Tim Bowling and the Tenderman…

I am a bad, bad girl.  I already had an excellent hoard of poems, including a number of awesome anthologies by the august Harold Bloom, the wonderful ‘World Poetry’ anthology, some excellent Canadian anothologies including some works by Tim Bowling, every translation ever done into English of Tomas Transtromer’s works, and more.  Much more.  The last thing I needed to buy was a new book of poetry.  Morever, I’m busy.  I’m in the process of doing a massive overhaul of my ‘Rune Page,’ and that’s just what I’ve been busy doing here.  And yet, last weekend found me buying ‘Selected Poems’ by Tim Bowling, and this weekend found me actually taking the time to read it.  I’ve decided to share a few scraps with you… And as for Mr. Bowling, I have just one question:  What’s a guy like you doing in Edmonton?  In your preface to your 2013 book, you say “I hope I can spend at least another twenty years to the side of the main road, at the mouth of the Fraser River, tasting the blackberries, smelling the rain and the salmon…”  Well, that dream doesn’t seem to have lasted long, does it?  By the end of the book, in the ‘about the author blurb,’ it says you’ve done moved here.  Tell me, was it the crowded long shelves of poetry at the Robson Street ‘Chapters’ store in Vancouver that drove you off?  A store with at most six or seven poetry titles brought you an appealing solitude?  You’ve evidently won a gazillion poetry prizes and a Guggenheim Fellowship; so, even for poets, notoriously under-paid, some of that must have translated into enough cold hard cash to afford digs in a real big city as opposed to an overgrown small town with big-city crime problems… You love salmon.  The only ones you’re gonna see around here were flown from there.  And outside of ‘The Red Lobster,’ you’re not gonna eat any here worth writing about unless you cook ’em yourself.  The Keg does steak.  Perhaps the endless rain finally got on your nerves.  I know it did mine after I spent a winter on the West Coast.  We do get a lot of sunshine here.  I speculate it’s the reason Edmontonians can wear so much black and not be jumping off cliffs.  Nobody wears black on the Coast.  They’d all be following Hart Crane into the waters… You mention that in your book, Mr. Bowling.  Hart Crane’s suicide:  “I’m a poor man but I pay to be shaved  Three times a week, because three is a magical number (Christ died at double three, and Hart Crane jumped ship.)”  A psychologist would have a field day with your linking the martyrdom of Christ with the suicide of a fellow poet whose sonorous eloquence you share… It doesn’t take one, though, to see that death is a recurrent, and indeed, almost the only, theme in your new book.  Suicide.  Hanging.  Execution.  Ghosts.  Just death…  I hope you weren’t drawn here by our river, Mr. Bowling.  Over the decades I’ve lived here, the Saskatchewan River running through Edmonton has claimed more than one unexpected suicide victim.  A brilliant math student at the university with everything to live for… a soldier on a routine morning run… a sucessful and well-liked real estate agent…  Whatever happens to suicides after they die, we can be fairly certain they don’t rest in peace, Mr. Bowling.  The gods of whatever culture are disinclined to give a good rest to those churls who spit the gift of life back into the eye of the Divine… I hope you like what I’ve done with snippets of your brilliance; but then, you’re not the only person I talk to here…

  ‘Jabberwocky’ by John Tenniel, courtesy wikimedia.org, public domain  ; The quote is from the poem ‘Are You Contemporary?’

‘ I am surrealism’ by http://dibi.deviantart.com/  ; Pearl Moon by http://ambiengrey.deviantart.com/ ; The quote is from the poem ‘Tenderman’

  ‘The Jabberwock’ by Peter Newell, courtesy of wikimedia.org, public domain ; The quote is from the poem ‘The Grieving Place’

  ‘Texas moonlight’ by http://shinesparkle.deviantart.com/ ; The quote is from the poem ‘Going to Work’

ha ha…

  ‘Don’t feed the bear’ by http://buuma.deviantart.com/ ; The quote is from the poem ‘Pennies on the Sidewalk’

Don’t feed the bear’ by http://duvallgear.deviantart.com/ ; The quotation is from the poem ‘The Rhododendron’

‘Twas brillig’ by http://andoledius.deviantart.com/ ; The quote is from the poem ‘Remembrance’



About Marnie Tunay

I'm not here much at the moment. You can visit my web-sites to learn more about me. https://marnietunay2.wordpress.com/
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