Paul-Georges Leroux is an exceptional Montreal/Quebec poet. His poetry resonates with incomparable depth; and his writing is amongst the best French-language poetry being written today. /ez
SEUILS (c) Paul-Georges Leroux, 2014.
Le contour des premières choses, les premières géographies
La peur de ne plus rien voir
L'espoir qui se révolte, l'amour qui se perd
Mouvantes circonférences d'un blanc soleil
La crête des vagues et les cimes de neige
Le vent, le courant, le temps emportent nos confins
inlassables cartographes d'une réalité
dont les frontières fugaces laissent passer nos rêves
mots étranges, syllabes furtives
d'une hermétique mathématique d'ombres
d'un regard aveugle àlui-même
Seuils d'un continent englouti
au fond des pages d'un cahier d'écolier
S'endormir inerte sous un solstice d'hiver
Se réveiller en pleine nuit
Poser les yeux sur une constellation
un peu plus brillante que les autres
Se réveiller de nouveau de ressentir
se déplacer pour l'éternité
Se rendormir une fois plus
Rêver d'un aigle ravisseur
se posant sur une branche enneigée
sans que la branche ni la neige ne bougent
Published in, Vallum 11:1, Thresholds, 2014.
“BEFORE I GO,” Mark Morgenstern,
Ewola Cinema, 2014.
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos, Vallum Magazine, 2014.
Mark Morgenstern’s film, “Before I Go,” in
competition at the Festival du nouveau cinema, and which premiered at Cinema du
Parc in Montreal October 12th, is about the movements of a house. It
is not a ‘home,’ there are no puppies or kittens or soft fluffy images. The
cinematography is bleak. There is focus on parts of the house requiring repair.
But it would seem that the most central part of this strange, haunting, is the
house’s need for attention. Although it is dismembered and dismantled, there
are figures who appear as fragments, figures who would seem to belong there,
but who have no identity, as they are portrayed in the film. There is a
disconnect between the physicality of the house and the physicality of the
human forms. It is almost as if the two are caught in some kind of
disparagement of time—and they cannot communicate. The ‘house’ is often
considered to be symbolically associated with the psyche. Bachelard has written
on the importance of the home and how it is central to one’s conception of
identity. Morgenstern shows us the house and he shows us some human forms, but
there is no relationship between the two. The house is not a home, in
Bachelard’s interpretation of home. So, what is this house we observe, so
closely, so fearfully?
Morgenstern’s technical brilliance and
associative cinematography are so impressive that one is left breathless. The
house is trying to speak—is it a haunted house? It very well could be. The most
chilling part of this film is towards the end, with a woman sitting on a bed, with
her back towards us. She could easily be construed to be some kind of ghost or
figure of madness. We seem to drift with this woman’s presence, and this is a
key point in the film where I felt a truly dangerous ‘presence.’ The house
needs attention. The psyche would seem to be unraveling.
The magnificence of this short film is that it
creates the aura of exteriority. We are not inside it, even though we view
inside the physical house. And this is what many family houses are like in
today’s soulless and mindless societies. Morgenstern’s, “Before I Go,” is a
cutting-edge portrayal of the breakdown of the family unit, of the suffering of
individuals who try to create community and communion within their houses, but
fail. And the true horror is that families today--no longer within a caring and
nurturing environment or a home—are transformed into objects in an essentially
mad series of unconnected pieces and parts. This is the stunning force behind
What does it mean to bend, to yield? Surrender manifests in different ways: joy, despair, a willingness to give up one’s “totality” for someone or something other than him or her self. We surrender to vices, to glory, to the divine, or to the void. How do you “surrender?” Send us your best poems!
DEADLINE: November 1, 2014
For more information and guidelines, please visit us online:
NOW AVAILABLE!!! A Remarkable Grey Horse -- a collaborative poetry chapbook by THURSTON MOORE (musician and founder of experimental rock group SONIC YOUTH) and JOHN KINSELLA (author of over 30 books of poetry, fiction, and criticism)!
"Celebrating in the unnatural, reveling in the rebellious, A Remarkable Grey Horse is a collision of skateboards, Doris Day, punk rock, lighthouses, spume, skuzz, and Rimbaud. Here, bleak cityscapes, squalid apartments, and polluted waters urge the reader to 'explore disgust' and seek freedom."
This is WEEK 12 (and
the LAST WEEK) of Vallum’s Cryptographic Adventure!
Originally we were
offering a free entry into our annual poetry contest, the Vallum Award for
Poetry, to the first person who solved the cryptogram correctly. CONGRATULATIONS
Hanna who solved the puzzle within
the first couple of weeks!
Now, for anyone else
who has solved or will solve the cryptogram correctly, Vallum is offering other
FANTASTIC PRIZES! So keep deciphering!
This week’s poetic
MEGHG BK UCG KMUHP MEG
UCG KMUHP UCWP
And our hint of the
"The beginning of eternity The end of time and
space The beginning of
every end, And the end of
For all you spies and
double agents, here’s the cipher and hint for Week 11 of Vallum’s Cryptographic
Adventure! This is the second-last week to guess the mystery poet correctly to
win a snazzy Vallum prize! Good luck!
This week’s poetic
cipher: PUTHK BK MEG LHGXM SEGGW UA MEG KTC
And our hint of the week:
"I never was, am always to be,
No one ever saw me, nor ever will
And yet I am the confidence of all
To live and breathe on this terrestrial ball."
To view previous clues, please visit our website at:
This week's poetic cipher: MEGHG XHG CU QXBWK BC MEG IBMP UA MEG ZGXZ
And our hint of the week:
First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies,
Next tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard,
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?
This week's poetic cipher: IHTGW
UHZGXWK WUCL AUHGKGGC XCZ JCUSC
And our hint of the week: I have heard of a
something-or-other, growing in its nook, swelling and rising, pushing up its
covering. Upon that boneless thing a cocky-minded young woman took a grip with
her hands; with her apron a lord’s daughter covered the tumescent thing. ZUTLE
Here we are, all you spies and double agents. Can you be the first person to crack the code and solve who the mystery poet is? The first person to correctly guess our mystery poet will win a free entry to the Vallum Award for Poetry 2014: http://vallummag.com/contestrules.html
This week's cipher: ZGKDBMG MEG AXWWBCL KCUS
And our hint of the week: A box without hinges, key or lid and yet golden
treasure inside is hid. GLL
Be sure to cross reference your clues with Week 1 in order to break the cipher!
The manic weather this year has taken its toll on people. More than one is whispering "apocalypse." Hopefully our cryptographs will provide you with some respite, and distract you from a world of turmoil. Thanks to Vallum intern, Devon Gallant, for his brilliance with brain challenges. -------- Here is a poem by Robert Creeley that filled the void I was in today, the only thing that settled. And even though the poem ends with separation, its words form an alliance between poet and reader that is based on mutual self-understanding. And that is what makes one feel better. That is what poetry does for those who can hear it. /ez
Some (c) Robert Creeley
You have not simply insisted on yourself nor argued the irrelevance of any one else. You have always wanted to be friends, to be one of many. Persuaded life even in its largeness might be brought to care, you tried to make it care, humble, illiterate, awkward gestured. So you thought, as inevitable age approached, some loved you, some. You waited for some wind to lift, some thing to happen, proving it finally, making sense more than the literal, still separate.
Published in 2006 by University of California Press. The Collected Works of Robert Creeley 1975-2005.
Announcing Vallum's crypographic adventure! In conjunction with our annual poetry contest the Vallum Award for Poetry 2014, we are offering a chance to enter the contest for free! The catch is you have to be the first person to guess correctly who our mystery poet is.
Every week we will release an encrypted line taken from poems by our mystery poet along with a clue to decoding the cipher.
Can you be the first person to guess who the mystery poet is? Once you think you know who the poet is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, BUT be careful, you only get one guess so use it wisely!
Cryptogram: 1. a text written in code, 2. a symbol or figure with secret or occult significance.
With the release of Issue11:1 "Thresholds," Vallum is hosting a launch where you will have a chance to buy the issue and see contributors read their work. The event will be hosted in Montreal, Quebec toward the end of April. More information as to the time and location of the event will soon be made available on our website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of the most exciting contemporary poets read their work!
More Info.: www.facebook.com/events/811999785496729/
I have always been a great fan of the Russian-French artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985). His use of colour, dream-scape and imagination is engaging. He was instrumental as a pioneer of modernism--synthesizing Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism (the latter to give rise to Surrealism). I am always interested in the overlap of the literary with the artistic. Chagall would seem to have been greatly interested in poetry and literature. His self-identification as a poet in one of his works, The Poet Reclining, suggests an interest in the literary that complemented his visual art. But there is a kind of broken immobility in the figure in the painting which may suggest an internal conflict within Chagall about writing and art. He had strong friendships in Paris with Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars and other poets. /ez
The Poet Reclining (Le Poète allongé, 1915)
Ottawa poet/artist Dennis Tourbin passed away at the age of 51. A chapbook of his poems, entitled, The Stream and Other Poems, was recently published by rob mclennan, in which we find two long poems and one shorter one, truly worth the read. Dennis' poems flow like water, and move through the spaces of reflection like dreams. His death is a sad loss to poetry. /ez
"Dennis Tourbin painted words in vivid colours and referred to his paintings as visual poetry. He explored the area between painting and literature and moved the word beyond the printed page."
Announcing Vallum’s next theme: “Speed.” We often wonder what the world would be like if it wasn’t in such a rush. Speed is the defining aspect of the contemporary world. Time slips by at an unprecedented rate. How (why) is the world ruled by speed? How much faster can we go? How much speed can humans sustain?
When I look back I don't know If there have been any nights, Even any difference in light. I don't Hear the city the way I used to, When there was something in me That could catch fire, like long ago Waiting for a kiss. The moon hides In the throat of the tone of the yellow Bell, I am willing that the seasons Wear me out. Dead-eyed angel, Lying on her side, white in the daring Dark, her death is the smallest sadness She was able to cause. A folding Of hands, as if every place knows About all the others: the patience Of a summer in the rebellion Of her skin; a milky rush In the curves of a riverbank.
_____________________________ Published in Vallum 7:1, "Futures," 2009.
LADDER TO THE MOON (c) X.J. Kennedy If I had a ladder that reached to the moon Up its millions of rungs I'd go. Up higher than ever the clouds can fly Till the earth was a ball below. I'd put on my warm wool winter coat And my long scarlet scarf in case While I climbed my ladder right up to the moon It should start to snow in space. I'd sidestep a couple of shooting stars I'd stand on the steepest hill At the top of my ladder to the moon If only the moon stood still.
(Published in Vallum 6:2, an issue devoted to children, "Play and the Absurd."