The Blasted White

January 28, 2008

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

Vignette #247

Piano, Mike and Ker's place, July 2007

Piano, Mike and Ker's place, July 2007

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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.

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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?

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