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Jens Lekman – An Argument With Myself

August 14th, 2011

“In the case “Jens Lekman vs. Jens Lekman”, we will look closer at the evidence presented – the photo I had carried in my breastpocket for a whole year, the pressed honeysuckle, the wind so rich on summer and so sweet – how are these things connected and why are they relevant?”

From Jens’ site. New EP out September 20th!


August 13th, 2011

We flew to Paris.
Disembarking the airplane someone had thrown up the pasta all over the window.
I had the chicken.
We checked into our hotel and
walked the streets which seemed to me the same
streets repeating themselves like fractals.
We saw a woman made of gold on the top of a building and
I tried to catch her eye using only my own eyes.
It didn’t work.
At the Eiffel Tower,
at the Louvre,
at the Arc de Triomphe;
the lines were as impressive as the monuments
and now I wish I had taken pictures of the lines.

What Will Save Love?

August 10th, 2011

Qu’est-ce qui pourra sauver L’amour?

Books for a European Vacation

July 9th, 2011


Polaris Longlist

June 30th, 2011

So, with the Polaris Prize shortlist coming out in 5 days (and 17 hours), I have finally decided on my favourites from the longlist. There were 40 altogether, and I cannot admit to having intimate knowledge of more than 10 of them, but thanks to CBC Radio 3, I have managed to listen to a lot of music from the 40 and have picked some 14 favourites. You may notice there is no Arcade Fire on my list. It’s because I cannot stand their smarmy haircuts. My choice? Destroyer – Kaputt. There’s something about his 80’s-style instruments that I can’t get enough of. Enjoy! Make sure to play the actual playlist, otherwise you’ll just stream CBC Radio 3 (which is really not a bad thing at all). http://bit.ly/mBAJCU

Robert Kroetsch

June 30th, 2011

Recently I was given this book by a friend. I had never heard of Robert Kroetsch before, and was working my way towards the book when I found out the author had just passed away in a car crash near Edmonton. And so although I have only read this one book of his (his last) I would say that Alberta has certainly lost a great writer. A favourite from his last collection:

Afterthought 2

A tree is a kind of calendar, our teacher
explained, each ring in the wood a year,
each tree a memory of itself, a history

of the place and time of its growing.
Our teacher said we might bring
a sample to class. I was a good student.

My father’s favourite tree was a Manitoba maple.
It stood at the edge of our garden.
It gave him shade on hot summer days.

What I did was, I cut down my father’s
favourite tree. With a handsaw.
Then I cut off a slice from the fallen trunk.

The rings in the wood were a wonder.
I counted the rings. I went and told my father,
You are the same age as a tree.

My father said, Where did you find that
slice of wood? I was proud of myself.
That tree at the edge of the garden, I said.

I wasn’t lying. He could see the evidence
for himself. If he wanted to. I asked him
to help me check my counting.

A tree is a kind of calendar. I remember
my father, after a moment, managed to smile.
He taught me that love has many seasons.


June 23rd, 2011

At least the honeybee can fly

Lately I’ve been thinking about
bees. In the paper a few weeks ago, a headline read:
‘Parasite blamed for death of 90% of honeybee colonies on Vancouver Island.’
They blamed
climate change or
a harmful parasite or
maybe both. I didn’t read the whole thing.
There was a picture
but the picture was
of a bumblebee
some astute reader
pointed out
a day later.

A bumblebee
stores nectar in
the same form
it was collected in rather than
making it into honey
like the honeybees.
bumblebees can
sting but their stinger
lacks barbs
or meaning
so they can sting you more than once.
They can reach speeds of
up to 52 km/h
you probably couldn’t
outrun a bumblebee.
according to 19th century
laws of
the bumblebee is
incapable of flight.
Something about
beats per second or
the degree of wing loading.
Christ. Don’t tell
the bumblebees.
They would be so upset.
Maybe it’s for the best that
they cannot hear these things
(for the bumblebee does not have ears),
they probably don’t even know that
there’s an orchestral interlude about their
impossible flight.
They sure must be
fast runners and
good jumpers.
it definitely
seems like they are
flying. . . .

But even though the bumblebee
is so athletic and it
can sting you twice
without dying—
the parasites
and the weather are
killing them too.
Or if not that
then something related to
mistaken identities and
the tragic realization that their
flight is

As for honeybees,
They make honey and
they make wax.
They find food and
then they use
a pattern of
to communicate.
Speaking dance!
They can’t hear
either but
no one has written
an orchestral interlude about them
so that’s ok.
Maybe it is better to
be a honeybee
you might think:
Making honey
and wax
and dancing
all day long
the worker honeybees:
they sting with
and die afterwards.
And the drone honeybees:
they mate with
and die afterwards.
Talk about
damned if you do and
damned if you don’t.
Oh well,
I suppose that
at least
the honeybee can fly.


Maple Tree

February 16th, 2011

10.10.10 (10pm)
I am thinking now
(seeing my naked tree today)
that my tree reminds me of
a great outstretched hand
attempting to grasp something—the sky, the sun,
its own fallen leaves on the earth
just outside of the reach of its branches—
and it reminded me
once again
of the irony in the fact that our reach exceeds our grasp;
how awful that
the things we can touch
with the tips of our fingers
cannot always be held
in the palm
of our hand.

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February 16th, 2011


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I am not a sea turtle.

September 21st, 2010

Christ. What can I do? What can I do. I am paralyzed by my situation. In the coastal sea waters off the coast of Australia the box jellyfish patrols the waters of the Indian Ocean. Milky white globs of gelatinous plastic bag dangle meter long tentacles . . . no—two, three, four meter long! strings of electric appendages behind it as it cruises through ocean waters independent of the motions of currents. Covered in poison-filled and highly specialized harpoon shaped needles designed to inject its venom quickly and efficiently, and the venom—among one of the most dangerous in the animal kingdom—burns and stings but more importantly it will stop your heart and then your entire nervous system and you would float still in the sea and perhaps even be ingested if you were small enough or the box jellyfish large enough. There are several species. Some can swim up to three and a half knots an hour in pursuit of prey. Sea turtles are mysteriously immune. I am not a sea turtle.