Sep 25, 2014

Room Magazine

I'm geeking out over Room Magazine's Geek Girls issue (now out!) for many reasons, not least of all the fact that I have three poems in this issue. It's the first time I've had this many poems in one literary magazine and I'm extraordinarily proud to be in the company of Emily Carroll (deliciously creepy artist and storyteller; check out her graphic novel Through the Woods), Sandra Chevrier (whose art is on the cover--click to get a closer look!), Laurie D. Graham (whose poetry book, Rove, was published here in my hometown) and many other lovely and worthy artists. If you would like to buy a copy, Room has an extensive distribution list (which includes Chapters). Or you can buy directly from their website for only $12!

Aug 11, 2014

A Poem

by Courtney Bates-Hardy

I walk a stage, blinded
by the lights of dreams.

There is a notebook
in my hand, brim-filled,

No one picks up the scraps.

She is walking down
an aisle toward me
when she falls.

A snake slides
through a trap door.

            As I take my diploma,
            I am bitten by the reality
            of a job I don’t have,
            stumble with the notebook
            falling from my fingertips
            into a tiny hole,
            where it grows smaller
            and paler.

I follow her down, stepping
through empty space,
slithering over my skin.

The path is spiralling
and I’m not sure
if I’m falling or carrying
my body to the dark.

My hands are empty
but strips of paper fall
from my mouth.

Charon takes one
for the ferry,
asks for another
as a favor.
Cerberus chews the rest.

            I stand in front of a council of presidents,
            lacking the blank stares.
            No one asks me, snidely:


Hades listens, rapt,
Persephone’s tears stop.
 Tendrils of paper curl to the floor.

They speak     
and the condition is this:
walk away,
don’t look back,
you’ll be happy.

The journey back
is hard, like taking
singular steps up a mountain.

I think of Sisyphus
with his impossible boulder,
his unending task,
and know I am lost.

She is there, I can feel her.

            The light is above
            and I don’t want it.

And I turn,

because we all turn,
and walk back with her,
every time, over

and over.

Aug 7, 2014

A Dark Corner of the Internet

Today I went to a dark corner of the internet.

I started with the Fiji Mermaid.

And then read up on the Banff Merman.

Which led me to sirenomelia (not pictured, as it's a real medical condition). And then I read a bit of The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black, peppered with Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities (he owns a mermaid skeleton as well, although it's not pictured in the book). 

I finished by scanning through the Amazon view of Codex Seraphinianus

And now it's time to turn the lights back on.

Jun 20, 2014

Toronto and Progress

I'm back from a quick trip to Toronto, where I attended my brother's graduation (he's caught the grad student bug too and will be back next year to start his MA). It was my first time in Toronto and my first time in another province besides those immediately surrounding me. I've done far more travelling in the USA than I have in Canada, so I'm hoping to keep remedying that in the next few years. It does seem appropriate that we saw the "Canadian New York" after we visited New York City last least that's how I thought of it.

A few highlights:

-saw the Group of Seven paintings at the AGO

-stopped for a smoked meat sandwich and saw Adam Sandler having dinner with his friends and family

-went to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

-ate AMAZING food thanks to my brother's inside knowledge

-replaced my stolen CDs with some awesome soundtracks at Sonic Boom

-got a tour and demo at Coach House Books

-watched Jodorowsky's Dune at Hot Docs

And now it's back to real life! I'm nearly finished ('nearly' is relative maybe) a major edit of the poems in my thesis. I'm hoping to submit the whole thing to my committee in September so I'm chopping my way to the finish line.

I found out shortly before I left for Toronto that three of my poems will feature in Room Magazine's Geek Girl issue, 37.3. I'm really excited about this one because it's the most poems I've ever had in a literary mag and it's a GEEK GIRL issue! I also heard back from On Spec (a very cool speculative fiction mag that I've been trying to get into for a while) and they would like to publish one of my poems as well. I'm nervously crossing my fingers (and wishing on a couple stars) over a submission to the Fairy Tale Review's contest and I'm holding off on further submissions until I finish these edits. I gotta say, I love editing other people's work but I get awfully stubborn about editing my own!

Jun 12, 2014

On Maleficent

"The victim is always morally superior to the master...that is why there have been so few notoriously wicked women in comparison to the number of notoriously wicked men; our victim status ensures that we rarely have the opportunity. Virtue is thrust upon us."

"In common speech, a 'bad boy' may be a thief, or a drunkard, or a liar, and not necessarily just a womaniser. But a 'bad girl' always contains the meaning of a sexually active girl...When, against her will, she is [raped], she knows she remains good because she does not feel pleasure."

" if, now she is no longer a virgin, her chastity can still exist in the form of frigidity. She seems almost a monster of the fear of sexuality."

Quotes from Angela Carter's Sadeian Woman