Posts Tagged ‘The Alder Fork Projects’

After Many Years

May 19, 2009

Your eyes do not deceive you, there is indeed a link to my new book over on the sidebar.  Potter of Plans: Poems About Canada is a collection of my poems about this country. Some have appeared on this very blog in recent weeks, and there are many more in the book. You can order it through that link, or if you know me I can get you a copy when the first ones arrive in a couple of weeks.

I have long wanted to do this, and The Alder Fork has given me the confidence and ability to do so.  The collection represents the sum of my poetry from the last 6 months.  Obviously, I have rejected some of my output in order to put the best material in the book.  I have been quite pleased with what my imagination has come up with lately.

In honour of this auspicious occasion I offer you yet one more poem from this collection:

Short Note of Thanksgiving

Blue
It’s the colour I remember most
You used it
In all of the paintings you sold me
I wish
I wish I could buy more
But money
Is always tight around here
My fault?
Not with this economy
But really
The paintings were lovely
Thank you

Advertisements

A Sliding Double

May 15, 2009

I’ve slowly been tempting you with poems over the last little while. Since I am off to a Blue Jays-Yankees game this evening I thought I’d leave you with this:

Victoria Park

You could hardly believe that I was here
60 years later
A patch of dirt and a grassy hill
Were the last connection between us
You were taller and with a heavier bat
Cleared the fence
The gathered fans
And the trees beyond
I was lucky if the ball dropped in
For a single or a sliding double
I imagine you were as light on your feet
And that while I snagged line drives
Before they could touch the earth
You would twirl your arm
And snap your wrist
To say goodnight to another pretender
A big hitter
The grandstand is empty today
But I’ve seen the pictures
When ladies
Gentleman
And suit wearing children
Crammed together
To catch a game
Many people still pass by
Through 7 innings
But they are focused on the road
Or their dogs
Or the sunset in the distance
In the top of the 6th
I let my mind wander
To a different time in space
When you stood out on that mound
And destroyed their dreams
With speed and movement
Clever spins
Crooked breaks
Until a snap of the wrist
Accompanied by a furious swing
Restores my attention

The Unassisted Play

February 13, 2009

My post yesterday proved to be quite popular yesterday thanks in large part to a mention on truehoop, arguably the number 1 source for daily NBA information on the web.  So thanks to Henry Abbott for that (and whoever tipped him off).  I want to do a quick follow up today to clarify and expand some points (also because I am preparing for a job interview so my mind is already going 100kph).  As I see it my idea of a semi pro/amateur regional basketball (or other sport) league rests on a few key conclusions.  They are:

1. That people naturally enjoy live sporting events because of the excitement and passion that is created.

2. That people generally love the city they live in more than other nearby ones, if only because they are inherently competitive

3. That local talent is more sympathetic than talent from elsewhere.

4. That although the level of play would be below that of any professional league, the low price point would overcome the talent deficiency.

5. That talent could come from those high school players who couldn’t go to college or university, and players who had used up their eligibility or were done school.

6. That civic leaders would openly support the idea of community building.

7. That national sport organizations would like the potential for grass roots development through academies, tournaments and coaching opportunities.

8. That families could find affordable entertainment that their children can relate to.

9. That by limiting player expenses, travel costs, and partnering with local government running a franchise is feasible with minimal sponsorship.

10. That by utilizing alternative media and the internet the league can be highly accesible to its fanbase.

11. That the owners are committed to growing the game and the community.

I don’t think these are unreasonable propositions.  This discussion is going to continue on a new blog I’m launching called The Unassisted Play. It will be a place for me to share lots of sports related thoughts and hopefully generate some discussion.  It will also allow me to focus The Alder Fork on the main topics it has always been about while scratching my sports itch. The Alder Fork will go on as usual.

Unrealistic Comparisons

February 8, 2009

Love, love me do, you know I love you.

The Beatles

Love Me Do

I am a fan of history both old and new.  I have been rereading Peter Brown’s insider account of The Beatles, The Love You Make. For 400 or so pages Brown treats the reader to the fascinating story of the world’s biggest band.  It was published in 1983, so many of the events depicted were relatively fresh in his mind.  Although I would never compare any of my own accomplishments to those of The Beatles, especially in regards to song writing or popularity, I find the conception of Apple Corps to be somewhat similar to The Alder Fork.  Besides the obvious natural imagery in the name, the vision that Paul Mcartney expressed in at a press conference in New York City sounds a lot like my ideas about The Alder Fork.  He said, “It’s a controlled weirdness, a kind of Western communism. We want to help people but without doing it like a charity.”  While for the band this ended up being a way to avoid paying taxes on their fortune, and to spend money on wild schemes, it was a dream that still has merit. I lack the financial resources to give away money and tell people to “Go away and do it,” as Paul wanted.  I do hope, however, that The Alder Fork can contribute to helping people realize their dreams.

Before I start to sound like a pie-in-the-sky dreamer, my point is the one advantage of my “business” model has been low cost for realitively high output.  To some degree the impetus of success for The Alder Fork is the work of a community of people that is slowly growing around it. This will hopefully lead to something much bigger in a few months but I’m keeping that a secret. For now I am happy with how things are progressing on the new EP, the blog, the podcast, and a few other fun little projects I’m currently working on. I highly recommend checking out the book I mentioned above if you are at all interested in the back story of the most influential band of all time.

Don’t Forget to Write

January 11, 2009

I met my old lover on the street last night, she seemed so glad to see me I just smiled, and we talked about some old times and we drank ourselves some beer, still crazy after all these years.

Paul Simon

Still Crazy After All These Years

It’s hard to believe that Paul Simon is so old now.  He once sang about being 21 years old, and was still a young man when he wrote the song quoted above.  I have included it because it is a clue to the topic of Monday’s podcast. You’ll just have to listen to find out. Mr. Simon has always been a hero of mine. His songwriting is unsurpassed. I consider him the model for how to make great music. I don’t directly copy his style, but I look at his willingness to expand his musical vision and embrace other ideas to improve his own songwriting.  He is also capable of capturing a feeling, a mood, or a scene in his lyrics in an authentic and dynamic way.  Hearing a Paul Simon penned song means genuinely stepping into the experience of another person to live their life for a few moments.  He maintains a thread of wit and satire in many of his songs, from the social commentary of A Most Peculiar Man and Keep the Customer Satisfied to the pop culture critique of A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert Macnamara’d Into Submission) or the bitter You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies.  Although his career has waned in recent years he is a songwriter and performer who will continue to influence others as long as the radio keeps playing Sound of Silence and Cecilia.

With the snow falling again here in Hamilton, for perhaps the twentieth time this year, I am using this post to remind you of an important event. Namely the first ever The Alder Fork From Worst to First Poetry Contest. All the gory details can be found here. In the spirit of providing you with inspiration I am including the following poem. It is called Letters and tells the tale of two lovers separated by war.  It is from a collection of poems about life in Canada. Enjoy.

Letters

You begged me to stay here
To forget my heroic dreams
Because love was more important
But I didn’t believe you
I was a man
I had a mission
I had honour
I am proud and I believe
That I cannot fail
And now I have
Not only my nation
Not only my comrades
Not only my self
But most painfully you
As we stood alone
Counting the hours
While you cried and insisted
I promised
That I was a man
Who would return to you
Because I was wise
And I was strong
And my faith and my pride
Would carry me far
But it did not
And for that I am sorry

I begged you to stay
To give up on your dreams
For our love was important
Enough to forget pride
I was a girl
I had no secrets
I was innocent but not naïve
I did not suffer
And now I have
Not only for loss
Not only for love
Not only for me
But for you
I can see all your life
No longer before you
I once cried and insisted
I now sit alone
You didn’t come back to me
I was your life
But you followed your dream
You stayed with your faith
But it took all your strength
Stole it away from you
Left you with nothing
I should’ve tried harder
And for that I am sorry

Rolling Over

January 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009. Although this post will go up at 11:30pm on December 31st, it’s highly likely you are reading this on January 1st.  Since New Year’s Eve promises to be a busy day for me, I am preparing this post a day in advance.  I laid out some of the plans for The Alder Fork in it’s first full year in my Christmas post, so I will spare you that today.  I would like to point out that in just two months this blog, it’s adjoining podcast, and the other various projects have begun to carve out a niche for themselves. It’s all thanks to those of you who pop by from time to time!  I hope you have a great New Year, whatever you are doing, and if you are bored and/or hung over on New Year’s Day I highly recommend checking out The Lights I See You in Shadow it’ll cure what ails ya!

Take care of yourself.

‘Tis Once A Year

December 25, 2008

We’ll build our walls, aluminum, we’ll fill our mouths, with cinnamon

The Decemberists

Sons and Daughters

Merry Christmas folks.  Most blogs that I read have shut it down for the day on account of the holiday.  I am not most blogs! Since I doubt many people will read this (I hope you are spending today with family or friends) I won’t say too much.  I just want to let everyone know that 2009 promises to be an exciting year for The Alder Fork in all its forms. I am currently working on getting one or two other artists to join the music wing of things.  I am attempting to convince purveyors of Canadian music to give me access to their musicians for interviews and other things.  Plans are starting to formulate for the 2009 Mid-Summer Festival of Peace and Tranquility. The Alder Fork is working on two simultaneous musical projects, and the first single from The Lights I See You In Shadow complete with never before released B-sides is expected in January.  I also have a special project in the works that will further expand the scope of The Alder Fork Projects. All in all Christmas dawns with a bright future ahead. Tomorrow I will begin a new feature on the blog. It’s not that different from some other posts but it’s a new spin on an old gem.  Once again Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and have a safe time out there.