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Blockbuster Poem X

Last in the series, 'in praise of bad things.'

Maxine Gadd 1 Oct 2010TheTyee.ca

Born in the U.K., Maxine Gadd moved to Canada's west coast with her family as a young child. Her writing reflects an engagement with contemporary art and critical movements, alongside a connection to neighbourhood and locality. She lived on the Gulf Islands for significant stretches before settling into her adopted community in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. A longtime fixture of Vancouver's poetry scene, Maxine credits the Kootenay School of Writing with introducing her to many of the writers who influenced her during the period between the publication of Lost Language (1982) and Backup to Babylon (2006). In addition to her three full-length books, Gadd has published numerous chapbooks, including Westerns with Air Press, hochelaga with bill bisset's blewointment press, and Fire in the Cove with mother tongue press. An excerpt from 'Maxine Meets Proteus in Gastown,' from Backup to Babylon, was featured on Vancouver buses as part of the Poetry in Transit project in 2007.

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Three caws for troublesome entities.

[Editor's Note: This is the last of 10 current Canadian 'blockbuster poems' running each Friday in The Tyee. Find out about the idea of the series and read the previous poems here.]

in praise of bad things

praise milfoil weed, long green strands snagging the motors
  of powerboat;
praise man-eating grizzly bears and up-tight Iranians;
  praise rust, mold,
moths, racoons, buzzards, housemice, sharks; everything
  that breaks us
down and cleans up the mess and drives us on to think and
  plan and turn
ourselves about

praise the hawk that steals the heron's fish; praise the heron raising her
true harsh cry of protest; praise the biker gang of local crows and the
seven angelic screaming gulls that wheel about together at last calling:

drop it
drop it
drop it

and the humans on the shore
praise them
that call out

                  yay gulls
                  yay crows
                  go go go go
                  hawk
                  go

From Backup to Babylon (New Star, 2006).  [Tyee]

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