Welcome!

Welcome to Pig Squash Press! You have arrived at the cyber-home, alter ego, publishing imprint and creative conduit connecting meKim Goldbergto the rest of the planet (and possibly beyond).

My latest books are:

UndetectableUndetectable, a lyrical journey through illness, wellness, Hepatitis C and virus as metaphor. I lived with Hepatitis C for 45 years before being cured in 2015 with the breakthrough new drug Harvoni. I wrote Undetectable in the Japanese literary style of haibun – a travel diary paired with haiku – as I wandered the streets and forests of Nanaimo, BC, during my 84 days of treatment, meditating on all things undetectable.

RED ZONE, a graffiti-strewn poem diary of homelessness in Nanaimo, BC, where I live. More than 300 people live and sleep on the streets of Nanaimo. RED ZONE has been taught in university literature courses. Reviewers have compared it to the writings of Allen Ginsberg, Marge Piercy, and John Steinbeck.

Ride Backwards on Dragon: a poet’s journey through Liuhebafafinalist 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.

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, order a book or two, follow me on Twitter @KimPigSquash, like me on Facebook.

May the metaphors be with you!

Kim Goldberg
goldberg@ncf.ca

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The Keys of the Piano

The Keys of the Piano
Kim Goldberg

The keys of the piano at the annual
extinction concert were built from bones
of vanished species—each pallid slab
a different absence in the ravelling
weft. And the people wept

as the unholy keen rose
from the cliffside amphitheatre slicing
the summer sky above the sea, clashing
chords formulated by features of
mineral density rather than
scalar math, battling the crash
of wave, the wail of gull, a thunder of
harmonics too ecstatic or demonic
to withstand. It began with a rat

back in 2016. The mosaic-
tailed rat endemic to Bramble Cay
in the Great Barrier Reef: declared the first
mammalian casualty of climate change.
And the people blinked

but recovered. Just a rat
on a small coral island barely above
sea level. Who can understand the genius
of a mind that sees music and immortality
in a cadaver? As a grad student, she flew

to Papua New Guinea and hired a boat
to collect a satchel of remains that became
the first key in the first piano in the first
annual extinction concert all those years
ago. Tonight beside the sea

spray of salt upon her aging cheek
co-mingling with greying hair, ancient
reverberations, tonal beats on an evolutionary
scale, pale skeletons defying time, space
the slow descent of civilization.

* * *

“The Keys of the Piano” first appeared in the international climate poetry anthology A Change in Climate, released December 11, 2017.  The book is available for purchase via Amazon UK.

Print edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1973376547
Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Change-Climate-Sam-Illingworth-ebook/dp/B0784S5SMG/

For this anthology, poems on climate change were submitted from around the world, and 20 were chosen for the book. All profits from this book will be used to support the Environmental Justice Foundation, who investigate and expose environmental and human rights abuses through film and photography. By purchasing this book, you are helping to support their Climate Campaign, which is centred on fighting for the rights of climate refugees.

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Window

WINDOW

For years
I shut my bedroom
window to sleep so the percussion
of the city did not fetter my
descent
not penetrate my dreamy
slump with rev of
engine, shouted
goodbyes, dumpster lid
banging shut

Now
with more days done
than coming, I throw the window
wide so the noisy slurry
does not
pass me by

* * *

~Kim Goldberg

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Photos from Submarine Dead Ahead (Re)Launch

A few photos from the recent re-launching of my 1991 book, Submarine Dead Ahead! Waging Peace in America’s Nuclear Colony (Harbour Publishing), about the work and vision of a local peace group in the 1980s, the Nanoose Conversion Campaign. 

Including photos of the familiar bright yellow “Warning” signs that went up in windows throughout the central Vancouver Island region whenever one of the US Navy’s nuclear submarines or warships was in port at the Nanoose underwater weapons testing facility at Nanoose Bay. And also a photo of the fabulous six-foot-tall banner of submarine and peace camp of tipis, painted by Gabriola artist Paul Grignon back in 1986 for the People’s Inquiry into CFMETR (Canadian Forces Maritime and Experimental Test Ranges at Nanoose Bay).

Thanks to the Nanaimo chapter of WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) for organizing the re-launch of this book and the lively discussion that followed about peace activism then and now.

Copies of the book are available locally from WILPF for those in Nanaimo (phone: 250-753-3015). Or from Harbour Publishing: http://www.harbourpublishing.com/title/SubmarineDeadAhead

Peace out!
Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book (Re)Launch: Submarine Dead Ahead

Please join me on November 9th for the re-launch of my 1991 book Submarine Dead Ahead: Waging Peace in America’s Nuclear Colony, documenting the work and vision of the historic and flamboyant local peace group, the Nanoose Conversion Campaign (NCC).

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Nanaimo Harbourfront Library (90 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC)

I’ll be reading and signing books with all proceeds going to WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom).

The NCC occupied a peace camp of tipis and later a peace house on the shores of Nanoose Bay in the 1980s. Through their creative direct actions and campaigning, the group drew public attention to the US nuclear-powered and nuclear weapons-capable warships that were using the underwater weapons testing range at Nanoose and travelling through our local waters. I was a freelance reporter at the time, covering the peace group’s many demonstrations. At one point, I realized the story, and the larger public health issues at stake, warranted more than ten column inches in a newspaper. So I wrote a book.

Former members of the Nanoose Conversion Campaign will be in attendance at the re-launch. This will be a very relevant afternoon, given Canada’s refusal in September to sign and ratify The UN Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Prohibition.

Everyone welcome. Bring your friends! Free admission. Light refreshments available.

For those not in Nanaimo, the book is available from Harbour Publishing: http://www.harbourpublishing.com/title/SubmarineDeadAhead

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Library

Library
Kim Goldberg

Somewhere beyond silent streets
and woodlands, beyond upheaved
graveyards, empty schools, dry spillways, vacant
hibernaculums for little brown bats
beyond the last larval foodplant for the last
western tiger swallowtail
an old woman sits by the sea untangling
the nets of each life she can dream.
Her cabin above the tideline is filled with books
from the Time Before but little else.
She cooks over a burn barrel beside her shack
stokes it with driftwood and whatever tumbles
ashore. Once an old door made a landing, then
a desk still intact. She grills any scrap of flesh
the sea hacks up—bull kelp, moon
jellies, three-eyed eels. Eats them with succulent
stems of glasswort growing in the sand.
When evening comes, she flings each newly
sorted net upon the ocean like a bedsheet
for each is a piece of the planetary
genome. She is waiting for the nets to find
one another, to reconnect end-to-
end, spiral beneath the waves. Replicate.
But each net returns alone, an enfolded mass
of knots, bone, chitinous exoskeletons, bloated
elongate bodies of the unknown.

*  *  *

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Some Loves

Some Loves
Kim Goldberg

We enter the elfin wood along trillium way
barely a deer trail with rotting planks spanning rivulets
and mucky divides. We wobble-walk across, twisting
our way deeper into the moss-hung fairy glade
flanked by sword fern and once white petals
gone purple with age. You are taking me
to see the jewel—a thing so unusual
its location must be shielded from the world. You tease
the mystery and my mind leaps
to Fellini’s Satyricon where the albino hermaphrodite
diety is borne across the desert in a litter with velvet
curtains. And my mind leaps again
to John Hurt in The Elephant Man, for difference is both
worshipped and reviled. A pileated woodpecker heralds
our arrival with its wuck wuck wuck call overhead. I gaze up
just in time to glimpse its scarlet crest disappear
behind a monumental fir. At our feet
is the wonder: a four-petaled trillium known
(I am about to learn) as a quadrillium. A cone drops
nearby. The duff stirs. Deer mouse
or sprite? An invitation, or is the wildwood
arming itself? We return
to our car. A photo will be uploaded to Facebook
with no geo-locating information. It will get many likes
and some loves.

*  *  *

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Alchemical Reaction

Alchemical Reaction
(Villanelle for Earth Day 2017)
Kim Goldberg

To drink a potion is to believe
flower, wing, tail can bring the change
we seek. All we hold will have to be released.

Has the vulture overhead come for me?
Or just another case of premature migration?
To drink a potion is to believe

there is a codex, a list of interlocking secrets
binding earth to sky, rain to sea, heart to brain.
We seek all that we hold. We have not been released.

A gull may never know for whom it keens.
The answer is ablated within a crashing wave.
To think of motion is to believe

the water shrew has risen to be Jesus
for she can walk on water every day.
We seek. We hold. We have to be released.

Shhhhhh is the sound of our liver, grove of emerald green.
Shhhhhh is the sound of rushing birds bringing the change
we seek. All we hold will have to be released
to drink the potion. To believe.

* * *

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