Dan Post's Blog

Workout Poems

If you've never been to the Geist Poetry Workout, then you've never known what it's like to have your brain sweat. Not only did Gillian Jerome and Elizabeth Bachinsky have us create poetry through a variety of excercises that included everything from cutting up magazines, to running around Robson St. equipped with a pen and a pad of paper, they also proved that you can still get that cramp in your wrists— the one you haven't felt since elementary school; before computers.

The inspiration was abound and the poetry was flowing. One brave soul, Cara Sinclair, was kind enough to share some of her work born from that intensly fun and productive afternoon inside the Listel Hotel. (And for suppport, I've included a few of my own [gulp] )

3 poems by Cara Sinclair

He smokes from the side of his mouth
Like a Rockstar truck jacked up on the curb
‘No Smoking’ sings bright by the karaoke bar
Black Hummer, Nails & Hair foreign to the gum-boot toddler picking her nose
They stare at the menu, toes a curl in day-glo flip-flops
Oyama Sausage Selection
Seafood Sampler
Decide against all and wander downstream, towards tall tree tops
Crushing butts & leaves, hunger & plans along the way

The cheering Lab Rat seas words
Pouring over every mirror
Training Fast and
Silence Marvels to Run
Canadian bandit
Sighs of Relax 58
Signs of muffles, of eyes, black & brown

Life gets more splintered.

Why is the blue-headed guy with the yellow guitar laughing at me so hard that

his checkerboard jaw hangs agape?

The kids have left, to Ontario and Tucson. My mother is slowing fading to black.

The notes on the music sheet say nothing: 4 bars only.

The guitar man’s pants look like the wardrobe of a courtjester – there to laugh at.

My sisters want to put Mom away.

“Surely there, in a home, she’ll learn to be more open-minded?” One laments.

On the far right the Grim Reaper holds the music stand that signifies nothing;

no tune; no melody – not even a swan song.

His mom is drinking herself to death. His dad buying up the world. She struggles to stay clean.

There’s a wild coyote looking away from the pack;

his ears Black Tusk pointy, his mouth open – waiting.

The youngest says he’ll be moving to Edinbourgh.

“Fookin love the Scots. Aren’t I 80% scot, Mom?”

I nod. You’re only 17.

I can see the coyote’s tail; it’s tickling the court jesters’ legs. Maybe it’s that kind of laughter.

His hands strumming between frets like lightening.

Mom says she doesn’t want to be managed. Doesn’t want to be managed. She repeats herself now. Speaks only of herself, her past. She’s says sorry she did such a lousy job.

Oh, Mom, you did a great job. Where was Dad, anyway?

Never. Home.

The guy in the middle, the one with the flute, looks like Zorro – but he’s not playing really.

He’s pretending to be one of the musicians.

The Reaper has no shoes on.

Is there a “no-shoes” policy in hell?

2 poems by Dan Post

Lounge around, for glory
on a damp day.
It doesn't matter if
the climate is calling.
Scrounge up the energy
then lock it away like raindrops
pounding the planet where they
burst into flowery fountains:
a lamp of luxury.

They create a chain
as droplets bump into droplets.
Jump with them
eat air with them.
They are the meat of your
lazy, mid-day breakfast

Ekphrastic (freewriting)

New city for you; big city
When all you've ever known is small town.
Construction & development over
static and unchanging

Work is routine.
Make coffee, collect paycheque.
Routine is death to creativity;
no room for improvement.

All those cars represent
someone elses wealth;
the money to take trips
whenever you like.

We took a trip once : the big one
that brought us to this booming city
where at first we made blueprints
then went out building ourselves; our images

Strong buildings? or Shabby shacks
with a nice paint job?

Now, future is stalled: traffic jam.
Too many cars
all trying to get to the same place
What if we never make it to work?
Will we get fired?
Will we lose our home with the balcony
and ocean view?

What about our spare time—
we will have more of it now,
but only to use feeling bad about ourselves
Rarely each other.

Look at all that glass on the side of the bank.
It reflects us as tiny squares.
Could we lay out each square
and make a perfect picture?
What if one square is out of place?
Do we really have the money to fix it?

Behind all of it (the glass, the cranes
the industry, the autonomy, the grey
the concrete, the hard);
is the green, the open, the soft
the never-ending, and then mountains
(the grey, the stone, the hard)

Somewhere in bertween both greys
is a green, lush paradise
full of picnics and laughing, and rolling around
and never-ending: joy.

No responsibility, except to each other.
We have to make each other happy;
that is our only task,
our only entrance to the freeway.
All other entrances are blocked and
this road only goes to better times.

Even the clouds above this city
are pregnant with rain,
and some days they don't burst
but they always loom and always threaten
to rain disaster and fear upon us.



Kris Rothstein's Blog
Kris Rothstein

VIFF 2019: MODES 1

A collection of experimental short films encourages immersion in image and sound.
Geist news

Winners of the 15th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest!

Announcing the winners of the 15th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest!
Michael Hayward's Blog
Michael Hayward

VIFF 2019: "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom"

A young Bhutanese teacher, wrestling with his commitment to that career, is sent to the remote Himalayan village of Lunana, to fulfill the final year of his contract.