Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Intentions for 2009

Intentions for 2009

1. AudioText--make a great radio show
2. Make a chapbook for my myriad fans
3. Make a CD for my myriad fans
4. Complete my website.
5. Do yoga as close to every day as possible
6. Feel joy.
7. Get laid.
8. Spread the love.
9. Find the strength in vulnerability.
10. Get published (more).
11. Follow my path(s). Trust.
12. Lose the ego. For my myriad fans.

And you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Third place!

One more slam past, and I've apparently moved up the ranks from fourth to third, a spot I like well, especially when I win excellent prizes like my brand new nose- and ear-hair trimmer.

Also, scoring third tonight and last time secured me a place in the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals. Next Monday, Jan 5th, at Cafe Deux Soleils, me and 7 other top female slam poets will compete to be the representative of the Vancouver Poetry Slam in Detroit in March. It guarantees to be a good show, because the girls we've got are amazing, and they will show you the best they've got. You'll love it. You should go.

Last night I read two poems, the first of which was quite sexy and a bit sentimental. I wrote it for a certain ex-boyfriend, and it was just a little bit painful to memorize it and speak it on the stage. Still, every single time I slam I get nervous. It's such a beautiful exercise in vulnerability, and that's a quality I am trying to explore more in my life. The kind of vulnerability that has strength in it, of course, and the way slam poetry can empower you is, I think, a good way to get there. Anyway, it scored quite well, and I wondered for a moment if I shouldn't do another sexy, sentimental one for the second round. But I just didn't want to. And the thought of doing something I didn't want to do in order to score better at the slam went against all my better judgments. So I stuck to the one I wanted to read, and it felt good. It was a bit of a sadder one, and in the moment I was feeling it. It didn't score quite as well, but I have good reasons to be happy with third place.

Here's one of the poems:

Your poem

I’m trying to write you a poem.

I’ve been trying to write you a poem.

But all I can come up with is—

The scent of wet flowers


That vibrating, lurching, earthquaking thing that happened when I put your hand on my breastplate and I gave you my heart

in beats like measured spoonfuls.


That first day when we talked

over the café counter about

Poetry and philosophy and then you

Forgot your sandwich

Or when your friend told us about the ecstasy of Xtasy

and i could feel your story like the drug was on the tip of my tongue

Or that night when we saw

Stars, living stars and the space between them, negative space between

Binary stars

Or how I dreamed I was dancing and woke up like I was dancing because I could feel you in my


But that’s all wrong, I can’t write you that poem, that just sounds like poetry.

My vicious and voluptuous vocabulary

Betrays a dearth of words, a wealth of blanks, a lack of lexicon, a grammar that gurgles and garbles when I try to make sense of this

Make this non-sense!

But still

I want to write it all down.

I want to revel in remembering

To pretend this paper is your skin, to be inscribing this onto your body, until you can feel it, until it hurts, until you come in long, shuddering splashes of inky ecstasy.

I want you to hear this and feel me

In your inner ear

Pounding out beats on your eardrum till you are dizzy from

Spinning with me inside your head

So I’ll keep spinning with you, with your eardrums, your forearms, writing poetry on your body with my vocabulary.

I can’t write you this poem, I could never write you this poem,

Where would I put the commas, the semicolons; or worse, the full stops?

I’d just have to keep writing it, running off the page, spilling the ink, tearing up the pages.

This could never be your poem. I could never write you this poem. To tell you how I feel or who I am or what this means to me.

Cause a poem like that

Would never end.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the cruelty of weather

Happy Holidays, blog readers. As you may have noticed, if you live in Vancouver, it SNOWED. Big time. Bigger time, actually, than it has in 40 years. i think this is mean.

I just left Montreal to escape the claustrophobia of snow, and the nightmare way it makes every step forward move back in space like you are trying to run but you can't. I literally moved to greener pastures for a reason. As you may remember from a much earlier post back when I was getting ready to leave Montreal, I saw the old girl as a relationship gone sour. Montreal was a crazy bitch who would rain on me, burn me with heat, dump snow on me, and whatever else she could pull out of her repertoire, and just as I was leaving her weather went as wild as it possibly could in fits of breakup rage. Well, I feel like she followed me all the way to Vancouver for one last fight. Well, i've refused to participate, and have been sitting on my parent's couch for the past three days.

I did take one break, however, to go cross country skiing around a park with my mom. It was actually empowering--if snow conflicts with walking, slide on it. Besides, Montreal is melting outside, and my new lover, Vancouver, is washing her away.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And I've been published again! This is a fun game. It's a list of Christmas books, little capsule reviews to help you choose a book to give this holiday seasons. I wrote two of them.

Solstice party!

Happy Solstice everyone! Today is December 22, and yesterday was the darkest day of the year. Appropriately enough, it's brilliantly sunny outside. Every day after this one will be brighter than the last, at least until the Summer Solstice. This is something to celebrate.

Last night, my bar manager, Ian, and I decided to host a party at the [secret bar i'm not allowed to mention] to celebrate the solstice. We got together what we could, advertised the cheap beer, and set it all up. The snow was coming down hard in the morning, and I almost canceled, but a surprising amount of people showed up in the end. it was a great party!

My brother was in attendance, and mortified me with these words: "Dad tells me you are an 'erotic' poet. Is this true?" Yikes. Well, he found out for himself when I started reading a bit later in the evening. Zack couldn't get over the "package in my mailbox" metaphor. He then went on to tell all the guys in the bar about my man troubles and how I should date any of them because they are probably nicer than any of my other boyfriends. Thanks, Zack.

Artsy folks and Army folks together were listening and responding to the poems, even asking for more. They continued to listen to Steve Miller reciting a poem with the accompaniment of the Creaking Planks's saxophonist, Nathaniel, and accordionist, Rowan. Then Richard Lett made them laugh hysterically with some drunken comedy, and then the Planks kept the party going while people got drunker and drunker. Finally, Alla stepped in with a dance playlist and that gorgeous dance floor was finally being used. I'm so glad we didn't cancel.

I also used my newfangled recording device to get some of the performances on the radio. Keep your ear out for that!

Difficult to believe, but this is Vancouver. I just freaking LEFT Montreal, city of eternal snow, and for the first time in forty years, Vancouver's got 10 cm of snow and temperatures of -12. I am not cool with this. White Christmas my ass.

One nice thing, though, is that when the city gets in trouble, people are there to help out. I was stuck trying to get up a hill in my parents' ill-equipped car, and a few strangers just started pushing me, without me having to ask, asking nothing in return. Later, when my pipes burst, a friend let me into their home at 4 in the morning. Kindness is a valuable thing at times like these. So are snowplows.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Reviews by JC Peters

This is me, getting published. I'm like a real writer now.

Note: George Elliott Clarke is involved in this journal. *Swoon*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

3rd place!

They say 3rd place winners are always happier than second. I agree. 3rd place is best. This is where I landed at the slam last night, which meant a whopping $15 for me, and an incense holder which I actually really needed.

I was stuck at fourth for a while, and then just wasn't placing, so I'm pretty happy to have gotten where I did. Also, being up on stage with a whole bunch of men always makes me feel good, like I'm representing the ladies. I also don't feel too bad about losing to Scruffmouth, the very deserving 1st place winner. I think second went to David Perez, who I've never seen before but who I thought was really great. So it's all good!

My second poem is one that didn't score too well last time, but I just believed in it. I still do, actually, even though I haven't gotten too much feedback about it in particular. Here it is--imagine me reading it full of passion.


When I come home,
I want a package in my mailbox
that's full of secrets and so stuffed with stuff
it leaks with the scent of the person who sent it.

When I come home,
I want text messages and emails in my inbox
so jammed with jam I can feel the skin of the person who sent them
on my fingertips.

When I come home,
I want roses and lavender on my bedside table,
Calendula and lily of the valley
Queen Anne's Lace and broken
peony petals so brimming to the brim they fall from the box
with the desire to touch my fingertips.

When I come home, I want to be home.
I want to feel home,
with you in my bed,
waiting to hold me
with your hands in my hair and lips
so full with full they break over my fingertips.

When I come home,
I want to feel the universe
like I was skinny dipping in the Amazon River,
so ample with electric eels their
current slides over my body
until it becomes a part of me.

I want to touch my face in the mirror
so deep it breaks and
silver slivers of glass cut my fingertips
to draw blood so red its cardinal carmine wine

When I come home,
I want to veer voluptuously into the
screaming seams of the universe
on a shattered path of obsidian obstacles
and indigo indecencies
until I ignite with inchoate beauty
so awful it tears me from all four corners.

I want to feel lost until I feel found again.
I want to be blue until I can be aquamarine.
I want to lose hope
so I can find it again.
I want to forget the feeling of my fingertips til I can touch them again.

and then
and then
and then

when I find home again,
when I come home again,
when I come home,
so gorged with gorge i am lying on
broken shards of ultramarine fingertips


then I'll be home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Radio Show!

So the radio show is finally a go--or rather, will be a go, the first week of January if all goes according to plan. It will be Wednesday evenings, from 6-630pm on CITR 101.9, and you should be able to podcast it from if you don't live in the city or don't have the time when it's on or want to hear it again or whatever.

The show will involve Canadian writing in its most general sense. I want to basically support the writing community in Vancouver and in Canada generally, whether it be exposing people to spoken word poetry, little-known page poetry, unpublished work, published work, travel writing, playwrighting, whatever you can think of. I LOVE having guests, so if you are yourself a writer or know someone who should get some radio play, get in touch with me at juliecpeters[at], and i'd love to have you on the show. Same goes if you are planning, organizing, performing, or hosting an event that has anything to do with writing. Also, please please please send me your spoken word cds and/or donate them to the CITR library so I can play them on the air.

it's going to be awesome. For serious.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Listen to the accordion poem!

In other news, the guest poem I did on Accordion Noir a couple of months back is on their "best of" show. It's the one about the accordion player who seduces me from the stage. Not literally, Mark Berube's taken. If you didn't have a chance to check it out, the recording is here:

Hey loves,

I've had a pretty crazy week. Crazy in a good way, though I can't deny snapping at poor Eric from irritability, tiredness, and dehydration. Sorry buddy. The litre of wine really helped.

On Wednesday, I was featuring at Raw Canvas's Poetry Jam. They hold this event once a month, every second Wednesday, but this one was special because I was there (kidding). It was pretty much magical. Raw Canvas is a sweet place, first of all. It's a restaurant and cafe in Yaletown, but does not have Yaletown prices or pretentiousness. It's full of velvety antique furniture and interesting art, being as it is an art bar. For $35, you can get yourself a canvas and start a painting in the back with all the supplies they have laid out there. Super sweet vibe, very chill, described by Chris Gilpin as "the most romantic bar in Vancouver." I thought this would be the perfect place to come out of my shell a little.

It's become apparent to me that I am an erotic poet. I don't mean to be, and I've been told that even my poems that have nothing to do with sex have a sensuality to them. I've tried to resist this a little bit, because I love and respect really political poetry and wish I could write more about it. I'm also stuck on gender issues--I have a gender neutral academic name for a reason. When I was in undergrad, a male professor started paying attention to me, telling me we should work together because I have a lot of potential. The guy I was seeing at the time said to me, "If i were him and had a student that looked like you, I'd say the same thing." Nice. Also, when I won my first slam, my own father said to me, "You were probably the best looking one there." Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad. Then recently, a friend explained to me that both when I score well and when I score badly, it's because I'm pretty. I hate those sort of comments--the people saying them think they are complimenting you, but actually they are telling you you might as well be barefoot and pregnant because you're only valuable for your boobs. Or whatever.

So what's a gender-conscious poet to do? Well, beginning with Raw Canvas, I decided to fuck that noise and just go with it. I write poetry because it feels good, not because I'm trying to make a point. As long as people let me read it to them, I'll do it. So the theme of the evening at Vancouver's most romantic bar (for my set anyway) was sex. and it was awesome! Felt really good to be myself, and I got a ton of really, really positive feedback. I even found out that I have a couple of fans--people who watch out for me at the slam and enjoy my readings every time! How awesome is that?

So welcome to my erotic world, readers. Expect more poetry and more honesty to come.