I’m obsessed with The End, with the smorgasbord of choices for Armageddon that Neil deGrasse Tyson cheerfully ticks off: asteroid, caldera eruption, mega-tsunami, black hole. Not surprisingly, some of my poems have an apocalyptic theme.
So in honour of the rapidly-approaching December 21, 2012—of the dreaded cataclysm that Mayan astronomers predicted (unless they just got tired of chiselling)—I’ll be posting poems to while away the countdown to the terrestrial torch. The first poem is below.
And what would 2012 prophesies be without a little shameless commercialism? I’m selling poetry, not opulent underground condos, but then, to paraphrase William Carlos Williams, survivalists die miserably on doomsday for lack of what is found in poems.
The clock is ticking, but you can still get a copy of Sonnets
from the following vendors: Small Press Distribution
, Book City in Toronto
, and Shearsman Books
Help keep my kitchen, where I’m hunkering down with proper Canadian garrison mentality, stocked with beans and rice during these anti-climactic end times.
From a helicopter at night, an aerial
view of a city. In the dark, gigantic
iron statues loom with an ominous
aura of permanence. The people
who live in the city obsess
about the possibility of doomsday
erupting among their soaring
buildings and effigies. Of the end
they’ve made a fetish, chatting
about it at cocktail parties as if
it were the latest vogue. They believe
that it could happen at any moment,
so they no longer bother
to make their beds in the morning.
Posted in apocalypse, poetry
Tagged Apocalypse, Book City, Camille Martin, Canadian garrison mentality, December 21 2012, doomsday, Looms, Neil deGrasse Tyson, poem, poetry, Shearsman Books, Small Press Distribution, sonnets
A couple of years ago, Talking Writing
published some poems of mine from Looms
, a manuscript that has recently been published by Shearsman Books
Martha Nichols, one of the editors, recently approached me about writing an illustrated essay about what it’s like to work in three disciplines: poetry, collage, and music.
I invite you to have a look at the resulting featured spread in Talking Writing and to explore the rest of the issue, which will be added to during the next few weeks.
Click the image below to view my collages and essay:
Posted in cognitive science, collage, literary theory, music, poetry, poetry magazine, Vispo, visual art
Tagged Camille Martin, collage, Looms, Martha Nichols, multidisciplinary arts, music, poetry, Shearsman Books, synesthesia, Talking Writing
Many thanks to rob mclennan for his lovely review of Looms
“There is such an expansiveness to Martin’s Looms. The poems exist in that magical place where words, images and ideas collide, creating connections that previously had never been.”
In his review, rob generously included a couple of poems from the book. If you’d like to read more from Looms, you can order a copy at the following vendors (click to link):
My “world premiere” of Looms
will be in Cobourg, Ontario, about an hour’s train ride east of Toronto.
Poet James Pickersgill put together some thought-provoking interview questions in advance of the reading. Below is a sample, and the complete interview can be found here.
Q – Camille, it is not at all true that poetry is your single creative outlet. You are known as a collage artist, too. You are an editor yourself … and a translator. Your own work has been translated into other languages as well. You have been a university teacher. You’ve organized poetry reading series. You’ve had radio shows and you blog actively on the internet. When listed like that, these activities might sound like an array of separate pigeon-holes but I suspect that there is a lot of cross-pollination, so to speak. What is the nature of this creativity as you experience it: one spark that finds many openings to jump into flame, or, can it be distinct and separate creative impetuses?
Camille Martin – I love the idea of cross-pollination. In fact, I think my primary creative impulse is to bring together: to merge or to juxtapose. It’s the basic impetus for the metaphor: to bring unlike things into dialogue. And for me, that goes for disciplines as well. I was reading and seeking out poetry on my own from an early age, though I didn’t begin writing it in earnest until my late 30s. But my first creative expression was musical – I was trained as a classical pianist since I was six years old, and I went on to get a graduate degree in piano performance. I was also intensely interested in visual art. I’ve always felt a desire to bring the arts together. So now, in the autumn of my life, I have the pleasure of doing all three: making collages, writing poetry, and setting my poetry to music. I think these disciplines are sparking conversations among each another.
Posted in interview, poetry, poetry reading
Tagged Camille Martin, Cobourg Ontario, James Pickersgill, Looms, poem, poet, poetry, poetry interview, poetry reading, Shearsman Books
Always happy when my books arrive at Small Press Distribution
Poetry. The title of LOOMS signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something. These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.
“In tightly woven tapestry, Martin’s ‘backstreet songs’ re-invent a music of knowledge that navigates the hucksterism and catastrophe threatening our planet. The movement of her threads is fugue-like, punctuated by oboes and clarinets, mockingbirds and cicadas. Here, in the dream-space of time-lapse film, forms of life and ideas collide and morph, rippling through centuries of human consciousness to unravel as quickly as they ravel. Here, above all, Martin makes it possible to dance among our ‘origins in snake oil,’ our ‘crusades to mirages’ and our ‘accidental fictions’.”—Meredith Quartermain
“A dreamscape on the outskirts of town, ‘in the badlands of the vernacular,’ these hopeful, haunted poems populated by children and prisoners ‘hover between’ realms domestic and exterior, real and imagined. Like candles described herein, this book gives off a melting, tactile glow.”—Arielle Greenberg
As the official publication date of Looms
nears, I registered the book for the Goodreads giveaway. It’s free to enter, and at the end date I’ll mail copies to the winners (selected by Goodreads using some algorithm that’s beyond my poetry-addled brain to fathom) . . .
Click the image below to enter at Goodreads: