Welcome!

Welcome to Pig Squash Press! You have arrived at the cyber-home, alter ego, publishing imprint and creative conduit connecting me – Kim Goldberg – to the rest of the planet (and possibly beyond).  My latest books are:

RED ZONE, a graffiti-strewn poem diary of homelessness in Nanaimo, BC, where I live. RED ZONE has been taught in university literature courses. Reviewers have compared it to the writings of Allen Ginsberg, Marge Piercy, and John Steinbeck….

and Ride Backwards on Dragon: a poet’s journey through Liuhebafa – finalist for Canada’s Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A collection of 66 linked poems following the 66-move sequence of the ancient martial art of Liuhebafa on a mythic quest for internal alchemy and immortality. Visit my Liuhebafagirl blog for deets.

RefugiumMy current project is: REFUGIUM: Wi-Fi Exiles and the Coming Electroplague. (Where do you go when an invisible matrix spanning the globe is making you sick?)

So make yourself comfy, have a boo at my blog postings about upcoming literary happenings and other current events, leave a comment, walk your dog, follow me on Twitter @KimPigSquash, like me on Facebook.

May the metaphors be with you!

Kim Goldberg
goldberg@ncf.ca

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A story emerges (haiku)

A story emerges

A story emerges

from the forest, stands blinking

in the sun

(Poem & photo © Kim Goldberg)
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Language as a vector of pain

I recently had someone tell me he disowns me. This struck me as an incongruous turn of phrase since he never owned me to begin with (nor does anyone else for that matter), thereby making disownership a non sequitur, a logical fallacy, a semantic impossibility. The term also has a peculiarly nineteenth century flavour to it, evocative of pistols at thirty paces on the moor at dawn. At any rate, it was a word I had never heard this person utter before now (and I am quite familiar with this person’s utterances). It did not sound at home in his mouth. However, this person had, just one month prior, learned that his only son—a son he has been barred from seeing for the child’s entire life due to custodial wrangling and judicial gamesmanship—had grown up being told that his father disowned him, when in fact very much the opposite was true. And so when this person had occasion to want to inflict the greatest pain he could imagine on someone else, he reached for the sharpest sabre in his collection and slashed it down upon my neck. But since the term had no meaning to me other than the conundrum of logic that it presented, his blow struck me like a pile of dead leaves swept up by a gust of wind. And I stood there wondering how all those leaves got into the kitchen.

Kim Goldberg
July 22, 2014

dead leaves

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Twelve pot plants (haiku)

12 pot plants

Twelve pot plants

make national news

in family feud

(Poem & image © Kim Goldberg)
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Toronto Jews Support Paul Manly’s Right to Seek NDP Nomination

Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly

Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly

Last month we learned that the federal NDP, under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair, had rejected the candidacy bid of well-known Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly. Manly had been seeking his party’s nomination for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith in British Columbia, in preparation for the next federal election.

While the federal NDP executive gave no written reasons for culling him from the line-up, they told Manly in a phone conversation that they dumped him because of social media postings he had made nearly two years earlier when his father Jim Manly was in Israel.

Retired New Democrat MP Jim Manly was aboard the "Estelle" Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in 2012.

Retired New Democrat MP Jim Manly was aboard the “Estelle” Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in 2012.

The elder Manly, a retired federal New Democrat MP, was part of an international delegation of parliamentarians aboard the “Estelle” Freedom Flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza in October 2012. The boat was seized by Israeli commandos in international waters, and the occupants were imprisoned with no communication privileges.

A group of Toronto Jews, all NDP stalwarts, took exception to the censorial and heavy-handed approach of Mulcair and his federal executive in jettisoning Paul Manly as a prospective candidate for their party. On July 12, 2014, they sent the following letter to Mulcair:

 

July 12, 2014

Dear Mr. Mulcair:

Re: Paul Manly Denied Right to Seek Candidate Nomination for Federal NDP

The purpose of this letter is to express our dismay with the NDP decision to deny Paul Manly the right to be considered as a candidate for MP for the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith, BC. This denial appears to be based on comments made by Mr. Manly regarding the NDP caucus’ refusal to speak out against actions taken by Israel against his father who was working in support of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.

By way of introduction, some of us are members of the NDP, some are activists within the NDP, all of us vote for the NDP. One of us has acted as CFO for both provincial and federal candidates and has been a member of a riding association executive. We include a professor of equity studies, a social worker, an engineer, a human rights lawyer, and a student of Talmud.

We are all Jews, some Israeli citizens, we have all lived in Israel, some of us have given birth to and raised children in Israel and three of us have served in the Israeli Army. Two of us were born to Holocaust survivors, one of us spent years in a German Displaced Persons Camp, until Israel, and only Israel, provided a safe haven. We are fervent peace activists.

We believe in the right of Israel to exist and for Israelis to live in peace.

We also believe in the right of Palestinians to a homeland, to live in peace and to live with dignity. We speak out in support of those rights even when that has put us in opposition to those parts of the Jewish and Israeli communities that oppose holding Israel accountable for its oppressive, repressive, illegal and discriminatory actions against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. We wish to change public opinion and the reality on the ground. We do not believe in going along with injustice in order to get along.

It is distressing to learn that the NDP joins with the Conservative Party of Canada in a slavish support of Israel, regardless of the truth of its abhorrent actions against the Palestinians. This NDP position is in contravention of NDP Policy, Montreal 2013, specifically section 4.1f, “Human rights and world peace” which states:

New Democrats believe in:

Working with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and an end to violence targeting civilians.

Israel has illegally ruled the Occupied Territories for forty-seven years. Throughout this period, Israel has denied Palestinians the right to vote, the right to citizenship and the protection of civilian law. Palestinians are subjected to military rule and military law. By contrast, Jewish settlers of the Occupied Territories are protected by the Israeli civilian police and have all the privileges and advantages of citizenship. This Israeli government policy leaves Palestinians without the protection of either the military or civilian police from the often violent actions of the settlers.

We have been to the Occupied Territories, some of us as recently as 2 month ago, and have witnessed first hand the repression of Palestinians, without regard for age, abilities or gender. The denial of passage of pregnant women in ambulances through the checkpoints; the cruel insistence that young children wait for long periods of time in the blistering sun at a checkpoint, with no water, before being allowed to proceed to school; the holding of young Palestinian boys and men at checkpoints, randomly pulled from a line based on nothing but whim; the requirement that aged and infirm Palestinian men and women climb over and down rubble, pointlessly dumped in front of a checkpoint, even if using a cane or wheelchair or if mothers are pushing a stroller with one arm while carrying another young child in their other arm. University students denied access to their universities and given no explanation other than, “You are not getting through today.” All these people gathered the necessary documents, the very documents they were ordered to obtain. It didn’t matter. In the face of the Israeli brutality and intent to break the peoples’ spirit, Kafkaesque rules change on a dime causing people to be always on edge and at the mercy of the Israeli soldiers with no recourse.

It is reported that approximately three thousand Palestinian children have been arbitrarily detained from the beginning of 2010 to mid-2014, the majority of whom are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Seventy-five percent of the detained children are subjected to physical torture and twenty-five percent faced military trials. Are these the actions of a truly “democratic” state? How is this defensible by a political party that claims to value everyone in the human family?

Why is the NDP preventing its candidates, its MPs and its members from speaking out against these vile actions?

We respectfully request that you rescind the denial of Paul Manly the right to run for the nomination in his riding. His commitment to social justice makes him an exemplary NDP candidate.

We respectfully request that the NDP invite its members to discuss Israel’s anti-democratic, discriminatory and brutal actions against the Palestinian people and learn more about this issue. We further request that the NDP abide by its own policy along with the UN resolutions and the European Court of Human Rights decisions and reports regarding Israel, the illegal occupation and its negative implications for democracy and peace.

And lastly, we request a response from you on how you will open up this discussion.

Sincerely yours,

Sheryl Nestel, Trinity-Spadina
Sydney Nestel, Trinity-Spadina
Sam Blatt, 327, St. Paul’s
Ronnee Jaeger, St. Paul’s
Zvi Gaster, Toronto-Danforth
Cheryl Gaster, Toronto-Danforth
Charlie Lior, Trinity-Spadina
Shlomit Segal, Davenport
Lev Jaeger, Davenport

 

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Federal NDP Rejects Nanaimo Filmmaker’s Bid for Nomination over Israel Stance

June 30, 2014

The Federal NDP executive has apparently rejected the candidacy bid of well-known Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly, who has been seeking his party’s nomination for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith in British Columbia.

And the reason that Manly was given for his rejection, he says, relates to his activities when his father Jim Manly was in Israel. The elder Manly, a retired federal New Democrat MP, was part of an international delegation of parliamentarians aboard the “Estelle” Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in October 2012.

Earlier today, Paul Manly released the following statement to his friends and supporters and also posted it on his Facebook page:

Paul Manly-Candidacy Denied

Dear Mid Islanders, Friends and Supporters,

I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.

The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate.

I have done nothing illegal or immoral, nothing that I am embarrassed about or which breaks the NDP constitution. The reason my candidacy is being blocked is political.

I have not received a written reason for this refusal and was told I will not receive a written reason. I was told verbally on the phone, that the reason was in relation to “what I said and did when my father was in Israel.” There was also concern that I was running to make Israel and Palestine an election issue.

In October of 2012, my father, a retired NDP MP, United Church minister and long time human rights activist took part in a humanitarian mission to the Gaza strip aboard the 54 meter sailing vessel Estelle. He was aboard the ship with European members of parliament and Jewish Israeli citizens who are opposed to the illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip and the humanitarian crisis it is causing. The Estelle was seized illegally in international waters by the Israeli military and my father was taken to an Israeli prison and held incommunicado. During this time, I spoke up on behalf of my father and the cause that he was being punished for.

In addition to media interviews some of the things I did included a tweet I sent on my fathers behalf on October 18th 2012, an article I wrote that was published in Rabble.ca on October 22nd 2012 and an interview I did with Peter O’Neil in the Vancouver Sun in which I was critical of the NDP caucus for not standing up for my father, for international law or for NDP policy, the spirit of which my father had been working within (see note below). These are my unforgivable sins.

Israel and Palestine is an issue my parents are focused on, it has not been a focus for me except for the week when my father was seized illegally in international waters and held incommunicado in an Israel prison. This was not going to be an election issue on my platform. My political agenda is clear to anyone who views my Facebook profile, Twitter feed, Manly Media or Canadians Nanaimo YouTube channels or Manly Media company website. My key focus areas are water, First Nations, the environment, health care, the new energy economy and international trade.

I filed an appeal to the NDP executive and that too was rejected. It is clear to me that this decision will not be re-visited and I will not be given an opportunity to seek the nomination.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. I wish the candidates who have been accepted for this nomination race luck and I wish the winner of the nomination luck in defeating the Conservative candidate and working with the NDP caucus in Ottawa.

Sincerely,
Paul Manly

Notes:

The NDP has a reasonable and balanced policy towards Israel and Gaza. Section 4.1-f in the NDP policy book states “New Democrats believe in… Working with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and an end to violence targeting civilians.”

The most basic UN Resolution (SC 242, Nov. 22, 1967) calls for “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the necessity “for guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area.”   The continued occupation of Palestine, the blockade of Gaza and the seizure of the Estelle as well as other Freedom Flotilla vessels, run directly counter to this policy.

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Shield

SHIELD
Kim Goldberg

On this solstice morning
through slits of light in the privacy
screen I planted to shield myself
from my neighbour
(who is in no way offensive but merely
there)
I glimpse pieces of a doe gliding past—
a shoulder a knee
a tawny presence threading
the eye of a heartbeat beyond
the green

~

June 21, 2014
Nanaimo, BC

Shield © Kim Goldberg

Poem & image © Kim Goldberg
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Tragic News of Roy Ostling

Kim Goldberg
June 7, 2014
~

Roy OstlingWell-known Nanaimo photographer and writer Roy Ostling disappeared more than a week ago, on May 29. Yesterday, we received the tragic news that Roy’s body had been found in Surrey. This is the message Roy’s siblings posted to Facebook last night for the hundreds of people who had mobilized to help search for Roy in recent days:

“Dear friends,

Thank you all for your tremendous support and compassion. Sadly, this evening we received the devastating news from the Nanaimo RCMP that Roy’s body was found June 4th on the Lower Mainland near Crescent Beach in Surrey. The RCMP believes that there was no foul play and the autopsy results are forthcoming. As you can imagine, we are in shock and will get back to you with our plans. We want to thank all of Roy’s friends for mobilizing so quickly to spread the word. The media and social attention today heightened everyone’s awareness. We also thank the Nanaimo RCMP for diligent efforts to find Roy.

Love,
Kristen, Janis and Erik Ostling”

Brushes with Nature © Roy Ostling

Brushes with Nature © Roy Ostling

This tragic outcome to Roy’s story has left many of us quite shaken. I personally had known Roy for several years and would cross paths with him often, as we both did a lot of walking and photographing in downtown Nanaimo and had many friends in common.

Roy was a very talented and prolific photographer. You can view a large selection of his work here on Flickr.

And here is a selection of his amazing photos rated “most popular” by other Flickr users.

Roy had many community involvements including the Crimson Coast Dance Society, the Qualicum Institute, the Brant Festival, and much more. On his Twitter profile, Roy described his passions as being “writing, photography, the outdoors, interesting people, poetry and the arts.”

Pigeon Guillemot (2) © Roy Ostling

Pigeon Guillemot (2) © Roy Ostling

I would often encounter Roy at poetry readings around town, and at parties and social gatherings at the home of his good friends Joe Rosenblatt and Faye Smith in Qualicum.

I find myself quite shaken by the news of Roy’s death. The words rattling around in my head right now, words that I cannot shake loose, are Plato’s maxim: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR ROY 

Tuesday, June 10, 3:00-5:00 pm
The Malaspina Room, Coast Bastion Hotel
11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo BC
~

Roy’s family and friends are holding a Celebration of Life to remember and honour Roy, and you are invited to join. The Malaspina Room has a beautiful view of the harbour, which Roy loved to photograph. There will be an opportunity to share stories and memories of Roy. Please share this announcement widely so that as many of Roy’s friends as possible will find out in time and be able to attend.

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