Monday, May 17, 2004

there are a number of very good Canadians writers I've been reading, both online and in print for the past year or two. one is rob mclennan, whose work was a serendipitous discovery last year when I found one of his books on the poetry shelf of a local bookstore. the other is ryan fitzpatrick, whose blog I found sometime ago. I'll write of mclennan later but now I'll discuss fitzpatrick, a poet whose work should be better known here in the States.

for the past year or so I've been reading ryan fitzpatrick's blog process documents with pleasure. he is part of a thriving community of Calgary writers and I check out his blog at least once a day. don't know him personally so I hope he doesn't mind my writing of him, and quoting this bio he recently posted:

"Poet *Ryan Fitzpatrick* spends his days as a grade school teacher and nights as a literary crusader. With books in his satchel and a gleam in his glasses, he fights literary apathy through support, promotion, and editing for filling Station magazine!"

fitzpatrick brings forth a great excitement and vigor to his writing, poems, reviews, miscellany, that for me, is a great good pleasure. I do not know if he has published any chaps or books but I look forward to everything he does.

check out his angry letter to an alternative weekly and see what I mean, this guy's got it!

but it is the high voltage found in his lines that compel me to visit his blog. there are a great number of subjects fitzpatrick writes about, a few of these are social theory, pop culture, other writers and the process of writing. he finds his language messy and in large chunks. his poems are less painterly, or cinematic, but at least to my ear and eye, made of those materials Oldenburg used when he created his pieces. if that sounds like an odd comparison, keep in mind the task of the poet is not merely to make it new, as Uncle Ez said, but to start over and over again, from the beginning, like Oldenburg when creating his pop art out of the very ancient traditions of painting and sculpture: ask: now what, let me begin.

I'll end this ramble with his poem recently published on his blog. again I hope fitzpatrick doesn't mind my posting it here. but I dig it and hope you do too. find his stuff and read on, brothers and sisters:

The New Poem - fifth sketch

A potential conflict, or
a dysfunctional canpo. We
were sad when
shelves empty. Dude, or
a pulp headache. Gulp, or
oulp. Scrabble, or scrubble.
Wait, it's an option I want
to bubble up to. Soapy
line, or loamy stanza. Down to
earth, a poem with spiffy
pants, or machete. Stop
discovering stuff, would you,
I mean, dud, or
kaboom. Nope,
no kaboom. An aspirin as
compositional rigour.
A stigma, or a cigarette, or
triple word score. A ten point
poem. From outside the key,
these sneaks is ice cold. Ouch,
my knee. What if the fork
is paved? I mean
gold plated, or statement.


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