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Monday, 6 October 2014




wild ghosts fly above Hastings County
Susanna and Catharine morph into Margaret Atwood
scraggly hair wind whipping more airborne sparks
than the roaring fire Milt & I are tending on Big Al's point

Robertson Davies is in the A-frame shithouse
scrawling the walls while Big Al is drunk
& studiously pissing on Maggie A's tires

Margaret Laurence is also drunk while
Milt & I try to flirt with a strange curly haired girl
floating by in an ancient canoe
(note: it's hard to flirt when you're invisible)
and some incarnate folk resent the hell
out of being poked & prodded at by unseen
but verrry friendly hands

a giant shaman owl carries me over
the aqueous eye of the Bay of Quinte
below Susanna's angel stretches skyward
her clutched star an homage to the wild literary offspring
she has begat

yes, we love roughing it in her bush
fire bright  faces shine from Gore's Landing
to Lakefield ... Ameliasburgh to Marmora
those mushrooms Al and Eurithe picked
      what colour were they????

Chris Faiers

first draft October 6/14

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Oct. 6/14 from Jim Larwill:

.....  don't get me started on Susanna Fucking Moodie... Roughing it in the Bush... it is one of the most skillful pieces of political propaganda (in the vein of Edmond Burke's hatchet job on the Dr. Rev. Price) ever.

... I mean I like it as a wonderful example of propaganda hiding an ethnic cleansing encouraging the victors of 1837 to come and not Rough it in the Bush, but to settle the farms of the "Canadian Yankees" who have been cleansed... brilliant re-writing of history where revolutionaries become drunkards and with a letter by Susanna to a benevolent governor that is a historical erasure of somebody's else's wife on her knees delivering a petition with a huge percentage of a colonies residents asking for leniency before a hanging... take a look at your foot Chris....

and yes it is true  "Roughing it in the Bush" in many ways is the beginnings of Canadian Literature as we know it....

but not mine...

Jim  aka RK

Chris's note: Jim Larwill is referring to the tattoo on my left foot of THE UNFINISHED MONUMENT in the Toronto Necropolis - which is a memorial to Sam Lount & Peter Matthews, two of the patriots who fought against the family compact & British Imperial rule in our Rebellion of 1837.

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very late Oct. 6 reply:

Hey Jim,
Yeah, Susanna sucked up real good to get her useless Brit hubby hired as the sherriffe of Bville. I've added your comment, & the explanation of the reference to my foot, to the posting. The Strickland sisters & their hubs started off as real upperclass imperial Brit snobs, but they got the stuffing knocked out of them with their incompetent pioneering disasters. Charlotte Gray goes into this in the book - have you read it? - great read & she sure makes history come alive. When I first started SISTERS  I warned her in an email that I was unlikely to be happy with her interpretation of the Rebellion of 1837 & Susanna's family's cashing in on their participation on the wrong side of a progressive people's uprising.

gotta take Chase on his late night poopifying ... thanks for giving the accurate historical reminder

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... & Chase Wrfffffffffffffffffffffffff!

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On 2014-10-07, at 12:21 AM, Jim Larwill wrote:

to quote John Moodie in a letter to Susanna 24 April 1839  "... the population which is very much disaffected but the worst are clearing out as fast as they can get rid of their farms. Now is the time particularly if there should be war, to get farms cheap here as all the Radical Republicans will leave the colony."

.. the difference in Quebec is... we remember...

If the thesis of S. Moodie's book is "don't come and rough it, buy an existing farm" it is a hidden clue to how many farms may have been cleared out and made available... would a book be published in England if there weren't a lot of them?  I believe one could find out by researching the population increases in certain parts of the US.  There will not be records here.


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On 2014-10-07, at 6:35 PM, Gray Charlotte wrote:

Love the poem (Pauline in the canoe, right?) and the dissident views!

Charlotte Gray

183 MacKay Street
Ottawa ON K1M 2B5

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Hi Charlotte,
Glad you like the poem! I wasn't too sure just what I'd written late last night (well, transcribed for the Muse of chiraz) when I woke up this morning. Yep, Pauline was a'paddling through the vision. I heard Atwood speak in TO at a fund raiser for the A-frame, where she told the anecdote about Al peeing on her tires. And Jim Larwill can usually be trusted to offer an interesting perspective (although that contribution might have been influenced by his alter ego, Wilber Walnut).
Thanks for the note ; )
Chris ... & Chase Wrffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!

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On 2014-10-10, at 5:02 PM, Ed Baker wrote:

Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "after reading SISTERS IN THE WILDERNESS":

"Al peeing on her tires"

now THAT's a worthy historical

no matter what the facts have become or
never were ?

  Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 10 October 2014 14:02

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Them's the facts, folks! I heard it from Maggie A herself at a Harbourfront benefit for the A-frame.
Still pretty representative of the state of CanPo I'd say  ;  )

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Ed Baker said...

"Al peeing on her tires"

now THAT's a worthy historical

no matter what the facts have become or
never were ?

Ed Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.