Noise from the Laundry Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889226265
Pages: 104
Pub. Date: June 10 2009
Dimensions: 9" x 6" x 0.3125"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Poetry / POE023000

  • POETRY / Subjects & Themes / General

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Noise from the Laundry

By Weyman Chan

Weyman Chan’s second poetry collection elaborates his singular and solitary work on the renaissance of the contemporary lyric form. Unmistakably present in these poems are the sensibilities of Li Po, wherein the powers of nature illuminating a meticulously built landscape articulate a poignant, harmonious but fleeting epiphany; Keats’ vision of beauty as an act of passion inscribed on a work of art for all time; and Ovid’s understanding that our engagement with the world always demands of us a metamorphosis, the inescapably wondrous child of a marriage of the self and the other.

The lyric voice of these poems, the sage of our hearts and minds, reveals a multiplicity of forms in shaded clearings between myth and mystery, and especially in the musicality encountered by the reader in the poet’s carefully crafted score of the written word. Kissed and séanced into being, these subtle and seamless poems cast long shadows on our worldly marketplace of war, our arenas of competition and the haunting absence of our spiritually dispossessed gods.

As Weyman Chan crafts words for his stratified layers of landscape across space and time, a path is made for the reader to follow. Beneath the narrative foliage of Chinese pre-history, family stories of love and survival, and wanderings from the compass point of the conventional, our sage “teaches all / and leaves none out”—what it takes to enter this new world is our willingness to travel with some unlikely spirit guides: a five-thousand-year-old, elixir-wearied Lunar rabbit; an old man who wears the sun’s countenance; a microscopist in search of Ingram CoreSources in the illusion of darkness beyond death.

This book is an intimate journey of rituals attempting to find their origin, where past and future are seen to conjoin to construct one biography in a fractured and disbelieving age.

Short-listed 2009 Acorn Plantos Award for People's Poetry

Short-listed 2008 Governor General's Literary Awards for Poetry

“The deepest blues on prairie snow are Weyman Chan’s inks, his pen as precise and as elusive as the silken threads of ’a tiny spider,’ who ’ lifts its abdomen / positions its centre / and sails off into the thin parachute / of the air we call a nation.’”
Sharron Proulx-Turner

“What’s magnificent here is that Weyman Chan has not shied from his history. This book carries at its heart the China he is a generation removed from. True agents of insurrection, these poems mix their languages, making the ordinary world mysterious: ’Calm,’ he writes, ’is what all desire wants.’ In the end, every insurrection must be for something, too. For me, Weyman offers that point in Uncle Dong Gei, 104 years old ’who just keeps going.’ It’s his face that gives the image not just of this book and its writer, but of the relationship between poetry and its poets.”
Richard Harrison

“Language here has no home but a traveller’s duffel, shifting to accommodate, offering love where all logic suggests there should be none.”
Ashok Mathur

"The condition of ’noise’ in these poems can be heard in the fine tuning of deep need. The ’laundry’ is, of course, that image-laden triangle of diasporic memory, history, and desire. Weyman Chan scans the range of frequencies that cling to skin, name, family, and place in a poetry of openness and attention grounded ’always,’ as he says, in the ’inkline / unwinding under hell’ and ’poured like water / on my need to know.’ Turn on the poetry radio in this book and tune into its ’scurfing rumour’!"
Fred Wah