September 2012



I wrote this piece about the great Montreal band Esmerine a few months ago. But today I heard that they'll be playing in Kingston at Chalmers Church on November 4th. This is exciting news. Now I don't get out as much as I used to, but this is different. See you there.



Sadiqa de meijer


There’s an awful lot of bad poetry written in Canada. I expect, to be honest, that when I open a new volume these days I’m going to be disappointed. I reckon we have no more than a handful of really impressive poets at work, and a few dozen decent ones. But much more than that gets published. It’s sad, really – all that false hope, all that wasted time and paper, that bad press for the art form. My most common reaction to a new book of poems is this: The world really didn’t need that. 


Grizzly Bear. Shields.

Grizzly Bear, the important rock band out of Brooklyn New York, released a new album today and before breakfast I had it loaded onto the Mac and the Ipod. An hour later I was in the car, and shortly after that I think it’s fair to say I was smitten. You can check out the Pitchfork review here. It’s a more muscular sound this time around, to my ear anyway, something a bit noisier, and I appreciate that. I’ve always found their music, until now, a bit languid and somehow a touch unapproachable, like a beautiful woman reading Virginia Woolf. Which is another way of saying, perhaps, that I felt a bit out of my league.

The Advice Columnist

Woman With Underwood

I wrote to the style advisor at a men’s magazine. A woman improbably named Lucy St. Bon-Bon St. Jean. To be honest, her advice, boiled down to its monthly essence, has always struck me as idiotic: “Only bald men wear hats”; “Tan lines are for narcissistic teens”; “Just above the ankle bone is the answer to your question, unless your waist is larger than your inseam, in which case avoid altogether”; and “Not unless you’re drunk. What were you thinking?”


Dog in Car Window

Two days ago I was driving into the city from Harrowsmith, where my partner’s mother lives in a fantastic old limestone house. We’d been out there for a swim—me and Sam and the kids—and I was wondering as I drove in whether that might be it ...