FAMILY history can feel like a load of logs: some natural, stately, rural thing cut down and hauled off to the metropolis of official record.
Many of us, writers and non-writers, feel we'll never properly transfer the weight of it. The cutting alone is a hell of a labour. And easy to feel bad just about this piece of it, the cutting. The taking off with the goods even though they're not yours to have, not really.
I'm thinking big trees because far too many lumber workers have been negligently killed these past years in B.C., and today because of a poetry book, also that turncoat Emerson, and the West wanting in, and oh, just B.C., its ridiculous sublime, now at-least-part-protected, forest.
And its coastal blues. If a family history has more to do with water, say, a geography of rivers, of crossing oceans, of settling in a place with banks instead of bowers, what metaphor then?
What if the river is the Fraser, with its mouth opening into the Pacific? As poet Jordan Scott's Silt (published by the fabulous New Star Books) asks, how then to âeoewash out junk in the mouthâe ? For there is junk to exhaust, in all of us. How it gets out is the issue.
Scott has had the life work of a stutter, and his stuttering has led him to poetry, to making the work of how words are hauled out as migratory and transatlantic as an immigration tale. Lodz, Poland, to B.C.'s Barnet's Bay. He tracks his grandfather Wladyslawâe(TM)s route of relocation, finally
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