Published: Jan 07, 2014
A poem 'finely wrought of associative leaps'. Plus, the author answers our poet's questionnaire.

bidding' standing, alongside the light overhead.

brighter blotches from its single point canopy on

the screen. notes the pressed board added to closet

shelving. things not gotten enough wear mounded

with cinched leg opening's octopus paisley, arrect

by rolled chambray. appearing washed-out beryl of

balloon jumper, drooped bestride a longitudinally

extending frame, with a bar shoe dropped to the 

ground. glanced to the rooftop light of a single taxi,

turning from the extended fingers like moutza,

applied to subframe supporting pair of rear wheels,

laterally spaced. a shove on Super 8, hovering

along the side of a park, with an arm

lacking from a 4-way teeter totter, to opening on a

corner's row of centre pivot doors on glass-walled

hotels. cut-off at "accidental``rolling past some site

fence, towards parking area, by low-rise factory's

conversion, removed floor area left on its roof, to

create two-story living rooms. palms on fabric

surfaces, puckered and cloqué on either side of her

legs, shoulder pressed against polysilk tunic, slack

against chair's splat, at stretchings of elasticated

section of back heel, swerved between cinderblock

partitions, a slab's "o, another's "dd," a more

cramped throwie. started before the return at

several yards, fingers pointed, pressed to side of

head, that oval cabochon jades trembled.

wrist's histamine circle at amf junior headbadge.

"soengsam," suddenness of upturned palm at

namjar patch of a flag, twitching with its

plant stake. quickly tripped, with thin arm almost

long enough to extend behind both of them. her

mother's grouped fingers scarce at double collar on

slub henley, snapped off, bobbed from a braked

shoulder. a shriek rose up, as the wheels slewed,

"don't cut so closely around the edges," heard.

pulling back, shadow stamped by a "see darn

a," muffled by shoulder support tripod, drummed

on clavicle. it found, along head swung around

loosely, at the stares on lavender silicone. bald hue

of plastic anchors from inside barbies' heads,

stretched out. half circles around kneads of abs

pieces at small wrist. curled upper lip, bared teeth

like a jiang shi. image as if pausing and adding

each spilled grain of rice. held in gear, eyelids

closed, with ebb like issus, its inter-mesh of

opposing "teeth" on hind leg joints cohered,

pulled into a lurch. opening them, started as a minor

ringing in ears, except by nose, a weathered pipe's

scratching, steel black wasp with erratic run of

phoridae lingered, angered patching at front of neck


with a worn suitcase placed, footfalls backward,

deep pleated pocket caught briefly at pedestal

drawer, orthostatic second from the newest anti-

adrenergic. shelled pink satin interior quavers,

along clenches on faille belt, prodrome's passes

around eye orbitals. wrapped doublings at chosen

bottom section of ojos de dios frame, felt more kite

shaped than exact square, to gaze at the start of

pilling at seams of 3/4 length legging. it lowered,

toppled cuff's taken out, scans ruched base for its 4

gb usb key, elliptical oval of zyprexa brushed. it

still debossed with lilly, light brightened by

palpable lumens once, back over to gleamed

orange widths, reflective and fluorescent on stored

sneakers. moving slowly, torn piece of fu paper,

dragged at edge of lingerie pocket. not a breath to

stir 3 loops to the left and right side and going back

up, as it lashed from exterior edge's wear, a pillory

crossbeam's no-color hair soengsam: hurt

(Cantonese) see darn a: whatever (Cantonese) jiang

shi: a legendary vampire creature in China that

leaps around, killing living things in order to

absorb their life essence (known as "chi") Fu, paper

talisman used in spiritual Taoism. Each talisman's

power are different, and so is the way to activate

and use that power. Fus can be used to manifest

psychic or spiritual energy. The word described in

the latter portion of the poem is thunder, not

meaning actual thunder, but “penetration,”

connoting how the energy is suppose to be used.

Most Fu are burned while one calls on the deity or

immortal represented by the Fu, followed by the



Louise Bak answers

The Wild Culture Poet’s Questionnaire

1. What is your first memory and what does it tell you about your life at that time?

I was in the crib and noticed my grandmother's hand, leaning on the soft body of a baby doll. There were different herbs used in a plaster and I clasped it, the thin piece of cloth and the black paste stained points of the doll's rooted hair. Infused with that herbal scent, it apparently set some people's teeth on edge in the pre-school of Johnson's baby powder or kool-aid smells, drawing qualities of difference.

2. Can you name a few writers who have influenced you — a handful at the most — who come to mind immediately?

I've felt drawn to the work of writers like Christopher Dewdney, Steve Venright and Chris Kraus — their finely wrought associative leaps.

3. Where did you grow up, and did that place and your experience of it help form your sense about place and the environment in general?

I was born in Kingston, Ontario, a setting with a lot of historical-Anglo make-up, with its march of structured learning. Against this backdrop, fractures arose, from an instance when my I was waiting with my mom in the store, but we were pushed to the back of the line. I did well in school, but I was assessed for a time, my progress of enunciating consonant "s" monitored, apart from the pedagogy of other students. All the while, I sought cultural intervals purposefully, doing vast reading in the library. I went often to an independent theatre, where I was moved by the complex psychological warps of films like Polanski's Repulsion or Godard's Contempt. I was starting to consider aspects of language and realities, against standardization.

4. If you were going away on a very long journey and you could only take four books — one fiction, one poetry, one non-fiction, one literary criticism — what would they be?

Chris Kraus' I Love Dick, Ariana Reine's The Cow, Christopher Dewdney's Acquainted With the Night, Kate Zambreno's Heroines.

5. What was your most keen interest between the ages of 10 and 12?

There was most interest in reading and nascent consideration of clothing, including views of Victorian/Edwardian illustrations from children’s books of their styles. At a point, I roamed about a bookstore, at a section, where books arranged in whatever way. Paced behind, a male's face myopically close to a book, I heard "She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock." When I turned, the book was lowered onto some upturned edition of Poe. I proceeded to read Lolita for first time when I was eleven and found it jarring. The cover then eschewed a picture of its eponymous figure, while I questioned the way it presented — I in a princess sleeve mini-dress. I came to appreciate concerns of knowledge in this book, in terms of relation, also appearing in Nabokov's first novel, Mary, involving the fact that Ganin knows and Alfyorov does not that Alfyorov’s wife was Ganin’s first love.

6. At one point did you discover your ability with poetry?

I started writing fragments, poetic when I was about eleven. When I moved to Toronto, alongside starting university in cultural and women's studies. Some of these fragments were incorporated into Gingko Kitchen, my first poetry collection (Coach House Books). I don't know if I construe the early acceptance of my work, in terms of ability with poetry, as much as I see my processes with poetry, deeply laboured with certain daring. It may not be apparent, that I was assembling poems, apart from the relative institutional acclamation of writers at Coach House then, like Christian Bok and Darren Wershler-Henry, who were immersed in the academic history of poetics and writing.

7. Do you have an engine that drives your artistic practice, and if so, can you comment on it?

If there is, a sense of love's movement and expansiveness. I recently found interest in aspects of the mystical writings of Marguerite Porete and her sense of love, as the absolute spiritual daring that induces the self's annihilation, as it extends beyond oneself, "deep beyond all depths," without compass.

8. If you were to meet a person who seriously wants to write poetry, someone who admires and resonates with the type of work you do, and they clearly have real talent, and they asked you for some general advice, what would that be?

I have actually met someone, who writes fiction and poetry rapidly and well. I've been encouraging him generally, in terms of trying to get the work out to different publications, developing good editing relations, experiencing aspects of literary culture on the local level or how it's mediated on-line — also, persistence.

9. Do you have a current question or preoccupation that you could share with us?

I have been thinking about common inequalities existing in the world, and questions of being with others, including those in civic life. Recently, I wrote a poem including the stabbing of a server in a Chinese restaurant, who later died from the injuries, but the piece considers more corollary dimensions of the uncanny, carried in common between a number of people who, while keeping away from it, feel affected by it. I tried to find pixian doubanjiang, a spicy bean paste they used there — what emergent social processes? I recently conversed with a friend about the tookish aspect, sparked in the Hobbit — how qualities of rebellion, equanimity and incorruptibility are rather lacking in our political and social ethos.

10. What does the term ‘wild culture’ mean to you?

I see the concept including the tensions sensed, in living in a secular, material cultural condition, while nature is increasingly altered, including processes of looming resource scarcities and rampant ecological destruction. I recently looked at the book Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem, involving the notion of "conservation reliance." There's the sense that increasingly species will rely on human conservation efforts for their survival, as wilderness no longer independent of humans. These processes not proceeding necessarily in an orderly or prescribed way, questioning restrictive oppositions — what field of influences are already affecting the body, in our environmental-cultural moment? There's been a lot of attention on the die-off of bees and concern of decreased pollination, but I wonder in a more granular level, if existing CCD-affected bees' pollination itself is changing.

11. Do you have a final question you would like to ask yourself?



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