Ezra Pound’s summary of the new poetics 1913

01/04/2018

“In the spring or early summer of 1912, ‘H.D’, Richard Aldington, and myself decided we were agreed upon the three principles following:

Ezra Pound 1939 Wyndham Lewis 1882-1957 Purchased 1939 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05042

Ezra Pound 1939 Wyndham Lewis 1882-1957 Purchased 1939, Tate Gallery, London

(1) Direct treatment of the ‘thing’ whether subjective or objective.
(2) To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
(3) As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of a metronome.”

These, and many other lessons on poetics, were taught by Ted (WorDoctor) Dyck, in the mid eighties. In addition to myself the workshop participants where Mick Burrs, Anne Campbell, Gerald Hill, Elizabeth Phillips, Bruce Rice, Susan Rodning, Jerry Rush, Brenda Riches, Susan Andrews and Paul Wilson.


PHYSICAL HEALTH

28/03/2018

UPDATE MARCH 27, 2018

Good news and bad news. My blood pressure is a low 110 over 70, not unusual in our family, my father and brother the exceptions. It seems I arrived at my GP’s with barely a pulse. The doc checked the pulse in my feet, including the one that will be sacrificed next Thursday, for the greater good of the rest of my body and my brain. All in order, if sluggish. “Haven’t had my afternoon coffee I says.”

Then he says, come up and I rolled my wheelchair next to his white office chair, to look at the blood test results on the computer. I still  haven’t found my hearing aids. Way to many red highlights. My cholesterol has finally reached unacceptable levels (first time,  for everything) triglycerides also high, but at least this time I know it’s not my beverages. Sugar and uric acid good. The final blow was the pronouncement that my blood protein levels like albumin were too high. So much for cooking roasts I thought. Checking the Mayo Clinic site though I’ve learned
I’ve  just now checked the Mayo Clinic site too find some relief in

“A high-protein diet doesn’t cause high blood protein. High blood protein is not a specific disease or condition in itself. It’s usually a laboratory finding uncovered during the evaluation of a particular condition or symptom. For instance, although high blood protein is found in people who are dehydrated, the real problem is that the blood plasma is actually more concentrated.” So just another thing to watch and test. He prescribed a statin for my high cholesterol, taking my medication number into double digits.

Finally though, the concern remains with my irregular and incompetent heart, so more  ECG with echo (?) and more tests. I can’t imagine why it’s been left to the last weeks, and only with my prodding. So much for my bitch ‘n moan. Time to make my place habitable for granddaughters!


PASSAGES

25/03/2018

Glenlea Mennonite Church Sunday morning, once upon a time.   

Having played Simon Stimson in our high school production of Our Town, it seemed fitting to become the choir director of the Glenlea Mennonite Church, pictured here. While this white clapboard structure wasn’t that different from most prairie churches, I always appreciated the windows you could look through, and as the sages say, they were the cracks the light shone through. It was smaller I think than the church that Margaret Laurence might have attended in Neepawa. The Margaret Laurence House was host to a fundraising tea and public readings by Manitoba writers just a week ago.

The audio below is posted in three parts, the first being “Jimmy Bang Goes to Church,” from my Jimmy Bang Poems published in 1979 by Turnstone Press. The second is from The Diviners by Margaret Laurence, and the last from my Afghanistan Confessions, published by Hagios in 2014.

from Jimmy Bang Poems, Turnstone Pres, 1979 page 27, read by Victor Enns

from The Diviners, pages 108 – 110, Bantam Books 1975 edition, read by Victor Enns

There is a connectionn here, that goes past prairie churches. My mother liked to read, so did my father but they read differently. My mother liked to be in the know and enjoyed teaching for the contact it gave her with young people, students. She also enjoyed the salary and independence.  She read the 1975 Bantam edition of The Diviners, paperback after I did in 1976 I think. She asked me for a book to read, and whether there was another Laurence, the one that was causing all the fuss.

The controversy about Laurence’s novels often centred on this particular book. Through a chain of unfortunate circumstances, my dad insisted on driving me to Mary Scorer’s on Osborne so I could get a copy of my Jimmy Bang Poems which starts “They fucked….” I found my chapbook on the rack and went to the cashier to pay and rushed past my Dad who had followed his natural instincts and opened the book to the first page. I didn’t turn to look. I found ways to entertain myself in the Village and downtown,  getting home well after dark and Dad had gone to bed. My mother was waiting-up in the kitchen and on this occasion at least, brokered a peace. “You know Dad’s reading isn’t up to date. I know writers use those words now, I’ve read The Diviners. I like Margaret Laurence’s books. It was never spoken of again in the house

Margaret Laurence House,
Neepawa, Manitoba

from Afghanistan Confessions, Hagios 2014, pages 8 and 32 read by Victor Enns.

 

 


WHY?

20/03/2018

From the heyday of the sixties, actually the early seventies in Winnipeg, there’s an oft repeated story. A philosophy exam had only one question. “Why?” Everybody got to work, except for one student who made sure his name was on the exam paper properly and wrote “Why Not?” The prof awarded him an A. Another student, instead of writing a paper, jumped in front of a prof’s car. Screeching to a stop the startled prof just nudged the student.  This experience the student submitted as his essay on existentialism. His prof awarded him a B.

I’m having a below the left knee amputation on April 5th as the best choice for me to be in the world. Poor cartilage genetics run in the family, all three of us sibs with some form of disc degenerative disease and arthritic joints. In my foot this led to loss of all soft tissue that might hold my ankle together, or up. Ankle fusion was tried, but the experiment failed; one of three out of three hundred by my foot surgeon. It’s too late now for an ankle replacement, a a long shot now, with substantial implications for recovery time and the chance that amputation would then be necessary if the results were the same as the failed ankle fusion. 

The loss of my left foot will provide a potential pain reduction, and a better quality of life by being able to walk. This All Terrain Knee Walker will keep me moving!  https://www.gofundme.com/victorenns-ca

I spend most of my time in a wheelchair. I’m grateful to the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, for providing one for me. The SMD don’t carry Knee-Walkers, and the smaller ones can be dangerous. I know, I have used one before, check my background photo on my Facebook Page. So that’s why I’ve opted to open a GoFundMe page. There may actually be a fund-raising event, but I’m still looking for a venue, and time is running out. I won’t be able to use the knee-walker  immediately, and will practice once I have my prosthesis. For now I figure my best chances to do stan-up-poetry and sit-down comedy are before my amputation.

 


CUT IT OFF

19/03/2018

February 4, 2017

My left foot offends me I say cut it off, I’ll take my chances with my remains
propped up by phantoms, prescriptions and prosthesis, I will never be any more lame.
Give me a bounce like Tigger, a dance like Calvin’s, and a song like bp nichol, just leave
me one leg to stand on, and  fire in my brain to keep moving, I’ll let you know
when my ashes need hauling.

 

 

 


Passages

18/03/2018

Jim Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016)I was introduced to the poetry of Jim Harrison in the 1980s, likely by Ted Dyck who also introduced me to the poetry of Ed Dorn.  Here’s one of Harrison’s early poems in 1961. “Kinship.”

(more…)


MY LEFT FOOT

17/03/2018

I turn 63 on April 3. I’ve always been precocious, but I never realized what that could mean once I hit 60.  My below the left knee amputation is scheduled for April 5, 2018. I haven’t had too long to wait, nor do I have a lot of time to Brood.  Unlike the novel or movie in which the left foot is the only thing that works, my left foot is the one part of me that really doesn’t work at all anymore, except as a pain generator. Let me tell you, amputation will be an improvement.  There is a 20 to 25 percent chance it will relieve most of my left foot pain. Phantom pain is present in up to 80% of amputees. On the other hand, or foot, my left ankle fusion was 1 of only 3 complete fails in the 300 ankle fusions done by my surgeon. This time, being in the 1% is no walk in the park.  So the odds don’t worry me.

I plan to walk again, and to do that I need to replace my left foot and ankle with a prosthesis, which will still allow me to use my knee. Yes I will use a wheelchair, walker, sticks, forearm crutches all based on the length of the expedition. I want to walk around Gimli. It’s a block to the beach and a block to Kris’s Fish n Chips and two blocks to Flatland Coffee and the Ship and Plough. Longer distances will still likely be navigated in my van, once I pass my retest. Groceries and pizza and the Winnipeg Free Press are delivered right to my door. Once I have my license back I will be able to drive to get groceries, though delivery is great on the coldest winter days. (more…)


pain room 1 2 10

12/03/2018

Novel Memoir

pain room is a new project I am initiating, with Murray Toews providing the visuals.  This is where it starts. Should I be successful in my funding applications there is a plan to set up a separate domain and website. In the meantime I will start posting fragments, quotes, audio and additional images. The ultimate goal is production of an  novel pain memoir, with illustrations and animations. pain room is out of my comfort zone in experience, in writing, in preparing text including  stories, sharply drawn images and metaphors, and ideas across many platforms. There will be diversionary tactics, one liners, jokes, as reading about somebody else’s pain is out of most anyone’s culture uh, comfort zone, complicated by the possibility that as a writer, I might make stuff up. That idea is at the heart of these notes and stories.

The Corporal Patient (working name for now) lives in the pain room which we assume he can not leave. He is naked and talks directly or indirectly about his pain. In this instant he is in the (so-called) real moment, analyzing his pain as information.  An emperor with no clothes and no feet he has discovered a secret of pain management shared with him by a very wise woman living with Multiple Sclerosis. “Sometimes I imagine this is not the real world I experience, and that in the real world I don’t have pain, or certainly less than I have most days.”

Patient develops a rich interior life, where the moment is imagined, and he spends every day he can mange  (likely) as a historical figure,  sometimes a hero. His imagined moment shifts time, where as hero he can spend as much time as he likes.  Days come and go, but in the real world when he comes back from his adventure at day’s end, he is still Patient in pain. I’ve begun work (research reading, possible opening and structure, ending) for one of the stories called “Augustine on the Beach.”  Gus washes up on the Greek island Salamis, where Euripides is said to have written many of his plays in the cave, which provides shelter.  He finds the lost Oedipus play, and is visited by the writer, ghost of Euripides. A dialogue ensues. By the time Patient is settling in for the night we will have one explanation for how that play was lost.

So enough for today. Oh, I’ll also be collecting stories, dropping some quotes, and reading some passages related to pain, from outside the pain room (most likely).

1 2 10

On a scale of 1 to (2) 10 where 1 is the least pain you’ve ever experienced and 10 is the most pain you’ve ever experienced, how much does it hurt? This line is asked repeatedly in the heath sector, especially in dealing with extreme pain, accidents, life threatening diseases, or trauma to determine the location and the extent of the pain. While this is on my blog today by tomorrow it will be on the page 1 2 10 where these post will become a separate text, not anticipated for publication, with the exception of some audio/visual materials.


Passages/Dreams

A bit of a mash-up this Sunday. My brother turned me on to what looks like a large conservative Mennonite church (quality of singing, head-covering, if not no matter), singing Down in the River,  so there’s a link. And I dreamed I went to church. As Cohen might say, at last the spirit is taking up some of the heavy work.

Last night I dreamed about my father. He is dead now but still comes to visit. He was taking me along with him to a church in which he was to preach. While we like the word minister better than preacher, it was clear in this instance that it was preaching that he was going to be doing. I thought it might have to do with the music video that I saw the other conservative church swaying and marching to the hymn  Down in the River, but thinking harder on the image, it reminded me of the church in La Crete Alberta (photo on the right)  in the Peace River District. It was becoming more liberal allowing tv and roads and education, comfortable seats, in a nice big church where I attended a Sunday morning service when I was researching Tourette’s syndrome for my still unfinished Involuntary Tongue ms.

The physical location was not so important, but inside it seemed the church kept getting bigger and I kept moving forward in other words; dad went up to sit where a preacher sits in a church, is it a dais?  I was on my own and I was trying to lie down or to have my feet up because my because my feet hurt as they do. The service just went on and on and more people kept coming there was the inevitable kids story, a youth worship band, with a message from the youth preacher, but everyone stayed in church rather than going to Sunday school. Then there were the announcements and then there was the introductory preacher, and by the time it was my father‘s turn to preach an hour and a half had passed. I had been moving through the church a few benches at a time, but forwards, until I was in the back most choir pew. Dad looked miserable for having to speak even for 20 minutes after people had been been sitting for an hour and a half. I woke up when he got up to speak, terrified his mouth would go dry.


Ice Queen

08/03/2018

While Gimli was celebrating the ice with our annual Ice Festival I stayed home to play Ice Queen, Sue Foley’s terrific new release. I’ve been a fan a long time. The last record I liked this much was produced by Colin Linden, Love Comin Down (20o0), winning a Juno in 2001. She is at the top of her form, and of several different blues styles here. Often her song writing is overlooked, but almost all her recorded work is her own material, and it stands up to repeated listening. Her guitar playing is better than ever, usually using her pink paisley Fender Telecaster. She’s quoted as saying “Ain’t playing any rhythm guitar!” touring with her first band before she was 20. She’s been back and forth and is touring in Canada right now. https://suefoley.com/ 

As it happens Foley was on Holger Peterson’s  CBC  blues show last night, promoting her new release and talking about her start in Austin. She was invited  by Clifford Antone, who had a club and a record label, in Austin.  She spent her twenty-first year playing with local legends like Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Angela Strehli, Marcia Ball and Lou Ann Barton; not to mention blues greats from all over like Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimmy Reeves. So what now after a decade away from the stage and recording studio?  Back to Austin to rebootrecording The Ice Queen, with her old friends and with B3 giant Mike Flanagan organ. Here’s the link to the track list and liner notes via her pr guy Eric Alper. I’ll link or post the lyrics, when they are available.

For now this is what I heard,  transcribing the title track; a slow, hot,Texas, smouldering, and very Canadian walking blues.  Billy Horton upright bass joins her with George Rains on drums. Her solos just knock it right out of the park. She often plays in the lower register which I really like, (no not Duane Eddy Twang guitar) but her own style learned from the best blues players in Texas, lots of experience determination and her heart.

“I came in this evening, far away from here,  I came in this evening, far away from here,  where the ground stays frozen more than half the year.
They call me the Ice Queen, they say I’m cold and I’m detached. They call me the Ice Queen, they say I’m cold and I’m detached.
All the men agree I’m too  slippery to catch.
They call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance. They call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance,might be a long time before I give love another chance.
Old man winter, he put a lock on my heart the last man I let in tore it right apart, that’s why they call they call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance.
It might be a long time before I give love another chance.
Before I go back to my glacier,  people know I mean no harm, thought it may seem  I have a frigid heart
They call me the Ice Queen, they don’t know me all that well, but before I compromise my love again it will be a cold damn day in hell.”

Diversionary Tactic posted March 10

International Women’s Day (From her press kit bio)

As an offshoot to her professional recording and touring career, Foley started a project called Guitar Woman based around dozens of interviews she conducted with theworld’s leading female guitarists. From 2001-2008, she wrote articles, organized and promoted concerts, and worked on a book—fueling her passion for gender studies in music and her desire to bring the work of great women guitar players to light. The Guitar Woman project entered a period of dormancy from 2009-2015 while Foley pursued several musical collaborations and returned to university to get her graduate’s degree. Plans are in the works to finish Guitar Woman in the coming months after her tour.

“Two trains I can travel
two trains leaving today
one gonna take me home
one going carry me away.”

– Sue Foley, Two Trains Love Comin Down.

 

 

 


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