January’s Top Five Vids

This month is a hodgepodge mix of things, from musician Gotye to poet Fiona Sampson to a TED talk on why your liberal and conservative friends think the way they do. Enjoy.

5. I don’t know whether it’s Gotye’s 1980s, Sting-like voice, or the rather bewitching composition of the video, but I can’t stop hitting the play button on this bad boy.


4. I haven’t done my homework to assert this with 100% confidence, but I’ll bet at least my hat that you’d never see this on Sesame Street these days. Katy Perry doesn’t count, though her appearance on the show does go a long way to demonstrate our squimishness towards the breast as an organ, and our obsession with it as a toy.


3. I really like what the Guardian is doing here. Here’s a poem by author Fiona Sampson. Concise and poignant, just the way I like them.


2. This is another Gaurdian poetry video, one of Michael Symmons. Can’t resist. I’m never one for moody readings in graveyards, but the black and white really works here.


1. If you have the time, you must watch this. It’s a fascinating examination of the roots of the differences between liberals and conservatives, and why we so often find ourselves at eachothers’ throats.



If you haven’t heard from me by now
I’ve been pinned to a clothesline in a field
where swollen-bellied children hunt acridians
the size of barn swallows. I’ve been wrung out
by obedient hands, my symbols beaten
onto rocks of rivers thick with age.
Where two uncles will hold down a pig
as an aunt cuts, I’ve been put to better use
the ends of me – my quietest corners –
fluttering at the bloodied wrists of one
who hasn’t touched a pen in years.

As seen in Prism International.

Other People’s Poetry: Luciano Iacobelli

Two Poems:

      End of the Line

      Night Walk


Luciano Iacobelli is a poet, playwright and visual artist. In 1986 his first play, The Porch, was staged in Toronto. In 2000 he founded Lyricalmyrical Press, a grass-roots publishing company specializing in handcrafted chapbooks. More than 80 books have appeared under this imprint, many by very young writers whose work he has nurtured throughout his career as a creative writing and literature teacher at SEED, Toronto’s oldest public alternative school. Author of 7 chapbooks, The Angel Notebook, his first full-length poetry collection, was published in March of 2007 by Seraphim Editions.


Five New Year’s Resolutions I’ve Already Broken

1. I will cut out the weekend smoking. I tried, really. It lasted about two hours, then I had my first cigarette of the year at around 2:00 AM. About a decade ago, I disciplined myself into drinking only one night a week and smoking only when I drink. At the time, compartmentalizing, and therefore minimizing these vices was a great idea. However, like most people, I tend to deal with and eradicate problems only when they grow to a certain size. You’ve by now heard the expression “too big to fail”, yes? Well there’s a counter-point to that expression: “too small to bother with, even though this tiny little thing will kill me, or so my annoying ex-smoker friends tell me with their judgey eyes and, mind you, who should be more concerned with their own issues thank you very much and who the hell invited you over anyways?”

2. I will cut out the weekend drinking. I had planned on this being a dry New Year’s. But it was all Lisa’s fault. She suggested I go get a bottle of wine just in case. No, wait. She INSISTED I get some, if I recall correctly. Personally, between you and me, I think she likes it when I get tipsy, especially when we go to parties at her friends’ places. I can’t really understand this, because none of her friends really drink or smoke the way I do. The dominant theory I have for this is that in marrying my wife, I found the only person in the world, aside from myself, that thinks I adopt the charming cadence of Peter O’Toole when I’m a few sheets to the wind.

3. I will cut back on the gaming. Sorry. Again, I tried. But I’m the father of a 4-month old with bills to pay. Taking short vacations into the world of Skyrim just makes good economic sense right now.

4. I will eat better. This one went up in smoke the moment my sister offered me meat Samosa the size of a Bearclaw this afternoon. So carby, so oily, so good.

5. I will not swear at other drivers. Ummm, yeah: five minutes into the drive to my sister’s house this afternoon. To be honest, it was the spirit of this resolution that persuaded me to let the TTC bus pull ahead of me. Since I had never done this before, I was shocked to learn just how slow buses are. I mean, hair-pullingly slow. I couldn’t help but think that the bus driver was doing it deliberately because he knew I was late to my sister’s, not to mention the fact that I was starving because of New Year’s Resolution number four. Anyhoo, I swore, and it -as usual- felt mildly satisfying.

Almost as satisfying as rationalizing my way out of a series of unfortunate, and rather boring, new year’s resolutions.

Happy New Year!