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Wednesday, October 15
THE BLACK WOLF & other stories of the old west. Lion's Head Press, 2017. ISBN 978-1-928020-15-8. 130 pp. $20.00 CAN.
A unique blend of fact and fiction, this book is a must for those who are intrigued by the American Old West genre of story-telling.
THE APPRENTICE by Alan Pearson. Novel, 2016. 252 pages. Paperback, $20.45; Kindle eBook $5.32.
An autobiographical novel by the late Alan Pearson, one of Canada's premier poets. Edited and with an informative Introduction by his wife, Doreen Pearson, the novel gives a fascinating view of the poet's growing up in England during WW II and the post-war years. Beautifully written.
To get book click HERE.
DOGS OF POMPEII by Lore MacDonald. New & Selected Poems. Lion's Head Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-928020-11-0. 95 pp. $25.00 CAN.
The much anticipated second collection from the author of OASIS (LHP, 2000).
SEASONS OF DISCONTENT by Raymond Fraser. Novel. Lion's Head Press, 2015.
ISBN 978-1-928020-05-9. 297 pages. $21.95.
Set in the years 1964-65, Seasons of Discontent is a spirited and captivating
sequel to two of the author's best-known novels, The Bannonbridge Musicians
and In Another Life.
Read Trevor Sawler's review of SEASONS OF DISCONTENT. Nashwaak Review, vol 34-35 (2016).
"Raymond Fraser's energy and inexhaustible riches of truth and imagination continue to astonish me." ROBERT GIBBS, author & critic
"I didn't think there could be a better book than his In Another Life, but Seasons of Discontent is as good if not better." EUGENE PETERS, essayist
Review of SEASONS OF DISCONTENT by James M Fisher in The Miramichi Reader.
Author Interview at the same site, June 4, 2015.
Author interview at Arts East, June 23, 2015
THE KRYPTONITE STORIES by Robert Markland Smith. Short stories.
ISBN 978-1-928020-08-0. 87 pages. $12.00.
A new collection from the author of Rumpleforeskin Meets the Abomination of Desolation, Street Business Inc. and The Weight of Illusions.
FREEWHEELING THROUGH GOSSAMER DRAGSTRIPS by Alan Pearson.
Poems. ISBN: 978-0-9865183-0-0. 72 pp. $15.
A superb collection by one of Canada's finest poets. Originally published in 1975 by Sesame Press, this new Lion's Head Press edition has been revised by the author.
"Outstanding quality.” – George Woodcock, The Globe and Mail.
WINE RIVER by Bernell MacDonald. New & Selected Poems. Lion's Head Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-928020-12-7. 78 pp. $25.00 CAN.
MacDonald's 11th poetry collection and the companion book to his Poems in F Minor.
A STILL MORE PERFECT CLAY: Selected Poems by Robert Hawkes
Four volumes in a boxed edition.
ISBN 978-0-9780927-6-4. $20.
"The poet's most memorable works . . . While each poem emerges from his calm presence, collectively they reveal a poet's journey from a rural childhood through the wider scope of world travel . . ." ALLISON CALVERN
DOING TIME by Raymond Gordy. Poems. 70 pp. $20. By a founding editor of The Montreal Free Poet Booster & Blaster.
GYPSY by Bernell MacDonald. Novel. Lion's Head Press. 2017. ISBN 978-1-928020-13-4 (paperback). 220 Pages. $25 CAN,
In this follow-up to his novel The Moneymorians, Bernell MacDonald delves into dreams and reality to fashion an adventure tale where werewolves and other monsters roam and mingle with the human population.
NIGHT TRAIN TO HAVANA by Wayne Curtis.
Novel. ISBN 978-0-9686034-7-5. 222 pp. $24.95
A riveting story of love and deception set in a land still scarred by the hardships of a forty-year revolution.
Prisoner of an iPad by Arun Budhathoki
ISBN 97-881-82-500-570. 61 pages. $8.
An enthralling collection from one of Nepal's leading young poets.
"Arun's poems are amazing – they have intensity, depth and drama." THE HIMALAYAN TIMES
THE WEIGHT OF ILLUSIONS by Robert Markland Smith.
Stories. ISBN 978-1-495440-04-5. 115 pages. $10.
''A book about magic and trickery as a reaction to government disinformation in the media.''
THE BLACK HORSE TAVERN by Raymond Fraser.
New revised edition with an Introduction by the author.
ISBN: 978-1-928020-00-4. 240 pages. $18.95. Distribution by Ingram Book Services.
"All ten stories in THE BLACK HORSE TAVERN bear the Fraser touch: gutsy realism, originality,and humour. The effect is hilarious, moving, and sad. It's quite a book." BETTY SHAPIRO, Montreal Gazette
SOUL SONGS Poems by Hilary Prince
A poignant glimpse into the chaos and inhumanity in our world.
"The poet's words depict personal challenges as she tries to make sense of her own struggles and in recompense make them count for something." DORIS EWART
Tuesday, August 12
Lion's Head Magazine
No. 11, Summer 2014
Editors: Bernell MacDonald, Raymond Fraser
Featured poet: Bryan McCarthy
Bryan McCarthy was a notable figure on the Montreal poetry scene in the 1960s and early '70s, when Montreal was widely considered the poetry capital of Canada. In the late 70s he moved to England and in 1989 cut a 45 RPM record called Funky Willy (William Morris) under the name King Mad (see photo). He was born in 1930, and according to a friend, "is still alive but somewhat out of it; he's living in sheltered housing in Morden, England."
In reviewing his book of poems, Smoking the City (McClelland & Stewart, 1965), Al Purdy wrote: "Bryan McCarthy distills nightmares from his own nightmares, and nearly-genuine lakes of blood from a puddle of vomit on St. Lawrence-Main. His contacts with the city and other people seen to me surrealistic, and perhaps the more real because this is so. No other poet in Canada looks at urban life this way, sees so much one-sided horror, is so alienated by his environment."
The poems by Bryan published here have never been collected and are taken from a magazine he co-founded in Montreal in 1972 called Booster and Blaster: the Montreal Free Poet.
IN THIS ISSUE
Robert Markland Smith
Thomas F. Pawlick
Norma West Linder
Notes on Contributors
Nero, how you'd snigger...
Roger comes in, enormous
boots clump clump
to my fridge, pillaging
beer; clumps back
a huge gentle-voiced
psychopath capable of
chucking a man through a double
window. 0 Roger
Roger, anarchic Roger –
Roger with gigantic
beard over tweeds; Roger
with shambling decrepit
slum-mansion strewn with a rusted
Buggatti under construction
– mad necrophilic mansion
shit over by hounds – with
that mantlepiece always catching
fire over that
blazing open fire over which
he once roasted a whole
strewn over the floor, the
pottery furnace rumbling
ominously in the basement) –
Roger with a huge hand for any passing
crotch, Roger beating up
girls, Roger brandishing a
pistol, mercifully unloaded,
Roger, Mon Dieu, who threw
Aunt Terese into a lake
then dived in, in bottle-
green tweeds to salvage her
Roger who flies the jolly
Roger of the desperately
Roger whom one shuns like a
out of a
going clump clump clump
to my fridge leaving a trail of
bottles and cartridges, clumping
over my papers my wife my
the voice incredibly
gentle and quirky with God
help us Old World
Roger: je te salue.
You lumber through the crashing
wreckage of this city,
manifest its madness and
thin tattered lining of
western culture you
reject all you
bust yourself laughing
over ghastly anecdotes
than a snigger, the bonkered
of a civilisation gone more than
mechanical like a stammering
once you scared me
with a stare of your dead
calm eyes, which,
Not to be Nothing he'll become
euphoric about the beauty of concrete;
decipher cryptic salvation
out of a spiel for cancerless cigarettes;
inhale hope from gasoline exhausts.
Not to be Nothing he'll tell you:
"I am Progress, consubstantial with that That
beside you gnashing invincible bulldozer teeth.
See! I barge through rock!
Down cathedrals with one karate chop!"
He is armies, napalm: ultimate
fear. He's No-one, everywhere.
This Bloody Civilization
Landscape At Yatesbury
This is a masculine land;
Not like the Cotswolds with white-stone cottages
Nuzzling between the green breast-hills –
This land is hard
Carved from chalk in shallow concaves.
The hill, like a humped and twisted shoulder-blade
Rises under the hide of thin green turf;
Hard and humped, with a ring of trees at the summit
Curled like a cat in the sun.
The sun drips
amber; clear amber;
Slowly we drag,
Slowly along the road,
with tar sticking to boots
Then fasten the farm-gate with the rusty cable.
Then up we swelter, up, sweating, up the
Wheel-rutted white chalk track;
Rabbits bobble away and freeze behind stones;
Soft-eyed cows look at us, still munching, velvet-muzzled,
Or slouch their moving angles across the path.
And up we struggle, up;
A cloud-shadow skims across miles of plain,
And up we struggle, up.
Now, at the summit
The eye sweeps patches of green and rusty brown
To the dark woods on the hazed horizon
Thrashed in the plain below:
Men have lived and fought and died
On the huge, slow-changing bones of this landscape.
There below, that little eddy of life,
The ramshackle airforce camp
will flake away like scurf, while the hills endure:
Men dying, being born,
Like renewing grass, clinging to the hill.
(R.A.F., England, 1952)
Lines Written on Being Refused A Commission in the RAF
We leap up like dogs for scraps of success
And flee whimpering from the cracking whips of failure.
But our synthetic lust's insatiable:
We toil up dull, respectable slopes
To case the body in costlier fibres;
Minds that should have grown like spreading trees
Are stripped to the specialized trunk:
Youth and sex and eyesight
Quickly traded for a scrap of parchment.
We learn the tricks:
Leap through the blazing hoop of war,
Commit barbaric cruelties,
And I, as I read this letter, flinch
Though thousands are in agony over the world.
Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll laugh,
For only one morsel really tempts me now,
And this the damn
Silliest of all:
To live again on posterity's lips.
Do not pause to admire his brain's
those contorted boughs, those ferns
--but hack! Burn!
Smoke out this raving beast!
We'll improve his mind with scalpels,
Teach him to sit with his tail curled up
And tend a machine that presses out tin cups.
they can make you happy
but you wouldn't think so
hanging on the steady bar
rummaging through handbags
chewing gum or blankly
staring out the window
they can make you happy
and you can make them happy
when your hand is on their breast
when you stroke their lips
then they don't chew gum
or stare out the window
but the bus moves on
it never stops
it has its destination
nothing can prevent it
the bus is filled with hair
and creaking limbs
and a nibbling subterranean terror
has total control
then they don't make anyone happy
and you can't make them happy
and suddenly it's time to get off the bus.
Sooner Than You Think
And suddenly the shiny red metal caves in and the sporty
car is half way into the black Cadillac of death. Mink
clitoris is mashed on cream vinyl. What a tableau of
catastrophe – two of them in the downtown section. Blood
oozes out the door cracks, fingers twitch out the window
in spasmodic goodbye. And everyone bursts out laughing.
The man on the ledge fifty feet up doesn't care. What a
smart fellow he is, in boutique suit and colored shirt.
He doesn't care what time it is as he steps out in space.
His watch stopped several years ago. Now look at that
awkward heap of boutique suit on the sidewalk, full of
tomato pulp. Nobody could help laughing at such a droll spectacle.
Streets are full of sirens communicating their universal
language of panic and terror. Apartment windows are full
of eyes glinting red from the patrol car's flashing beacon.
It is all so terribly amusing.
Silver rain has begun to fall luminously between clapping
hands and very soon we shall fall asleep with silly giggles
City stop lights will blink red/amber/green, on and on until
the ungoverned generators, untended, speed up and burst
in a shriek of unlubricated bearings. Flakes of silver rain
will turn and glint in a vapid breeze on sidewalks stained
with bubblegum and bottle tops.
Supermarkets all over town will be swept over by electronic
eye of closed-circuit tv and between signs for Sales and
Reductions no eyes will see the rotting sides of beef,
bursting cans of cat food, moulding breakfast foods. Nor
will the marauding rat that stalks through festering melons
go accosted as he opens shop for antique ant.
What will happen to gay buntings of plastic waving over
gasoline stations, highways stitching together the landscape
of the world, pop records, films, love letters, mini-dresses
popcorn and coca-cola ads.
What will happen to thinking, insight and poetry. And what
will happen to lovely cloudscapes. Will they momentarily
form the shape of a beatific smile of God and will the wind
whisper in words that ring through the corridors of earth:
God damn you man. God damn you FUCKING man.
The Old Streetcar Terminus, Parc Jean Cabot
I remember looking at condos
near Parc Jean Cabot in the late eighties,
a park I'd known since early childhood
when mother took sister and me
to the Shriners circus
opposite the streetcar terminus, at the Forum.
How strange our present
and past coexist
and never merge: the five-year-old
holding his circus toy,
a little fur monkey on a stick
later chewed to bits by the family dog,
the grave man with briefcase
appearing in some condo doorway
or walking into a classroom
one block from Parc Cabot, fifty years away
to address students mostly sleeping.
Did the boy age
or was he put away someplace
to lose substance as dreams do
when we join our awake life?
I can't say.
I just know he could be any small child
holding to his mother's coat sleeve at the circus.
On The Winter Steps
On the winter steps of Alexis Nihon
the dead are greeted like poor relations.
A nameless man in a grey coat lies on his side;
one hand crooked under his cheek,
he stares down the Plaza's
concrete steps, blue eyes intense, vacant
as shoppers sidestep
the apparition at the door
and move on inside. Corpse and climbers
ignore each other.
He stares bereft and unwelcome;
they stay on course, keeping the poor relation
out of their sight and their balance
in check. You, I say, and move on——
and wonder who would try to console the dead
with money, art or love;
they won't accept, they won't accept it.
ROBERT MARKLAND SMITH
I Used To Watch Place Ville Marie
Melting In The Rain
I've been living in Montreal so long
that my mind runs East and West
and the dividing line is the Main
the numbers running from zero to infinity
one way and zero to minus infinity the other
what side of my brain are you on?
as I approach Montreal by plane,
the night lights are blue and orange rectangles,
a vast breathing, pulsating, scintillating grid
the pilot bounces into Dorval,
and next, I'm taxiing along concrete snakes
until the immensity of downtown invades
the windshield of the car:
it's a twenty dollar ride from Dorval to downtown
I hope there's a Sherbrooke Street in heaven,
not paved in gold, but exhilarating
on a sunswept spring day:
ornamental wrought iron grills
dating back to the British Empire
and the tiny rosebuds
along the front entrance of McGill,
with construction, always construction
coated with memories
like brain cells coated with dopamine
from past life hallucinations;
ghosts whisper, calling me back,
saying, remember me?
there was the age of coffee shops
and demonstrations and F.L.Q. bombs,
I was only a kid then,
and life was vast and promising,
(nothing to be taken seriously,
as I could afford to postpone spirituality)
and there were friends,
and today there are friends,
and there will always be friends,
someone to greet me at heaven's door
today it's the age of yuppies
and homeless vagrants ostracized
from the Holiday Inn
and the hanging garden of Babylon
underground shopping centers:
the boarding houses are reborn
and converted into condos,
the longhair freaks are now administrators,
and I'm still the local weirdo
who's somehow intelligent and also crazy
(at least so I've been told, right?)
the other Montreal lives under the shadow
of the Beast, and the streets are earthquaked,
with a black cloud over every cop shop,
and I hear the screams of the elderly
widows near the geriatric wards of the Douglas:
one drunk is still outsleazing another drunk
in the gray on gray drunk tank in station no. 1,
the men in uniform have stolen someone's wallet,
and a wiseacre screams out, "Call the cops,"
I'm torn and shredded and scattered
from adventure to delirium tremens to torture
while the immigrant ladies with shawls
wrapped around their heads shop for tomatoes
at the Jean Talon market, oblivious
to the language rift and 7:00 o'clock news
about Claude Ryan and René Lévesque's
brave new Montreal, the only bilingual city
on the continent, where over 80 languages are spoken
once upon a time, there was the Bistro
on Mountain Street, and one should remember
the Club des Moustachus, where all the waiters
wore black bow ties and handlebar mustaches
when I first moved to Montreal,
I took Jean Beaudet to the Black Bottom
to hear a phenomenon called Nelson Symonds,
who played until 5:00 A.M.
in serpentine smoke and beer flowing
and girls stomping their feet
and beatniks tapping their fingers,
and the joint kept rocking
till sunrise and somehow it swings today
in Jean Beaudet's music and my soul
does anyone remember the Esquire Show Bar?
or the Penelope? or the Swiss Hut?
today, all the drunks who drank at the Diana
are attending twelve-step programs,
and are serene ghosts of their rowdy selves,
wrinkled and gray as they shake hands
with newcomers at Monday and Friday Central
there's still the excitement of a new decade,
and then a new millennium dawns on Montreal,
will Christ come back and find precious little faith
in a city dominated by a cross on its only mountain?
twenty years ago, I thought the Revolution
was imminent, I thought we would have
one hell of a French Revolution
(last week, an old friend of mine
said in all pseudo-seriousness
I resembled Robespierre,
and I hung up)
tonight, I'm comfortable on the fifteenth floor,
out of the rain, and La Bohème
doesn't mean a great deal to me anymore,
today I'm older, still crazy, still young at heart,
but the cops don't arrest me for wearing long hair
tonight I'm tired and glad to have roots
tonight I am stoned drunk on nostalgia
tonight, they could drop the bomb
on Montreal for all I care
(April 20, 1990)
To the Puppet Masters
You would have me
Dance the dance of despair
Live in a monk cell
Renounce the wind, the air;
l should fold my hands
So neatly there upon my lap
And recite the words that please,
In your presence removing my cap.
You tempt me like a dog
Oh do the bidding, do it
Smart and neat, make the rows complete;
You will receive the dry and yellow
Bone of dead latined words.
It breaks and splinters
And I am spitting blood
Oh take your bone away,
l seek a raw fleshed bone
With blood that drips upon a stone.
And One Was Surely Enough
l have learned of late
That my wicked young brother
Has taken to poetry
So that he may sing of life
And of its various delights
Twice struck, my poor father,
Across the face by insidious fate
For now the cruel lingering eye
Of the loitering townsmen
Will focus on the hapless Sire;
Oh all tongues will whisper say
Chance he pass that way,
"Good God what winds would blow
What day could be so foul
That a righteous God twice would
Damn a good man so",
Ah, forgotten then it will be
That we were runners and jumpers
Players of games and winners of prizes
Pious young students with a holy eye,
Or that I an engineer became
Only the accusing Finger to remain.
the great tragedy
of your death is
that we could not
find resolution between us
that I might
rest in peace
She ripples through the silent water, gold
In sunlight, silver underneath the moon;
And even as they look she disappears
Although the land-locked pond in which she swims
Has not a cranny where a carp can hide.
Evasive of their searching fingers, quite
Impervious to their stones, and spurning all
The baited hooks, she moves through watery time
Mysterious and aloof, and waits a prince
Who has not come to cast his lure at last.
For though one snap of jaw would change her mouth
To lips, her fishy parts to flesh, her scales
To golden hair – to break that binding spell
A man must bait his hook with his live heart
And no man yet has had the faith to dare.
THOMAS F. PAWLICK
Those of us who are condemned
know it beforehand,
know what lies in ambush
on the path ahead.
Walking point for you,
safe in your careful houses,
in each of your most carefully counted,
calculated inhalings and exhalings,
your most meticulous
swallowings of saliva,
we feel the prickling alert along
the sweat in the palms of our hands,
moving toward loneliness,
toward sudden fright,
toward seeing, toward finding,
pistol in right hand,
flashlight in the left,
silent, on expectant
into darkened rooms,
into black holes,
and the empty emergency wards
of charity hostels, we step quickly,
Christmas trees and toys,
and warm meals,
like old skins, sloughed off,
toward the spot
where one foot will step
on the trigger in the grass
and everything we are,
or ever have been
Some New Thing
you’ve set off,
like some sapper
like some seed
blasting through the soil
into the sun.
How did you do it?
Who helped you?
What spies, what maps
There is some other thing
in harness with you,
showing a way,
through barbed wire and trenches,
some thing whose name
I surely do not know,
equal to you,
greater than we,
some new thing,
bright and blinding.
After, between the silences
He spoke the wanted words;
Some of them swam like fishes
In cold water; still
We could not understand;
Someone said: This is Art,
Another: "I cannot judge"
All of us sitting like stone figures
In the early evening light.
He traced the way
Laying down the plan frankly
Speaking of the dying and the few
We turned these words
He having gone before;
And then when alone, held our faces:
Empty bowls, and hungry.
The Ulcerated Man
The blood has run twice
It's sure to run again
Flowing from my holes, gaining freedom.
By practice, I have learned to carry
My insides like a monk in prayer.
I stumble, I doubt my life, I won't admit
That words confuse the voice of love.
I don't understand argument
Nor talk, nor people.
And events judge my conscience.
Accept the face
Embrace the body.
Do not live lies.
NORMA WEST LINDER
The child in his playpen
seems to choose
which toy to reach for
or whose hand to grasp
And as he grows
his options multiply
which course to follow?
doctrine to pursue?
Atop a used-up mound
he comes to wonder
were his choices sound?
He comes to wonder
whether he was bound
to choose as he had done
right from Square One
on a park bench
over the stagnant
a little boy
on a tricycle
“Diddle diddle dum
diddle diddle dee—
whatcha doin’ mister?”
“NOTHIN’ LITTLE BOY”
“whatcha lookin’ at mister?”
“NOTHIN’ LITTLE BOY”
“Whatcha havin’ for lunch mister”
“NOTHIN’ LITTLE BOY”
“I’m havin’ hot dogs—
and away he rides
on his tricycle
until out of sight
sitting on a park bench
staring out over the water
“DIDDLE DIDDLE DUM
DIDDLE DIDDLE DEE”
I knocked on God’s door
but nobody was home
I tried peeking through the windows
but the shades were drawn
I tried opening the door
but it was locked
—bolted shut from the inside
To Do and Not to Do in May
Don't die in May
it's a month of weddings
the sun will shine upon your casket
as it's carried from the church
shine brightly on your hearse
as you lead a slow parade
to the cemetery to be lowered down
hearing the priest's last solemn words
the murmurs of your relatives
impatient to get home
the dust barely settled on your grave
when a string of ribboned wedding cars
flies by with trumpeting horns
young men and women laughing
in the merrie month of May
Oh a May bride is fair of face
sweet tempered and contented
And a May corpse (who too is fair of face)
might suddenly turn rueful and tormented.
On weekdays after my nap
if I have one
I take a walk
when you walk
in Montreal you see things
Grass is for living
and loving –
NOT Dog Shit, Please!
And on the underpass wall
at Pine and Park:
On a cement post
outside the liquor store
on Avenue John Kennedy
this stencilled message:
Join El Fateh
three of the letters faintly legible
where someone had
painstakingly erased them
so it read:
And on MacTavish Street
a sign on a tree
Would the person who found a tape recorder in my car
on November 21 please return the cassette
the material is very important
with a phone number
for the thief to call.
BRYAN MCCARTHY. Born in 1930, author of Smoking the City and The Bad Book .
ALAN PEARSON (1930-2012). His five books are: "14 Poems" (1970), "Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips" (1975, 2010), "Encounters in a Bright Land" (1983), "Flashing on all Facets" (2003), and "Exploring Amazement – New and Selected Poems" (2010). In 2010 Lion's Head Press published a new edition of "Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips", with some revisions by the poet.
FRED COGSWELL (1917- 2004). A prolific New Brunswick poet and the driving force behind Fiddlehead Books in Fredericton, NB. He authored 33 poetry collections and nine books of poetry translation of his own, and through Fiddlehead Books published 307 titles by others.
MARC PLOURDE. Lives in Montreal and has several collections of poetry and short stories to his credit. He has also translated numerous books of Quebecois literature.
ROBERT MARKLAND SMITH. Lives with his girlfriend Bonnie in Montreal. They have raised two daughters who are now grown up and educated. He has retired and does the odd translation for a living. He has been published around 120 times in magazines all over the world and is in recovery from various problems.
LEROY JOHNSON. Co-founder and co-editor of Intercourse Magazine, and the author of several poetry collections. The poems in this issue are taken from his book For A million Or More Morticians.
RAYMOND FRASER. Native of Chatham, NB, currently living in Fredericton. His latest book is BLISS and other stories (Brokenjaw Press, 2013).
RAYMOND GORDY (alias Roman Gordy). Author of the poetry book Doing Time. One of the founders of Booster and Blaster: the Montreal Free Poet.
NORMA WEST LINDER. Born in Toronto in 1928, spent her childhood on Manitoulin Island and her teenage years in Muskoka. Author of five novels, thirteen collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children's book, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon.
LORE MACDONALD. Sister of the renowned poet and zoologist Bernell MacDonald, she's been writing poetry for over 40 years. Currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she's involved in website design and publishing, and teaching piano. She was editor of the poetry magazine Serendipity and her first book of poetry is oasis.
THOMAS F. PAWLICK has been writing poetry since he was 18. He’s now 71, and lives on a dirt road near Marlbank, Ontario. He was involuntarily retired from teaching journalism in 2006, following publication of a book with which his employers disagreed.
BERNELL MACDONALD was born in O'Leary, PEI, 1948, and educated in the back woods of the Opeongo Mountains and the campus of UNB. He is one of the Windsor House Poets who went on to publish 12 books and is presently working on 11 more, simultaneously. His latest book is poems in f minor.
TO SEE BACK ISSUES OF LION'S HEAD MAGAZINE AND MORE BOOKS FROM LHP
Wednesday, January 16
Lion's Head Magazine
No. 10, Spring 2013
Alan Pearson (1930-2012)
Born in Yorkshire, England, Alan Pearson moved to Canada as a young man, where he worked as a scriptwriter for The National Film Board in Montreal. Later, living in Toronto, he was a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post. His five books are: "14 Poems" (1970), "Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips" (1975, 2010), "Encounters in a Bright Land" (1983), "Flashing on all Facets" (2003), and "Exploring Amazement – New and Selected Poems" (2010). In 2010 Lion's Head Press published a new edition of "Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips", with some revisions by Alan.
Elizabeth Brewster (1922-2012)
Elizabeth Brewster was born in Chipman, NB, and educated at rural New Brunswick schools and at UNB, Radcliffe, Toronto and Indiana. She worked in libraries until 1972 when she accepted a position in the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan, where she remained until her retirement in 1990. Her career as a writer began at the age of twelve, when she had a poem published in the Saint John Telegraph. While at UNB she was one of the founders of The Fiddlehead. She authored 16 books of poetry, two novels, three books of short stories, and two volumes of memoirs.
IN THIS ISSUE
Robert Markland Smith
Jane Spavold Tims
Thomas F. Pawlick
Notes on Contributors
I never wanted to marry you,
not at 18, the time of sweetest options.
What a duvet of inviting bliss
lay all around; so wide you could
roll in any direction
and be a fingertip from limbs
sweet as Turkish Delight,
pink as any conceived by Ingres
in some perfumed atelier
deep in the heart of Gay Paree.
At 18 there would always be
some foxy huntress available
in wrinkle-free jodhpurs
– thighs gripping a sportive bay;
or a severe headmistress
with punishing lips and a blouse,
high-necked and black, that masked
(but not from me) a sensual heart;
or, to be carelessly confiding,
a schoolgirl, her gym slip riding high,
sprawled and slyly smiling
from a sofa corner.
Buoyed by such effervescent dreams
of adolescence who would yearn
to tie the knot?
Not me, tainted with a father
with flying fists and a bent
for pints of danger – so pronounced
his wife would rather
paper a room all night
than go to the nuptial bed.
So how can one explain, after fifty years
we’re side by side,
pushing through clouds to Spain
to Greece and Arizona – evenings
watching the box, reading novels;
and in the car kissing
and bickering, too.
But now feeling a common dread;
married and, like two plough horses,
fearful which will be the first
to halt awhile, then, in sharp alarm,
fall in some field
where one will be finally alone.
In the Coffee Shop
Big windows overlook a wet highway,
and beyond, the icy lake.
Trucks and cars forge on
to northern points, and south.
So much going on, so much to see.
It never stops – for some.
An old man in a baseball cap
sits, shrunken by the years.
Palms around a coffee for warmth.
A man in his fifties sits with him,
heavy-set, short hair.
He could be in construction,
an off-duty cop? He has a good face.
He talks to the man in the baseball cap.
The old man stares at the highway.
The heavy-set man: married? Does he have
a family – is the old man his family?
He's thinking of things to say: he quips,
asks questions. All in a respectful way.
He wants him to talk back, to confide.
He looks intently into the old man's face.
This shrunken apathy is hard to bear.
At intervals the old man laughs, softly,
says a sentence or two,
even glances at the man in his fifties
– the man who could be in construction.
Beyond the big windows
the traffic forges north and south;
tires swish on wet highway,
it's the sound of life. Day and night
it never stops – though for some it does.
Across from the coffee shop,
beside the icy lake,
the Retirement Home stands
blurred by a light snowfall.
The heavy-set man looks at his watch.
He puts a hand on the old man's shoulder.
Next week they'll do it all again.
On a telephone line a chickadee
greets the day,
opens a sharp bill and scratches cadences
on the periwinkle blue of the sky.
Over there in the forest, trotting
in sunshine, is the yellow-eyed fox,
his mind a jumble of all things lethal.
What a bright day for a light breeze
to ruffle the feather and fur
of all things wild.
A great day for an ancient poet.
Avanti! He must leave the house.
He selects a pencil, yellow as a fox’s eye,
sharp as a chickadee’s beak.
Such a great day to pen
a Spring time lyric,
if the talent is still there after all
the stiff months of winter.
Faith is all it takes
and how can that fail
on a day like this when
on a telephone line a chickadee
opens a sharp bill...
I don't mind winter on days like this
even the 20 below can be a joy when sun
skims lightly over roadside snow
and in the car Rod Stewart sings
This Old Heart of Mine with such a swing
it puts a summer shine on everything.
Grouped garbage bags at driveway ends,
lopsided and forest green,
delight to reflect a sparkly light;
and, sharply yellow against banked snow,
the school bus halted and flashing red,
growls at tardy kids with satchels.
Even the birch, silver against blue,
like an image in a poem by Frost,
says: Watch me sign the sky with twigs.
As Stewart's song rejoices in my humming car
I halt where saplings zebra-stripe
the snaky length of Golf Course Road.
A good day for scanning pristine fields
where an isolate, wind-swayed barn
lets breezes course through broken planks
– frayed music for a drowsy owl or two;
and farther off, to complement the scene,
the lake is flashing light my way.
A winsome day for greeting crows
for persiflage with snowmen;
in fact, a day for youth to frolic,
all content, inside this heart of mine.
I Will Be There
(for my son Steven)
One day my telephone will echo
in an empty room…
Do not frown because I’m late
I’m on my way to something
that will not be denied.
It will not please me thus
to leave; I fear that where I go
will not comply with any wish
But if I have some choice
upon the other side
I’ll keep with you
all kinds of rendezvous.
On forest walks, when strands of wind
sigh easy through the fragrant balsam,
and you are left alone a moment,
a twig may snap or bird provoke to flurry –
then, know that I am by your side.
So, if you still retain a taste
for sunlit jetties
my eyes will be in the shine
of an early morning lake,
as the softly spluttering engine
of your boat
takes you, with rod, across
the placid waters.
Again, in a restaurant that
overlooks a highway
when knife and fork have stopped
as there comes a lull
in the table’s chatter.
There will always be something
familiar in the walk of a stranger
seen from afar…
And you will say, he had such a walk.
Then perhaps some night
when sleep evades your wishes;
and the room is quiet
but for blood-dash rush in your ears,
I will be caught inside the tumult
turned, over and over,
like some half submerged thing
in a sea
that rolls on a far-off shore.
Know then that when you lift
the ringing phone
it will not be my voice you hear –
to try you with my anger
bore you with an explanation,
or hold you, all impatient, with my love.
What you say about one experience
Equalling another is perhaps true.
x + y does tend to balance a - b.
Spending one's childhood in a debtor's prison
Equals, perhaps, being the dilettante son
Of a Prime Minister, and able to afford
Friendships with poets or a Gothic castle.
Proust in his cork lined room, Thoreau at Walden
Each knew a different kind of solitude.
Crossing the Atlantic in an immigrant vessel
Might not be as adventurous
As taking a walking tour through Wales
Or travelling by coach from Steventon to Bath.
A spinster in New England or Yorkshire
Writing of an imaginary lover
Might be as close to reality
As the young man from Ayrshire
Singing of his Mary, Jean, Clarinda, and etcetera,
Since love may be known in some ways from its absence
As well as from its presence,
And St. Teresa's darts, flames, and sighs
Are as hot and piercirg
As any other lover's.
(Originally published in Intercourse Magazine, issue #2, 1966)
The child, playing all day in the summer fields,
Was an Indian lying in a tepee with roof of timothy
And floor of vetch and clover; the smell of grass
Was sweet and hot and tickly in her nose.
Or, dressed in a straw hat and a blue sash,
She was the young Victoria in a portrait
Painted in childhood, princess blonde and good.
The Lake was the Sweet Thames, or it might be
Deerslayer's Lake, where Hutter had his home.
The growth of bush where blueberries darkly grew,
Spicy with ferns, was a woodchopper's forest
Where Hop-my-Thumb might wander;
And a deserted house in lonely fields
With windows broken and its walls unpainted
Was the bewitched tower where the lady slumbered
Through mouldering years, awaiting a brown-eyed prince.
In dewy pastures steeds – not horses – whinnied;
Cows were bucolic in their patient ease;
And in the dim barn, smelling of hay and manure,
The barnyard cat with wizard yellow eyes,
Peering for mice, was lithe and gluttonous,
Cunning as any cat in ancient story.
(Originally published in Intercourse Magazine, issue #11, 1969)
The Pillbox Hat
Last fall last winter death
had our beloved cuffed
from face to neck, from arm to ankle
friends family wouldn't let go
in hospital mask and gown they set
to a tug of war for dear life
for Marilyn nailed to her bed, hope
snuffed with the doctor's last visit
I remember the empty room
when the bed is stripped, the walls
stripped of cards, photographs
the blinds open, the light
intense and indifferent
to anyone standing there or walking
away, or wheeled away
Then the reception out of town by a lake
a January midday like grey March
friends family greeting and clasping
in a strange room and Marilyn's
the canapés table, a grey urn
polished and small
amid the cards, the good wishes
Outside across the road
fishermen are on the lake
tiny figures are bending to the ice
I want to turn to her now, you see
touch her hand, say
something about the weather
and the men maybe falling in
By this time Marilyn's ghost is out the door
she is wearing the leopard skin hat
she wore the summer of her divorce
the hat I admired over lunch
twenty years ago, a hat
that said "F. O." to her ex,
her two-timer ex
Now she is crossing Lambert Closse
and de Maisonneuve, her divorce
behind her, a red-
headed woman and a pillbox hat
and a wave
and a wave
of the hand, the hat set
just so to the left
ROBERT MARKLAND SMITH
Beware The Meek
Beware the meek
For they are plotting
To inherit the earth:
Contrary to public opinion,
Of the world,
The last survivors
Of the Neanderthal race
In a civilized world
We are not
Public enemy number one,
We merely get our news
From other sources
Than the media,
Our mental environment
Is in another dimension,
We are rebels against Reality,
Prophets of a better age,
The firstfruit of all creation,
We play pretty good ping-pong
And weave damn nice rugs,
(March 27, 1981)
I had a friend who was a Catholic nun
and she explained to me
that God’s secret name is mercy;
I had born-again Christian friends
who danced in the Spirit
because God loved them;
I listened to pop music,
watched Hollywood movies
and read poetry
which celebrated romance:
then I realized
what love is not,
put my shoulder to the wheel,
and began changing diapers.
The Schizo Manifesto
at first, I thought I was psychotic
but the doctors were so kind to me,
feeding my brain chemicals
to give me a sense of reality.
how could I doubt the existence of matter?
I think, therefore my brain exists,
preserved in a vacuum jar
in a laboratory
many centuries from now.
and I was afraid
when I first realized
I had no body,
but the doctors reassured me,
programming my brain
that induced the common hallucination
of living in the world.
you know, Berekeley, you were right:
‘‘when you said there was no matter,
t’was no matter what you said.’’
so I sit in my vacuum jar,
waiting for the redemption of my body.
will someone please tell me
I am not dreaming alone?
(August 6, 1982)
This World Is Not Enough
this world is not enough,
with women’s warm embraces
and subtle social graces,
is not enough.
the soul is not satisfied
and sunny days,
books, good looks,
and the consolations of consuming:
this world is not enough.
there is a thirst
which digs into my soul
in a red desert soil,
sighs that blossom
as big as the universe,
and this world is not enough,
the echoes and resonance
of God’s love.
(February 1, 1981)
The rain god
The sun god
Fertility rites said the English Prof;
Rain god, sun god, fertility rites,
Chanted the amazed class
As they clutched hands and danced
Around the oak tree singing symbolicly
Pocket full of posies, pocket full of posies –
Led by the Prof in a religious baritone
Beating furiously on an old skull bone.
Human sacrifices to the gods' appeasement
Were not unknown, he glared;
The human sacrifices danced around the oak
The human sacrifices took copious notes
And ioyfully slit their throats.
The Prof standing in the gore
Wiggled his toes gleefully,
Blood is traditionally symbolic, of course,
And calls for a poem, blood up to his knees,
Blood is proportionally composed of distinct
Definable chemical parts, however,
That is not to say there is no beauty –
Oh, yes blood is beauty
Oh, yes blood is beauty;
So they danced in the gore of beauty.
Old Tom follows a white cane
With plodding feet and cap off centre
He offers pencils and razor blades
To sounds of faceless feet.
Children halt their play and stare
At a tilted grinning face
Only to bolt colt like
Before the tap... tap tap of his cane.
His whole life one unending slight
year after year the anthologists pass him up
while the new names get younger and younger
first the age of his sons
and now his grandsons’ age
an editor and critic in the field of letters
he grows older and greyer
while others are hailed as gifted bards
upstarts filling the ranks
it’s the custom
these many years
to pass him up
confining him to footnote recognition
as one who edited and credited
but no glory
It’s his life!
his one life —
how long can he wait?
as time runs out
and his hair falls out?
Can he help but hate
silently cursing what's young?
putting aside praise of promise
and retreating to historical antecedents
of men born after death in their works?
It seems all accidental
how it could be this way
as time wears on
in this his one and only
Death at Twenty-Nine
Could I die? at my age?
I’m not yet thirty!
But I think of it
when my throat is sore
or I’m short of breath
or there's a pain in my chest –
of impending death!
I'm afraid I wouldn’t like it
taken suddenly like that
like a farmer who has yet to sow his field
or an explorer who has yet to board his ship.
Passage of Time
I hate the slow evenings
when nothings happens or is heard or said
when I wait for the hours to creep away
so I can go to bed
I hate the quiet vigil
for another night to end
when the minutes drag by slowly
like a watch beside the dead
I hate the way that night comes
slowly and eventless
dragging along its broken wings
the tedium relentless.
Up the Road
We stand at the crossroads
near where we were born
and look eastward
where once there were
houses and a grocery store
as well as a train station
Now there are columns
of trees and foundations
of concrete that are broken
and partially hidden
by roses and raspberry canes
that continue to grow
long after fast-burning fires
turned buildings to ash
The rail bed is all
tall grass and bush
and the small station
where people once left for jobs
in the Boston States
is but an outline of stones
on which its floor rested
still seen in picture albums
growing fainter and fainter
as the years pass
When I am at Granddad’s farm
and go to fetch the cows for milking
I find them huddled near the gate
anxious to be escorted to the barn
When I asked why they were waiting
for someone to come for them
Granddad said to think of the milk
in their udders as their clock
He remembered his father
telling of how back in Scotland
when he left the farm for the city
and worked in a plant making bells
how a large clock instead of the sun
measured the length of the day
in seconds that moved at the speed
Near the corner of Duluth and St. Denis
Just a little way up
Is the Restaurant L’Escale
Where I’m going to eat.
Seated, the woman
At the other table annoys me.
Her mouth moves badly
I tell myself.
I won’t have it.
I walk over, introduce myself
And smash her waterglass.
Astounded, she gets up
Embraces me, and demands
We go to bed — I agree,
But only after eating.
Still feeling awful
I again get up
Go to the kitchen
And piss into the chef’s sink.
Excited, he tells me
He’s in love.
Returning to the table
I finish the meal,
My hunger gone now.
In the dark alley the killer hid.
Sweaty, trembling and exhausted
He had been running for ten blocks
Into doorways and from behind cars
With the sirens everywhere
And his brain thinking insanely of escape.
He had pulled the trigger with care.
Everything had overcome him
Seized with the ecstasy, the unspeakable visitation
He had fired the gun,
And killed the man.
JANE SPAVOLD TIMS
1941 International K-4
cut my last trail, coughed my last spark-plug
drug my last load of logs from the woods
wheels in muck to the window wipers
streaking brown mud down
the windshield, cracked in three places
once where joe let the log fly and twice
where a tree fell sideways of intended
logs on every which-a-way, chain-saw upended
oozes from the oil pan, rocker panel creased
from those axle-bending rocks on horseback mountains
left at the roadside to rust full gawk
of community, awkward if they cared
dashboard shrouded in dust
driver’s seat nested by mice
axles jacked on oil drums, bare of rubber
no trace of my formerly stylish coat
of International Harvester Red No. 50
only surface still intact the side-view mirror
where betsy fixed her lipstick straight
that one day they let
her squeeze in for a ride
Berries in Cellophane
In the raspberry patch,
wary of prickles, we pick
our baskets of berries
Try not to step on the turtle
first claimant of the thicket
Deep, we find evidence of bears,
berries inhaled by the clawful
and canes pressed into mattresses
studded with thorns
In summers when rain is rare
and berries cling hard and dry,
we eat raspberries shipped
from California, wrapped in cellophane,
plastic boxes to aggravate ears and slash at fingers
Turtles snooze unmolested
and bears lie on their prickly beds
stare at clouds and ponder
grocery lists, compare prices
abandoned resort hotel, Devil’s Head
well this is a fine
‘explosion’ to return to
after years of thinking I’d enjoy
one more rock in the wicker chair
roof and walls collapsed, wainscoting
splintered, horsehair plaster stood on end
as though the last blast killed the horse
and threw the rider
crest of the establishment, misplaced, unpainted space,
pink chimney in tatters, hearthstone cracked
loose bricks ejected every which-away
full mug would slide the length of mantle
Mrs. Johnstone’s Blue Willow patterned dishes a crazy
mosaic on floorboards, rotted furniture looted
and the wharf, once berthed my sloop,
a snag in the river
metal bedstead twisted
fancy fretwork chipped and rust-haired
Lily long-launched from those sagged
bedsprings tilted straight
and worse of all, the calendar
wrong year, wrong date
Dogs of Pompeii
among my photographs
are excavation finds...
pottery, tools, human remains deprived of oxygen
entombed in cemented lava
there were great men in Pompeii
(and the depraved)
wild dogs now skulk about
lying and cooling themselves on flagstone
and wise was King Solomon
who wrote “a live dog
is better off than a dead lion”
THOMAS F. PAWLICK
Squirrels in the whiteoaks,
tails jerking--quick, quick--
rustle of leaves.
Duck sounds drifting down
a blue, curved sky:
Breathe the frost.
Feel the cool sun touch
rustle of dry leaves,
stretched out prone,
tongue tip curled
like a withered leaf,
old white dawg,
lazy and loose,
yawns a jawful
of big, white teeth.
like butterflies on the wind,
If it brings you to flowers,
linger, don’t cling
If it brings you to thorns
bank away, glide away.
If it brings you to the fire,
let it burn. Become smoke.
i threw a bone to a dog
the next day he was back for rind and fat
the next for gravy and meat
today i saw two small children
playing in the snow
at first they were rolling around
pulling at each other and laughing
then they were pushing each other
then came the shoving and the harsh words
finally came the fists and the crying
high school memory
they claw at each other’s face
pull out each other’s hair
scream – cry as they kick and bite
– in the school yard
two females of the species
engage in rare
everyone gathers round
rooting for this one
or that one
but no one dares
break it up
no one dares!
not the older boys
Not even the nuns
for these two slight Catholic girls
writhing like vicious little ermine
fight with such furor
they don’t even care
that their panties show
I fish from the beach in the rain
but there’s no fish
only colourful girls in bright
clothes, whole families
collecting shellfish, and kids
gathering around me on the rocks
wading in to free
my hook stuck on the bottom
talk to their friends in dune buggies
tearing up the sand
driving up and down the beach
joggers, four by fours, children
hanging out the windows like puppets
the ladies dresses float in the wind
like bright kites
two invitations to go out in the boats
“My dad’s a fisherman,” they say
“They fish far out to sea.”
But I don’t like boats
I just like the sea.
On Getting a Haircut
After Bin Laden’s death
sentiments run high
on the TV
circle around the Black Stone
all the barbers Pakistani
but I have to get a haircut
worry about the straight razor
blood on the chair
smile, say cut a little
but never close my eyes
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
ALAN PEARSON (see above)
ELIZABETH BREWSTER (see above)
MARC PLOURDE lives in Montreal and has several collections of poetry and short stories to his credit. He has also translated numerous books of Quebecois literature.
ROBERT MARKLAND SMITH says he's not the singer from the Cure, but an aging family man who struggles financially to raise two teenage daughters. The author of numerous books of poetry and short fiction, he's been published in China and Australia, etc, and earns his living doing English-French translation.
LEROY JOHNSON is the former co-founder and co-editor of Intercourse Magazine, and the author several books of poetry. The poems in this issue are taken from his book For A million Or More Morticians.
RAYMOND FRASER is a native of Chatham, NB, currently living in Fredericton. His latest books are Repentance Vale (novel, 2011) and The Madness of Youth (novel, 2011).
ROBERT HAWKES is a UNB professor emeritus and former co-poetry editor of The Fiddlehead Magazine. He is the author of 11 books of poetry, including his most recent, Sentinels (Poppy Press, 2012).
RAYMOND GORDY (alias Roman Gordy) is author of the poetry book Doing Time. Served as editor of the magazine Montreal Free Poet: Booster & Blaster In the early seventies.
JANE SPAVOLD TIMS lives in rural New Brunswick and has published poetry in The Dalhousie Review, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, Carousel, PRISM international and elsewhere. She has just completed a manuscript of poems with the support of an artsnb Creations Grant, and is currently working on a novel about an abandoned church. You can read more of her work at www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com.
LORE MACDONALD, sister of the renowned poet, author and zoologist Bernell MacDonald, has been writing poetry for over 40 years. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she is involved in website design and publishing, and teaching piano. She was editor of the poetry magazine Serendipity and her first book of poetry is Oasis.
THOMAS F. PAWLICK has been writing poetry since he was 18. He’s now 70, and lives on a dirt road near Marlbank, Ontario. He was involuntarily retired from teaching journalism in 2006, following publication of a book with which his employers disagreed.
BERNELL MACDONALD was born in O'Leary, PEI, 1948, & educated in the back woods of the Opeongo Mountains and the campus of UNB. He is one of the Windsor House Poets who went on to publish 11 books and is presently working on 11 more, simultaneously.
VERNON MOOERS is a poet, novelist, journalist, photographer, editor, and teacher. He is currently teaching in South Korea. His books include Briefly a Candle, Gwangan Days, and Nests on the Cliffs.
TO SEE BACK ISSUES OF LION'S HEAD MAGAZINE SCROLL DOWN PAST THE BOOKS.
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THE MADNESS OF YOUTH by Raymond Fraser. Novel. 302 pp. ISBN 978-0-9865-183-4-8 (hardcover) $35.95. ISBN 978-0-9865-183-5-5 (paperback) $19.95..
"Set in the Maritimes and Montreal, The Madness Of Youth unearths the disreputable past of a respected poetry-writing librarian... An unforgettable view of wayward youth in the early Sixties."
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EXPLORING AMAZEMENT by Alan Pearson. New & Selected Poems. 136 pp. $19.95. An outstanding collection by a major Canadian poet.
THE PERSONALITY ADJUSTMENT MACHINE by Robert Markland Smith. Stories & Drawings. $10. "Beware the personality adjustment machine, which turns angry young revolutionaries into compliant, drooling, twitching wimps!"
MARKLAND’S COLOURING BOOK. By Robert Markland Smith. 56 pp. $10. The author asks, "Are you one of the clowns crucified by society?"
MORE CAPE BRETON STORIES by Jess Bond. 170 pp. $16.95. The sixth and latest book by the author of Remembrance of Love.
FOR A MILLION OR MORE MORITICIANS by Leroy Johnson. Poems. 32 pp. $39.95.
Rare Book. Collector's item. The first collection by an important Canadian poet of the Sixties.
POEMS IN F MINOR by Bernell MacDonald
New & Selected Poems
ISBN 978-1-928020-01-1. 112 pages. $25.
"Perhaps my future claim to immortality may rest upon the fact that, a little less than a year ago, I published – in very modest format – Bernell MacDonald's first book, I Can Really Draw Eagles." FRED COGSWELL, poet & critic
REPENTANCE VALE by Raymond Fraser.
Novel. 140 pp. $16.95
A satiric tale of neo-gothic horror. "There's no other writer quite like Raymond Fraser. His style is absolutely fascinating." – CORA LILLIAN HUDSON
THE TRIALS OF BROTHER BELL by Raymond Fraser.
Two novels. 272 pp. $21.95 paperback; $41.95 hardcover.
"Represents the best in contemporary satire. Outrageously funny.” – BEST SELLERS, New York.
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DEADLY MISCHIEF by Robert M. Smith.
Poems. 72 pp. $15.
From the deviant mind that brought you "I've Been So Happy Since I Got My Lobotomy" and "Rumpleforeskin Meets The Abomination Of Desolation"!
ZOOPOESIES by Bernell MacDonald.
Poetry. 125 pp. Illustrated. $25. July, 2009
A book of verse directed at mainly young readers, by one of Canada's premier poets.
SWING HIGH by B. J. Murdoch. Novel. 192 pp. $34.95. A tale of mystery and adventure for young readers. Rare book.
THE BANNONBRIDGE MUSICIANS (new revised edition) by Raymond Fraser. Novel.
ISBN 978-1-928020-03-5. 262 pages. $18.95.
"The Bannonbridge Musicians is outrageous, relentlessly funny, and unforgivingly accurate." BRIAN JEFFREY STREET, Editio Books
"A rollicking story, well told." WILLIAM FRENCH, Globe & Mail
"It's well-written, it's touching, it's full of life, and it's funny." ANDRE VIGNEAULT, CBC Radio
Issue No.1, 1966. Rare copy. Collector's item. Features poetry by Elizabeth Brewster, Fred Cogswell, George Bowering, Seymour Mayne, Leroy Johnson, etc. $100.
Issue No.2, 1966. Rare copy. Collector's item. Features poetry by Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, Raymond Souster, Elizabeth Brewster, Leroy Johnson, Fred Cogswell, Raymond Fraser, etc. $100.
THE DEMON WITHIN
by John Brebner. Hardcover. 248 pp. $59.95. Rare book. By the co-founder of Tom-Tom magazine.
IN ANOTHER LIFE by Raymond Fraser. Novel. 304 pp. $24.95.
"It's a beautifully wrought story, tragic, poignant and full of rich detail. It's just masterful." — Robert Lecker
WINNER OF THE 2009 LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR’S AWARD FOR HIGH ACHIEVEMENT IN LITERARY ARTS
Click HERE for a special discount on IN ANOTHER LIFE.
THE MADONNA OF PORT LLIGAT by Robert M. Smith. Stories, essays and poems. 78 pp. $12.00
From the author of "Street Business".
ONE DAY THE ANIMALS TALKED by Bernell MacDonald.
Stories & Poems.
84 pp. $15.00
In creating a society of human-like animals, MacDonald reveals the world as the funny, ironic, idiosyncratic, vicious and even bestial place it is.
STREET BUSINESS INC. by Robert Smith. Stories. 93 pp. $17.00
Twenty-five unique tales from Montreal's leading underground writer.
FLASHING ON ALL FACETS by Alan Pearson. Poetry. 72 pp. $10.00
"The joy in words, the joy in presenting the romantic splendours of famous times and places and people." — George Woodcock, The Globe & Mail
OASIS by Lore MacDonald. Poetry. 58 pp. $13.95.
A poignant collection of hauntingly insightful poems.
GREEN LIGHTNING by Wayne Curtis. Poetry. 115 pp. $17.95.
"A pleasure to read, for no detail escapes his discerning eye." — Books In Canada
THE MONSTER OF MONEYMORE by Bernell MacDonald. Novel. 102 pp. $17.00
"Brilliant. Breath-taking at times." — Fred Cogswell
RUMPLEFORESKIN MEETS THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION by Robert M. Smith. Novella & stories. 193 pp. $20.
"Robert Smith captures the deity and the dust of our everyday world, blends it with soul blood and uses it as ink. A unique and mystical experience." — Brentley Frazer, RETORT MAGAZINE, Australia
THE GRUMPY MAN by Raymond Fraser.
Novella & Stories.
190 pp. $11.95 softcover. $26.95 hardcover
Features 23 new stories and the definitive version of Fraser's classic novella, "The Quebec Prison".
ClickHERE for a special discount on THE GRUMPY MAN.