Tightrope Books

Random Acts of Poetry (Now with Graphics) Hits Canada October 3-9!

By Tightrope Books | September 16th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Read Boredom Fighters! Canada’s first successful complilation of graphic poetry!

The graphic poet uses striking imagery to strike out at readers who are too blaséd by written verse to care about metaphor. Random Acts of Poetry—Now with Graphics! (October 3rd to 9th in cities across Canada, the UK and Ireland) allows the graphic poet to seek out and destroy the powerful readers of serious information who scoff at poetry. By encouraging and feeding their scoff-making impulse with silly graphic poetry about killer whales in a fish tank wearing a look that clearly says “You Are Next,” the graphic poet can validate his internal dichomotous beauty by making the serious information-seeker feel discomfited for just long enough to vocalize an excuse for his habitual dumping of killer whale poems into recycling bins with oxygenated drinks of all kinds.

This is about graphic poet warfare to numb the minds of the most strident information seekers who rush around in their jet-set lives making bribes, engaging in graphically illicit behaviours and hoarding the bestselling shelves in Chapters/Indigo stores across the American nations of the North, while humble graphic poets are forced to lean, spines out, on dusty shelves eating sandwiches of their colleagues’ fiction.

Take heed of the following parable about guarding one’s criticisms around a graphic poet: A group of publishing workers were clustered together during a book launch. Among them was a graphic poet who had recently joined the publishing company in an internship. Eager to impress her boss, who was around the same age, she quipped, “You’re the only girl I’ve met who doesn’t give off scary vibes through her body language.” An onlooker hearing the remark, tried to point out the inappropriateness of this comment, with the result that the next day, he found a caricature of himself on the office chalkboard drawn in an offensive pose with his comments for the hilarity of others.

On another occasion, when the same group of coworkers were listening to a girl among them suffering from body image problems, the graphic poet offered the following compliment: “You’d look great in a two-piece…I don’t want you to show me, just let me imagine…” Needless to say, the man who had found fault with her comment about her boss immediately jumped on this one, rebuking its offensiveness. He faced a jeering crowd the next day involving a depiction of himself in caricature that might or might not have benefited from the donning of a two-piecer. When the graphic poet also remarked to her self-conscious friend, “I wanna eat your necklace, it’s so pretty” and then turned to her sharpest critic to see what he would say, he wisely turned his attention towards the coffee-machine and kept mum.

  • The age of the graphic poet is always young enough to get paid for a killer attitude for a living and old enough to save the best for the next installment.
  • Clean and friendly with snazzy professional polish, his dress is understated, in a manner becoming an artiste who wears reader satisfaction as his designer brand.
  • He stands apart from the crowd with his ability to shine bright hope into readers’ souls to pave their stairway to heaven.
  • His weakness is being very chatty with cool readers who like to chat things up with him.
  • His ambition is to reduce modern-day conflicts to a caricature where the latest graphic effects are employed to make us keen to study pulp fiction.
  • His labour commences whenever energy and spirit coalesce to make his mind ready for comedic, creative graphic action.
  • He enjoys people, pets, sitcoms, animation, epic struggles, wrestling like a baby, thinking about canned food but not eating it, Jamie Oliver, beauty, truth and justice, and desperate prayers for salvation from paltry poetry that does not inspire.
  • He occasionally suffers from weaknesses and temptations including graphic block, where words trump images in a graphic vacuum.

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Tightrope Kitty Saved by Poetry

By Tightrope Books | September 10th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

A howling, bitter wind swept past the Tightrope offices this past weekend. Dust swirled in circles, throwing itself in the eyes of a stray kitty who cried and ran to keep pace with the wind that changed directions, carrying her in its arms to tell her a story. It was late evening, and the wind dropped kitty near a small house where a desperate mother knelt in an upper window, candles creating a faint din behind her in a girl’s bedroom…Kitty recognized her at once as the woman who prayed for her child’s recovery to sanity after witnessing a playground argument that ended in near-fatal wounds…Kitty blinked hard and wished she could be indoors someplace warm, sipping some milk from a human hand…after all, what good could she do? She was as ignored as the men up the street ahead of her who seemed to be fighting with their hands while their voices fought over which one of them should have the right to tear off his clothing for a slender female who had already torn off most of hers…

When I went on my usual evening walk that night by the offices, I found kitty and after listening to her tell me about the wind and its coercion with her that night, I felt saddened about my newly acquired ability to understand kitty language. Quickly gathering her up in my arms and draping a towel over her shivering body, I ran back home and salvaged her milk and cookies. My roommates, who heard me come in, made cooing sounds and rushed to pet kitty, who purred with satisfaction and lapped eagerly at her milk.

As I stepped in front of the window, I recalled her secrets and felt wistful and confused. I looked up at the sky and somehow that night, it seemed out of place, pieces that didn’t fit like a patchwork of skies torn from different cities in different meridians and pasted to cover giant holes. When I looked down at the ground, I saw similar gaping holes that let me see through to the other side of the world…the holes had been filled by pieces of desert sands, rice paddy fields and other materials from countries far away…

I walked outside and immediately felt dizzy. I seemed to be falling straight through the earth, but found a rock to grab hold of for dear life just in time, as I began pulling myself onto my neighbour’s lawn…Was my road being torn up for construction, I wondered? I couldn’t find any signs anywhere, everything else seemed normal…I could smell my neighbour’s cooking wafting through his kitchen window and noticed his family dancing to exotic music in a language I couldn’t place…

I sensed an odd mixture of emotions…I felt tears rising up inside of me that filtered into hysterical giggles…Sweating and freezing, I jumped from one patch of earth to the next till I reached my house and ran up to my bathroom where I sat down and held my head in my hands. The strange thing was, I knew I wanted my mother and picked up the phone, but when I tried to talk, words screamed in my head in foreign tongues, my tongue went numb and I slammed down the phone…

I sniffled and looked at the sink, where, in the midst of a puddle of water, I rescued a copy of Manual for Emigrants…It seemed like hours that I sat in that bathroom reading those poems as my head started to clear, until I headed to my room to settle into bed snugly with my teddybear after saying a quick prayer in thanks, for my warm bed on solid ground.

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Annie’s Post-Party Musings

By Tightrope Books | August 21st, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Went to bed late last night after an amazing party at Tightrope. Rubbing noses with Heather J. Wood, and gobbling up her delicious peanut butter cookies in an effort to discover her latest project was fun. Also being garlanded with free books from John Barlow whose poetry captures the spirit of documentary, put me in my cozy place. Learned how to mix jungle music from the stylin’ d.j., and enjoyed helping guests grind on the dance floor for some delicious snapshots taken by our multi-talented Deepi Harish.

The next morning, I woke up earlier than I’d anticipated. I felt out of sorts, strange in my own clothing, hair rumpled like a bird’s nest, eyes glazed over with the remnants of starlight, face streaked with creases from a restless night …

My friend asked me whether I had remembered to take my pills last night … her usual refrain whenever I complained to her about anything. I couldn’t quite understand what I was feeling. I leafed through my dictionary and thesaurus for the right words. Nada.

In a quick phone call to my mom, she suggested I open my bible and read the psalms which made me feel ready to tackle some big challenge, but still confused about what I was feeling.

I thought maybe a marathon workout session might help … I ran into the usual suspects, guys looking googly-eyed at my friends for approval while my friends wallowed in self-pity brought on by feelings of unattractiveness … Although this forced me to stifle a few chuckles, I was still hopelessly confused.

You know, I don’t know why I try so hard to understand myself like my favourite sitcom character, Rory Gilmore. Sometimes it’s important to just stop revelating and be quiet. …. …. ….

After that got boring, I tentatively reached for my autographed copy of Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse by the multi-talented Phoebe Tsang, poet, violinist, dramatist, dancer ,and professional architect all rolled up into one. And oh so charming! She is magnificent! You’ll have to meet her at her official book launch this fall with details to follow on the Tightrope website …

What a treasure trove of poetry I discovered! Everything, all my infatuation, obsession, loneliness, emptiness, longing, etc., for meaning, all were written on her pages! I immediately started to organize a grand housewarming party to celebrate my long-lost identity!

Unfortunately I can’t show you the poems that did it for me, but I will tell you the name of my favourite poem. Shhh … don’t tell anyone, ‘kay? Promise? Okay, it’s called: “Seven Days Without You.” I’m blushing! Did you notice? I love this poem more than any other poem in the whole world! I wonder what Phoebe will say when she reads this article? Maybe I shouldn’t say anymore, I don’t want to overwhelm her, she might get scared and stop poeticizing.

Yikes, that would be too awful! You’ll understand someday.

—Annie

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Turkish Delight, Grape Soda & Shakespeare

By Tightrope Books | August 17th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

This weekend was a real treat for me. I was given a copy of Bone Dream to read at my leisure and was awestruck by the beautiful fluidity of the poems and lovely impressionistic writing that raises the human body to an art form.

In my youth I found myself striving, with elongated neck and arms stretched out in an arabesque-like fashion, to transform myself into the finest sculpture, bored as I was with my warm, pulsing body that resisted all efforts at serenity.

My parents handed me volumes of Shakespeare to feed my hunger for visual perfection, thinking the verses would train my imagination in a proper manner. Unfortunately they festooned my mind with visions of my awkwardness brought to light as a source of public amusement, although thankfully, this never grew to be the case.

But what if I had been alive during Shakespeare’s time, and had commissioned him to write verses about me? Would he have picked me up off my haunches and given me a good ribbing? Or would he have sat me delicately on his knee like a sack of potatoes and blown on my forehead, assuring me that despite his greatness, he still had room in his heart for a geek like me, who could prove a worthy challenge for his muse?

I like to think that after feeding me Turkish delight and grape soda, a mutual agreement might have been struck, which might have allowed me to show him how erroneous my physical mannerisms truly were and him to discover, through verse, what ought to be done about them.

Living inside my body is a constant source of affliction. My complaints range from: being unable to prevent myself from laughing when something serious is mentioned; starting to sniffle like crazy when I am around someone who gives me goosebumps; bending my neck with a frenzied rhythm when I am walking down the street and aware that eyes are on me; falling down in high heels at least once a week, usually while crossing an intersection; being nervous to smile in public if I didn’t have time for a lunch-time teeth brushing; worrying I’ll be seen laughing with my puffy eyes; fearing my blinking will cause an accident when I’ve neglected to use eyedrops; trying too hard to make eye contact with a friend whom I’m bent on ignoring; trying too hard to flex my facial muscles into a blank expression, hair frizzies, and so on.

Yet, audiences don’t seem to feel elevated by poems about this stuff. The small audience I showed my poem on this matter to, threatened to sue my ill-fitting jeans off for libelous slander against myself. Not having a lawyer at my disposal, I defended myself by crafting poems for the justice of the peace for the case, pleading sympathy for an afflicted poet with a penchant for lying. All charges were dropped when the plaintiffs realized that therapy sessions would only tease out my muse into greater fornication.

I realize now that maybe the problem wasn’t with my mannerisms … what I really needed were solid poetry workshops to kick my fledgling muse in the groins and eke out some quality turns of phrase.

Any who are inspired by my shortcomings are welcome to attend the workshops with me.

—Annie

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