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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Remembering David Weston

David J. Weston, April 15, 1935–August 10, 2014, Nanaimo, BC

by Kim Goldberg

David J Weston, 1935-2014, social activist, economic reformer, community builder builder.

David J Weston, 1935-2014, social activist, economic reformer, community builder builder.

Longtime social activist and political philosopher David J. Weston passed away earlier this month, on August 10, 2014, at the age of 79.

His memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 6 at 2:00 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship, 595 Townsite Road in Nanaimo.

David’s involvement in worthy causes for social justice, community building, and economic reform will be missed by many, along with his unmistakable laughter. I had known David ever since he moved to Nanaimo in 1979. And I find it hard to believe he is gone.

In the early 1980s, David hosted shows on Nanaimo’s community TV channel, while I was the Program Coordinator for the channel (back when the cable operation was still owned by Cable West, and then later Shaw Cable). In the 1990s, David and I each penned a weekly column in the Nanaimo Times newspaper. David frequently used his column to expound on the value of community-building projects such as cohousing as well as alternate economic systems, which was his area of special interest and expertise.

Among his many accomplishments and community involvements, David was the first full-time coordinator of NIDEA (Nanaimo International Development Education Association) beginning in 1979. Under his steerage, the organization, which later became known as Global Village Nanaimo, began to sponsor lectures and film series on issues such as energy, human rights, and women in the Third World.

In 1996, David began proposing the idea of a cohousing project for Nanaimo, modeled after similar projects in Denmark. He floated this idea repeatedly to a group of like-minded people gathering at his home for potlucks. After many years of hard work, that dream and vision that was initially advanced by David blossomed into Pacific Gardens Cohousing on Seventh Street. David lived there until shortly before his death.

In 1997, David was hired to be the BC organizer for the Canada Action Party. The party was founded by Paul Hellyer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, to give Canadians an alternative to what some saw as a US-influenced Liberal Party.

“It is important to understand that the reason politicians and political parties are beholden to the military-industrial-financial complex, is because their parties are funded by that complex, which often hedges its bets by funding all the large parties,” David said in a 2003 interview published in the UK in Prospect. “I suggest non-corporate funding is a prerequisite to us being able to bring about money and banking reform changes,” David added. And for that reason, David said he was glad to work for Hellyer’s new Canada Action Party “because of its commitment to money and banking reform.”

More recently, David was one of four founding directors of the Island Roots Market Co-Operative, which seeks to establish a year-round indoor farmers market in Nanaimo.

David Weston spends a quiet moment playing the harp during the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music’s open house in 2012. — Image Credit: Rachel Stern Photo, Nanaimo News Bulletin

David Weston spends a quiet moment playing the harp during the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music’s open house in 2012. — Image Credit: Rachel Stern Photo, Nanaimo News Bulletin

David was also a poet, a musician, an educator, and an active Unitarian since the early 1960s.

David was born in Plymouth, Devon, and brought up and schooled in various parts of Britain, including Scotland. He was raised in a musical family where his maternal grandmother was a violinist in the Plymouth Symphony, and his father was a church organist.

For more information on David’s history and philosophy as a money-reform activist, read this 2003 interview with him in Prosperity.

David’s insights and laughter will be missed by many. But he has, through his decades of activism, left a living legacy that will endure long into the future.

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Art By The Beach in Qualicum

You won’t want to miss Art By the Beach at Qualicum Beach!

art by the beach, august 23, Qualicum BeachSaturday, August 23, 2014
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
221 Elizabeth Avenue

Come view the work of seven established artists in the lovely garden of Faye Smith & Joe Rosenblatt.

Artists on display:

Bill Friesen
DF Gray
Don Jean-Louis
Marci Katz
Robert Kinnard
Lynn Orriss
Joe Rosenblatt

painting of "Moby Minnow" by Joe Rosenblatt

“Moby Minnow” by Joe Rosenblatt

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Blossoms into Stars (kasen)

Kasen: “Blossoms into Stars” * 

bee on tansy(Gabriola Island, July 18, 2014)

Participating Poets & Verse Allocation:

Sonja Arntzen (sabaki) 1, 9, 15, 22, 29, 36
Terry Ann Carter 7, 13, 20, 27, 34
Kim Goldberg 3, 11, 17, 25, 31
Carole MacRury 2, 10, 16, 23, 30
Vicki McCullough 8, 14, 21, 28, 35
kjmunro 4, 12, 18, 24, 32
Naomi Beth Wakan 5, 6, 19, 26, 33

Side 1 

  1. mid-tide, mid-summer
    a long hot spell offers up
    the hint of change
  1. a super moon, yet
    still a familiar face
  1. the brightness
    reveals a path I thought
    I had lost
  1. along the beach, wave
    after wave after wave
  1. oystercatchers
    cry hysterically lest
    their feet get wet
  1. how we hesitate on the edge
    fearful, yet eager

Side 2

  1. wondering if he will call
    she places a cherry blossom
    behind her ear
  1. almost unseen
    the frog
  1. by the old pond
    Bashō
    waits
  1. tick tock, tick tock
    the long day of the retired
  1. people-watching
    in the coffee shop, Santa
    already in the window
  1. the heart in her low-fat foam
    breaks
  1. coded message
    in his sumi-e scroll
    under the pillow
  1. wrestling once more
    with the wrath of God
  1. slithery sound
    of the pampas grass
    restless in the wind
  1. who comes to my door
    this autumn evening?
  1. spill of moonlight
    and dry leaves
    tumble in
  1. a hairpin holds the pages
    of the handmade book

Side 3

  1. in the mirror
    the kabuki actor changes
    from male to female
  1. the fortune teller makes
    a small prediction
  1. silver spandex stretched
    across the belly
    eight months blown
  1. Edith Piaf’s husky voice
    “je ne regrette rien…”
  1. the time it takes
    for the penitent to leave
    the confessional
  1. full moon
    goin’ swimmin’ without women
  1. goblins
    walk the sea wall
    trail of candy wrappers
  1. stubble left in the field
    as the hay bales pile up
  1. Cambodian land mines
    still active throughout
    the jungle
  1. the overhead fan
    in a hotbox hotel
  1. even for a sun lover
    this holiday
    is a trial
  1. after a long day
    a hung jury

Side 4

  1. when will I reach
    the centre
    of the labyrinth?
  1. evening stroll
    his hand in her pocket
  1. long years together
    they begin to resemble
    each other
  1. the only cure for grief
    is grief itself
  1. as the earth turns—
    blossoms
    into stars
  1. grass for my pillow
    drifting off to sleep

 

camas & grass* The kasen is a 36-verse form of renku, a type of Japanese collaborative poetry whose most famous practitioner was Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694). This particular kasen, “Blossoms into Stars”, is based on a template found in a kasen by Bashō (et al.) called “Throughout the Town”. For those interested in our process, the seven of us composed this kasen in a 9-hour session (with a 3-hour break in the afternoon). We all sat around a large table in the library of our sabaki’s beautiful log home perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. When each person’s turn came up, she picked up her pad and paper and moved outside to compose her verse, while the rest of us remained at the table sipping green tea and discussing the intricacies and customs and history of renga and renku.

 

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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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