On a B.C. radio show the man asked me, coffee way up to his mouth, what are the books you’ve liked recently? Christopher Dewdney’s A Palaeozoic Geology of London Ontario. Only I didn’t say that, I started stumbling on the word Palaeozoic…Paleo…Polio…and then it happened on Geology too until it seemed a disease. I sounded like an idiot. Meanwhile I was watching the man’s silent gulps. The professional silent gulping of coffee an inch or two away from the microphone. Unconcerned with my sinking “live” all over the province.
– Michael Ondaatjie, from his poem “Pure Memory/Chris Dewdney,” in the book of his I just got for class: The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems. It’s been a big surprise–it’s far and away my favorite of the books we’re reading, so far.