Category Archives: Poetics

The Feet of Blue Herons

If you happen to live in another town, Or country, or even galaxy As dim and distant in time as in space From these words, this language, the narrow Range of pitch across its plosive phonemes, Do not worry if … Continue reading

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Why

Because this and that sperm and egg happened to be reasonably compatible, and the gestation period passed without major complications, and our conditions at birth allowed each of us to continue breathing. Because of random mishaps avoided or not through … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Consciousness, Creativity, Epistemology, Evolution, John MacKenzie, Language, Memory, Neuroscience, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Science, The Brain, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Language is Hollow

It was mentioned to me yesterday that I haven’t been writing much. So I wrote. Language is Hollow for Megan Burke My language is grim because I was born in mid-century shadows cast by mushroom clouds, eyes narrowed against brightness … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Charlottetown, Epistemology, Gulls, Harbour, Hunger, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Poverty, Science, Social Commentary, The Earth, The Sea, The Sky, The Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Step Away from the Buddha: brief notes on reading and response, and on salvaging Haiku (and Two Haiku for April 22)

Spring is here, and, with it, a volume of Japanese Death Poems (compiled by Yoel Hoffmann) sent to me by Andrew Griffin. This book sat on my shelf for a few weeks as I gradually overcame my distaste for the … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Japanese Poetry, John MacKenzie, Magnolias, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Spring, The Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yesterday’s Poem (notes on process)

I’ll get to yesterday’s poem, as promised, eventually. But first, some generalities. For me, these days, writing poems is a cold-blooded endeavour. I don’t wait for or depend upon a burn of emotion, a flash of insight, a moment of … Continue reading

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The Autumn Shift of Wind (with process note)

This poem started last night at work with this line, “the geese scrawl their lazy vees,” which became these lines, “in the sky already / the geese are dark, hurried scrawls,” and then spread both above and below them into … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Astrophysics, Autumn, Biology, Carbon, Cosmology, Creativity, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Science, The Moon, Wild Geese | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Brother’s Deaths (poems from old notebooks, sometime in 1986)

This is the first successful poem I wrote, and it was an island in a sea of crap. It was a long time—at least two years—before I managed to write another piece that I would now consider worth calling a … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Cemetery, Creativity, Death, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Memory, Poem tweets, Poems from old notebooks, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Summer, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to the Bog, Seamus

I came late to the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Death of a Naturalist was his first collection, and the first one I read—it sat on my bookshelf for 10 years before I read it.  It was worth the wait. His … Continue reading

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Syllabus

After Saturday’s poem, Nothing Subtle, someone wished for a poet at their fingertips. I say be careful what you wish for. Syllabus The poet at your fingertips was once a garter snake wrapped tail in mouth around a thigh before … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Autumn, Consciousness, Creativity, Crows, Epistemology, Gulls, Harbour, Hillsborough River, John MacKenzie, Language, Lilacs, Magnolias, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Red-winged blackbird, Spring, Summer, The Moon, The Sea, The Wind, Time, Wild roses, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sonnet of an Island Mother’s Son (with process note)

I was sitting quietly under a tree yesterday morning after putting the rent in the bank, drinking my coffee and having a smoke when someone sat down beside me and, in the course of working through the vodka and orange … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Autumn, Charlottetown, Consciousness, Creativity, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Language, Memory, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Social Commentary, Sonnet, Summer, The Brain, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gizooglin Mumblin Jack

In lieu of another freshly smoked up poem todizzle, I gizoogled some dat have already rocked up here, so peek-a-boo, clear tha way, I be comin’ thru fo’sho. Da titlez link ta tha originals. 1. Da May Moon Swells Early May—the moon … Continue reading

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Under the Sweet Linden Tree (with short process note)

Another experiment in tanka that I came up with last night. This was fun—and damn difficult to get this close to right—and almost certainly a one-off; the rhyme scheme grew out of refusing to accept that I couldn’t repeat the … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Epistemology, Gulls, Harbour, John MacKenzie, Language, Lindens, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Summer, Tanka, The Moon, The Sea | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Cruel Lindens (a July Ghazal of Haiku)

Looking for something to write last night, I figured why not try marrying another two forms? And so I built a ghazal out of haiku. The Cruel Lindens (a July Ghazal of Haiku) Rose petals rust from salt heat you … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Astronomy, Ghazal, Haiku, Harbour, Japanese Poetry, John MacKenzie, Language, Lindens, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Roses, Summer, The Moon, The Sea, Wild Geese, Wild roses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hypothetical Sonnet (a note on playing with the form)

The Hypothetical Sonnet (a note on playing with the form) There’ll be another sonnet of sorts posted here tomorrow (the first four I’ve written specifically for the blog are here, here, here, and here), and so I figure it’s time … Continue reading

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