a collection of interesting and not-so-interesting things. including information on current & upcoming projects.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Open Letter to Matthew Barney

To: Matthew Barney, American Artist and former model/football player

Re: The fact that the brilliant Cremaster Cycle film series will never be released in a consumer DVD set, due to the decision to sell an extremely limited series of DVDs for upwards of $100,000 instead.

Dear Mr. Barney:

You suck. And I hate you.

All the best,

Jonathan Ball

An Open Letter to Calgary Transit

I sent this message to Calgary Transit earlier today:
Dear Calgary Transit:

I live on the corner of 16th Ave and 4th St NW. There was once a bus stop on 16th just east of this intersection. Then it was torn up by a construction crew and moved just west of the intersection, where it is currently marked by a dirty stick.

Your bus drivers do not seem to be aware of this dirty stick which doubles as a bus stop, although the words "bus stop" are clearly buried on it under a layer of mud. I am writing to request that you take one of two actions:

1) Hire me on a contract basis to periodically clean the stick.

2) Replace the stick with a bus stop sign made of metal.

My contact information is below should you decide upon option 1.


Jonathan Ball

a found poem

Discovered this scrawled by Anonymous at the beginning of a library book, The Well Wrought Urn by Cleanth Brooks:
coming home to an
empty house is
like coming home to
your own death.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fugue Nefesh

So I missed the film night where they were going to be screening Spoony B and other films. I was feeling pretty lousy so stayed home, disappointing millions. I also hear that they held the film for various reasons, and will show it some other film night, disappointing few.

While bemoaning my fate I watched a DVD I received in the mail (people are always sending me things in the mail) of Solomon Nagler's latest film Fugue Nefesh, which is where these images came from. I worked on Fugue Nefesh as the 1st Assistant Director and a Locations scout back in 2005. Film turned out great, a really artful and meticulous work recalling Bela Tarr in some respects, very beautiful.

Fugue Nefesh is the final film in a trilogy of "Jewish elegies" that Nagler has been working on, the previous two being perhaps/We and The Sex of Self-Hatred --- two of my favourite films. Nagler is without a doubt Canada's most promising young filmmaker, in my view, and so I'm thrilled to have been involved in the film. Hopefully the three films will be available at some point as a trilogy, the DVD I have has menus which appear designed for this purpose, and Sol has expressed interest in doing this, it's more a matter of who will distribute such a thing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spoony B, Bob Dylan, and Food

Spoony B will play at Calgary's Broken City alongside Pt 1 of No Direction Home (the Bob Dylan documentary) on Feb. 21st, 6-9pm. There is a $9 pasta/wine special as well. What more could you want? "The Filmmaker" will be in attendance, in case you've been missing me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I got this great Gremlins book from a waiting room. That's Gremlins the movie. Remember? I'll bet you do.

Anyway, it is very .... strangely.... written. Yes, "strangely" is the proper word. Especially if you consider the text apart from the pictures. It's almost some sort of apocalyptic poetry. Here is the text from page 1:
Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer were friends. Gizmo was Billy's pet. Billy's Dad had given him the unusual creature as a Christmas present.

All three stared in horror at the destruction going on around them.
Anyway, chew on that with your mind-mouth. I'm out of here. Calgary that is. Later, suckers.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Future.... of Advertising

The future of advertising is absolutely insane. Now companies are simply advertising words, unrelated to products, which they intend to later use in advertisements. And they're advertising them in almost-invisible ways... see this article on the YouTube "wigout" video. Frightening.


Rilke is the King of Kings, and I love him.

from The Book of Hours
I live my life in growing rings
which move out over the things around me.
Perhaps I'll never complete the last,
but that's what I mean to try.

I'm circling around God, around the ancient tower,
and I've been circling thousands of years;
and I still don't know: am I a falcon, a storm,
or a great song.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


My new crazy project is an aleatory work called π which consists of 10 series of replacements over 10 pages of π. For those interested in obscure concrete experiments only. You can read one section, ARCHIMEDES, online and forthcoming in print from By the Skin of Me Teeth chapbooks, a new Calgary micropress "dedicated to publishing the absolute dullest writing by both emerging & established authors."

Friday, February 02, 2007

WOLVES (lone.ly) out from Bookthug

Thursday, February 01, 2007


All sorts of goodness tonight, went to the Calgary Ink/Flywheel reading and heard lots of fine new fiction in its formative stages. Very much looking forward to the future, where we will have rocket cars and Paul Kennett's novel One Great City about Earle Nelson, the "Dark Strangler" (perhaps Winnipeg's most notorious serial killer).

Got the new filling Station magazines. I am all over fS these days. Issue 37 was the single issue for which I was a Film Section Editor, and the current issue 38 is the "Jonathan Ball issue" in which I (1) conducted an interview with Robert Majzels, (2) published the first few pages of my screenplay The Sandman, and (3) Emily Carr's review of Jay MillAr's False Maps for Other Creatures quotes the interview I did with MillAr from fS issue 36!

Picked up some books with my gift certificate (Xmas present from my parents): two books relating to Kafka (my hero), The Zürau Aphorisms (by Kafka, ed. Roberto Calasso) and K. by Roberto Calasso; Dennis Cooley's new book the bentleys (I liked his original title, love in a dry land much better, I must say... will have to complain when I see Dennis later this month); Derrida's Of Grammatology which has been eluding me for months somehow; and finally Stephen King's Cell, a zombie novel which shall occupy my "down-time" between theory readin (wanted something light and full of zombies).

All told a good night. I am also enjoying Shanzing Wang's Mad Science in Imperial City which you fans of innovation prose/poetry may want to seek out. Will leave you with a quote from the Kafka aphorisms book:
The dogs are still playing in the yard, but the quarry will not escape them, never mind how fast it is running through the forest already.