2011: Uses of Poetry

it’s 2011 i’m the City’s Poet chosen to laud us to declaim us, to name us exhort us, inflame us   actually, people often ask me what does a laureate do?   it is not, i assure you a position designed to discover just how bitchy, back-stabbing and vain poets can really be, for how…

2010: Olympic

it’s 2010 i go to the olympic edition of talking stick festival in vancouver, i walk this is how to learn a city walk from dorothy’s up on coal harbour down to cambie to the roundhouse to the show   i will never be a headliner i will never be on the podium i am…

2006: Handout

it’s 2006 and this is garden time; when else to teach about the mighty work of bees? i don’t get out much and i don’t mind   i am asked to conduct a workshop for teachers about indigenous pedagogy specifically, the nature and uses of orality.   i tell stories and tell about stories what…

2005: world citizen

it’s 2005 and i am am home in the mom zone cannot understand anyone who does not marvel at the flight of little brown birds   a grey cat arrives draws circles round us charming past the neurotic guardian antics of black anwar and his ferocious sister; we think this little sh-cat tells them she…

2001: Honour Song

it’s may in montreal an indigenous arts gathering peers mentors innovators politics of identity the sick thrashing whale of cultural appropriation   i find i stand with those who say, we are remaking theatre in our images because we need to appropriating a tool   so it does not become us to play cultural purist…

2000: On the Line

2000, a new millennium. my savvy board mentor says where i’ve gone wrong is paying myself no more than anyone else. i sit with that uncomfortable thread running through my work is it that simple? i sit with that when i hire an actor who for all his masks, can’t hide that he chafes at…

1998:Release

it’s 1998 i have a theatre company now i wrote a grant, three years’ worth start up funding then had to hire people now have to train them it will be a wild ride it already is but the drama will increase off-stage outstrips onstage such is arts life. today, though, we are at the World’s…

1996: Green Mountain Road

all that lies between misadventure and disaster is this winding road the girl is in shock right thigh tied shut chattering, with her mom holding her in the back seat i drive, my stickshift purring slalom through penticton indian reserve golden grass, piney hills houses tucked and slumbering beneath bright sun of july this is…

No Masterpiece: On Finding One Drum

Here’s the essay i wrote for Edmonton Arts Council’s 2015 Annual Report (pg. 11). Lots of other good stuff in this issue, too. But as for my piece, it took a while to know what to write. After all, it turns out (a little to my surprise) that my practice could be accurately described as…

Tawatinâ Bridge Song

Recently, i was asked to present poetry at a workshop for the shortlisted artists in line for a major city commission – art for the Tawatinâ* Bridge, which will bring a new LRT line across our river and down through the Millwoods community. If you know Edmonton, you know how big this connection is; if you…

May 23rd: Birthing It For the World (the Cribbage Hand Year)

In this, the day after the occasion of the fulfilment of a cribbage hand of years since my father’s passing i talk at length with some of my kin and realise, it’s more than time to renovate You and Me Against the World though it must be said that has kept us alive. Imagine what we…

May 2: What if I Go Singing?

I live in an elm cathedral, where i live there is room for birds. Lady bees bustle rummage sale in the shrubberies all May long. Here, too, the song. I know what i must do, every day lift up the song, the old song, let it be heard here in these streets, let this cathedral…