Memoir as poetry

Sharon Thesen (l.) collaborated with wig-maker Janet Gallant to write a long poem about Gallant’s life after her mother left her with an abusive father at age three and later finding out she was bi-racial. FULL STORY

Streaking by the checkout stands

June 30th, 2016

Rajala, Daniel black robeIn 2014, Daniel Rajala resumed his Captain Under Pants show on Monday nights with the Community Radio Station CJMP 90.1 FM in Powell River where he has often been involved as an activist in community issues. Now he’s released another pamphlet of self-published poetry. “If there is no peace in your mind,” writes Rajala in Yuletide, “there can be no peace in the world.” This collection of sensitive, humour-tinged inner thoughts mainly consists of Christmas-related poems from 1998 to 2015. They include ‘Christmas in July’ in which Rajala ruminates on the idea that Saint Nick could still be around in the summer but he doesn’t need all those winter clothes. The cover image features a young, handsome, store-window-like-mannikin figure in white underwear with a traditional Santa hat on his knee. There is an overriding wistfulness at play, as if the poet is wishing the good feelings that often arise at Christmas can resonate throughout the year. A poem called ‘Birthday Boy’ from December of 2005 begins, “The one day you will / find you turn fifty-one. / They put you out on an / iceberg and then you are / left alone to die and / doesn’t seem like a lot of fun.” Rajala’s estranged eccentricity has an affinity with bill bissett’s ‘soul of sweet delight’ reverence for life, verging on childish wonder, but he’s also burdened with a darker perspective, perhaps arising from loneliness. He describes being determined to revive the “the old popular fad” of streaking. “And when the Supermarket was / Packed with shoppers like big logs / To fuel the furnace, standing still / I streaked past the checkout stands / The most Holy Communion ever had….” A streaker can get arrested for creating a public nuisance; a poet is usually ignored. Neither brings happiness.” 978-0-9865051-9-5

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