Commentaries - April 2014

Geomantic riposte: 'The Invisible Library'

Paul Wilson was born in Lacombe, Alberta and in addition to his five collections of poetry, has contributed to his city of Regina, Saskatchewan and beyond as a key cultural worker, editor, and publisher.

Stepping out

Woman on beach with cats
Atlantic City, NJ

Let's start somewhere. I'm not too careful of chronology or proximity, so why not start with Atlantic City? In the film, Susan Sarandon rubs fresh lemon into her elbows at the kitchen sink. Burt Lancaster admires her from across the way. I can't remember much more than that.

Out  on the shoreline, in real life, whales beach and draw crowds despite the stench. In the 80's there were tales of dead whales stranded on the New Jersey shore--around the same time as the Atlantic City film release. The newspapers named one Bertie, like the others, he didn't survive. Later scavengers looked for whale teeth and bones to sell to down-on-their-luck gamblers. 

Spring and all, farewell to jackets

two, three, a hundred communes
two, three, a hundred communes

At moments the response to our tenure here at Jacket2 has surprised us; it certainly came with more drama than we expected. One occasion was our insistence on a “we” that some feel served to obscure, to aggregate power, and to evade individual responsibility. For some it seemed like a spectre of collectivity worrisome enough that the language of Stalinism had to be trotted out. Such worries over this seemed to fade over the winter. Maybe it just took some getting used to; maybe it just took the form of annoyed resignation from those who were annoyed. It’s true that we didn’t even think about this so much at first and were perhaps a bit haphazard in our mixing-up of pronouns and points of view; after all, we have gone to jail for each other and bailed each other out and done each other’s jobs and collaborated on many writings before and argued a lot with each too and then changed our minds as a result, and so it seemed to us pretty sensible. Sometimes the “I” feels fraudulent also.