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Changó, Ogún sailed from the coast,

Eleguá travelled with the slaves,

in the hold, behind the battered

face, the knotted veins, caulked

with them dancing on the slanted deck.

Once in Haiti he ladled the yelllow

fever to Le Clerk: Ogún in Cuba

took on Weyler; the Bronze Titan,

Ochún by his side. Ochún laughing,

sassy tongued and breast without flaw,

naked without equal in Ottoman nor among

Solomon's black wives fabled in a book.*

(*From The Gods of Africa, Celebrating Cuba) To hear Gethin James read this poem click here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1968 was an apocalyptic year. US Senator Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King lost their lives, Richard Nixon got elected. Campuses all over Europe, North and South America erupted at the slightest pretext. Racial rioting flared up across the United States adding to the wave of rebellion and unrest. The Vietnam War hung over everything like a festering sore. The tidal wave carried with it sexual liberation. Hemlines shot up, more and more gays came out of the closet. High-Priest of revolt, Mick Jagger egged-on the movement internationally with the raucus and demanding (I can’t get no) Satisfaction.
Few institutions were not penetrated by the spirit of the times. Some of the great universities held firm, others succumbed to the tidal wave of student disaffection. Oxford University stayed one of the bastions of tranquility. And this is where this story story is largely set.
Gerwyn Jones is facing his finals in the Oxford Examination Schools. He seems like a shoo-in for honours and post-graduate work in Canada. But Gerwyn’s marriage to Gwynedd is on the rocks. Theirs would prove to be no easy separation. The more that Gwynedd fought to maintain her sexual power over Gerwyn the more events fueled his energies and unwrapped his libido. On the river. On the stage. In the debating hall. And as lusty bedfellow of the ready companions of the night. From being the victim of a bad marriage, and much to the chagrin of the Oxford dons, Gerwyn emerges as a flag-waving exponent of free love and the sexual revolution of the Sixties. Gwynedd did not fare so well. This is the unexpurgated version of a young man’s coming of age in that tumultuous year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the excitement around the rime

it seems the show will never start.

The two beat-up bikes lean

below us on the floor of the drum

forlorn, shorne as they are

of lights, mirrors, mudguards—

simply bare wheels, the engine,

maybe brakes. A whiff of gasoline

wafts around the circle of the wall,

under the striped canvas rippling

in nervous laughter;*

*From The Wall of Death, Deakin's Fair. Hear Gethin James read this poem:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This novel is set in the final year of the rolicking nineteen sixties. The early Trudeau years in Canada. Gone with the wind the old bastion of Empire. In with the new. John Lennon and Yoko Ono. A Canada now haven to draft dodgers from the US. A Canada keeping the door open for revolutionary Cuba. A Canada keeping the door open to young radicals of every stripe. Radicals like Gerwyn Jones. This novel is the story of a broth of a boy dropped into a university campus in an industrial city in Ontario. A part of the great Canadian multicultural experiment. It is a story about student sex before the arrival of AIDS. It is a story about the near overwhelming opportunities thrust under the nose of an agressive, creative immigrant from the steel mills of Wales. But the immigrant is also an Oxford graduate. The years of exposure to the fine old cultures of Europe must now meld with New World democracy, Canadian style. The legacy of the world revolution of the nineteen sixties must now work its way out for Gerwyn Jones in a land of harsh climes and, as he comes to learn, a land where ‘you must kiss ass before you can kick it.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tell you that you’re beautiful and you know
for sure and kiss my cheek with satisfaction.
We part: my elation knows no bound in this time-
honoured tradition of Havana. You had spoken
English in the yanqui way, proud, vulnerable,
no classroom product but learned from lucky
lovers in bars and beds. I think of what we’ll
do later, tomorrow, next week, next year!

From Lazara, Beyond the Embargo.

 

Celebrating Cuba

Celebrating Cuba

Thirty new poems celebrating Cuban climate and culture. Written in English

with a guide to the pronounciation of Spanish language allusions. In stock.

(64 pp., 5.5 X 8.5 paperback, $25.00 Cdn.)

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Summer of '68

A novel of politics and romance set in Oxford University, UK. Written in English

with a guide to the pronounciation of Welsh language allusions. In stock.

(200 pp., 5.5 X 8.5 paperback, $25.00 Cdn.)

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Deakin's Fair

Twenty four new poems in memory of Deakin's Fair that visited Abervon,

Wales in the 1940s and 1950s. 54 pp., 5.5 X 8.5 paperback, $25.00 Cdn. In stock.

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Spring of '69

A novel set in the late sixties on a campus in an industrial town in S. Ontario. Poetic

and sexy the story recounts the expoits of a welsh immigrant and aspiring writer. In stock.

(200 pp., 5.5 X 8.5 paperback, $25.00 Cdn.)

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Beyond The Embargo

Forty new poems celebrating Cuban climate and culture. Written in English

with a guide to the pronounciation of Spanish language allusions. Available 31 Mar. 2013.

(44 pp., 5.5 X 8.5 paperback, $25.00 Cdn.)

Price Inc. Shipping