Author: e-sasquatch

Maureen Glaude

Published / by e-sasquatch

A former Board member and co-publicity-manager on the Sasquatch Artists’ Performance Series, and a regular there since 1997, Maureen frequents this series, El Taller Cultural El Dorado, and others, to share poems, as well as participating in writing study groups facilitated by Sylvia Adams, and Barbara Myers (The Wellington Street Poets). She has been a member of kado ottawa since its inception. Also a former OIW (Ottawa Independent Writers) member, and participant in several critique groups. She’s been a featured reader at Sasquatch, (summer 2003 and previously), and at Tree, January 2000.

Glaude’s work has appeared in several literary publications, including The Wolf Magazine, London, England, Palabras Productions, San Gabriel, California, and in the TOPS (The Ontario Poetry Society) anthology (2003), Rocks and Rhythm, and the anthology (August 2002), Earth Songs.

In 2000, she won 3rd placein the Free Verse category of the National Capital Poetry Writing Contest, Canadian Authors Association, for her poem Angel Landing.


Pool and Poetry

You ask me why I spend
hours and loonies in the pubs
shooting pool and poetry
it’s not real life, you say

I like my venues and ventures
I’m training myself
to master fresh angles
design new ways to
break onto the world
anticipate the slice and hook
align the combinations

when I share my poems
I work to float
and ventilate
feelings across the room
to enter ears of lovers
of freedom and the art
of trading story

I string images to embrace
stretch out to others’ souls
turn out my mind and theirs
as on an autumn trail

listening to the others’ works
I bathe in holy waters
in this unlikely place

back at the green felt
behind the cue stick
I position myself
focus, draw back, shoot
sink into life’s openings
try for surprises

or from old games, sure moves
around the pocket corners

you say that my friends
seated on the barstools
in the readers’ pub
are players in life
not grown-up
but you cannot show me
a saltier sample
of the real earth

and so I�ll add my name
to the poets� sign-up sheet
but first, I�ll play the winner

1998         

(published in Sasquatch’s Twenty poems for twenty years
2001 Board of Directors, Sasquatch Writers Performance Series,
ISBN 0-9730202-2-9

~~~

(Guitar Senryu shared at Jury Room)

last call for the spring gig
his guitar strings still lure
her barred heart

1999

Tree Mischief

today I caught my young cat
playing novice hockey
with a Christmas ball

I heard the rolling on hardwood floor
guessed the culprit
found the evidence

oh, she finds this
a merry adventure time
sitting pretty
seeming innocent now
grey, white, brown
in amidst the spruce boughs, spying

Dec.1999

Chris Sorrenti

Published / by e-sasquatch

A long time resident of Ottawa, Chris Sorrenti first started writing poetry at age 15, as a means of dealing with the pressures of adolescence, and has been hooked ever since. In his own words, “I find reading and writing poetry a spiritual experience, helping me to survive difficult times, and to celebrate the positives in my life.”

In 1992, Sorrenti joined the executive of the Tree Reading Series, finishing as Director before stepping down in 1994, and is currently web master for the Sasquatch Artists’ Performance Series in Ottawa.

His work has appeared locally in periodicals such as Bywords (1991), Alter Vox (2000). In 2000, his poem, Super Nova was published in the Australian (Canberra) arts newspaper, Muse. More recently, his poem, Less Cluck But More Meat For Your Buck, won honorable mention in the 2001 Ray Burrell Award for poetry, and subsequently published in Vol. 11 of the creative writing periodical, Grist Mill.

 

OTTAWA

 Like the fabled El Dorado

 it beckoned ever stronger now

 just over the horizon

where all our relatives could be found

Early childhood visits in summers

past dreams fulfilled

 when to a small boy

wrapped in the innocence of the 60s

two weeks there

seemed too long in coming

 then gone so fast

 This air force family – no more

 transferring itself

 to small town Canada

now only 40 miles

from the poetry of a million lights

Peace Tower and Parliament

and leading to them

a ten mile strip called Bank Street

where anything could be bought

But for now

we were happy with main street

covered in a five minute walk

where one could comfortably

say hello to strangers

easily recognize fellow residents

from those out of town

and at home

leave doors unlocked

In summer

my brother and I

would ride our bikes

up to the highway Dairy Queen

and while eating our cones

smile at the ribbon of gold

eyes following to where

it disappeared on the horizon

and to a dream fulfilled

but a few years away

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

 the Environmental Advisory Council’s a fun place to be

 there’s Max McDonald with a pencil in his mouth

 running back and forth to the telex machine

a champion of bureaucratic power

you can hear his hearty laughter right down the hall

 as he greets colleague after necktied colleague

 his assistant Veena Pumernell always has a smile

 although buried knee deep in the paperwork

 funding’s down slightly but the public is concerned

so her contract will surely be renewed

 she may be Indonesian of origin and custom

but her heart’s in the Canadian shield


there are multinational conglomerates defecating on the countryside

but nothing gets past these guys

the Prime Minister’s got an ear hanging on the wall

though CEAC’s outside the main departmental organization

drop by for coffee on a Friday afternoon

they’ll be happy to discuss the latest ecological trends


THE UNTOUCHABLES

 some of us, cotton

others, leather

still others

mere burlap

like or it not

all stitched together

the only certainty

who decides

the next design

we stretch across our backs

the untouchables

some of us, chrome

built only for show

others, steel

spoked for endurance

all endlessly turning

round that great big wheel

while still others

only the asphalt beneath

some of us, tin

permanently bent

others, titanium

absorbing high stress

in the foulest weather

quickly returned

to their original shape

once the storm clears

who will lose

and who will win

who will be fat

and who will be thin

who will live

and who will die

ours is not to question why

only realize who decides

the untouchables

Hi yeti fans. We’re back, and we have company.

Published / by e-sasquatch

You may remember that in the first installment of this blog, I expressed the somewhat quixotic hope that there might be other yeti-like big-footed ones dwelling on other continents besides Asia and North America (where the yeti is, of course, known as the sasquatch, and is the totem animal of this reading series). Well, the mysterious force called synchronicity made an instant connection.

On Saturday, February 25, the very day that that first blog appeared on our web page, an article in the Globe & Mail Travel Section announced that a new attraction at Disney World is a scale model of Mount Everest, with a huge, hairy, howling Himalayan yeti in residence. True, it is mechanical; but as Gertrude Stein once said about roses I’ll say about yetis: a yeti is a yeti is a yeti. Welcome to Florida, Brother (or Sister, for in the Globe & Mail article your gender was not specified). Canada’s snowbirds will no doubt find you thrilling, and perhaps a little scary.

Let me assure you that it is not our intention in this blog, despite the formidable associations of our name, to frighten; but merely to give a frisson to your literary instincts. In our blog I’ll tell you about our readings and the people who participate in them; and describe the books, chapbooks, CD’s, broadsheets and posters that we are offering for sale. There will also be a Guest Book, where you can enter whatever you want to say to us. Yetis or sasquatches may be huge and hairy but they’re thoroughly democratic. They’ve managed to tolerate humans for thousands of years, though pretty successfully staying out of sight. Smart of them. Can you imagine what a trophy hunter would give to put a stuffed sasquatch or yeti head on the wall of his or her den?


Our featured guest at the last Sasquatch, on Sunday, February 26, was Carlinda D’Alimonte, who was in Ottawa on a book tour with her collection of poetry entitled, “Now That We Know Who We Are”, published by Black Moss Press. Her reading was sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council of the Arts.

The daughter of Italian immigrants, D’Alimonte writes with eloquence and poignancy of prejudice, new Canadians, identity, the vulnerability of children, death and loss, and the emergencfe of a writer’s voice. Especially powerful are her evocations of the struggles of the children of immigrants to fit into the life of Canada. Immigrant parents are hard-working, struggling to make a good life in a strange land, often consumed by nostalgia for their homelands; their children are separated from them by a gulf of identity and experience that is often hard to bridge.

Carlinda D”Alimonte lives in Tecumseh, Ontario, with her husband and two daughters. She teaches English and Creative Writing in Windsor, Ontario.


As always, our Open Mic was full of surprises. For the first time ever, we heard a poem in Farsi, the stately language of Iran. The poet was Daryoush (he explained that his name is that of ancient Iranian emperors, known to the Greeks as Darius). He read several other of his poems in excellent English. Daryoush said, half-humourously that “everyone in Iran is a poet, even the fanatics”. Hearing him gave us a different take on the life of the people of a country chiefly notable in recent years as being part of the “Axis of Evil”.

Carol Stephen, from Carleton Place, read poems of hers for the first time in front of an audience, expressing herself with sensitivity and aplomb. She was nervous, she admitted, but to give herself courage wore an elegant three-cornered hat with a plume in it.

Carl Edgar Law, of Kingston, who has recently, after a long period of silence, started reading his work at various poetry venues, read several of his– poems: serious and well-crafted.

Lynne Alsford, always vivid and original, read several poems, including haiku and a poem about a definitive red dress.

K.G. Gordon, read a number of his thought-provoking aphoristic “Gordonisms”, brief and sharply to the point on a wide variety of subjects.

I read a poem about the lack of balance in media coverage of the world; how the humble and near at hand is neglected for the far away and sensational; and how I know more about Sunni and Shia, Afghans and Kurds than abut the homeless people of Ottawa.

Jacqueline Zena read sensitive inspirational work, with an emphasis on life-affirmation.

John Woodsworth played the balalaika and sang “Moscow Nights” and read some passages from his translation of “The Ringing Cedars” a series of Russian best-selling novels.

Nancy Rattle, read several of her strongly earthy poems.

That was it for Sasquatch, February 26, 2006.

But the afternoon was not yet over. As I emerged from the Downstairs Room at the Royal Oak II pub, where Sasquatch is held, I ran into an old friend, Alooktook Ipperle, an Innuit poet who writes with great insight and intensity of the life of the Canadian Far North. We spoke for a long time about the life and death of cultures, the crisis of global warming, nowhere more evident and alarming than in the Arctic, and how his people are struggling to preserve as much of their ancient ways as they can: for example, there has been a renaissance in throat-singing, which had become an almost lost art.

I left the pub, feeling inspired and challenged by the cultural riches available to Canadians.

The next Sasquatch reading is on Sunday, March 12. We will proudly feature young writers who studied Creative Writing under Seymour Mayne at the University of Ottawa during the 2004-2005 year. Now, one year later, they will launch an anthology of their work entitled “Norman Drive”. The writers include: Rhonda Douglas, Jesse Ferguson, Jeff Fry, Teresa Jewell, John Kelly, Jennifer Leap, Wanda O’Connor, and Tree Renaud. They will be introduced by Seymour Mayne. Readings every year by Seymour Mayne’s students are a Sasquatch tradition of long-standing.

There will of course be an Open Mic.

The date: March 12; the time: 2:00 p.m.; the place: Royal Oak II pub, 161 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa. We meet on the second and fourth Sunday every month, except July and August. There is no admission fee, only the passing around of El Sombrero for voluntary donations.

Be There.

Welcome to our new blog

Published / by e-sasquatch

Bon giorno, buenos dias, bon jour, wie gehts, salaam, shalom, kalimera, namaste, migwich, ni hau.

OK, that proves we’re cosmopolitan. But why YETI?

YETI, in case you haven’t been informed yet by book, blog or print and broadcast media, is the Himalayan cousin of SASQUATCH, that legendary inhabitant of British Columbia and adjacent portions of the U.S.A., which our Writers’ Performance Series long ago adopted as our totem animal. By calling our blog YETI, we are therefore announcing to the world that we have a foot (a big foot) on more than one continent. If anyone out there in Cyberland has heard of or sighted any sasquatch-like sorts on any of the other continents or islands of the sea, by all means let us know. We are in an expansive mood.

Of course if you’re meeting us for the first time, you might justifiably ask: Why SASQUATCH? Our home is, after all, Ottawa, and there aren’t supposed to be any sasquatches in these parts. But we have plenty of forest in our general area, where a sasquatch family migrating from B.C., Washington or Oregon, could find plenty of cover in which to hide, eat, sleep, make love, raise little sasquatches, and avoid those smaller and less hairy two-legged mammals that are making such a mess of the planet, and which sasquatches (whether they exist or not) have managed to avoid, barring the odd “sighting”, for millennia.

An example of the longevity of the sasquatch legend is a somewhat over the top theory that the evil monsters, Grendel and his mother, in the Early English epic poem, “Beowolf”, may have been sasquatches defending their territory and satiating their hunger, their favorite dish being the aforementioned mammal, a habit that the Good Guy of the tale, Beowolf, put a stop to.

Our story is much more recent and less gastronomically original, but it has its aura of suspense too. Will a real 500 pound-plus sasquatch show up one day at one of our readings to find out what is going on under the sasquatch label, big feet pounding thunderously as he or she approaches our cozy den? There is an amusing poem by Ottawa poet George Betts on our web page that suggests this possibility, as well as offering an original take on the Elvis epic. (Or if it isn�t there yet, it will be soon).

-To find out more about the past of SASQUATCH, The Series, please click right here on the word history.

Today, after various changes of venue and countless comings and goings of writers and other artists who have shared their works with us and our audiences, we are holding regular readings (usually with musicians participating) twice every month on the second and fourth Sunday (except during July and August, or if one of our Sundays coincides with a major holiday) starting at two in the afternoon in the Downstairs Room of the Royal Oak II pub, 161 Laurier Avenue East, near the University of Ottawa. Usually our readings last until four thirty or five.

People are welcome to drop in or leave at any time during the program, for we are not a school or a church. But if you want to put your name down for the Open Mic, better be there at two sharp. The Royal Oak is of course fully licensed and has an ample and varied food menu. We do not charge an admission fee, but pass El Sombrero for voluntary contributions which pay for our web site and posters.

In our blog we will tell you about our previous reading and the people who participated, and also describe the books, chapbooks, CD’s, broadsheets and posters that we are offering on our FOR SALE table. You will also find a Guest Book on our web page, where you can enter whatever you wish to say to us.

-The SASQUATCH reading on Sunday, February 12, was attended by about thirty people. Our special guest was a lady of great talent and beauty. Evelyn Voigt was born in what is now Tanzania on a coffee and tea plantation. African images and words weave magical and mysterious patterns in many of her poems. She is fluent in Swahili and has often visited Africa on behalf of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Evelyn has performed her “soundscapes”, as she calls her poems, which are rich in subtle images of nature and the human condition and are often accompanied by music, in Zimbabwe, Romania, Tanzania, Kosovo, and of course Canada.

The poems she recited at the last SASQUATCH, with brilliant guitar accompaniment by Rene Gely, a native Ottawan with an international reputation as an arranger, performer and teacher, covered a wide territory of body and soul, ranging from the joyous freedom of a child growing up in the African bush, to a sadly regimented little girl sent to a Dickensian boarding school, to a sometimes world-weary contemporary woman, cherishing times of peaceful withdrawal from a troubled planet.

Kulala-kulala-.la-la-..” Evelyn chanted softly in Swahili, describing a state of dreamlike enchantment, and we were enchanted.”

As always, there was a varied group of people who performed during the two Open Mic periods.

Carl Edgar Law, a Valley poet, read poems of sensitive or trenchant interior and exterior dialogue. It was not only his first reading at SASQUATCH, but his first reading in 41 years, proving that it is never too late for a poet to give wings to the spoken word.

Susan Woodsworth amusingly described the awesome prospect of a high school reunion after a long separation from the place and people involved.

Maureen Glaude offered several beautiful tanka, haiku, and one free verse poem, on themes such as love, winter and the half-moon.

Lynne Alsford showed that she can do haiku and write about cats with the same ease and eloquence with which she deals with themes such as sex, the Virgin Mary, and the sea.

Chris Sorrenti offered a moving tribute to Irving Layton and a poem celebrating Ottawa’s laid-back relations between the capital’s many ethnicities.

John Woodsworth, a poet and musician equally fluent in English and Russian expressed once again his versatility, having read two poems set in Moscow, and sang, accompanying himself on his balalaika, the famous Russian ballad, “Katyusha”.

Sandra Howard showed us once again the extraordinarily delicacy and imagery of her work, truly poetry that one can “see”.

Sharon Liu performed, in English, sijo, which are brief vividly evocative poems in accordance with ancient Japanese tradition, and are the form from which haiku developed.

Jacqueline Zena presented haiku and also a rhymed poem. Her theme was “”winners”, a heartfelt celebration of people who do not give up.

Michel Sincennes read translations of “ghazals”, an exquisite form of poetry, much cultivated in the lands of Islam for many centuries. The ghazals he read were translations from Urdu to English.

Kevin Dooley brought the music of another language, strangely familiar yet unfamiliar: Gaelic, in its Irish form; a language more ancient than any other living European language, except perhaps Lithuanian or Basque. Yet the poems he read, followed by English translations, were startlingly modern in theme and were written by Irish women employing the old tongue in a contemporary context.

Nancy Rattle, a Valley poet reading at SASQUATCH for the first time, recited strongly and earthily passionate poetry with verve and eloquence.

Finally, Julie Loper, a much-loved former resident of Ottawa, here with her husband, Don, for a short visit (they now live in Comox, B.C.), read several of her powerfully evocative poems, and concluded with an old favorite, delivered in a Franco-Canadian accent, about a lonely hunter living in the woods with his true love, his rifle, and their encounter with a big, aggressive bear.

Thank you, Julie, for not making it a sasquatch.

Our next reading, on Sunday, February 26, will be at the same time and place, barring extraterrestrial invasion, an avian flu quarantine, or the declaration of a state of national mourning for the defeat of Canada’s men’s hockey team at the Turin Olympics (but bravissimo to the Canadian women for their many victories in various events, and also to the Canadian men who managed to bring home some metal!), namely at two p.m. in the Downstairs Room of the Royal Oak II pub, 161 Laurier Avenue East, near the University iof Ottawa. Our featured guest is Carlinda D’Alimonte, who is currently on a book tour with her collection of poetry entitled, “Now That We Know Who We Are”, published by Black Moss Press. Her reading is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council of the Arts.

Be there. Ciao.