I arrived at the Carleton Tavern looking for an owl. The bar regulars on the main floor looked at me (in my bike helmet and cute jacket) as though I had wandered into the wrong part of town. But the server was very friendly and pointed me in the right direction: a cozy room upstairs with bright windows and familiar faces.
On April 17, the Dusty Owl Reading Series was hosted by rob mclennan (who uses the space often for Factory Reading Series events, among others) and featured Northern Ontario poet David Groulx from Elliott Lake.
According to the Dusty Owl website, Groulx is “proud of his Native roots – his mother is Ojibwe Indian and his father French Canadian.” The poet explored this dichotomy in his poetry, making other comparisons: “Like Spock / Like Jesus”.
Other lines that stuck out for me:
“Police take shots at me when no one is looking”
“this rage is old, pretty girl / it belonged to my grandfather”
Groulx’s writing is blunt, conversational, unapologetic. One poem called ‘Job Offer’ features a girl looking for a pimp, saying he can get half – with benefits – provided he looks out for her. Another is about his sister, who thinks about her abused cousin when her husband beats her and the children watch.
At the open mic, Mike Scofield sang a couple of songs: Sweetgrass Rebel and Rock Too Big to Lift. Characteristically, Alastair Larwill shared a poem about a cute girl. Marilyn read one of Alastair’s poems, an elegy to bp nichol. Lisa read a poem from her cell phone called Kitchissippi. And rob mclennan closed the event with a reading from his new book Glengarry.
May 8 featuring Ronnie R. Brown and hosted by Steve Ztyveld
May 22 Dusty Owl Family Reunion 15th Anniversary – proceeds go to Ottawa Food Bank