Skip to main content

Eyewear Is Four Today

Today, blogs seem old hat - almost as antiquated as those phones in Dashiel Hammet movies that you have to pick up and dial. Somewhere along the line of the last year or so, I became middle-aged enough to no longer get the latest innovations in technology. I don't own a Blackberry, an iPhone, and can't tweet or twitter for beans. But I have tried to do something modestly innovative with my blog. Basically, it's a hybrid form, both personal enough to allow some laments for the dead, and hurrahs for the born, and impersonal enough to welcome other voices, guests, and writers, in, from time to time.

If I have had three main aims, they have been to 1) continuously represent an interest in poetry as a global interest, without constant reference to borders and nations; I happen to think that "English poetry" means poetry written in English, regardless of culture of origin, and am as happy to read a poem by Ranjit Hoskote, Patrick Chapman, or Nicole Blackman, as one by someone from the UK or Canada; I also read poems in French, and in translation; I resist the urge, on the part of many in the US and Britain, let's say, to try and make their narratives of what poetry is, or was, the only ones. 2) I try to bridge the worlds of poetry and popular culture, to see if there is a possible intelligent but fun rapprochement possible between them; and 3) I have tried to be a gentle and mostly polite gadfly in London, constantly asking more from those in the media and publishing who claim to speak on or about or for poetry, and instead often, frankly, speak only for particular vested interests.

I've been in the UK almost seven years now, and I am still told I am not a "British" but "Canadian" poet (though I am a landed immigrant). Identity is too complex and interesting to be packaged so narrowly. I will continue to blog over the summer, as best I can, but maybe not as often (but you know me). Last night, I read "The Whitsun Weddings" on Whitsunday, and reflected on the odd fact that almost no one ever notes that the last few lines are not a sunny metaphor only, but also deeply foreboding. The arrow-shower only looks like rain as it falls, but for each of those pierced, the heart feels the full fletcher's art.

Popular posts from this blog


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…