28 March 2008

Who said there couldn't be a hideous version of Hallelujah?

27 March 2008

You know what a turtle is? Same thing

"Poet, be like the tortoise: bear the shell of the world and still manage to sing your transforming dithyrambs woven from our blood, our pain, our loves, our history, our joy. The lonely and inescapable truth simply is that this is the only kingdom you will ever have. This is the home of your song."

— Ben Okri, "While the World Sleep"

Those who claim to be poets and to love words, and who try to silence the words and views of others: these are the enemies of literature and thought.

Over and out.

22 March 2008

Two great classics: Jerry Lewis and Jenny Lewis

20 March 2008

The Angry Shoppers: No. 1 With a Carrot

16 March 2008

My condition

15 March 2008

A long-ago book launch

James at This Ain't the Rosedale Library — still my favourite indie bookstore in the city — sent me a copy of this photo I haven't seen in many years.

Dateline: 1982
Place: In front of This Ain't the Rosedale Library, then on Queen Street East
Event: The launch for my novella Father, The Cowboys Are Ready To Come Down From The Attic
Photographer: Michael Koen

From left to right: Mark Laba, Stuart Ross, James Carlisle, Lillian Necakov, jwcurry, Roman Pawlyshyn, three guys I should remember but just can't, a writer whose name is on the tip of my tongue, Crad Kilodney, Tim Keele, Charles Huisken (owner of This Ain't).

This was my second-ever book launch, after the strange little 1976 launch for The Thing In Exile, a book of poetry published by Books By Kids (later to become Annick Press) and featuring me, Mark Laba, and Steven Feldman.

Father, The Cowboys Are Ready To Come Down From The Attic was written for Pulp Press's 2nd Annual Three-Day Novel-Writing Contest, but it was declared a no-win year. However, Tom Walmsley and D.M. Fraser at Pulp were enthusiastic about my book. Fraser gave it a vicious edit. My first vicious edit. And then I wound up in Vancouver where I used Pulp's equipment to typeset the book.

I printed 1,500 copies and sold most of them on Yonge Street. It was a minor hit at This Ain't, where it sold 125 copies. (I've still got a few that I'll part with at $15 each plus S&H. I can also bundle it with my second short novel, Wooden Rooster, for an extra 10 bucks.)

It's chock full of sex and violence. I wrote it when I was 20.

Over and out.

12 March 2008

A surreal review of I Cut My Finger

So much stuff to catch up on, but I'm buried in editing work. Oh, man.

When I have time, though: a reading at Refuse Locale (St. Catherines), a workshop at Discovery University (Ottawa), and the launch of An Orphan's Song (Toronto).

In the meantime, great to see a fascinating review by poet Alessandro Porco of I Cut My Finger. Porco also wrote about the anthology Surreal Estate in Books in Canada a few years back.

Over and out.

09 March 2008

An Orphan's Song: Ben Walker Sings Stuart Ross — launching today!

You are enthusiastically invited to a CD launch for

Sunday, March 9, 3 pm - 6 pm
The Savannah Room, 294 College Street (just west of Spadina)

Featuring a brief reading by Stuart Ross
and a musical performance by Ben Walker

Admission is free. The CD costs $15

An Orphan's Song is a collection of 15 tracks composed and recorded by British musician Ben Walker, built around the poems of Canadian poet Stuart Ross. Songs include "Ladies & Gentlemen, Mr. Ron Padgett," "Invitation to Love," "Road Trip, Southern Ontario, 1999," and "We Got Punched."

I hope to see you at the launch!

Over and out.

03 March 2008

Surrealism in St. Catharines on Wednesday!

02 March 2008

Reading the small print for Article 19

Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, December 10, 1948

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, except if you're being critical of the organizers of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair."

Over and out.