When I first met George Bowering I was still singing Italian arias and he would only answer in Spanish. I never listened when he called Rimbaud (or someone) a little puke but I picked up the lingo anyway. In spite of all the leaves of poetry I gave him, his response was almost Buddhist in nature; but, man, when you listened to him read a sonnet by Archibald Lampman or talk enthusiastically about those Montreal cats like Artie Gold and three-headed dogs like Irving Layton and Louis Dudek . . . and the other guy . . . man, then you were a believer in CanLit, zeow! Then he would pitch you curve balls like Lola Lemire Tostevin or George Stanley. At one point, I threatened to leap out of a window, but that didn't stop George. He was always willing (allegedly) to head to Helen's Grill to talk about The Double Hook and other Canadian stumpers.
Poets - certified sentinels of the sensorium - stand at the ready in service of translating the universe by releasing words into the void in a steady enterprise that subverts definition and defies the laws of embuggerance.
Perhaps the finest utility infielder our literature boasts, major-league versifier, prose stylist, historian, editor, professor, mentor, critic, radio personality, Canada's first Parliamentary Poet Laureate and long-time second-baseman George Bowering (b. 1935), still going sly and strong, graciously agreed to engage in an e-discussion with "In Other Words."
The 6' 2" guy grew up in small-town BC, in a place called Oliver, before he pulled a stint as an aerial photographer in the RCAF (1954-7) and wound up chumming around with Fred Wah, Frank Davey and so forth during the days he fell head over heartbeats for the ground-breaking new movement loosely clustering around Black-Mountaineers Robert Creeley, Charles Olson and Robert Duncan to ID but a vanguard few. Then came Tish, Imago, Beaver Kosmos Folios and Open Letter, all cutting-edge journals Bowering either helped found or, at the least, aesthetically shape.
The author of an astonishing 90 works - give or take - across a swath of genres, explorations and "schools," now, including those currently making their way into bookstores from there to here - Pinboy (Cormorant), My Darling Nellie Grey (Talonbooks) and Horizontal Surfaces with Jay MillAr (BookThug) - Bowering, OC, OBC wears both his hurt and his heart on his sleeve as much as one currently enjoying SFU Professor Emeritus and Beloved Poetry Ambassador (BPA) status can. Right from the beginning, he willingly laid it on the line in order to redefine it. Now, with a pocketful of medals, orders, pins and related honours, with almost a hundred books to his credit (and, none of them a failure), with the wisdom and wonderment of the world afforded the terminally curious explorer, one of our greatest creators sets the record straight.
What makes a poet a poet?
How should I know? I mean, that's for me to know and you to find out. I mean, if I told you, we'd both know. I mean, do I look like the Answer Man? I mean, you tell me, and we'll both know. I mean, it depends on a lot of variables. I mean, we're working on it . . . Okay, it's time for me to quit futzing about, if that is what I have been doing. What makes a poet a poet?
1. Insatiable curiosity about the facts. 2. An ear that likes what words do other than designate. 3. A desire to continue the work. 4. A lot of skepticism. 5. A love for oneself as a stranger to oneself. 6. A highly competitive ego-loss. 7. Compassion on the part of one of the nine muses. 8. The inability to leave the house without a book in hand. 9. A record of failing one class in high school.
(Don't you mean "fitzing about?") Are you comfortable, now, saying, "I am a poet?"
When I was reading through the PS section of the library, I came to the W authors near the end, and especially William Carlos Williams, and particularly his recently published book, The Desert Music, at the end of which Williams learns and declares, "I am a poet." I dropped the book on the concrete floor with a hell of a smack. I hoped that I was going to be, too, when I was his age.
Tell me the story of your poetic life. How did you know or when did you discover you had been called upon to bear this beautiful burden?
Okay, let me ease into this, though I have a premonition that I won't get as far with it as I should.
You have to start with this: I was born with a brain and brought up in a village. The place is still a village (where you can't buy my books or a copy of Maclean's). So, what was available? Obviously, I wanted to be an arty type of some sort. I joined the high-school choir. I joined the high-school band. I acted in all the high-school plays. I wrote for the village newspaper, The Oliver Chronicle. I had my first one-boy show as an artist/cartoonist when I created giant caricatures of each of the firefighters to put on the wall of the hall where they had their big dance. So, writing was one of the things. I wrote songs with my buddy, Willy, and we sometimes performed them, and sometimes a quartet I called the Troubadors sang them. I did stand-up. But writing was the main thing, and as a high-school boy I wrote poems and stories, all of them, mercifully, gone into the aether.
I wrote poems more and more, starting with narrative poems, leading to lyrics, mainly love poems. And I threw them away. I can remember when I decided to keep them, or at least some of them, something that became a little obsessive, perhaps, later on. It was when I turned 21, and was soon to get out of the RCAF and into UBC. I had already published my first poem while in the Air Force (where I also wrote for the RCAF Macdonald newspaper, The Rocketeer), a 26-stanza poem called The ABCs of the NHL. It was published in a national magazine called Hockey Pictorial. I published a second one there, "The former ABCs of the NHL." I tried out a similar poem on Baseball Digest, but they didn't want it.
See? I don't know whether what we had then was a calling or whatever, but writing poems and stories was something I more and more did, something I expected to do. I was reading several books a week while I was in the RCAF. I guess I was beginning to normalize the idea of being an author of books. I don't think there could have been any question of turning away from poetry (as my friends, Stan Persky and Brian Fawcett, claim to have done). The only other writer I knew in the RCAF was Red Lane, and he said he turned to writing because that's what I was doing. But he had the portable typewriter. I think he won it in a poker game.
Well, once I was in UBC, where you were on something like a stage, I began acting the part of the poet. The poet or Raskolnikov or Meursault. Eventually, after I had read my way through the PS section of the library, I met other young people from hinterland BC, and was luckily introduced to serious poetry. The rest is history. Either history or low comedy.
And yes, all these decades later, I do say, as you hint, that poetry calls upon a person to enact it, eh?
Of the many works with your name on same, which do you still consider standouts?
I just had to do a very meticulous proofreading of Caprice for the new edition. I found myself shaking my head and murmuring, "Geez, this is good." That happens sometimes. So do other things, hmm . . . But, I am like that mum who really extra loves her idiot child specially. I mean, I will trot out my least-known or least-appreciated books and declare them my favourites, eh? I do this, for example, with the long poem-series, Delayed Mercy, or with the novel, Harry's Fragments.
But I usually agree with the critics and chatterers and think that Kerrisdale Elegies is the poem. When I read it I recognize me; but, I am grateful that I managed to find those things that I found. Sometimes, I reread a short story and say, Gee, I wish I had written that - Hey, wait! I did write that. "Watson's Rainbow" would be an example of that. But, here's the main thing: when you reread something and think, Okay, that's pretty good, you also say, There, I don't have to try that again; it's done. Time to try something else.
I have known George for something like 35 years and he is sort of like a much older older brother. He is definitely the Godfather of the Vehicule Poets. He taught Artie Gold, Tom Konyves, John McAuley. He is the one person in that "generation of the '60s" that I have talked with the most, with the possible exception of bp Nichol. I see him as one of the important poets from that generation, along with John Newlove, Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Michael Ondaatje, Nichol, Fred Wah, Daphne Marlatt, et.al. The two books by poets from that generation that have probably made me THINK the most about poetry are The Martyrology (Nichol) and Kerrisdale Elegies (Bowering) . . . It made sense to me that George was our first Poet Laureate. I like the way he has always argued against Toronto, the Central Canada view of CanLit. For some reason, Montreal in the '70s wound up being as peripheral as Vancouver in the '60s in the eyes of Toronto; so, I think we Vehicules related very well to the Tish experience. George got the word from Duncan and Spicer, and we got the word from George.
Do you see a certain tendency to consider the creation of poetry a "career," a "profession," a "gig?" I mean, a fellow named Zach Wells, for example, writes a blog he calls "Career-Limiting Moves" . . .
. . . I can't forget that the word "career" still hangs onto its root meaning that has to do with a road, a racetrack, a highway, etc. Carretera - get out there and drive, and arrive somewhere. I don't think I write to get somewhere, unless it is to the end of the line or sentence; and, then, you do want to put that off, don't you? Zach Wells? I have seen his name as a poetry reviewer in the magazine, Quill & Quire, wherein he never reviews a poetry book by anyone that I normally read. I have heard the word "career" used over my lifetime, and it seems to me that it is almost always used in a pejorative sense, as when one butters up someone to "advance" one's career.
My agent introduced me, when Jean [Baird]and I were making an anthology [ The Heart Does Break] to the term "A-List Writers." I immediately assumed that it is an Ontario, or maybe Toronto, usage. You know that I deplore the shift of attention (by newspapers, etc.) from books to book prizes. I can see that fiction writers might be tempted (or if they are UBC Creative-Writhing students, trained) to make a career of writing; but, for the life of me, I cannot understand a poet's wanting to do that. I am speaking as a person who deliberately stopped sending my poetry manuscripts to McClelland & Stewart. I think M&S is a good publisher; but, in general, the "professional" presses will encourage poetry packages that resemble what is already there.
Since the seminal Vancouver events of 1961 and 1963, do you think Canadian poetry's gone up or downhell? Why? What do you recommend or how could this be fixed if it's broken (or broken if it ain't)?
Not sure whether you mean the beginning of Tish in Fall 1961 or the great poetry conference (Olson, Creeley, Duncan, Avison, Ginsberg, et.al.) of Summer 1963. Incidentally, there was a reunion for the purpose of making a film of the still living people from 1963, on site, last summer. Some of the people who were the young students then (Daphne Marlatt, Clark Coolidge, Fred Wah, Michael Palmer) showed up with white hair! They are big-deal elder poets now, and still alive and writing, so not everything has been downhill.
There have also been a lot of poets who have emerged since that "storied time" to show us very good poetry with the intent not of shining a glam light on the self but rather finding a way to live in the world and try to remake it. I think of Colin Browne, Erin Mouré, Robert Kroetsch, Artie Gold. The serious poets will not stop coming. They will find publishers and get their books on a few shelves. Just remember that Shelley published in editions of 250, and so did Steve McCaffery, while bad verse gets huge circulation in print, on the Internet and even on television in certain circumstances.
What I have seen is a constant marginalization of serious poetry. It is related, I know, to the globalization of "products" that have governments and manufacturers and oil suckers treating us as customers, whereas Ezra Pound, Charles Olson and Louis Dudek treated us as citizens. If you look in the pages where book reviews used to be, you will see a lot fewer pages and a lot more articles about some writer (not writing) winning a prize. Now, the conglomerates that have replaced bookstores push the poetry presses off the shelves and into the church sales while the "professional" publishers - who rarely publish serious poetry now - tell the novelists that have worked with them for a decade or three that they cannot publish their novels because they don't look as if they will win a prize, and the McBookstore will not display them prominently (if at all).
Ironically, Bowering's acumen for reading underlies the wide spectrum of his writing. His acute sense of language style and possibility, his ear for words and rhythms, shows a process for literary imagination that is open and generative, and so frequently provocative. I've always trusted how he reads writing and counted on his skills in both as evidence of a real poetics of attention.
- Fred Wah
The so-called writers' festivals - with a few honourable exceptions such as the Winnipeg one - have more and more become big best-seller barns, where the people who like to keep up on things can go and hear the latest "discovery" and bring home her book to display on the coffee table. In the 1960s, as with a lot of perfervid "movements," the serious poets (and others) got a sense that the citizens were paying attention. Now, we have the World Trade Organization. Poetry has become more and more marginalized.
In a world in which Lindsay Lohan has replaced Samuel Beckett, in which Don whatzisname, the hockey-violence guy with the loud jackets, is on television and George Walker's plays are not, the writers' festivals and the newspapers have decided that poetry is entertainment and competition, that costumed people who say with pride that they don't read what's in the library stand up and recite clichés about their personal rebellion.
What do we do about all this? The main thing is not to join. You cannot bring the masters of commodities down from within. Do what Mr. MillAr does, sell the books that people don't want to buy, and publish the elegant books that professors don't want to read.
Whose poetry receives a must-read asterisk with you, from the beginning till this instant?
Dante*, Shakespeare*, Shelley*, Mallarmé*, Herbert*, Li Po*, H.D.*, Ezra Pound*, William Carlos Williams*, Margaret Avison*, Jack Spicer*, Erin Mouré*, Ron Padgett*, Kevin Davies* . . .
What of bp Nichol's influence, his lit-legacy, his aesthetic contribution to our cultural health?
bp's books and other poetry objects are in a shelf beside my bed. He influenced everyone older than he. There are lots of young folks, mainly in Ontario, who want to fit him out for academic nomenclature and who brush off anyone who knew him when he was alive. He is a wonderful figure around which to gather the real workers in Canadian poetry, who are unknown to the professors who don't like mimeograph.
And, Anne Carson?
I went to hear her read at UBC some years ago; and I was knocked out. Terrific intelligence and wit and openness. I just wish that she did not ignore the Canadian scene in favour of the big U.S. scene.
Did poetry take a wrong turn, either Canadian or World, in your opinion, some time after the efflorescence of Joyce, Eliot, et.al.? The Black Mountaineers, e.g. Did Charles Olson *get it right* with "Projective Verse" or do we fare better with Tate, Empson, Richards, Jones, Eliot, et.al.?
I think that poetry (and painting too) goes in clumps. There was a clump in the early 19th century in England, what with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron, etc. (and don't forget the etcetera!); there was a clump at U. of Pennsylvania, with H.D., Pound, Williams and Moore. There was a delightful clump in SF with Duncan, Spicer and Blaser, e.g. So, in Canada there was a little clump made by the folks that started the Contact Press after WWII. I don't think that poetry took a wrong turn after the Modernists.
There is also the question of intelligent attention. The Zukofsky-Reznikoff-Oppen-Rakosi clump happened largely out of the eyesight of the renowned US critics, and so most of those people pretty well went into hiatus until they were rediscovered after the excitement of the Allen anthology in 1960. I always thought that it was interesting to look at names of the poets. Those "Objectivist" poets all have eastern European names. The realm of the square poets in the US had names like Frost, Stevens, Ransome, Tate, Lowell - good solid English names, as English as Eliot. Zuk and Rez were "underground," eh? Now, look at the scene after WWII in the US.
There are the Iowa-type poets, what Ron Silliman niftily calls the poetry of Quietude. These folks were collected in the other 1960 anthology, the New Poets of England and America, I think it was called: Justice, Simpson, Hall, Booth, Wilbur, Jennings, Merwin. Now, have a look at the names from the Allen anthology: Ginsberg, Oppenheimer, Corso, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Levertov, Sorrentino. I am talking general tendency here, you understand. I think that that is no "wrong turn." Those names: you know that they signify a much-needed turnover of the soil, by people who came from families that could not trace their roots to pre-revolutionary America, who did not have normal anglo-American expectations.
I think that we can see something like that in Canada at the same time, though maybe not something as dramatic. In any case, look at Montreal, which used to consider itself the centre of Canadian poetry. It's Layton where it was Scott and Dudek where it was Smith. You see? I thought of changing my name to Borowski.
As to your question regarding Olson. Well, I have grown up in a poetry world in which he is the main dad following the grand dads, WCW and EP. I always find it odd when the poets enisled around Victoria make references to oddities such as - Oh, I can't remember their names, have to look them up - Ted Hughes or Theodore Roethke. Olson was a strange contradiction. He was like Buddha, who said, Don't start a religion in my name, or real scientists, who say, Take what I have found out and make it obsolete. But, he also seemed to enjoy being the grand vizier. There have been idiots in this country who tried to suggest that Olson wanted us to replace Canadian traditions with US ones. These were the idiots who did not set a high enough value to reading.
Do you think the reading population will disappear, that mass stoopifaction will occur? Will graphic novels dominate our reading lists? Can poetry not exist?
When I wait for a bus at the bus loop on the University of British Columbia campus, I am usually the only person there who is reading a book, and when I get onto the bus and reluctantly close the book because reading on a bus makes me nauseated, I look around and see that none of these young "students" is reading. Once there was one other person reading, but she was about 60 years old. If there are 25 young "students" there at the beginning of the bus ride, at least 20 of them will have white wires hanging out of their ears, and at least 20 of them will be looking at cell phones or holding them to their ears.
If I go into the branch library in my university-area neighbourhood, the din is alarming. There I find a bank of computer screens, and on nearly all the computer screens, video games are entertaining the expressionless kids sitting in front of them. I believe that we are seeing the worst effects of democracy and capitalism, that trivia is pushing out scholarship, that fun is pushing out curiosity. If you mention Homer, the majority of people will think that you are referring to a TV cartoon character. Vocabularies have, apparently, become much smaller. One can say that young people are voluntarily settling for a smaller world. But, I think that there are forces in the world today that are making money from induced ignorance.
George's prodigious energy, vision and provocative wit on so many levels & in so many genres, a BIG contribution that makes his work difficult to sum up in one sentence, even two. Not only that, he's been unfailingly generous in his response (yes, responsiveness, that's what characterizes GB as both writer & reader), instigating movements and editions of others' work with as much energy as his own. I think of him as a poetic Puck, the fictive home-run hitter of CanLit. for many of us GB's work heralded formal innovation in CanLit, especially in prose & fiction beginning in the '60s & '70s. he's continued to innovate, yet never just for innovation's sake - he's always had something interesting to say & often he's said it with feeling. that's something i respect.
And that's not even mentioning what a significant instigator he's been for my own work with the novel.
There is a TV guy called "Dr. Phil." I don't know what kind of doctor he is. I looked at his programme once. There was a couple sitting with him. The wife was complaining that her husband keeps on buying books when they already have lots of books in the house. This Dr. Phil laughed at the husband and commiserated with the wife. I know for a fact that there are young people who can get by without reading any of the words that show up in front of their eyes all day.
About graphic novels, or what my generation called comic books? I don't know. My favourite US novelist, Jerome Charyn, produced a few; but, they do not show up in the graphic-novel section of the big-box bookstores where only the series appear. Everything has to be a series.
About poetry? In 1972, if I published a book of poems, it would be reviewed in 20 newspapers (including The Star-Phoenix and The Leader-Post). Now, a lot of the newspapers have folded; the ones that remain do not commit poetry reviews. They run stories about book prizes instead. Still, the little presses pump out the poetry books. But, if you want to see how valuable poetry is, try to sell a poetry book to a second-hand bookstore.
Biography may enhance a given artistic work's extrinsic value, understanding of a work's genesis or creation; but, by definition, a work of art completes itself, no?
Well, I think that sometimes knowing the biographical details helps me follow the writing into smaller cracks. I have just been proofreading my novel, Caprice, for the New Star edition and noticing all the obscure shards of autobiographical reference I have sprinkled in here and there, knowing that it is unlikely that anyone ever will pick them up. Heh heh. Sometimes I stick in something that only one person will ever understand. That's just the fun that an author gets to have.
I remember that when I was a teenager, that New Criticism was in charge of literary criticism, and it said (and was echoed by the English profs standing at the front of rooms where I sat) that the poem, for example, was a self-contained mechanism or object or puzzle or something, that it was found on a beach, maybe, on a desert island, that no one put it there. I thought it was pretty telling that that was a lot like the Catholic teachers' proof of God, that if you found a perfect pocket watch on a desert-island beach, you would logically assume that it had been made by a watchmaker; so if you find the universe, which is a lot more complicated than a pocket watch, you have to assume that someone made it.
You keep aging through your nap, maybe as slowly as Paul Desmond plays a saxophone, but aging nevertheless, growing old under your chin, while the people you let in let on they know exactly how you feel and they don't. If only poetry could get you back to, say, your mid-fifties, then poetry would be worth more than any nap, more even than, say, Utah, which used to have a lot of desirable minerals in its mountains, which those Mormons and others were quick to remove, fast as Tom Raworth reading a poem.
Well, I swallowed the New Criticism guff for a while. But you know, I think that if you know something about life in Europe around 1818 - the politics, the religion, the science - you will have a better chance of understanding Shelley's poetry. Shelley's life is just interesting as can be - one of the great puzzles for me has been why there is no movie of Shelley's life - and a few decades ago I read several Shelley biographies. You have to learn about the Hapsburgs, the then-current theory about volcanoes and [David] Hume's philosophy to get a leg up on Ode to the West Wind and Prometheus Unbound. Shelley's reading of those things is a major part of his biography. I say, If it's there, take it. I don't think that a work of art, tempting as it is to think so, is complete in itself. Shelley thought that his poetry was work in the service of rebellion against manacles, mind-forged or not.
There are some people who think that poetry, in order for it to be political, has to be dumbed down. Those people are underestimating the world for which they're writing . . . Well, maybe I am straying away from the subject here. Maybe I am contradicting myself when I invent my birthdate and birthplace for interviewers. But have you noticed how neat it is when you catch a glimpse of your town in a movie?
McLuhan described what we are now enduring as the breakdown of print culture (which, during his time before he died in 1980), had already been somewhat cannibalized by technological advancements. Certainly, five years after his death, we were all computer-literate - Remember WordStar? - and, of course, composing, revising or editing our work in a different way. What was your experience during the 1980s in these terms? (Actually, McLuhan said breakdown leads to breakup leads to breakthrough, just for periphrastic accuracy's sake.)
I did get onto using a computer pretty soon, joining Frank Davey, Lionel Kearns and Fred Wah in the Apple II crowd. But, unlike Lionel, who started using far-out multi-layering programmes, I just thought of my computers - I have had about 15 Apples, I guess - as typewriters with handy features, such as memory.
How much time do you spend surfing the 'Net? Is it blessing, curse or admixture?
I look at my email every day. I check the baseball scores every night. I occasionally look at some places I have bookmarked (such as Dooney's Cafe). I think that it is terrific that I can look and see how many home runs Andy Pafko hit in 1951 or the number of pages in a book by Georges Perec; but, I always recoil in anguish when my son-in-law refers to his web-surfing as "research."
When you visit a bookstore, whose books are beside yours and how do you feel being among such company?
Hey, I come after Robin Blaser. You can't get much luckier than that.
Do you enjoy collaborating with others; or, do you find it essential at an atomic level to spread your writerly wings and expand your horizons?
For my views on collaborating (as editor, writer or publisher), you will have to wait and see my chapter on the subject in my forthcoming book, How I Wrote Certain of My Books, to be published by Mansfield Press in 2011.
In September, you and Jean travel to Rossland where you, designated Parade Marshall, will oversee events; then, as you say, you plan to drive "way to hell up to Haida Gwai to do some readings." How do you do it, the constant travel? You seem to possess boundless energy . . .
. . . I always eat my vegetables and never smoke cigarettes.
Speaking of Jean, as near far as I can tell in conversation with either or both of you, your wife numbers among the most important human beings you have met. How did you meet?
Her young writers' magazine, In 2 Print, published a piece I wrote about scorekeeping and my dad; then, those foolish young people wanted me to come to Port Colborne for the big festival for the mag, so Jean hired a tiny airplane to bring [David W.]McFadden and me from Toronto's island airport to the little landing strip at Welland. When we got out of the plane, relieved that McFadden had not sabotaged us, there she was, sitting on a bench, looking damned nice. I out-raced McFadden to her side.
When did you know?
Aw, she chased my by phone, e-mail and Canada Post. I finally gave in.
Did you ever think a gift of such a goddess would appear in your world?
After my wife, Angela, died, I had resigned myself to a life of singular pleasures; now, I just smile and bask a bit as old friends ask me how the hell I managed to get so lucky.
How's it going?
I have never been so happy; and, she never hits me.
Who's the best liar in the country?
To tell the truth, I have to say it's Robert Kroetsch (in that he is the best writer and he makes outrageous things up). He prefers the term "Bullshit Artist." But, the biggest liar is Porky . . . No, wait, he's not in the country (though he did recently get out of a Florida jail too soon). What is his waistline, anyway?
George Bowering doesn't play fair. Baseball Love is so good there is no memoir in the league that can go up against it. Bowering has a sense of story and an eye for detail that eliminate the possibility that he was a lousy second baseman. Reading a home run is fun.
Who's on what you term "the frontier" (and is that a good place to be)?
It's the best place to be. I don't know who's out there, though. I mean, I am in the centre of the empire, aren't I?
There is something I like about George. And, not just because he's a fellow Sagittarius like bill bissett. Even more than his respect for a thing well done, it is something Dante was always saying: discerno, which is to say, I discern. As if someone had to hack their way through all that wilderness of halibut wrap and build a poetry from sea to shining sea, you know what I'm saying? I never thought we would ever be able to go on tour and trash Novotels together, not ever. I mean, you gotta be able to spot a bad simile at ten paces and sublimate, you just gotta. In fact, he's more quick on the draw than I've ever read him. That's why we picked him for our team (and we're sure as hell keeping him).
- Garry Thomas Morse
("George Bowering with Daisy," artwork © 2010 Larry Raincock. Poetry exclusive to The Globe and Mail © 2010 George Bowering. All Rights Reserved.)