Books + Stuff Read
19. My Heart is a Rose Manhattan – Nikki Reimer
20. Just Like I Like It – Danielle LaFrance
…. The Capilano Review Issue 3.40 – Winter 2020
week seventeen – 68.9
week eighteen – 65.4
2020 to date: 1,157
What’s so funny about death, grief and isolation anyway. Another National Poetry Month has come and gone and once again I read much less than I’d intended to read. I swear that Anne Carson’s Float will be my death. Or wait, am I allowed to count each chapbook towards my reading goal? Of all of the tragic poets exiled into prairie purgatory Nikki Reimer is literally the most tragic / favourite. “you had me at the word ‘literally’ seventeen times in a row” (83). Yeah you did. In spite of an ongoing pandemic that’s caused me to rarely leave the house I’ve somehow managed to read very little and cannot even keep up with posting a weekly reading and running blog. The latest from The Capilano Review is gorgeous not least because the short-lived (too long, IMO) experiment with disrupting the cover art with contents graffiti seems to be over, hurray! The issue was compiled during the activism in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and it resonates (seems like a lifetime ago) regardless of whether or not intentional, from the Krystle Coughlin Silverfox art on the cover, through the Beau Dick retrospective inside and all the other stuff in between. Also feeling like a lifetime ago, the night before I flew away (remember when we could do that?) to get together with 8,999 others (remember when we could do that?) to race the California International Marathon I went to a pub (remember when we could do that?) for the East Van Publishers Party (remember when we could do that?) primarily so that I could buy books (you can totally still do that) and amongst the pile I picked up the Reimer Rose and this latest collection Just Like I Like It from Danielle LaFrance, which/whom I saved for last, apparently, and it did not disappoint, as LaFrance is quite apt not to do.
SOMETHING I WROTE YESTERDAY IS LOST
SOMETHING ABOUT DIPSHITS
I AM NOT EXCITED ABOUT IT UNLESS IT IS
NEAR AND RADIANT
STILL, I WILL FUCK ANY SEXT THAT GIVES IT TO ME
INTENSE, SMELLS NOTHING LIKE THE PORK
BELLY IN MY BOARISH BELLY
IT IS IN THERE, SOMEWHERE (85)
There’s a lot of shouting but frankly we all deserve to be shouted at right now and not just because of right now.
I’d outwardly been holding out hope that the Berlin Marathon would somehow not be cancelled knowing all the while that even if it somehow by some miracle or Trump-esque level of incompetence and irresponsibility went ahead that I would not be attending and yet still when the official news came down I was pretty sad so I went for a run, accomplished a very long-time-coming running goal, and then wrote a little story about it on Instagram and it went something like this: Six years ago I moved to the West End. I was sad and lonely and I started jogging because it made me feel better. I thought the Seawall was only for “real runners” so I stuck to the streets of my new neighbourhood. Later someone told me about Strava, and I learned about segments, and there was this segment on my street, from Denman up the hill on Barclay to Bute finishing near my front door. I thought maybe one day if I could get the fastest time on that 840 metre hill climb, maybe then I’d be a real runner. I moved a couple blocks down the street, forgot about that segment, and kept on jogging.
Then the world changed, races were cancelled, runners started chasing segment crowns, and I remembered that Barclay hill. The 2020 Berlin Marathon was cancelled. I knew it was coming but it still made me sad. So I went for a jog and finished it off by hammering that Barclay hill. It’s small consolation, and I know it won’t last long, but for now that segment crown is mine.
It’s my Crown #4 and as of typing I’m still holding them, so that’s pretty cool. I mean, one is near my office out in Port Coquitlam, but the other three are all within the Vancouver peninsula so surely some buck (or doe, cause there are some absolute bangers around here) is going to accidentally casually crush them without even noticing. But speaking of casually crushing stuff, just eight months ago I raced to a new half marathon PB (at that time) in 1:31:43, and it took a friend on Strava to point out that on Wednesday I came within four seconds of that time during a 21 KM tempo workout. It is so damn easy to lose perspective. This is shaping up to be the year of the virtual races, and while that sucks, I think I’m ready to knock down some PBs.