NPM #9 (There’s still lights in Rockcliffe Park)

Those kids laughing in the park stopped
—is it because of me? Heh.

Survivor; a definition: a kid on a bike
doing the Idaho stop in Ottawa, Canada.

Meerkats turning their heads. Passengers checking.
This sympathetic schlub recording this poem.

Yes and the rich get shells.
I drive through a red with no one ahead of me.

Tough and honest and lovely

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“A mix of straightforward, gritty poems with fanciful stuff. Some wry humour, some poems of youth, and ferocious poems as well.”—Amanda Earl, Editor of Bywords.ca & Angel House Press

“The new poems are strong and tough and honest and lovely and welcome after so long, and the books are beautifully made.”—Cameron Anstee, Apt. 9 Press

I am proud to announce that, one, the first edition of Amanda Besserer’s The Desert and The Flood sold out, and two, that a new edition is now available. Please visit my Horsebroke Press for a copy.

It’s been a pleasure working with Amanda. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Follow her on wordpress or twitter for more poems, articles, and oversharing.

New publications, tour dates

A lot going on, such as a beloved work in print: the first poem I wrote about my son (for my wife) has been published in (parenthetical) magazine from words(on)pages in Toronto. You may read it online but I strongly suggest ordering a copy of the magazine—words(on)pages produces beautiful books.

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New chap-poem: A cento after Cameron Anstee’s  chapbook ever the night goes beautiful has been published as a chap-poem by Puddles of Sky Press—it’s called “the night goes” and it’s free with an order of something awesome, like the graphic novel issue of illiterature issue v. the graphic novel or The Hopeful Barnacle: New & Selected Poems of Andrew Nurse.

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Two upcoming tour dates: Tues. June 28 at the Tree Reading Series (Ottawa) with Talya Rubin & my friend, the incredible JM Francheteau, and Sat. July 2 at Artfest (Kingston) with tourmates Cameron Anstee and Justin Million, and the wonderful Frances Boyle. Both those shows are free, so please come out and buy some chapbooks if you can. Artfest is going to be just incredible, with sixty poets reading in Kingston’s City Park over the long weekend. Cannot wait.

2016 05 22 Blackman Jeff author photo for Tree Reading -  credit K Maxfield

New title from Horsebroke press: My little press is taking on its first poet (who isn’t me) with a collection from Amanda Besserer. It will launch Fri. June 17 at the Factory Reading Series (Ottawa) and be available at the Ottawa Small Press Fair the next day (Sat. June 18). If you can’t make it to Ottawa, you’ll be able to order it via our Etsy store at that time. More details on this project very soon.

For now

The shelter newsletter’s poetry corner contains poems no reputable journal will publish. I read poems for a reputable journal and regularly reinforce this, rejecting honest and unoriginal suffering as uninteresting. What’s less inspired than tomorrow’s promise? What could be more cliché than deciding to listen? Who concludes a lyric, “I love you,” and expects an honorarium?

~

This winter fire struck the Cornerstone Shelter in Ottawa. If you can afford it, please give a little. They maintain four residences in the city, providing support for more than 400 women every year.