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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Friday, May 27th, 2011

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Craig Taylor is the author of two books, Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, and he is the editor of the literary magazine, Five Dials. For years, he has been cataloguing the habits and behaviours of Londoners in his notebooks, and interviewing as many of them as possible. These notes are the basis of his new book, Londoners: The Days and Nights of London as Told by Those Who Love it, Hate it, Live it, Long for it, Have Left it and Everything In-between, to be published Fall 2011 by Granta in the UK and HarperCollins in the US.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Steven Dixon’s work in this series documents the decay of industry, in this case the coal mine surface buildings around Nordegg, and the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta. The archaeological record of how man influences his environment reveals a legacy of abandoned industrial structures such as mines, mills and factories, and their related town sites.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

“Ride’s closed down!” the carnie shouted. He was wearing a purple windbreaker that, along with all the carnival signs and rides—the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Gravitron, the salt-and-pepper shakers—looked like it was transported directly from 1982. Eye of the Tiger blasted from speakers.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In February, the video-streaming website Hulu, once best known as a place to waste time catching up on old episodes of Heroes, made a major announcement: they had struck an exclusive deal with the Criterion DVD label to eventually make more than 800 titles from their back catalogue available online, free of commercial interruptions, through their premium subscription service Hulu Plus. The first batch of films to appear included The 400 Blows, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, M, and L’Avventura.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In 2002, when I started working in the breast cancer screening department of what was then the Alberta Cancer Board, one of the recurring agenda items in staff meetings was what to do with the world’s longest pink ribbon. Stapled with intense resolve by Calgary staff and volunteers, many of the 24,000 ribbons inscribed with names of loved ones, it was carefully laid out on the hill behind CFRN TV in Calgary, jubilantly measured at 6,765 feet, certified by the Guinness World Records people and, shortly after, stuffed into large cardboard boxes.

Scott Rock
Friday, May 27th, 2011

Intimacy and connection are at the heart of musical performance, no matter how large or small the act or venue. Some big names, such as The White Stripes, who announced their breakup this past February, knew how to get at it or were at least willing to try. In 2007, the band staged an ambitious Canadian tour with shows in every province and territory, but odder than The White Stripes playing in Iqaluit was what they did between gigs.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Ever since he had settled in Manila, Cedric Ramanathan’s greatest pleasure had been golf. There was nothing he liked better than to whack a ball down the fairway and then stroll after it with no thought in his head except whether to use a seven-iron or a six for the next shot—the occasional plonk in the pond or hook into the rough his only tribulation. He had been given free membership at an exclusive Greenhills club as part of a deal he had done on Japanese sprinklers—his speciality.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

This is the house of the very rich.
You can tell because it’s taken all
The colors and left only the spaces
Between colors where the absence
Of rage and hunger survives.  If you could
Get close you could touch the embers
Of red, the tiny beaks of yellow,
That jab back, the sacred blue that mimics
The color of heaven.  Behind the house
The children digging in the flower beds
Have been out there since dawn waiting
To be called in for hot chocolate or tea
Or the remnants of meals. No one can see

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Will I be happy.
How long will I live.
How will I live.

Will I always be able to pay eight dollars to spend two hours
walking through rooms of photographs.
Sorry when they call for donations, not this time.

A string of children ambles past, followed by a teen with hula hoops.
Later through the glass door onto the courtyard, vivid spins.
They spent the morning drawing.
When their parents come, they’ll go home.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In the nineteen-eighties I started having recurring nightmares. The nightmare part wasn’t so unusual: like many people, I’d had my fair share of dreams about being swept away by rogue waves, or driving cars that couldn’t make it up steep hills, or flying in airplanes that couldn’t seem to climb any higher than the treetops. Standard anxiety dreams, especially for a freelancer with more cheques in the mail than in the bank and a desk piled high with unfinished assignments.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

On a frigid January afternoon, I sat in the foyer of Shadified Salon & Spa, waiting for my sister to arrive. Across the lobby, I could see mirrors and barber chairs, but most of the customers were hidden by a corner wall. I could still hear their conversations, and when the stylists, many of whom were Lebanese, were done, their customers weren’t just gorgeous, they were, “Gorgeous, wallah!” — a word many in this north Edmonton neighbourhood near Little Lebanon would recognize as, “I swear to God.”

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The fellowship of the poker table can be an uneasy thing.

photo by Ryan Girard

Friday, May 27th, 2011

One spent nights on the junior high school roof.
My mother had kicked him out when the police told her
he was selling drugs, and before that, selling tires
he stole from gas stations. One stole a teacher’s car
from the senior high school parking lot at lunch time,
got a case of beer, and drove around drunk all afternoon,
then smashed the car’s front fender when he re-parked it.
One threw a Molotov cocktail into a teacher’s home
when the teacher accused him of copying an essay.
The same one beat up his P.E. teacher. One beat up

Michelangelo Buonarrot
Friday, May 27th, 2011

On the late January morning I went to meet Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the former Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, and, since last fall, the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops at the Vatican, I first paid a visit to the Vatican Museum. The two frescoes I found myself returning to over and over are well known but difficult to contemplate because they are high up on the palace’s ceiling.

watergun boy
Friday, May 27th, 2011

In 1982, at the fervent age of eighteen, hippy-skirted, long-hair everywhere, I bussed to New York City to be one of the million who rallied in Central Park during the UN Second Special Session on Disarmament. My heroes were Helen Caldicott, Mahatma Gandhi and the Berrigan Brothers, two priests who snuck into a nuclear missile silo and tried to hammer a nose cone into a plowshare. After New York I spent the summer at the Movement for a New Society Life Center, a Philadelphia commune, before returning to Canada to start university in the fall at the University of British Columbia.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

So much rain
even the spiderweb rusts.
The spider
in glistening oilskins
creaks the winch that pulls
in the dead fly. Something
far inside me follows.
But only the fly appears to pray.

The layer of dust on the floors
of the condemned houses of my childhood
the layer of dust on the top of my midlife library

between the footprints of the boy
and the fingerprints of the man –
the life that leaves no trace.