Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gasp! No Poet Laureate for Detroit?

Every major city in Canada today has not only a Mayor, but--wait for it-- a poet laureate!
The second-last one in Toronto was Giorgio Di Cicco and the man worked hard for it. Published novelist, published journalist, and world -class poet.

Sample of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco's poems (If you excuse my crummy typing):

These are the most extraordinary women in the world,
they do not go to bed at 11 p.m.
when they dance, they dance with you,
when they sing, it is the motherhood of half the world,
when they go walking, they have an affair with sunlight;
these are the women who hold men's faces in the palm of
their hands, these are the women men go back to, because
they do not come easy and they do not come hard. These women
are poetry. They arrange for their sons and daughters the
minute they see the sun, because the sun is a beautiful thing
to sit under. To love the air is to want to fill it with lovers.

These women do not understand words like
would, likely, depending --
those are english words
that have no place in the mouths of people,
hose are words made up for the language of thought,
that have forgotten to serve the language of lovers.
Those words are in a manual at the bottom of the ocean,
where strange fish gnaw upon them,
uncomprehending fish that mouth the strange words
like relationship, perhaps, except, attachment.
The most extraordinary women in the world,
above, are sunning on beaches; when they sigh,
trees far off are heard breathing in
the loveliest towns in the world.

(Online text copyright © 2009, Ian Lancashire (the Department of English) and the University of Toronto).

...Not bad. Perhaps Giorgio Di Cicco may yet make Toronto's half-standing eggshells of a City Hall the core of one of the lovelists towns in the world...But it's not, Oh Lord it's not.
Skyscrapter and towering condos, obscuring the beautiful waterfront. The city seems more like Shanghai now with the almost Arabic monstrous towers reminiscent of Dubai or Beijing.
But in a TV speech Mr. DiCicco insists that Toronto stands astride the future and it may yet be the most beautiful city in the world.
But that's impossible. We in Canada know that Vancover is, and will be the most beautiful city in the world!

Well, let us now move to George Bowring, until recently, Poet Laureate of Canada.


The great local poem begins
when someone pulls

out the last spike.

We declare the hole that is left
the centre of everything.

from Blonds on Bikes, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1997

Well, maybe, metaphorically, that's what Toronto might have to do to become beautiful. Blockbust and start anew?...Impossible, but it's an intriguing idea.

I think now of Detroit.

Just think what might happen if Mark, the Walking Man were to become poet laureate of Detroit!

Sample of Mark Durfee's recent poem:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In the calm found in the afterglow
of nighttime passions cooled,
when dark gives way to day
where noise levels slowly rise
I am lifted to sleep
from the waking dreams of yester morn.

I have found all I want
and nothing more need I to acquire
for I have found knowledge of you and you I.
In that finding I can sleep comforted forever
knowing we have done all there was to do.
We together alone made a fine bier bed to lie in.

Passionate youth
escape me now.
I let you go
comforted in our having left
all doors unlocked
as we passed through them.

© M Durfee

Not bad.
Yes, yes, over here, it's Toronto the Good, but I am convinced that Mark The Walking Man can inspire Detroit to be less bad. Even beautiful!

Mark Durfee for Poet Laureate Detroit!



Sy said...

I'd Vote for Mark. He is awesome!

I think this is a great Idea..
Canada has it all lol

ivan said...


Yep. The Walking Man for Poet Laureate!

Charles Gramlich said...

I can agree with Mark as that choice.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

My reading at the Biscuit Eater Cafe (, 16 Orchard St) in Mahone Bay NS has been rescheduled for Friday, Feb 11 at 7 pm. Please spread the word to any South Shorians.

Hope some of you can make it out!

Check out the video highlights of Chris' recent book tour at said...


Yep. He de man. De Walking Man.

JR's Thumbprints said...

He'd certainly get my vote.

Mona said...

Hear Hear! :) said...

...I'm with you, boo. :)

Heff said...

"Ritchie Sambora", REALLY ? said...


"It's all the same
Only the names are changed..."

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