I’m all tapped out of apocalyptic poems. Besides, today is not THE END—like any other day, it’s full of infinite endings and beginnings, of infinite winters and springs.
So in lieu of the mother-of-all-end-times-poems, I’m posting a sonnet for winter and a sonnet for spring, the flip sides of every moment of existence. Blessings and peace.
of snow, pocks
in tarnished snow.
Snow of lust.
Snow of cash.
travesty of dust.
vows of poverty
but not silence.
Snow of theft.
Spring’s blind surge awakens rambling epics. Evidence
gushes First things jockey for position. Feet sink
into mud, and revelation looms at the cost of sleep. Even
a car sounds different. The exotic bark of a dog shatters
Orion, spilling sand from a stunned hourglass.
Thereafter, molecules relax and history tries again:
A garlanded mother emerges playing a kithara
as her darlings weave a pedastal, the better to adore
the quixotic colorist: proof that sensory deprivation
binds minions to a redundant diety. Lids can’t filter
catastrophic light. Sap’s flight quickens, guiding
moments trickling toward a slack horizon. And again:
over the years weep scullions at their skinned rabbits.
Peddlers of risk lean into showers of delinquent buds.
Glib spice announces the news bleeding
in the monochromatic distance. The short-term
memory of distance flees in fear. Enemies
fall, money flees. Falling gloom dazzles just
as history taught it to. Not the history of stars
made of tumbleweed nor the annals of a dust mote
singing rich disaster. Masoch was never so rich,
or so it seems to each geological layer. No
notebook records a pocket of posies between thick
layers of ash. It just is, caught in a small pocket
of time. “Time to return to star,” announces
tumbleweed on the news. The news shrinks
to a speck of pollen on a posy’s anther
in a pocket caught between thick layers of ash.
Sonnets and Looms are available here:
Small Press Distribution
Book City in Toronto
The Book Depository
Posted in apocalypse, poetry, poetry press
Tagged Apocalypse, Apollinaire's Bookshoppe, Book City, Camille Martin, December 21 2012, poems, poetry, Shearsman Books, Small Press Distribution, sonnets
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
There’s a terrific review of Sonnets (Shearsman Books, 2010)
by C. L. Bledsoe at Murder Your Darlings. I say “terrific” not only because it’s a positive review (music to any poet’s ears) but also because the reviewer quotes from and discusses several poems in the book. It’s a mindful review, and it’s evident he didn’t just skim the book but read slowly and attentively.
Bledsoe’s general appraisal of Sonnets
“Martin’s poems are complex and elegant. She reveals a vital, passionate intellect in these poems that move fast as river water after a spring thaw. I can’t wait to read her next collection.”
Click the image below to read his thought-provoking review:
Sonnets can be ordered on the publisher’s page, which offers links to multiple distributors.
Shearsman Books rocks my world — again! Like my previous collection (Sonnets), Looms will appear from Shearsman, a UK literary press that publishes about sixty new titles per year.
Poets who have published with Shearsman include Mark Scroggins, Maxine Chernoff, Tony Lopez, anne blonstein, Carrie Etter, Joseph Massey, Lisa Samuels, Eileen Tabios, Tom Clark, Anne Gorrick, Michael Heller, and Scott Thurston, to name only a few.
Among Canadian poets, Erin Mouré has published three books of translations of the poetry of Chus Pato for Shearsman.
I’m in fierce company.
Unless predictions of Doomsday 2012 come true, Looms will loom on the horizon in fall 2012.
Posted in poetry, poetry press
Tagged anne blonstein, Anne Gorrick, Camille Martin, Carrie Etter, Eileen Tabios, Erin Moure, Joseph Massey, Lisa Samuels, Looms, Mark Scroggins, Maxine Chernoff, Michael Heller, poems, poetry, Scott Thurston, Shearsman Books, sonnets, Tom Clark, Tony Lopez
Photo: Camille Martin
Ongoing fantasy: to book poetry readings with perfect timing for the peak ripening of fall colours. I hit the gold, orange, and red jackpot in Ottawa and Kingston during my recent readings for the AB Series (hosted by Max Middle) and the Thrive Series (hosted by Erin Foley). The views from the train were gorgeous, and the lush backdrop of colours made walking around town with friends before and after the reading that much more enjoyable.
Photos from the readings in Ottawa and Kingston:
Photo credit: Max Middle
AB Series, showing my new Above/Ground chapbook, If Leaf, Then Arpeggio
, with colliding galaxies on the cover
Photo credit: Pearl Pirie
Photo credit: Erin Foley
Thrive Series reading from Sonnets
(dig the moose-muse!)
Thanks to Max Middle and Erin Foley, intrepid and community-creating curators;
Zorras Multimedia Troupe for putting on a spectacular show in Ottawa;
Dean and Francoise Steadman, who graciously hosted me in Ottawa;
Charles and Amanda Earl, who gave me a terrific tour of Ottawa and made me want to pack up and move there immediately;
rob mclennan for bringing If Leaf, Then Arpeggio, my Above/Ground chapbook hot off the press, to the reading;
Christine McNair and rob mclennan, who invited me to have dinner with them in their fantastic new digs in an old Victorian house in Ottawa;
Bruce Kauffman for interviewing me on CFRC-FM in Kingston;
and to those wonderful souls who attended the readings, made me feel welcome, and even bought some books.
Posted in interview, photography, poetry, poetry reading, travel
Tagged AB Reading Series, Above/Ground Press, Amanda Earl, Bruce Kauffman, Camille Martin, CFRC-FM, Charles Earl, Christine McNair, Dean Steadman, Erin Foley, Francoise Steadman, If Leaf, Max Middle, Pearl Pirie, rob mclennan, sonnets, Then Arpeggio, Thrive Reading Series, Zorras Multimedia Troupe
I have a great fall lineup of readings, starting with Grey Borders in St. Catharines, Ontario, on Friday, September 23
– two weeks from today.
I’ll be reading with Shannon Maguire, Aisha Sasha John, and Zorras Multimedia Troupe—a treat to be reading with these terrific poets! And many thanks to Eric Schmaltz and the Niagara Artist Centre for making this event happen.
Then on to Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Washington DC, and New York.
I’ll have copies of Codes of Public Sleep and Sonnets at each stop on the tours, but if you’d like to get a copy now, just go to my website, which lists clickable vendors for these books.
I’m doing all these trips by VIA Rail and Amtrak. There’s nothing better for writing than a window seat on a train . . .
Posted in poetry reading
Tagged Aisha Sasha John, Amtrak, BookThug, Camille Martin, Codes of Public Sleep, Eric Schmaltz, Grey Borders Reading Series, Niagara Artists Centre, poetry, poetry reading poem, Sandra Maguire, Shearsman Books, Sndra Alland, sonnets, VIA Rail, Zorras Multimedia Troupe