October 4, 2021

How little sticks

How much I want to brush the crumbs from

every hunch

I chew on honesty and stick out my tongue

I’d say

I don’t write anymore

if someone asked

but I haven’t seen many people

lately, I’ve been having a newborn

worrying, singing melancholic ballads

until the child slumps over my shoulder

there are still many places, no

to safely lay a sleeping child a while?

No one wants to ask anyone they know

for a damn hand

All anyone wants to do is pray and vote.

These Days, continues

Art by Tanya Decarie for Issue #10 of These Days

My creative energy has been focussed on These Days, my COVID-era zine, so apologies for the lack of new poems here. That said, I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve been able to share over these past 10 issues / 14 months.

In Issue #10 (March / April 20201) I interviewed Brandon Wint, man of many talents and notably the Artistic Director of the Tree Reading Series since last fall. I’ve attended workshops with Brandon and have always found him to be a uniquely inspiring and humble artist. Speaking about workshops he made this great metaphor of poetry as meeting place that has stuck with me:

What I appreciate about the workshops that I’ve witnessed so far is that it has felt like a gathering of poets. There hasn’t been a sense (at least to me) that there is some power disparity between the person facilitating the workshop and the other participants. It feels like there is a pretty potent sense that poetry is the meeting place, poetry is the salve, poetry is the catalyst, and so we are all here to be in the presence of poetry’s good medicine.

Brandon Wint, March 2021

Issue #10 also featured poetry by my old friend Marilyn Irwin, more from These Days regular LN Woodward, plus contributions from Aaron Kreuter and Penn Kemp, and my partner Kate Maxfield.

I remain amazed this project has gone on as long as it has, with contributions from something like 50 writers and artists of all ages, some dear friends and family, some folks who’ve learned about it and wanted to contribute. I’ll continue to use this blog to promote the zine, maybe even reflect on past issues, and hopefully post some original words of my own.

Oh, and for reading here’s a coupon for 33% of pretty much every issue: SPRING.

Oral history of These Days

The good folks at Meet The Presses invited panelists for the Indie Lit Symposium to record a video about their press. So! Here’s a quick oral history of These Days issues one through six. I wish I could name everyone who has contributed and submitted, so I’ll do that here.

Thank you to Andrew Blackman, Avonlea Fotheringham, Bardia Sinaee, Ben Ladouceur and Scott Lemoine, Cameron Anstee and Jenn Huzera, Dave Currie and Jen Baker, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Erin Maxfield, Gail and Lawrence Blackman, IAN MARTIN, jesslyn delia smith, JM Francheteau, Jordan Chevalier, Justin Million, Kate Maxfield, Ksenija Spasic, LN Woordward, Mark Sokolowski, Nina Jane drystek, Owen Hewitt and Gabrielle Forget, Peter Gibbon, Sam Cronk, Sara Maxfield, Sneha and John Madhavan-Reese and their three daughters, Tanya Decarie, Vanessa Davies, and Zishad Lak, for your contributions and your support.

These Days @ Indie Lit Symposium Nov 29

I’ve been invited to the Indie Lit Symposium‘s panel on magazines and journals! I’ll be joined with the good folks from CAROUSEL Magazine, Filling Station, and Augur Magazine. I’m absolutely honoured to be included on behalf of my little zine, and I cannot thank all my contributors enough.

The Symposium runs Nov 26 to 29, and it’s all free. You can register via their website. My show’s Nov 29 at noon Eastern, so sleep in if you can, make something good, and settle in with us.