Paul Squires and Proust

As many of you know, Australian poet and writer Paul Squires has died.  I didn’t know him very well, but we did sporadically comment on each other’s blogs and I do own a copy of his book, The Puzzle Box.  His writing was unique and infused with his love of music and Paul Squires transformed words into jazz, each syllable a note in the composition of his artistic vision.

One year ago August 2, Paul visited this blog and as it happens I’d posted a version of The Proust Questionaire.  It took some cajoling, but he eventually posted his answers in my comments section.  Here they are.  Farewell Paul, fly high and thank you for your words. they will be treasured by many.

Paul says:

1. What is your primary characteristic?
Childishness

2. What qualities do you love in a man?
An understanding that that is first and foremost a responsibility.

3. What qualities do you love in a woman?

Reality.

4. What do you appreciate most about your friends?
Loyalty

5. What is your main fault?

Ambition

6. What is your favorite occupation?

Can’t decide.

7. What is your idea of happiness?

Absence of need

8. What is your idea of misery?

Constant need

9. If not yourself, then who would you be?

Someone with a heartbeat and a brain

10. Where would you like to live?

Brighton.

11. What is your favorite color?

Right, now Mango Sunsets

12. Who is your favorite author?
Kiersty Boon

13. Who is your favorite poet?
Bryan Borland

14. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

The bloke I am playing in Fallout 3. Well anti-hero obviously.

15. Who is your favorite historical hero?

Richard 3

16. Who is your favorite composer?

Keith Jarrett

17. Who are your heroes in real life?

Lots of nameless people I see in the sreet.

18. What is your favorite flower?
Chysanthemums Cos it’s such a spectacular word.

19. Who is your favorite painter?

Picasso

20. What character in history do you most dislike?

George Bush and cronies,

21. Which is your favorite name?

Kiersty

22. What is your favorite food?

Anything Wil Cox Jnr cooks, I eat.

23. Which is your favorite drink?

Whiskey

24. What do you hate the most?
Boredom

25. What talent do you wish you had been gifted with?
I don’t like regret, and this question triggers a storm of regret.

26. How do you wish to die?

Consciously

27. What is your present state of mind?

Not quite empty but this is a lot of questions.

28. For what fault have you the most tolerance?

None.

29. Do you have a motto?

Huh?

30. What would you like to do right now?

Don’t ask.

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Just Some Shameless Self Promotion…

as well as promotion for the publishers of the following, in which I have been honoured to appear.

First up: Publisher extraordinaire  Bryan Borland, has just released a chapbook entitled Fag Hag, a scandalous chapbook of fabulously co-dependent poetry. Please click the link and buy a copy, you will be supporting so many things, such as freedom of expression, poetry, poets etc.  I’m lucky to have my work included with so many talented writers.

Second up:  Referential Magazine has posted two of my photos and this online publication is a brilliant concept, having poetry and photographs refer off one another.   Poet and Editor Jessie Carty is the mastermind of this publication and you MUST click the link and visit. Also, please feel free to comment and submit and whatever turns your crank, floats your boat, flips your switch, rings your bell or lifts your lever!

Something I Want To Tell You…

Not long ago many of us were deeply affected by the horrific disaster in Haiti.   Naturally, as a writer it moved me creatively and I wrote a poem designed to stimulate the love and compassion muscles in those who read it.  The idea was to inspire the readers of this blog to open their souls and wallets and give something to help those suffering and struggling to survive.  After a while,  I submitted it to Annmarie Lockhart over at Voxpoetica, who in turn urged me to  send it along to Lisa Marie Basile, the editor of The Caper Journal. I did and she has given me the honour of appearing  in an upcoming print journal she is producing called VWA, or Voice in kreyòl.  The Brilliance behind this idea, is to use our words  to raise money that will assist the survivors of the Quake in Haiti.  I cannot tell you how very grateful I am to both Annmarie and Lisa Marie for allowing me to contribute my poetry to a cause that could possibly feed, heal or soothe another human being.  What more could a writer desire, than to have their work used in such a noble and caring way?  I’m terribly humbled and in that spirit I ask those who read this blog regularly as well as the sporadic visitors who slip in through the door for a curious look around, to please bookmark the Caper Journal website and when VWA goes on sale, I urge you to buy a copy. You never know, your purchase may save a life.  Thank you good friends and scribes, may your day be filled with brilliance.   🙂

*I would also like to mention that a wonderful poet Tel Mcgaha is  part of this project as a contributor of his poetic talent.  Once again, please help us to help those who are unable to make this request for themselves.  Your karma will thank you. 🙂

Three Poems

STINGER

With all the bluster you can muster

Penetrate the soul flesh

Gather it into a pile

And feast on it until your horrific greed is sated

Once devoured a new meal needs to be consumed promptly

If a social famine decimates the  landscape

killing off all predatory opportunities

Only one solution can exist for this vexing condition of  endless need

Show us how it’s really done

Consume yourself completely

*******************************

PASTIME

In your rooms the shadow falls before night

leaking into love illuminated cracks

smothering a hopeful heart that sighs alone

knitting worry from a ball of pain and fear

*******************************

FULL MOON SURVEILLANCE TEAM

Looking up you can hardly tell

the meaning of  that cinderella disk

a round wisher who is indifferent to life

Deaf and Mute but generous with the dirty looks

A green cheese idiot demon Peter Principle

in charge of tides, menstruation, insanity and poets

My Top Three

 

I mosey around the internet on a fairly regular basis, when time and energy permit.   Primarily, I visit blogs by other writers and poets and often there is some discussion about contemporary writers which inevitably expands to accomodate a variety of opinions.   Sometimes I comment, although not with any serious intent to impart wisdom or sway someone to my side of the gate.    Usually I write something silly and leave.  Always I’m ignored.  😉   Anyway,  on the heels of my rag chewing event yesterday, regarding the crap lining the shelves in various book selling venues, I felt that post needed some balance.  See?  I’m not completely devoid of seeing the sunny side of the egg.  😮  Therefore, I’ve been thinking about the emergence of some literary giants within the past forty six years (my age).  

First, I never intentionally read crap.   If I do read crap, it’s usually a paperback accident foisted upon me by an acquaintance,  and after I disinfect my head and eyes I vow to never be hoodwinked again. I’m down to two hoodwinks a year so I’m making progress.   I’m not a difficult reader to please.  I expect the author to be able to spell, understand where to place prepositions, utilize commas correctly,  avoid fucked up tenses, be consistant  and respect periods. Experimental anything should never be attempted unless you know what you are doing.  Everything else is a matter of taste. 

 I’ve three writers  I adore.  They are brilliant  because they produce quality work, they are original and their writing will stand the test of time.    Remember, these are just humble assumptions of literary greatness from this  mere peasant.  

 

JONI MITCHELL:  I know this seems a bit odd and out of whack, but beyond her iconic musical status and undisputed artistic genius, she is first and foremost a poet.  I’ve a deep respect for her both as an artist and a woman.  Many years ago,  a group of my friends I were gathered around a fire pit at a lake in Northern Ontario.  After consuming far too much beer and smoking way too many cigarettes, the conversation meandered it’s way around the meaning of life, our plan to make a million by thirty years of age and our socially conscious superiority to our parents.    Doesn’t it always when you’re young and full of bullshit?  Eventually,  my friend  asked if each of us only had a week to live, what famous person, dead or alive,  would we most like to meet.   The obvious names  were mentioned:  Einstein,  Socrates, Marilyn Monroe, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King etc…  Me?  I wanted to meet Joni.  Twenty six years later, I still have the same answer.  She is as relevant to me now as she was then.   She has broken through so many social restrictions, it would take all day to list them.  Although she lives in California and has for many years, she is the truest of Canadians.  

Books:  Joni Mitchell, The Complete Poems And Lyrics.   

 

ALICE SEBOLD.  She has lived, suffered some very real horror and after immersing herself in the darkness that could have buried her, she emerged valiant.  She is incredibly gifted.    

Books:  Lucky,  The Lovely Bones, The Almost Moon

 

ANN MARIE MACDONALD.    Multitalented doesn’t even begin to describe the depth of this writers ability.  She is a playwrite, novelist and has even completed an opera libretto.  I’m in awe.  I can honestly say I will never achieve this level of competence as a writer.  

Books:  Fall On Your Knees, As The Crow Flies