torn up jazz beating the house, squawk of packed snow a few days away, loose white dotting the windows, mercury dipping below the human threshold, gray crayon sky • black-clad dog walker the lone spot out there, 2 black dogs on tethers pulling with clouds from their mouths • dead Dodge squat square tires, two feet of snow in the bed, igloo’d in from grater plows • fog prowling the avenue, sticking to windows and teasing block heater cords strung from garages to curbs – lightless xmas strings bandied over indifferent white • the blasted whiteness stacked against fingery trees defeated since November • hares almost blend in, wide antennae giving them away, black paw pads on snow hind legs • buses sparse & running clean but slow, shivering stop waiters with fur and hotshots cursing the blue scows in their limp • alleys done by ice, cars neaped into garages with nowhere doors • five more days of ice windows, stilled shovels, shivering sorels, stifled socks of wool, door frames shifted, stubborn deadbolts, hollowdoor brittle • bundled pause-pregnant chattering parka’d movers of the white clearing, chipping, scraping, the strum of bleached bass & rips of shovel bring it on • tear those notes apart and start the improv jam, the one where we grunt and do it again
Piano, Mike and Ker's place, July 2007
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?