Summer reading: caitlin press


Excerpts from DREAMLAND THEATRE


DREAMLAND THEATRE The Dreamland Theatre exists in a photograph of a white building on sledges being pulled through the mud from one location to another by a team of horses in Prince George (then Fort George) circa 1912. These poems are about imagining place and, continuing the work of Finding Ft. George, Rob Budde's process of trying—and failing—to find out where he is. Poetry is part of a place, and this book deals in the powerful homemaking that is language itself.
follow the crabapple blossom smell
not saying the word reliably, historical y like weather or the knots in thinking around emotional language, tangled in this bright mid-day moment (of reading) and a pronoun .
and "you" is never easy — a striated sign of things to come and counter to the sense of sentences, its ease and assurance — so the word "with" becomes still uneasier and I walk into the sunlit room, poem in hand, a proximity, molecular and climatic, twined and tugging tight half listening to the news of storms forming over the warming oceans .
a deligitimized ground, standing there, as if through some accuracy of scientific instrumentation, who is who's target is the question and the water line wavers in the re calculations — you look up your altitude in an archaic book of symbols, you look up and tell me we need love is resistant to anti- biotics, bodies react to themselves and become something else; later we hear 21st century love retreated from the coasts, subsided in the mountains, subsisted on salmon and blueberries .
we read "faith" in the remaining records — but these codes fail, these letters fall stil , cars by the side of the highway house sparrows and squirrels, a reorganized polis .
and I'd like to think of us, by the side of the derelict highway, bereft and happy, a fistful of yarrow and a wooden cup of tea the future tense may be the poem's love sprung from the old language ‘en cha khuna'
                       Nechako and Fraser, two languages and a third discovery, on the south- side portage: a recollection, a passage by need or want, the provisions carried from the west the salmon run, grease, at least then east through the passes to Beaver in 1907, I would say to you ‘snachailya, musicho' as a guest and co-explorer                        gold and horses cross paths with the soft-speakers the ash of ancestors misread and the language crashes in of watersheds, neural directions we take from topography, wood a texture against our backs as we rest, historicize, work                        in a different economy, a training of tongues to carry this wet ‘lh', or a collective barrier protecting this lake, these rivers, this place: a body placed in harm's way                        up here where there is no pressure to conform to urban forms — here, identity is a new stride, cleaner, smarter and knowing how to say it sea otter catches colonization under a rock, stanley park
still salty Salish air in fal and the small flounder crunches between her teeth the otter numbers are up not like stocks but spirits she sits on a rock munching the discourse called trade that Spanish / Russian / British squeeze in the straits when skins came off with a sick sucking noise globalization dribbles off her pelt, her nonchalance, her pregnant bel y, this counter-colonial moment in English Bay, the tide just turning her satisfaction in being


Rob Budde teaches Creative Writing at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. He has published seven books (poetry, novels, interviews and short fic- tion) and appeared in numerous literary magazines including Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, West Coast Line, Dusie, ditch, filling Station, Prairie Fire, Matrix, and dandelion. He is also a regular columnist for Northword Magazine. His most recent books are declining america (BookThug), Finding Ft. George (Caitlin Press) and Dreamland The- atre (Caitlin Press).
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Why do some of us learn to bend? Others break? How do we move from shame to being "enough"? How do we bounce back stronger after adversity and then embrace our own hu- manity with its flawed beauty? In her first full collection of poetry, Jane Byers explores her personal experience with re- silience, beginning with her own difficult birth, which she describes as inoculation against despair. As a young adult, the writer moves from complicity and its il usion of power to building a pliant self. Byers turns an unflinching eye to parenthood, as the mother of adopt- ed twins, and examines the workplace through the eyes of a female safety specialist working alongside firefighters, transportation crews and heavy equipment purchasers. The author draws on the steeling effects of being queer to imbue her children and injured workers with A late fall swim in an alpine lake; a woman in the twilight of life, risking delight. Red thermometers of grass shed their glistening mercury in a fever of gratitude; to tumble from the divine is to be alive in the pungent beauty that the so-called mundane has to offer.
Steeling Effects asks whether what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and "lives" its way into the pliant beauty that gratitude affords.
Yesterday's platinum injection offers protection from the artery ballooning at the base of your brain. Stil , damage is done: a chaos of blood uncontained, your motherly eyes stray.
The nurse, a whir, changes IVs, leans down, checks the yellow catheter.
She dispenses relief for your invaded cranium, jots on your chart and nods in our general direction.
You remember to smile and be gracious, but forget your name.
Recognition spreads across your face as you look at the rainbow rings that have escaped the col ar of the nurse's uniform. "So, you're a lesbian," you say, clear as day.
The nurse pauses, rechecks fluid levels, the catheter— hesitates, cautious as truth colours this dingy room.
Before the reply, your shaky arm points. "It's okay, my daughter is too." So relieved to hear you remember, I forget my shame; begin to shed restraint. As hope pools in the base of my brain, we slip into intensive recovery.
South Pole
My daughter is wailing again about what is not here. Not her other mama, presently at work, not her nana who raised her for the first year, not her blue car in the drive (see mama, above).
If she knew that olive trees don't grow here, she'd mourn them too. Or tsetse flies, or oranges— she's predisposed.
At a loss while she sobs, I'm reading her a book before nap. It's called Lost and Found: a boy finds a penguin, tries to repatriate it to the South Pole, the penguin stands forlorn on the ice as the boy rows away in his boat.
My daughter says, "Sometimes you leave me at the South Pole and that makes me sad." I row through our tears, vowing to keep her close.
Where have I left her? Like a politician, I blame the previous administration. The boy returns for the penguin; eventual y, they find each other and go home.
Alone, in a quiet dawn, I scan the horizon for any truth. The gap left in the birth mother's wake is a kind of truth but so, too, is this— primal loss repels primal loss.
I must re-examine my own southern jaunt. Left adrift, I, too, know despair.
We must make our way back north to that tropic of love.
Skunk cabbage erupts in the perimeter woods, Skunk and cabbage.
Bright yellow spathes, tightly wrapped romaine unfurl their smel , displeasing us.
Swamp lanterns light up a dim day on this path between manicured woods and granite wal s. First blooms in spring—nourishment for bears, preserving wrap for salmon, reluctant food in times of famine.
I wasn't thinking of quitting my job on this morning walk, but the plant has convinced me the logic of paycheque and pension is overrated.
Art, too, can be this brash, nonsensical— plant that smel s like an animal and is named for food.
Untamed, I will write, spathed in red, diaphanous spirit that neither protects nor explains.
Not animal nor plant.


Jane Byers lives with her wife and two children in Nelson, British Columbia. She writes about human resilience in the context of raising children, lesbian and gay issues, sexism, local geography and health and safety in the workplace. She spent many years working for the City of Toronto in corporate health and safety and now works at WorkSafeBC where she continues to facilitate resilience in injured workers. She has had poems, essays and short fiction published in a variety of books and literary magazines in Canada, the US, and the UK, including Grain, Rattle, Descant, the Antigonish Review, the Canadian Journal of Hock- ey Literature and Our Times. She is a three-time winner of the Nelson and District Poetry Purchase Steeling Effects from: ABOUT CAITLIN PRESS Caitlin Press was established in 1977 by Carolyn Zonailo as a feminist literary press. In the 1980s, the mandate was expanded to that of a BC literary press.
Caitlin Press publishes cultural y significant books, including fiction, non-fiction (both historical and creative), and poetry. Occasional y we will produce a children's or young adult title.
In addition to its regional mandate Caitlin Press will honour its original roots by actively seeking, promoting and publishing work by and about BC women.
This fal , Caitlin offers more exciting poetry from both emerging and established writers.
Drawing on scientific studies of salmon recycling in perhumid rainforests, Derrick Stac- ey Denholm's Dead Salmon Dialectics follows the dark and often humorous trial of a young biologist at work in the wildest estuaries of the rainiest place on earth. Art, children, marriage, breaking, rejoicing. Love is a many-branched tree and in Jane Eaton Hamilton's third poetry collection, Love Will Burst Into a Thousand Shapes. It's au- tumn or winter, the winds are kicking up and branches are flying everywhere—bursting into a thousand shapes.
All these shapes lend raw material for a poem: Mothers lose their babies. A boy loses his leg to war. A girl hides from serial killer Richard Speck. A virgin gets pregnant. A partner mourns a death at Walkerton. Women tumble into love, celebratory and foolhardy.
"Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes is jazzy and engaging. Hamilton proves herself to be a real wordsmith, with a trickster's soul and a heart as big as New Mexico. The poems are enlightening, risky, rough, funny as hel , and ultimately very moving." —Barry Dempster "Hamilton's poems are too luscious, too seductively vexatious to read at arm's length. Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes is an immersive reading experience—where place, mem- ory and meaning are explored with crisp, keen eyes." –Amber Dawn ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION This digital sampler was distributed by Contemporary Verse 2 in the summer of 2014. To download samplers from additional publishers, visit: Cover photo by Caroline Gutman

Source: http://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/images/files/Sampler-Caitlin-Press-2014.pdf

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