National Poetry Month has been a long-standing, popular April tradition in Canada, one that is much anticipated in poetry circles across the country. A time to dust off one's best turtleneck and beret and walk with pride (in broad daylight), knowing that even mimes don't have a month dedicated to them.
But there was no dilligent snapping of fingers or the appreciative tinkle of skinny latte spoons against expresso cups in the nation's coffeehouses and underground speak easys when word filtered down that National Poetry Month had indeed been cancelled.
A release from the Canadian Agency of Cultural Affairs (CACA) pulled no punches and singled out Vancouver specifically by saying:
"We spent a lot of money on your city with the Olympics. Now we have none. You will just have to write your ode to your navel on your own dime."
The letter when on to note:
"Prime Minister Harper wanted you to know that he really like that big guy, Shane Kickstand, and wished he could have accompanied him on piano at the opening ceremonies but had a prior engagement.
The news came as no surprise to some event organizers who saw the writing on the wall after the Olympics, when the Liberal's budget offered a 90% cut to existing meager Arts allocation.
"I've already applied for my old job back at the phone sex company," stated Vancouver poet and radio personality RC Weslowski, who's radio collective, Wax Poetic, is planning a fundraiser in June.
"I can't keep living on cat food and bologna," Weslowski shrugged.
Candlelight vigils are planned across the country.
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