of art,   I enjoyed rereading it.  It
is really an important piece of literature.  And the book itself with
the beautiful cover is very well done. Three cheers to Hidden Brook
Press.   It will soon be on its way  to Biblioheaven at the U. of C.,
where it will keep scholars busy for years to come.
 I thought I would mention to you that I recently attended a small
press fair here in Montreal and met the Ottawa haiku poet Mike
Montreuil. He said he is vert  familiar with your work.  He added that
his haiku are less traditional than yours.  It's a small world, isn't
 I trust Chase is doing well.
 Please keep in touch.
 Peace and Shanti.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

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Book Description

Oct 1 2012
Eel Pie Island Dharma: A hippie memoir/haibun By Chris Faiers Published by Hidden Brook Press ISBN - 978-1-897475-92-8 This book is one of the most important historical document of the 60s, a memoir in haibun form. It is part of the Hidden Brook Press, celebrated North Shore Series - the 28th book in this renowned Canadian literature series. This memoir of a sixties survivor has become a haiku/haibun classic and an oft-quoted reference for the heady ferment which was the tail end of the 1960s. Meet a Beatle! Attend the first Glastonbury music festival! Fight cops and skinheads at the infamous 144 Piccadilly squat! Hear a banshee and walk across Ireland ... live in the derelict Eel Pie Island Hotel with hippies, junkies and bikers ... be seduced by school girls ... drop acid in Cambridge ... sleep in a cave on Formentera ... Before the draft for the Vietnam War called, Chris Faiers was a shy bookworm. But he read his Kerouac, and when the draft notices kept coming, "Canadian Chris" hit the dharma road feet first and didn't look back for three years.

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Friday, 16 November 2012


Thank you Tai & Kim Grove and Hidden Brook Press for publishing this gorgeous reprint! And thanks to the many others who walked with me along the dharma path, offering friendship and guidance.

First, to Dr. Eric Amann, the 'godfather' of Canadian haiku. It was Eric's early encouragement and publication of my first haiku in his seminal magazine HAIKU back in the mid-1960s which started me on the haijin path.  

To fellow Eel Pie Island communard Weed (once Chris Whitehouse), who gently pushed me into letting him put EEL PIE DHARMA (original title) online in the early 2000s on his amazing & eclectic website.

Thanks to my close friend & editor, Sylvia Hegge, for copy editing so many times she now wears glasses  :  )

To all my old UK friends & sister & brother hippies: Debbie, Scotch Doogy, Marion, Eddie, Dominic, and to the1,000s of other fellow travelers in those magickal times.

Thanks to haijin snow flea (John Hamley) for writing the insightful introduction.


 LAUNCH next Wednesday, NOV. 21 st at Imperial Pub(lic) Library in Toronto 
54 Dundas Street East (edge of Ryerson University campus)

The launch of EPID will be next Wednesday at The Imperial Public Library as part of:

(Terry Barker, Anna Yin,  Brandon Pitts, Joyce Wayne, David Fox, Morley Ellis,
Jim Larwill/Wilber Walnut & an OPEN SET round robin of poems by & about
Milt - & anecdotes!)

copies of EPID will be available at a discount from the $17.95 cover price
package deal of Eel Pie Island Dharma and ZenRiver: Poems & Haibun for $25   

copies of Milton Acorn's new selected (James Deahl, Editor) will also be available:
Our Newest Arrivals

We are proud to bring you three of our newest books from the North Shore Series.

Links for these three books will be up soon.

You can find info about the series at:


Chris Faiers

 emails between Henry Martinuk & Chris
(DVDs of 2012 PurdyFest being prepared)

Hi Henry,
That's great that you'll make it to the EVENING WITH MILT & FRIENDS next Wednesday nite! It's going to be an evening to remember, that's for sure  :  )

Trust you'll recount your 'almost meeting' with Milt when he arose from the back of the restaurant (Crest Grill?), saw you & your friend gaping in admiration, & bellowed, "You little shits don't know anything!"        ...   that's such a perfect Milt anecdote  :  )

And it's great that you've done up the DVDs on PurdyFest. They will become a  piece of Canadiana history!  Many thanks!

I've been in regular contact with Montreal Canadian poetry archivist & retired librarian Marvin Orbach. Marvin has his own collection of CanPo at the Univ. of
Calgary, & I've been sending him almost weekly batches of my poetry collections, & also of old Unfinished Monument Press books & chapbooks.

As our friendship has grown, we've become almost daily correspondents, & I've even copied him on many of my poetry-related emails for literary posterity (if our
crazy hillbilly planet - seemingly so bent on self-destruction - does survive into another century or 2).

So I know Marvin would love to have copies of your DVDs:

here's his snail mail: 

Marvin Orbach
22 Radcliffe Rd.
Montreal West, P.Q.
H4X 1B9

and his email address is in this header.

I'm going to post this correspondence on my blog, so the downlow ain't so low no more ...  :  )

looking forward to seeing you next week  :  )
thanks for doing all this ...
peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase ... wffffffffff ,,, (we're both a bit tired - returned just a few mins ago from long hike on the Cross-Canada Trail)


On 2012-11-16, at 2:39 PM, Henry Martinuk wrote:

Hi Chris,
congrats on your new book. I'm looking forward to next Wednesday at the Imperial Pub in Toronto for your book launch and the Milton Acorn celebration.

I've just finished the Acorn Symposium DVD from this year's PurdyFest and I'm working on the Another Dam Poetry Reading video now. Hopefully, I'll be able to put all the video I shot this summer at PurdyFest on DVD for you by next Wednesday. I'm going to give you the DVDs as a thank you for PurdyFest.

I'll try to have a couple copies burned for others who may want to purchase the DVDs. I'm still not sure if I'll have enough time and don't know how much to charge for the DVDs yet so keep it on the downlow until I figure it out.

See you on November 21st!
cheers, Henry

Eel Pie Island Dharma
A hippie memoir / haibun


Chris Faiers

A Hidden Brook Press book "The Last Stoic" by Morgan Wade

Published by
Hidden Brook Press logo
Hidden Brook Press
ISBN 978-1-897475-92-8


  order from your local bookstore. 
(A TIP: If you order from your local bookstore
you will not have to pay delivery.
Give them the isbn, the title,
our email address and our phone number
and they will order it from us with their purchase order number.
They don't have to pay for the book in advance so it is even quicker.
!! This book will be available at Amazon around the world soon!!


Available at e-book stores around the world.
click on one of the three links below or to your favorite e-store.
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Blurb about the book:

This book is one of the most important historical document of the 60s, a memoir in haibun form. It is part of the Hidden Brook Press, celebrated North Shore Series – the 28th book in this renowned Canadian literature series.
This memoir of a sixties survivor has become a haiku/haibun classic and an oft-quoted reference for the heady ferment which was the tail end of the 1960s.
Meet a Beatle! Attend the first Glastonbury music festival! Fight cops and skinheads at the infamous 144 Piccadilly squat! Hear a banshee and walk across Ireland ... live in the derelict Eel Pie Island Hotel with hippies, junkies and bikers ... be seduced by school girls ... drop acid in Cambridge ... sleep in a cave on Formentera ...
Before the draft for the Vietnam War called, Chris Faiers was a shy bookworm. But he read his Kerouac, and when the draft notices kept coming, "Canadian Chris" hit the dharma road feet first and didn't look back for three years.  

About the Author

Eric Amann, publisher of Haiku magazine, gave Chris early encouragement circa 1967. Chris has been writing and publishing haiku his entire adult life. His work has consistently been at the forefront in the development of English language haiku and haibun, and the online version of this book is likely the most widely read English language haibun.

His poetry has been widely published internationally in literary magazines, anthologies and scholarly texts and broadcast on radio and TV. EPID has become a frequent reference for documentaries and historical books.

Chris is also known for lyrical and political poetry. In 1987 he was honoured with the inaugural Milton Acorn People’s Poet Award. Chris has been active as an organizer of poetry events and associations. He founded Unfinished Monument Press in 1978, and the Main Street Library Poetry Series in Toronto in 1979. In 2007 he began coordinating annual Purdy Country Literary Festivals (PurdyFests). Chris was a founding member of Haiku Canada and the Canadian Poetry Association. He is an honourary life member of the Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance.

In 1989 he moved to an Ontario village on the edge of the Canadian Shield, where he earned his living as village librarian. Now retired, he wanders remote trails and acts as steward of his ZenRiver Gardens retreat. Chris’ 2008 Hidden Brook Press collection, ZenRiver: Poems & Haibun, relates some of his experiences in this wild and untamed countryside. He continues to develop and promote this new subgenre of “shaman haibun” which he helped create with ZR:P&H. You can follow his poetry and activities on his blog Riffs and Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens.

Previous Collections by Chris Faiers

ZenRiver: Poems & Haibun (Hidden Brook Press, 2008)
Small Press Lynx (co-editor with Mark McCawley; co-published
Unfinished Monument Press, Greensleeve Editions, 1991)
Eel Pie Dharma: a memoir/haibun (Unfinished Monument Press, 1990)
Moon City (haiku - Greensleeve Publishing, 1989)
13 Bohemian Dreams (Unfinished Monument Press, 1988)
Mr Library Man (Haiku Canada broadsheet, 1988)
Foot Through the Ceiling (Aya/Mercury Press, 1986)
5 Minutes Ago They Dropped The Bomb (Unfinished Monument Press, 1984)
The Unfinished Anthology (co-editor, Unfinished Monument Press, 1984)
Island Women (HMS Press, 1983)
White Rasta in Wintertime (Unfinished Monument Press, 1982)
Unacknowledged Legislator (blewointmentpress, 1981)
Sleeping in Ruins ( haiku - Unfinished Monument Press, 1981)
White Rasta (Unfinished Monument Press, 1980)
College Streetcar Runs All Night (Unfinished Monument Press, 1979)
Dominion Day in Jail (Unfinished Monument Press, 1978)
Guest in a Garden (haiku - C&C Printing, 1969)
Cricket Formations (haiku - C&C Printing, 1969)

Reviewers: If you would like to write and publish a review of this book please contact the publisher for a free copy of the book and author contact info. Please feel free to use any material from this website.  On request we will email you high res pics of the cover and author if needed. Contact - Richard Grove / Tai 613-475-2368 or

Saturday, 10 November 2012

'spooning skeletons of Nagasaki': Jim Christy poem

--Chris, couldn't resist typing this up and sending it along. First published ten years ago in
the Georgia Straight in Vancouver. It will never go out of date ---------

Poll indicates desire for stronger defensive
capabilities. More destroyers,
bombers, missiles needed.

Me, I wonder who's buried beneath
soldiers' bones in Flanders Field

Quick: Who fought the Hundred Years War?
Was the War of the Roses anything
but a bad movie? What the hell
was that Franco-Prussian thing about?

Ten thousand buddhists
with begging bowls
on the moonlight road
of 1310.

Which was the first to rise
and flourish
and expire? Olmec,
Toltec or Aztec?

Did Etruscans have insomnia
same as me?

The lives of entire generations
of women and men make up
but a few lines in the palimpsest
of the Great Spirit.

From tree tops and belfries
through the skies of my dreams,
falling ass over tea kettle,
all the snipers of history.

What constituted paleolithic
pillow talk?

Into the Stein River Valley cave.
we tumbled eager for our love
and loved, and only then,
sated, saw three deer on the wall.
Who drew the deer family?

You who are
in charge:   stick your
stealth bombers up your ass
Go fuck yourself with your polls
and politics.

That's you and me, my sweet,
spooning skeletons of Nagasaki.


Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "'spooning skeletons of Nagasaki': Jim Christy poem...":


and now as then or is "it"
then as now and we who are
in the now here continue
the seemingly useless thrusting:

the writing down of our own-ed bones

write on .... Mother !

Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 10 November 2012 09:02


Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "'spooning skeletons of Nagasaki': Jim Christy poem...":

"You who are
in charge: stick your
stealth bombers up your ass
Go fuck yourself with your polls
and politics.

That's you and me, my sweet,
spooning skeletons of Nagasaki"

Love this poet!

Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 10 November 2012 09:14

Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "'spooning skeletons of Nagasaki': Jim Christy poem...":

just thought of something phunnie
re: the drawing ...

all that is left
two lovers' skeletons
who from here can tell

which one has the boner

Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 10 November 2012 09:21


haiku/senryu for JC

gold tooth glint
enters the room:
Jim Christy

- Chris/cricket

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mac Pap Memorial to vets of Spanish Civil War

Fiorito: The Mac-Paps: Lest we forget

Published on Friday November 09, 2012
By Joe Fiorito City Columnist
Many years ago, at the end of a long and boozy evening, my father told me that he’d tried to enlist in the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. He was in his teens then; he wanted to fight in the Spanish Civil War.

When I asked why, he told me he was bored, there was no work at home and — he was dark, my old man — he said that he wanted to die.
They sent him home.
Had he gone to Spain, he surely would have gotten his wish, and I would not be writing this.

Now, the disclosures:
I used to work for CBC Radio; my beloved still does; the CBC’s acclaimed radio documentary maker, Steve Wadhams, is a friend; and here is how it all comes together:
There was an article in this newspaper a while back about Jules Paivio, the last living survivor of the Mac-Paps. Wadhams played a hunch — he asked the CBC archivist if Paivio had ever been interviewed.

Yes, there was a long interview on tape, recorded by journalist Mac Reynolds in 1964. Wadhams listened to the interview avidly. But he sat bolt upright when the archivist said, “You know there are more interviews.”

Turns out there were 150 hours of interviews. Reynolds had traveled the country in 1964 and 1965, looking for Mac-Pap vets, finding some 50 of them, and recording as many as he could.
No one but the archivist knew the material was there, or had paid it any mind, until that moment.
Wadhams quickly unearthed a letter from Reynolds to the legendary producer and CBC executive Robert Weaver, asking about airtime.

But there was no reply on file, nor any evidence that the material had ever aired. In other words, these were voices that had never been heard before. Wadhams found himself sitting on a motherlode of historical gold that had been hiding in plain sight.

He did some research and learned that Reynolds had been, um, a fellow-traveller who had gone to England to join in the fight, but somehow had never made it to Spain. “I inferred from this that he had a motive for doing these recordings.”
Of course, the only motive you really need, in oral history, is the truth as it is told by witnesses to history.

Remembrance Day was looming. The Mac-Paps are not officially remembered on Nov. 11.
Wadhams got to work.
He started to edit — luckily, the interviews had been shot-listed — and as he worked, he read as much as he could about the Mac-Paps.

They were much more than a bunch of unemployed rabble-rousers and commie sympathizers in search of adventure. They were men who wanted to stop fascism in its tracks.
They came from all across Canada; some had already run from totalitarianism; plenty of them had been in labour camps. They got shot up, some of them, before they crossed the Pyrenees.
The war itself was a slaughter: Guernica, phosphorous bombs, soldiers on horseback fighting Hitler’s warplanes; Bethune and mobile blood transfusions.

And remember this: when the men who survived came home, they were ignored.
Wadhams played me a piece of tape the other day. I listened to a vet recalling what happened when a submarine torpedoed the ship he was on; the last man who drowned — poor fellow, clinging to the mast in terror as the ship went under — was from the Lakehead, my home town.
Maybe he knew my old man.

The documentary airs in two parts, on CBC Radio 1: The first hour of “The Spanish Crucible” will be broadcast Friday, on “Living Out Loud,” at 1 p.m.
It will be repeated on Remembrance Day at 8 p.m. Part Two airs on Nov. 16, and will be repeated on the 18th.

A final disclosure: the voice of the Star’s reporter, Greg Clark? That, proudly, is me.
Joe Fiorito appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Email:

National Monument to the

Nigel G. Spencer has left a new comment on your post "Mac Pap Memorial to vets of Spanish Civil War":

Thanks for this! In return, here is an excerpt from my acceptance speech at the GGs, 2012:
Les romans dans cette série célèbrent le courage, l'empathie et l'imagination de personnages réels et fictifs confondus qui luttent pour préserver ce qu'il y a de mieux dans notre humanité et pour le cultiver. Dans cet esprit je vous rappele que cette année nous fêtons le centenaire de la naissance de Raoul Wallenberg...mais malheuresuement, fidèle à la tradition, nous ne fêtons pas le soixante-quinzième du Batallion Mackenzie-Papineau, ces bénévoles non-reconnus, même diffamés pour leur lutte anti-fasciste pendant la Guerre civile d'Espagne.

In a year marked by anniversaries, we celebrate the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, but we have not honoured the 75th anniversary of the MacPaps, Canada's volunteers in the opening battle against fascism.

All honour to them for embodying what is best in the Canadian character.
Thank you.

Posted by Nigel G. Spencer to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 8 May 2013 17:08

                         ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ `

The 14 winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced recently by the Canada Council for the Arts.
These awards are given in both English and French in seven categories: fiction, poetry, drama, non‑fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation.
In the highlights from this year’s announcement is translator Nigel Spencer's third win, each time for the translation of a book by Marie-Claire Blais.
“Everyone involved in the creation of a book—including writers, illustrators, translators and publishers—has a story to tell,” said His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. “The Governor General’s Literary Awards is not only a chance to honour our very best books, but it is also a chance to pay tribute to Canadians who are rising stars in the world of literature. I congratulate all the winners who have worked hard to add their tale to our collective memories.”
2012 Winners in Translation
Nigel Spencer, Montréal, Mai at the Predators’ Ball (House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
English translation of Mai au bal des prédateurs by Marie-Claire Blais (Les Éditions du Boréal). What Nigel Spencer has achieved with the translation of Marie Claire Blais’s Mai au bal des prédateurs is nothing short of brilliance. He has met the formidable challenge of conveying in English the complexity and richness of this narrative with a mastery that is stunning in its range of colour and tone.
Alain Roy, Montréal, Glenn Gould (Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
French translation of Glenn Gould by Mark Kingwell (Penguin Group Canada). It took courage and endurance to tackle this demanding work. The translator, Alain Roy, has consistently shown concern for concision and precision without ever sacrificing the subtleties of the contents. This masterful translation of Glenn Gould is obviously grounded in extensive research, making it a wonderfully lucid read.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Remembrance Day poem: Stan J. White

“Now, November empty month,”
my friend the poet says

yet celebrates the ends of wars
with poppies out of season
from which the opiates of peace
seemingly without reason
soldier on in comfortable societal mores
while quiet flows the Don
and other rivers too with blood
the sound of guns over the anthems
words yet to be understood
there are no memories it seems
sufficient to sustain the peace of dreams
on we go beating the drums
as Neanderthal man’s prodigal sons


(Stan J. White)


Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "Remembrance Day poem: Stan J. White":

Stan's one of the most technically skilled in our country. His poetry works at so many levels.

And that's precisely why so many contemporaries would fail to see it.

Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 8 November 2012 08:08

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

BIG PILE IN THE SKY: doggerel poetry by Doctor Chase


doggerel poetry by Doctor Chase

I was sniffing today
by a big pile of stones
dug out of the ground
like old dinosaur bones.

To get iron ore
men worked like huge moles
and when they were finished
they left a big hole.

And stones piled so high
they block out the sun
but the hole that they left
was a lake blue as sky.

Some decades ago
big city money saw cash
said we'll fill your blue lake
with trash from T.O.

Village people got wise
and said no to this guise
formed a committee
zippity dash
named it dynamically
Marmora Takes No Trash!

Now TNT is as explosive as hell
and big city money
knows this full well.
Our peaceful blue lake
was safe for a while
from big city lies
and big money guile

But new owners got greedy
and tried once again
"Join the green revolution!"
(we mean dollars and cents)
be part of evolution
if you have any sense.

They'd build us a fresh lake
damned high in the skies
built on the old rubble
and a few gentle lies.

Our council was quick
to sign on their line
a few drowned out people
well, if there's money, that's fine.

And jobs, lots of jobs
and house values will rise
to the heights of absurdity
lies upon lies.

Pump water all night
let it slide down all day
what on earth could be greener
than gaming Hydro you say?

So a handful of people
in the cold waved their signs
saying leave us in safety
NO to corporate designs!

Village voices are rising
high to the skies
saying leave our blue lake
and be gone with your lies!

This story isn't over
the ending not clear
whether reason or money
will win what is dear?

But stand back, big money
village people are learning
and as history repeats
TNT signs are returning

poop/ poo/poop/poo/poop/poop/poo/ppoop/

Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "BIG PILE IN THE SKY: doggerel poetry by Doctor Cha...":

Awesome poem, Chase

is he interested in the Premier's job? Only Chase could sniff out the shit sitting in cabinet offices and kick dirt over it. Something green might grow out of that.

Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs &amp; Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 6 November 2012 13:23


Wrffff! wffff .... wffff ... wrfffffff ....
I'll try & interpret ... believe Chase is saying something to the effect that, "As a dog, I wouldn't lower myself (except to poop) to be a Canadian politician these days."
peace, poop, & poetry power!
Doctor Chase Lechien ... and his human interpreter, Chris ... wrfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Wilber Walnut Warning and Disclaimer

Wilber Walnut Warning and Disclaimer

Hey Chris, it looks like you are doing a great job as usual… and all the others too, of course.

The schedule for the Acorn Night looks good and it may make some sense having Wilber be the “hammer” for the evening coming before the round robin where people read poems inspired by Acorn, given in contrast Wilber is claiming to have inspired some of Milton’s work.  If people who have come for the poetry have left by the time Wilber starts his rant I don’t think it will make that much difference to him, it’s a bar, there will be a room full of drunks of some kind, and he fits in better there, than with literary types anyway.

Wilber is assuring me his rant and ramble will come in around 12 minutes long, but it seems to me he doesn’t have control over how much people laugh at him.  As for the historical accuracy of some of Wilber’s claims all I can say is I remember sitting across from Milton Acorn in the Crest Grill with Milt claiming between cigar puffs that “history is always more interesting when you make it up.”    Wilber’s response to Acorn’s aforementioned observation is that Milton always was a charlatan and a phony.   “My policy is always to speak the Truth as it appears to me in the moment unencumbered by hierarchal frames of knowing.”  Is the standard retort of Wilber’s authenticity I have heard him may times claim.  Thus spoke the man whose birth was never even registered.  (Wilber seems to think that registering guns only becomes an issue once people start registering their babies, and that Mary and Joseph are the ones who really betrayed Jesus.)  In addition to all this: Wilber is now proclaiming to be an “Elder.”  However, I am not sure being very, very old automatically makes one anything, other than in Wilber’s case, an uninhibited pain in the ass.

Wilber Walnut is at least over 100 years old given he was playing Indian and Trapper in the backwoods of northern Ontario with Gray Owl before the outbreak of the first world war.  The son of a single mother, an old woman who ran a trap line on her own and only came in to the Fort once a year to trade.  His father????  Well let’s just say the ghost spirits which wander the northern woods are not holy.  And with this new self-proclaimed status of “Elder” he has now puffed himself up to the point that Wilber thinks he has some sort of wisdom to pass on to others and is in the process of publishing a series of  “Carnivoresque Self Help Books.”  What ever that means?

I attach the cover of the first in the series.  I can send more.  But one is maybe enough.

Jim Larwill

aka The Raven King…. with at times, a raving100 yr old, one-eyed leering jester in tow.

                                                    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

note: Jim somehow managed to capture a picture of Wilber, but for reasons of rationality & sanity my blog refused to accept his existence & publish this rare photo.  damn!
- Chris