Advice & More Advice

Rachel Rose
Thirteen Ways of Looking at CanLit

Only love. So critic be useful. Touch the body of work with
  sure but careful hands. If the body is unlike your own, be
  less sure and more careful.

And so for day 3162

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment


Three three-liners cannibalized from a longer manuscript:

turning the body
as gate
canal sunflower

tarnishing a scar
paste diamonds
taste bitter

and the colours of flags
fade faster
than bruises blush

And so for day 3161

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Composition and Conversation

From a letter to a friend …

Camera in hand or not, would you consider the interplay of framing as a dance with the object of contemplation, a dance that supports remembering the object of contemplation?

I am led […] to consider the naming of plants I spot on my wanderings. In a sense a name plucks a specimen out of the unorganized background of vegetation. A name evokes a family, a season, a growth cycle. A name is an index to stored knowledge. And yet there are limitations. I can easily identify a rose but not know the variety of rose it might be. At times I enjoy inventing names for varieties: peonies have been known to receive this treatment. A name, like a framing, is the beginning of a conversation. A turn in storytelling.

You have me thinking of “composition” as a positioning with …

… to reach out and hold the world with the ghost of interlocutors in mind.

And so for day 3160

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Lyrical Patch

Rachel Rose
Thirteen Ways of Looking at CanLit

A moment of calm in an extended diatribe…

Apples and truth, the faithful orchard,
honeycomb and hive song.

I like how the bees are present without being named.

And so for day 3159

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

At Last

Mazisi Kunene
“World Wisdom”
The Ancestors & the Sacred Mountain

How the body serves metaphor …

What will come last will be the truth
Since the beating of the heart outlasts
The nakedness of the bones.

Lines that call for rereading to reach their kernel.

And so for day 3158

Posted in Metaphor, Poetry | Leave a comment

How, What & Where

Donald Culross Peattie
An Almanac for Moderns
“December Fifteenth”

Three questions … three wishes.

A philosopher with a biological turn of mind has to ask himself three questions. How does life do what it does? What is it made of and how put together? And where does it find itself in the universe? You might take these questions in any order, but that is the order in which they occur to most of us, and in which they have occurred to me as I “watch things grow from the beginning,” from the first pale upshooting of spring till the frost upon the head of the dying year. First the performances of life startle us into a questioning frame of mind, a discontent with all our old ideas. So that to understand function we go back to structure. But structure turns out to be so complex that inevitably we return to environment, the inanimate world out of which life somehow builds itself. And the environment is the earth, and yet not the earth only, but the cosmos.


The astronomers must tell me what it is I see, explain the laws by which the cosmos works, and reenact for me the birth of worlds.

Good thoughts for a winter’s night.

And so for day 3157

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don McLeod Bookplate

Highlighted in a story about acquisition of German magazine by University of Toronto:

[10 May 1933] The date when much gay-themed literature was burned in bonfires in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany appears on a bookplate in a hardcover issue of Der Eigene […], which was donated to Fisher by U of T librarian Donald McLeod.

Don McLeod bookplate - the date when much gay-themed literature was burned in bonfires in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany (1933-05-10)

And so for day 3156

Posted in Booklore | Leave a comment

Loop Behaviour & Representations

Brenda Laurel
Computers as Theatre – Second Edition

Representation as triggers for action (one senses the ghost of ideology critique) …

[Page 212]

Rob Tow says that the defining characteristic of an “entity” is that it demonstrates a “perception-representation-action” (PRA) loop in its behavior. It can perceive its environment, it can construct an internal representation of its perception, and it performs actions based upon that representation. Those actions are in turn perceived within its environment, forming the loop.

[Page 213]

Consciousness of what one perceives or conscious decision making to take action are not necessary elements of what Rob calls “representation”; this part of the loop requires only that perception be transformed into triggers for action.

… a materialist basis for a theory of mind.

And so for day 3155

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Over the Moon

A detail from a calendar from the Dairy Farmers of Canada. I like how the image of the cow is positioned as jumping over the full moon.

Detail from calendar from Dairy Farmers of Canada - cow over moon

And so for day 3154

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Divining the Dynamics

Italo Calvino
“Cybernetics and Ghosts” [1967 lecture]
The Uses of Literature
trans. Patrick Creagh

And so the author vanishes – that spoiled child of ignorance – to give place to a more thoughtful person, a person who will know that the author is a machine, and will know how this machine works.

That thoughtful person has a lot to know about author functions and machine workings.

And so for day 3153

Posted in Reading | Tagged , | Leave a comment