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Be It Resolved

December 30, 2010

New Year’s resolutions are a pointless thing designed by gyms and nicotine patch companies, and their only outcome is to make people feel guilty in February. But I made some anyway so I’d have something to talk about in this blog post. 2010 was a pretty weird year for me. I realized recently that there are huge chunks of it that I just don’t remember. Time was all folded in on itself like an origami clock. On the other hand there are days and events that I remember with almost disturbing clarity. If I keep talking like this people are going to start getting concerned, so new paragraph.

I somehow accomplished a lot this year–pretty much everything I set out to accomplish, aside from the employment-related things. Met some friends. Met some writers. Got an apartment. Got published. Read at the VIWF. Read at some other places to place-wide acclaim. Put out and sold out a chapbook. Wrote zillions of poems. Discovered zillions of poets. Peed in the Pacific Ocean. Figured out what to do with my professional life more or less. Applied to school, got in. Rewrote a manual. Lived out of a suitcase for seven months. Edited a book, with the help of a kickass group of people. Endured the rejection of hundreds of thousands of employers. Earned some new Beard readers–including, for two hilarious minutes, the editor of Geist magazine. Lost three writing contests without collapsing into a spineless heap on the floor and vowing never to pick up a pen again. Finally got something that I guess technically counts as a job. Cried and hyperventilated in my spare time yet maintained a leadership role in the classroom.

Hell of a ride, sports fans!

I don’t really give too much of a shit about New Year’s Day, but I won’t be surprised if I get a little bit wistful on January 7, the first anniversary of my arrival in Vancouver. Now that I’m kind of set up here and on the path to victory, it arguably makes sense to set some new goals and dares for myself. Call them resolutions if you like; it don’t bother me none. I’ll bold them so you can skim the rest of this.

1. (a) No form poetry for three months. Not kidding. I spent too much time this year writing for a certain group of people and in hindsight that wasn’t doing me any favours. Yeah, it’s fun to write in rhyming stanzas, and it’s fun to give people a laugh, but I can do way fucking more than that, and I’m going to. So much of what I wrote for class this year was poetry about poetry, poetry about poets, poetry about poetics. A person could read almost all of it without learning one damn thing about me. Why nobody pointed this out to me all year is a great question. Funny metrical cowardice is still cowardice. I want to earn an audience that expects more from me than cunt couplets. So, I officially self-dare myself to take a form poetry hiatus until April. The results of the experiment will begin to roll in soon; January 14 is my first reading of the year…

1. (b) Relatedly: no using humour in literary circumstances that don’t warrant it, and especially no using humour in circumstances that warrant its exact opposite. The extremely outspoken coyote I met early this year was right to call me out on my self-deprecatory attitude this year, irregardless of how inappropriate and excessive said callout was.

2. Get a library card. Seriously. Get a library card. Fucking Christ. Rooms and rooms full of poets and novelists are waiting to meet you. Here we are in a world where literature can be accessed for free. Public libraries are probably the most amazing thing humanity has ever accomplished. Take advantage. Glut yourself until your brain is too fat to wash itself properly.

3. Have an actual birthday party. My birthday in 2010 was lame to the max, as well as boo to the urns. It fell on a Tuesday or some stupid shit, and I didn’t even know anyone I could invite for a drink without feeling that I was overstepping and/or setting myself up for an awkward time. Never again will I spend my 30th birthday in such a tragically partyless manner.

4. Improve the employment circumstances. Self-explanatory. I’m capable, creative, educated. There has to be a way to make the world willing to take more of what I can offer it. Preferably this deal will eventually allow me to experience life on the other side of the poverty line. I’ve heard great things.

5. Various personal-life things that I don’t want to talk about in a blog post. You wouldn’t find it that interesting anyway. If you come to my readings you may hear about some of it there, provided I can stick to 1. (a) above.

6. Find Kraken rum in Vancouver. This is a big city, right by the water; the Kraken must be here somewhere. I’ve never had the pleasure but I feel confident that we belong together. Who’s the protagonist of Moby Dick? I feel like that person. I had Gosling’s dark rum earlier this month and it was pretty excellent; I think I’ll buy a bottle one of these days, but the Kraken is all the more desirable for being so elusive.

7. Singlehandedly end world suffering. Basically, usher in a new Golden Age in which every human being is emotionally and financially stable, eating three nutritious and delicious meals per day, listening to great music, reading thought-provoking literature (in translation or in the original language; it doesn’t matter), enjoying perfect health, and dying peacefully in his/her mid-90s.

2010 is so last year. Having kicked its decrepit ass the rest of the way out the door into the damp chill of night, let us raise a glass to its charming young successor. May your tomorrow evenings be full of sequins, and may your next-day mornings be free of your cat horking up stray sequins.

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