Looking at my bookshelves, I just realized I haven’t chosen any poetry yet. Does poetry violate my self-imposed restriction on ‘fiction only’? Probably. Truth be told, I’m violating a couple of restrictions with this choice, because I didn’t buy this slim volume of new poetry for full price at a local independent book store either. (By the very way, what a stupid way to describe it — whoever has seen, at least in the past 50 years, a plump volume of new poetry? Volumes of new poetry are reedy, like New Yorkers). I bought it from Dane Swan, the author. I think that still counts. The idea after all is to reward the artist for his or her work.
Dane and I were both reading at a small literary Festival somewhere to the east of Toronto. He looked about as comfortable as I felt — an urbanite in a pastoral setting is always jumpy, as if something is waiting for him in the bushes. I liked what I heard. Sort of a cross between hip-hop, griotism with some odd sci-fi mushed in there. And what’s not to like about a vase-shaped poem to accommodate the roses the poet offers his love? It’s published by Guernica Editions, a small, Toronto-based press. This is his first collection of poems.