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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Undead Among Us!

They’re heeeere…. I was delighted to receive my contributor copy yesterday of UNDEAD: A Poetry Anthology of Ghosts, Ghouls, and More, from Apex Publications.

If you’re a fan of speculative literature, you’ll want this collection, featuring more than 70 poets, in your library of the spooky and strange.

My own poem “What Remains” was inspired by my frequent wanders through an abandoned industrial wasteland near the Nanaimo River Estuary by my home on Vancouver Island. It is a setting rich with mysterious objects, forgotten story, unnamed spirits.

Undead is available from Apex Publications as a trade paperback ($15) or an eBook ($4).

 

 

 

 

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DisconTent City Nanaimo (Photos)

I took a stroll through Nanaimo’s DisconTent City today. The first tents were set up here on May 17, 2018, to draw attention to the problem of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Nanaimo.

The encampment is on city-owned industrial property at 1 Port Drive, across the street from Port Place Mall in the downtown core.

Estimates of the current population living in DisconTent City range from 200 to 450 people.

~Kim Goldberg

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Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology

I just received my contributor copy of the Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. WOWZERS! What a collection! I am so honoured to be included with my poem “Spawn” in this 460-page anthology edited by Melissa Tuckey, co-founder of Split This Rock.

Contributors are from around the world, as shown on contributor map below, and include Naomi Shihab Nye, Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Simon J Ortiz, Sam Hamill, Dorianne Laux, Joy Harjo, Wang Ping, and many more.

Ghost Fishing is available from University of Georgia Press. Or from Amazon.

From the Introduction by Melissa Tuckey:

Eco-justice poetry is poetry born of deep cultural attachment to the land and poetry born of crisis. Aligned with environmental justice activism and thought, eco-justice poetry defines environment as “the place we work, live, play, and worship.” This is a shift from romantic notions of nature as a pristine wilderness outside of ourselves, toward recognizing the environment as home: a source of life, health, and livelihood. It is poetry at the intersection of  culture, social justice, and the environment.

CONTRIBUTOR MAP:

 

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Nanaimo Tent City – Day 1

A tent city of homeless individuals sprung up on the lawn of Nanaimo City Hall this morning. The action is in response to the city’s lack of progress on homelessness and the opioid crises locally. Six tents were standing in front of City Hall this afternoon.

Last month, City Council voted to reject $7 million from the province for supportive housing at a Chase River location. This decision fueled the launch of today’s Tent City.

And recently, central Vancouver Island medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback blasted Nanaimo City Council for creating “an obstacle to substance use treatment” in a city with an overdose death rate that is 50 per cent higher than the rest of the province.

For many months, Nanaimo City Council and city administration have been seen to be in a state of disarray, unable to move forward on urgent needs of the community because of infighting among council members and poor personnel decisions.
~Kim Goldberg

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Arrival (a triolet)

I am delighted to have my triolet “Arrival” published in the January 2018 issue of the Literary Review of Canada. The poetry theme for the January issue was ” Reflections on Canada’s 150th” — a topic that, for many poets, is rich (or fraught) with ambivalence and contradiction.

The poem itself is a triolet, a French form dating back to the 1300s, according to the form poetry mavens Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve, editors of the landmark anthology In Fine Form: The Canadian Handbook of Form Poetry.

The triolet is a form consisting of eight lines in a single octet. And five of those lines are refrain (i.e., they appear more than once). The big challenge with a poem that is so short and has so much repetition is to keep it interesting. One way to do that is by making slight variations on the lines that repeat, which is what I have done here.

The rhyme scheme for a triolet is: ABaAabAB (capital letters indicate refrains/repeated lines). So in the above poem, lines 1, 4 and 7 are supposed to be identical, as are lines 2 and 8. You can see the slight variations made to shift/create the overall meaning.

 

 

 

 

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Burial

Burial

The King of the Kookaburras feared seven words
so he dug seven holes in the earth. He knew he wasn’t crazy—
his angst was science-based. The interment of bad
language was both duty and entitlement. One night
while the kingdom’s vulnerable earlobes slumbered upon
moonlit waves of chromatic diversity, the King
of the Kookaburras summoned his seven transgender
aides to bring the seven profane words to the clearing
in the forest with the upturned earth. Each word lay slightly
curled in its cardboard coffin awaiting an evidence-based
green burial to be witnessed by the King (who fancied
himself an environmentalist). The King videotaped
the solemn proceeding on his golden fetus cam
which he won at the interstate carnival of desert limes
last year. Henceforth, the official language
was a little lighter, a little safer, a little more surreal.

~Kim Goldberg

Statement: Around the same time that the Trump administration forbade the Centers for Disease Control from using seven words, I was researching the myth of King Midas’s donkey ears. King Midas’s barber was the only one who knew about the King’s ears, and he was sworn to secrecy. But the barber could not keep the secret so he went out to a meadow, dug a hole in the ground, whispered the story into it, then filled in the hole. This didn’t work out too well for King Midas since reeds grew in the meadow and began whispering the secret the barber had buried. But I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the notion of concealing words by burying them in the ground. Is it any more fantastical than current politics in the oval office?

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River

River

The crunch of Christmas morning snow
punctuates my stroll along the river’s edge, its lazy
sprawl toward harbour, all the mysteries
of the estuary adrift upon dark arms—rotted
log, crumpled maple leaves, a wild duck’s
perfect wing cleaved from any reason.     I see
a cougar’s paw print sunken in the snow
but I keep going
past noisy squall of gulls
past bald eagles coursing above
past the kiss on my mother’s forehead
an hour ago at her nursing home
past the tiny vole gnawing at my heart
past eyes as blue
as the kingfisher see-sawing
downstream until I reach the point
where the river ends and the other thing
begins.

~Kim Goldberg

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