Showing posts from May, 2015

Even Absurdity Can Take Itself Too Seriously: Pearl Pirie in Conversation

Photo  by Brian Pirie I first heard Pearl Pirie's voice one warm summer day in a drafty, light-filled barn near Perth, Ontario. A healthy measure of the comical spiked with a pinch of gravitas marks it as hers, whether she's working the Japanese senryu, narrative exploration, lyric snapshot, or any of the many other modes she takes on. We talked about how she does it in a recent email exchange, where poetry may slide or sidle over to prose and back. SUSAN GILLIS: How did you first come to poetry? PEARL PIRIE: Poetry was always there. Once, I was a wee tobogganer and after a particularly good run down the tractor-made pile of snow in the yard under the basswood, I ran indoors for a pencil stub —too short to be of any use, of which we had a canful— and paper pulled off from the roll of the adding machine, to capture the experience of sledding in free verse. I sat out there at the base of the run on my crazy carpet, mittenless hands stiff with cold, to not lose a thing.


Pearl Pirie IF ONLY IT WORKED FOR NATIONAL POLICIES weeding, my hands come up smelling of spearmint its rhizomes go-go-gadgets its spaghetti through the soil. my mint shampoo hints incognito/continuity. something lands oddly. I pat my head, stroke the back of a bumblebee. we each freeze, realize the mistake in progress. each takes the necessary actions of distance. correct courses dissolve into non-incident. Pearl Pirie’s most recent collection is the pet radish, shrunken ( BookThug ). She lives in Ottawa.