TRUE NORTH ç NORD VRAI
Jody Aliesan's True True North ç Nord Vrai is a multi-genre memoir,a narrative collage about pathological liars, psychopaths, cruelty, hypocrisy, denial, pretension, concealment, orientation, maps, finding the truth. The story begins when the author is eight years old, first realizing that something is very different about her mother. From that day Aliesan moves forward and backward in time, on a scale from family to nation and in all four compass directions before finding refuge in the landscape and culture of Canada.
Book design by John D. Berry
7" x 9", 186 pages
LOVING IN TIME OF WAR
binn beal ina thost:
sweet the mouth in its silence
now I have prayed
for those who have wronged me
give them what they deserve
leaving to your hand a Bhean-dia
what is deserved demanding justice
I put myself in peril
from song: against false mercy
Loving In Time Of War is loving in the continuum of time, just in time, in the nick of time: the struggle for empathy and whole sight during conflict, whether this is within myself, in confrontation with someone else, or in the face of historical and present injustice.
The work identifies with those who are called the “Gypsies,” with First Nations, Japanese-Americans during internment, Jews during the Holocaust, Ireland during both the Great Starvation and the unfinished struggle for freedom from Britain’s conquest, the Iraqi people’s survival of US bombs and sanctions, and others besides human beings who suffer and die because of supremacy and greed. If offers rituals, whether of justice, peace, or grief; places to stand, with “beginner’s mind,” with the eyes wide open; and the courage to walk away.
In the Irish tradition poets were itinerant. They were seated at the right hand of the chieftain in whatever clan they moved through because they could be counted on to tell the truth—because they were expected to tell the truth—and they were protected from the consequences. Times have changed, and we are no longer protected from the consequences. But telling the truth is still part of our job description.—Jody Aliesan
ISBN 0-911287-31-0 paper $13.00
all you hoard must be given away
what you want most the one thing
you cannot have or only
through sacrifice of some cherished part of you
two small mourners come to listen while you suffer
but with no advice nothing to be done
from seven gates through the underworld
Grief sweat is the cleansing ordeal of a sweating hut in time of pain or loss, a ritual shared by First Nation and traditional Irish people. The book is a shred of paper left under a stone in the desert; a map of the territory drawn by somebody who was there.
The poems and fables in it come from what is called “anxious clinical depression,” a pale phrase to anyone who has suffered through that life-threatening torment. After the poem “dark angel” finished itself I said, “People are going to think this is an exaggeration. But it’s only a report.” The coyote stories are not fiction; gender and species were changed so I could bear to tell them.
The first section was written during emergence—as a record, as a checklist, and in solidarity with my comrades in mental illness who find in all the literature about that country very little word from the travelers themselves. The last section speaks out of the center of the whirlwind, which blew for about two and a half years. I dedicate this book to all those who recognize the landscape. Stay alive; you will get out. —Jody Aliesan
Grief Sweat received a New Works grant from the King County Arts Commission. Published by Broken Moon, Grief Sweat is now being provided by Blue Begonia Press.
ISBN: 0-913089-19-2 paper $10.00