Ars Poetica
after Czeslaw Milosz’s poem, “Should, Should Not”
title refers to a river in the southern prairie of Saskatchewan and Manitoba
title refers to a city in southwest Colombia
(Spanish), companions
Vete a la mierda, hijo de puta
(Spanish), “Eat shit, you sonofabitch”
Hermoso, sí
(Spanish), “Beautiful, yes”
title from the Japanese
, traces, and
, ink; early Zen writings
title from the Japanese
, tray planting
epigraph from
The Analects of Confucius,
Book III , Chapter XVII : “Ts’ze-kung wished to do away with the offering of sheep for sacrifice connected with the inauguration of the first day of the month.”
    â€œBya Jhator”
title refers to sky burial, a Tibetan funerary practice in which the corpse is left out for vultures
“volt” is a collective noun for a gathering of vultures
Basho, our cat, is named for Matsuo Basho (1644–94), a great poet of the Edo period in Japan
    â€œCowichan Valley Poem”
dedicated to Richard Osler
    â€œEli, Eli”
(Hebrew), ascent
are feminine brushstrokes in Japanese calligraphy, originally
on’na de
(Japanese), blunt, unwavering directness
Bette Davis (1908–89), American movie star
All About Eve
, 1950 movie drama
Persephone is the goddess of the underworld in Greek mythology
“Your poems are the disfigurement of innocence,” a remark made by the poet, Sharon Thesen, for which I am grateful
in Christian theology, limbo is the abode after death of the souls of unbaptized infants
    â€œLittle Hell’s Gate”
title refers to a dog-leg narrowing of the North Thompson River canyon
title refers to a small, pugnacious falcon,
Falco columbarius
(Japanese), impermanence
Red-veined meadowhawk,
Sympetrum madidum
, dragonfly
    â€œOff Valparaíso”
title refers to a port city of Chile
    â€œPartita in A Minor”
title refers to a piece of music in four movements for solo flute by Johann Sebastian Bach
dedicated to Martha Royea
    â€œQu’Appelle Hills”
title refers to the region of the Qu’Appelle River and valley in southern Saskatchewan. The name is a corruption of a French phrase,
qui appelle?
(who calls?)
Ryoanji is a dry landscape (
) rock garden created in Kyoto, Japan, during the fifteenth century
(Japanese), the beauty and serenity that comes with age
title refers to broken rock fragments at the base of mountain crags
    â€œSlack Beauty”
title phrase is from the text of an essay by the American poet, Jack Gilbert
Blida, a city in Algeria
Carrion crow,
Corvus corone
, a native crow of North Africa
Albert Camus wrote of
l’absence totale d’espoir
(French), the total absence of hope
Hoko-ji, a temple in Kyoto, Japan, containing the
bell commissioned by Toyotomi Hideyori, last of a series of nine bells cast in August 1612
    â€œSoft and Moist, Hard and Dry”
“At seventy I followed my heart,” from
The Analects of Confucius
(Japanese), emptiness
swarf is grit from grinding metal or dust from sawing wood
the Washita is a sharpening stone fashioned out of white quartz rock from the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas
(Japanese), the ‘nightingale floor’ designed to make chirping noises when walked upon to warn inhabitants of anyone approaching
(Japanese), the depth of the world we live in, subtle, mysterious
    â€œWishing Not to Be Aloof Like Stone”
title is a paraphrase of the last line from Book I , Section XXXIX , of the
Tao te

Similar Books

Casting About

Terri Dulong

Giles Goat Boy

John Barth


Christina Palmer

Eyes of Darkness

Dean Koontz

Channel Sk1n

Jeff Noon

Dangerous Relations

Marilyn Levinson