LOCUSPOINT: Vancouver, May 30, 2007

Of her city, editor Jen Currin wrote, “You can’t buy a carton of soy milk at your local grocery without bumping into a poet. This city has spoken word poets, closet-poets who gaze at the mountains, Wreck Beach poets who scream their lines on the sand nakedly, tending bar poets, poets who bicycle anonymously through the rain, poets who write screenplays or paint houses, coffee shop poets guzzling Canadianos, reading-poems-on-city-buses poets, and up-and-coming poets who haven’t yet left grade school…In my five years in this city, I’ve met a lot of poets. And one thing I’ve noticed about these Vancouver poets, whatever their school or clique, is that they value community. Nearly every poet I’ve met is in some kind of writer’s group—whether it is a workshopping, reading, writing, or sharing-new-work group.”

Jen’s edition of LOCUSPOINT was unique because she was invited to edit work only from a poetry collective, Vertigo West, of which she is a member. This is the only edition of LOCUSPOINT to take this specific focus, although it seems to predict in some ways the two writing communities included by Brent Calderwood in his exploration of San Francisco.

Here’s a poem from that edition, “That Morning” by Helen Kuk:

That Morning

That morning, the suicide over the bridge
across from last year’s murder. My street blockaded,
jammed with voices. Sleepy, we crossed
a few streets over.

Or last night, the mouse
I thought was plum, was slug.
So much worse to know of bones. I didn’t feel
the skeleton or skull, the crack or squeal.
Surely killing is not this easy.
Simply, I stepped in the way of death
while I was greedy for you.

You scraped it up with a shovel,
buried it in gravel. Said,
“You sure took care of that, dear.”

Later than that and earlier,
first thing awake. Touch me
as if I were bird small. Only intend
to taste. What to find?
Meantime, I’ll feel for you.

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