Sunday, 30 June 2013

money + culture

BNPA Awards 2010
Money & Culture

Making Modern Love

We are not like provincial lovers
Who wait to stalk funerals
That bring opportunities of replacing the departed,
Under the watch of the night, in verdant shambas.

Armed with cash
We’ll open our hearts
On a plate of chips, with a soft drink
Things to nibble and sip, but not too large to distract
Maybe chaps? Muchomo and beer later?
Chips chicken will soften us for now,
And for future food that you commonly acknowledge is delicious.

If you should stare in pockets so deep
 That the residential wallet is unseen by short fingers
Soon enough other networks become sexy,
Offering side dishes and desserts
For we’ll soon meet other friends with longer arms
And stronger charms.

It is constantly recommended by wily winners
That going dancing eases misgivings
In tender bones,
Unlikely to be tempered by the softness of night lights.
But if all is careening towards a cold spell
Drinks should be laid out till we are released from thinking.

I saw a secondary virgin sobbing at a table for two
Weighed down by the meanings of disease.
I saw a man who had become a man
For he knew now, how close he was to the deceased
and vaguely inundated with curses of, “Shit happens.”
stumbled away with thoughts that grew from booze
 and the dregs of making modern love.

So while good things begin to afflict us now
And beautiful things course through dull heads,
Causing wings of desire to grow like mushrooms in a mist
Of opportunity,
At last. We shall soon make modern love.

Sophie Alal,winner of 2010 BNPA, under the theme, Money and Culture


It’s the fragrance, mother;
the intoxicating crispy fragrance
of colored newly mint coinage.
Sometimes the shimmering glitter
of gold or silver.
It matters not mother
what figures are imprinted on,
just the fragrance!

The fragrance that drives me
to plunder my core,
to pillage my country to nothing,
squandering it to desolation.

The fragrance that possesses me
to bare my nakedness to them,
to vend my soul’s worth,
to trade my country’s worth!

The fragrance that devours me
 and sparks hunger pangs,
coercing me to crave and covet theirs
staining my hands with blood !

It’s the fragrance mother;
the musky musty odor
of old and used notes,
sometimes the dull hue of coinage
that quenches my thirst and ardor!

It matters not mother
what figures are imprinted on
Just the fragrance mother!
Just the fragrance.


He roughly pushes through the populous kikubo lane.
The titanic load on the head sinking his neck into his torso forcing his body to dwarf.
“Fasi..Fasi…”his mouth cries hoarsely, his tougue licking riverets of sweat off his hard
Muscled face. His rapid pace slows, at the bounds of the thick crowd, his eyes blindly staring at the shoes of those in front of him, waiting hopefully for them to give space.
A sharp pain cut into his left ear like water puffed through the nose.
The rhythmical throbbing of his heart climbing to the head                                                                                         he felt hot. So hot that it hurt….
His blood boiling at an increased degree.
His head pounding hard as it swayed upfront and back.
“A voice was calling….”
His hands weakened letting loose of the load, suddenly his head felt heavy as his whole body slipped away from his will to reach his destination,
“Aim not going to be paid…..” His mind concluded.
He felt his head thinning, separating from the load at the jet of his breath as he fell on top of his face.

NakisanzeSegawa, 3rd winner BNPA 2010, under the theme Money and Culture

The 2013 Awards Poetryceremony took place this weekend:


previously on this blog:

Poetryceremony ~ the theme is Hope

BN Poetry Award ~ Uganda woman poets
Beatrice Lamwaka & Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunya

forthcoming in the series:

2009 ~ Open Call 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

a multipolar world (feisty)

Why Ecuador would be an ideal refuge for Edward Snowden


Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC. 

He is also co-writer of Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border.

There's a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn't know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nėstor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raúl Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region.

Film South of the Border was co-written by Tariq Ali

Purchase the dvd or, potentially,

Watch South Of The Border (2009) Free Online

South of the Border
Release Date: 2009   Duration: 102 min
South of the Border is a 2009 documentary film directed by Oliver Stone. The documentary premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Writer for the project Tariq Ali calls the documentary "a political road movie". Stone stated that he hopes the film will help people better understand a leader who is wrongly ridiculed "as a strongman, as a buffoon, as a clown." The film has Stone and his crew...  MORE

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Mermaid: online resources (a love story)

An Ottawa tale tells the love story of Menanna and Piskaret. Menanna showed up at the door of an Ottawa warrior, covered in scales with twin fishtails where her legs should be. She told him she had once been mortal but longed to roam the heavens. The Great Spirit granted her wish, but she grew tired of wandering and was allowed to return to earth, though in a form “neither mortal nor immortal, neither man nor beast—the mermaid shape in which the warrior beheld her. In this guise she became the adopted daughter of the Spirits of the Flood.”                             
Excerpt, Mermaid Tales From Native Tribes Abound, Indiancountrytoday

 The Mermaid of Ambon, discovered off the shores of Australia,
from “Poissons, ecrevisses et crabes de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires, que l’on trouve autour des Isles Moluques …”, published in 1718 by Louis Renard, Amsterdam.

John Howe

 Madonna del Gamberone

... this woodcut of the Madonna del Gamberone from Douce’s collection was probably destined to be pinned to the walls of somebody’s home… The original painting is kept in a chapel in the Comune di Bondeno, in Ferrara. According to Michele Bianco, the image was ‘found’ in a canal called Gamberone, from which it took its name.* This explains the presence of at least seven king prawns, or ‘gamberone’, creeping up the Virgin’s mantle. By the mid-seventeenth century, the image was considered as ‘molto miracolosa’ and the shrine became a pilgrimage site. After 1641, the Madonna del Gambarone was transferred to a new building, which might be the tiny chapel ...  [shown here].

 ‘Seicento religioso bondenese e ferrarese tra pietà mariana e superstizione’, in Analecta Pomposiana, XIX, 1994. 

a glimpse in a dictionary
“This emblem (equivalent in significance to the image of a Mermaid or Siren) shows the union of Sulphur (our Fish) and of the first Mercury (the Woman), from which results Philosophick Mercury” Unurthed

1812 Hamilton Figurehead 1982 2 Emory Kristof 

USS Scourge figurehead (1812) E. Kristof

art training

Vancouver Skytrain - Time-lapse Drawing

 Jomar Santos

Enroute to Instant Coffee "perpetual sunset"


Radiant Manufacturing / Instant Coffee 

Perpetual Sunset  radiantmfg· Custom sequin wall installation in Vancouver, Richmond British Columbia using materials produced by Radiant Manufacturing, design and installation by Instant Coffee.

Perpetual Sunset’ Instant Coffee new public commission, 
which fills the west-facing wall of the Camino Development Project in Richmond and can be seen from the Canada Line. Spanning over 80 feet wide and 40 feet high, the mural made of nearly 40,000 individual reflective coloured sequins is designed to catch the natural light, most directly echoing the setting sun. The immense scale of the artwork creates a mirroring effect that extends the sun’s rays and sustains this daily occurrence in its refraction.
‘Perpetual Sunset’ was commissioned by the City of Richmond Public Art Program and the Camino Strata Council with support from Urban Art Management (text from vimeo)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Marie-Antoinette ~ "lost" & "found"

'This bell will become the living history of our people.'—Guy Savoie, of Union Nationale Metisse Saint-Joseph du Manitobaimage & quote also from cbc

The bell was stolen by soldiers as a spoil of war after the defeat of the Metis at the Battle of Batoche in May, 1885. It was hidden in Millbrook Ontario and for some years, tolled from the tower of the town’s Fire Hall. It was later then put on public display at the Legion.
Whoever repatriated the Bell of Batoche is far from being a thief. He is a hero and will be seen as such by the vast majority of the Metis, especially those to whom the bell is most significant; those of Batoche and all its surround communities who see the bell as a reminder of the once tranquil way of life of the Metis people who heard the bell call them to the church for mass and benediction; and the ringing of the bell to sound the alarm of the arrival of General Middleton and his troops.
Thank you to all involved for allowing this wonderful saga to come full circle.  In particular to the Metis hero who has now made it possible for the return of this most significant artifact which is of such historic importance and value  to the Metis people.
~ Tony Belcourt, excerpt from The Return of The Bell of Batoche

Métis (do's + don'ts)

I am with the elders who show pleasure in the heroic 
re-acquisition of the bell. 
Repeated requests refused or ignored
disrupt diplomacy
setting the stage for creative problem-solving, 
show of initiative in restoring balance.

From the archives:  The year was 1884 in a small settlement in the North-West at the parish of St. Antoine du Padaue in Batoche. At the time there was great excitement on the completion of the church. Father Julien Moulin wanted a bell to sound in the small bell tower, so the Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin of the diocese of St. Albert purchased a few bells for his missions in the North-West. Oblate records describe the bell-of-batoche as a small silver bell weighing about 20 lbs. It was purchased for the sum of $25.00.

It was customary to "bapitize" the church bells, so Bishop Grandin on September 2, 1884 baptized the small bell "Marie-Antoinette." Marie-Antoinette's god-parents were Xavier Letendre dit Batoche and his sister Marie Letendre-Champagne. The honour bestowed on this family was because Xavier had founded the community.

It's interesting to note that the bell reportedly bears an inscription "Vital-Justin Grandin, Eveque de St. Albert" along with the bishops coat of arms. The date of the blessing should also be there as it was customary at the time.

Metis across the country know what happened to this church, community and its people in 1885. Father Moulin reported theft of many articles from the community and the rectory and submitted a claim of $237.00 to the Rebellion Losses Commission.

The repatriation of the bell to the original owner, the parish of St. Antoine du Padaue and its parishioners is at issue here. "Marie-Antoinette" represents great religious and cultural significance to the Metis. It belongs in its rightful place, at Batoche. The bell does not belong in Millbrook, Ont., nor does it belong hidden away as a trophy for a small group or individual. The small silver bell is a Canadian and Metis artifact and should be dropped off with Chief Justice Monnin who has promised there would be no questions asked or it should be given "in trust" to the Minister of Culture-Heritage. 

One hundred and ten years of captivity is enough. The grassroots Metis don't care where the bell is or who has it, they just want it returned to Batoche and to the people. It must be returned to the bell tower so "Marie-Antoinette" can be home to toll proudly once again."

redheartmetis  Uploaded on Aug 11, 2008
Native American Music. 
I wrote this song at the Red River West Metis Rendezvous...
Native, White, and Metis alike got a kick out of it... hope you do too.

Visit Back2Batoche

Thursday, 20 June 2013


whether they are closing a life or an email, 
a blog post or a poem,
a letter hand-drawn, 
writ in human hand, 
in longhand, in whatever 
syllabic or idiographic form* 
~calligraphic meditative church-schooled-tense or scrawled~
suits the communicator (initializing, closing, morphing)

two samples:



"We're not the People of the Book, 
we're the People of the Story."

Ben Waggoner

 ~ image & text FROM ANI Greenwood'S EMAIL TAGLINE


The dreamer must fit the memory of the dream into the grammar of a language. 

~David Koulack, Sleeping & DreamingTo Catch a Dream

The Fly That Married The Bumblebee

vid1 ~ The Fly That Married The Bumblebeeisleofvinyl Uploaded on Sep 13, 2010  Jamming in the lab.
vid 2 ~ not shown; Burl Ives, Fiddledeedee (The Fly Has Married the Bumblebee) no link (vid 1 is a substitute for vid 2)
vid3 also not shown Burl Ives, Froggie Went A-Courtin' 
(vid 3 is a substitute for vid 2, for which vid 1 is the substitute officially but this may also be used as an unofficial substitution in another direction or tradition that is closer to the initial, and, if preferred) link provided

*joke; ideogrammatic form may be more correct
 (follow the link to Omniglot & find out)

see also,
"dance within the chains," Dream Within a Dream?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Yilin Wang

Yilin Wang After the Riot

How to Survive a Vancouver Riot

What should you do
when you see figures gather
with cigarette lighters
to mock the world with flames,
when you hear footsteps and cheers,
followed by a chorus of screams,
sirens, and glass splintering?
Stand by and watch
like an audience mesmerized
by a performance. Scream. Capture
the historical moment with a camera.
Call 911. Bring in the batons
and masks and tear gas.
Sprint away, hide behind a shield
of locked gates, climb onto a sanctuary
of rooftops and terraces.
Pose in front of a bonfire
of sizzling cars and show off.
Bow your head, give a tearful apology,
mutter “I’m ashamed.” Fall down
and steal a kiss.
Post shots of the smug
faces and beasts onto Flickr.
Try to avoid broken ribs.
Tweet a head count of the dead.
Smash the window
of the Bay and steal maple syrup.
~Yilin Wang

About the Artist: Yilin Wang
Country of birth: China
A literary place that I’ve visited: Vancouver’s Chinatown, backdrop to Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony
Where I’m headed in September: visiting Edinburgh, Scotland as an exchange student
Favourite writing genres: fantasy, social satire, lyric poetry
Tools of the trade: a black gel pen, moleskin notebook, and an Olympus camera
Three things I can’t live without: sleep, stories, and spicy food
When not writing: I serve on the editorial committee of Ricepaper Magazine, participate in literary readings, hunt for books in indie bookstores, and plot out my next travel adventure using Google Maps.

To learn more, visit

also see

Rediscovering Vancouver’s Chinatown through Performances and Storytelling