19. The House Dreaming in the Cold by Tom Wayman (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2020). It’s been years since I’ve read any Wayman. My Father’s Cup in 2002 was the last book of his I had, more than 10 books ago. I’ll peg that on the East/West Coast divide of CanLit. Like others who read this Pressing is a stand out poem. Time, season, sun and earth being pressed into apple cider as the wasp go from delighted to delirious in joy. “Molten now/ are the pruning, pollination, fertilizing”. We can see the apple press in motion.
20. The Sun in the Twelfth House by Connie T Braun (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2020). Only 8 pages between covers as a special feature of someone previously published by the press. “the mountains.were cut open. But all the marble//tombs cannot contain the void/and the plough drawing the furrows still unearth old bones.” I didn’t follow it all but it has a lot of lovely lines and moments in tribute of displaced people of various eras.
21. 8 poems by Michael Dennis & Stuart Ross (Sunday Afternoon Poems, 2019). Re-read this one aloud which was produced for an Ottawa reading. A poem by Michael in memory of Nelson Ball… “It was sunny yesterday,/when I heard about Nelson/today the sky is as dark/as the inside of a nun’s habit//” and one by Stuart, here in entirety,
for, after and with Nelson
Nelson and I
I get up
put a kettle
on the the
sit back down
I pour myself a tea
sit back down
22. Checked Baggage (novella) by Valentine Wheeler (Ninestar, 2018) was a quick but satisfying read. They makes reading and writing feel effortless. Two men intersect in international travel. Unalike guys but both likeable and with a natural a click.
23. Ugetsu Monogatari/Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari trans by Leon Zolbrod (Tuttle, 1974) is a set of 9 classic supernatural short stories from 1776. Lots of evil spirits and ghosts. Most memorable was the guy who swore on his honour to be back to his friend for a date but having been imprisoned knew only his spirit could there in time so killed himself to make the date. Seems there’s a 1953 subtitled film version.
24. Divining by Michael Dennis (Proper Tales Press, 2019) is a chapbook of found poems from Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners. Found poetry allows you to get out of the way of the poetry. “The brood mares will come later/However dour and bad tempered/In the morning, groggy from insomnia/I’ve got to get up off my ass and decide what to do/Sleeping is all she really wants to do”.
25. Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jannson (Penguin, 1954) is our next foray into the quirky world where seeds planted at Mid-Summer’s eve become mushrooms sprouting into people and where a perpetually sad mouse(?)-like creature finds happiness on stage where she is adored for crying.