Self-defence For The Brave And Happy: Poems by Paul VermeerschSelf-defence For The Brave And Happy: Poems by Paul Vermeersch

Self-defence For The Brave And Happy: Poems

byPaul Vermeersch

Paperback | September 4, 2018

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It is the Third Millennium. The 20th century is a memory. Humans no longer walk on the moon. Passenger planes no longer fly at supersonic speeds. Disinformation overwhelms the legitimate news. The signs of our civilization's demise are all around us, but hope is not lost. In these poems, you will find a map through our dystopia and protection from all manner of monsters, both natural and human made. Only the products of our imaginations - buildings and movies, daydreams and wondrous machines - can show us how to transform our lives. Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is a survival guide for the Dark Age that lies ahead.

Paul Vermeersch is a poet, professor, artist, and editor. The author of five previous collections of poetry, including The Reinvention of the Human Hand, a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, and Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, he teaches in the Creative Writing & Publishing program at Sheridan College and is s...
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Title:Self-defence For The Brave And Happy: PoemsFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:88 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.3 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.3 inPublished:September 4, 2018Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770412239

ISBN - 13:9781770412231

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1: The Country of Previous Enthusiasms The Country of Previous Enthusiasms The grandeur of their Expos was familiar: their pastime was commuter rail departing from geodesic spheres, and grand arches built to span- if only allegorically-disparate ideals. The elders of our nation found it quaint. Their designers were philosophers. Ours, engineers. In their country, with its globular buildings, and lanky, finned automobiles, the people might have been happier, but we have more efficient use of space. They would chat with their neighbours about such bric-a-brac, and visit their landmarks in eager groups. When they finally reached the age of shortage, overcome by harsher facts, their assimilation was all but certain. There could be no treaty. It isn't just the Apollonian need to set things square. There was always so much waste, even in the way they walked. Our incursion was immaculate. We are a decent people who only wish to be correct. Without Architecture There would have to be another vision for occupying space, new rituals for sitting and standing, for the physical interruption of the planar world. No longer would we distinguish between exist and inhabit. No asking where we live. We live. Now to lug our dwellings like a hermit crab or not. What would the word for shelter be? Like cave or under-hang, or more like shade or company? Two hundred words for horizon comprise an anthem. Without walls, privacy would still occur, only wilder. We would vote by standing upright, and emphasize ourselves by raising our hands, lengthening our votes as a challenge to the levelness of the meeting place. Prisons would be nothing-but banishment theoretical and severe: how best to find a cave or shade beyond the vanishing point? And who goes there? It was the heretic and prodigy who said: I can make a cathedral of my condition and worship there. Without Agriculture We'd have to rethink our investments-bearish on the local trade. We never put much stock in that. And reckless with our gratitude, assigning it helter-skelter to the windfall and the kill. Otherwise, we'd only have ourselves to thank. But we'd be bullish on travel points and dining out. And bad with names: no Mud Hens, no Netherlands. Of course there would be more fundamental gaps. Just tally up the unanswered questions: How do you make a straight line run parallel to another? What are the secrets of the integer and the abacus? When does the accounting of an ox head lead to A? Without roots, we'd find the answers here and there. Here, the world would be our chocolate factory. There, we wouldn't have to settle for anything.

Table of Contents


  • 1: The Country of Previous Enthusiasms

    • The Country of Previous Enthusiasms

    • Without Architecture

    • Without Agriculture

    • Without Transportation

    • We Were the Sentinels

    • The Thought that Counts

    • The Used Future

    • The Imaginary World Is Preparing for a Revolution >

    • The Prophets Want to Know If they Were Close



  • 2: Don't Wait for the Woodsman

    • Grendel's Mother

    • The Modern Novel

    • The Wilhelm Scream

    • The Vanishing Point

    • Liberty Warning Series #1

    • The Modernist Canon

    • Tinnitus

    • Don't Wait for the Woodsman



  • 3: Nu----- Rhymes for Nuclear Children

    • Doctor Doctor Oppenheimer

    • Hide Away, Anne

    • Enola Gay

    • Jack's Car

    • Neil Flew to the Moon

    • First Centaur In Space

    • America Has Everything

    • Hush



  • 4: Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy

    • On Being Wrong

    • Bad at Flowers

    • Immortality

    • Liberty Warning Series #2

    • Blue Lobster

    • Standing in Front of Antlers Mounted on a Wall so It Looks like They're Growing from Your Head

    • The Failure of the Human Body as an Art Form

    • Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy



  • 5: Extinction Schedule

    • The Buzzing Is Incessant

    • Motel

    • Detroit

    • There Sure Are a Lot of Sirens Tonight

    • Long Pig

    • Ideal Workforce, Fig. 1

    • The World Is so Difficult to Give Up

    • Extinction Schedule

    • The Birthday Chamber



  • 6: Leviathan

    • The Animals We Imagine

    • My Friend Can Imitate Pretty Much Anything

    • The Monument

    • Liberty Warning Series #3

    • Repeat After Me

    • The Constellationification Effect

    • How to Protect Yourself from Monsters

    • Leviathan



  • Notes

  • Acknowledgements

Editorial Reviews

"Replete with deep thinking and reflection, revealing the poet's wide-ranging intellect, eclectic mind, and penchant for sharp satire." - Publishers Weekly"Pataphysics meets pulp in Paul Vermeersch's sixth collection . . . Gone is the flat-footed earnestness which sometimes troubled Vermeersch's earlier work, replaced with a canny pop acceleration equal to the obdurate cargo of politics." - Quill & Quire"Beautiful . . . Part inspirational tract (borne of a deliciously playful inspiration, not the usual kind), part prophetic revelation, and all crafted with Vermeersch's signature elan, Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is a generous chocolate box stuffed with bon(-bon) mots, the perfect gift for your inner visionary. Shine on, you crazy zircon." - This Magazine"Wit is Vermeersch's stylistic signature, and it is present at full power in this collection." - The Coil Magazine"Paul Vermeersch's Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is in turns wry, funny, horrifying and incisive . . . It both delights during a quick read and rewards careful re-reading, and I highly recommend it . . . Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is perceptive, carefully-crafted, melancholy and funny. The simultaneously critical and wryly amused attitude of the collection is perhaps the only self-defence that we have against time and the monsters of our own creation." - The /t?mz/ Review