November 24: It rains on the yellow and ochre alike

I remember it was a rainy late November night, although the raindrops were fat and pleasant, and it wasn’t overly cold for what was technically early winter.

As for the Art Bar, I was barely there, dashing in and out, leaving Jacob Scheier a little bewildered, no doubt, as I rushed off.

Hot-Sauced Words host James Dewar stepped in to record readings and interview poets. An excellent batch of photos, once again, from the night’s host, Cynthia Gould.

Stephen Humphrey

Barbara Myers

Ottawa poet Barbara Myers says her literary philosophy is captured by her poem, “Yellow Calls Us to the Things of the World”, which ends the third and final section of her poetry collection, Slide. The book combines impressions and recollection like a series of photographic slides (for everyone who remembers these clicking, old-fashioned machines).

Here is an excerpt:

…Yellow yields./Mediates between stop and go.// …. In deciduous maturity,//yellow releases the tree/from its green youth, lets go

minor gods of luminescence:/ wait, it says. Wait. Look.

Myers, a long-time poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s National Poetry Magazine, writes poems steeped in contexts of family, nature, landscapes from Canada and elsewhere, and other poets, such as Wallace Stevens and Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.


Jacob Scheier

Toronto son Jacob Scheier dropped in from New York City, where he is researching the Jewish socialist movement, to read poems from his collection More to Keep Us Warm, which won the 2007 Governor General’s Award, plus some new works. Despite his commitment to a far-reaching social history project, Jacob can’t help writing about the personal, he explained to James Dewar.

His poem “You’re the Kind of Woman” was recently added to the anthology Leonard Cohen: You’re Our Man.


Kate Marshall Flaherty

Kate Marshall Flaherty read poems which addressed the yoga of everyday life and big issues such as suicide and global warming with equal eloquence.

She and James Dewar discussed writing poems on unpaid parking tickets and the generous act of letting words go.

Excerpt from, “When the Kids Are Fed“:

The kids squeak in the bunk-beds above
as I sit in the window rocker watching
the return of the red-winged blackbird
to his oily twig; the chaos of the day
settles under the steady watch of the Big Dipper.



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