Ian Ferrier


Blending elements of poetry, song and spoken word, Ian Ferrier's one-of-a-kind performance art delivers a medley of literature and popular culture. Musically rooted in blues-driven inquiries into love, sex, and death, and poetically rooted in the cosmology of the Beats, Ferrier is also a founder of the spoken word label Wired on Words. He performs both as a solo artist and with the trance/ improv music project Pharmakon MTL, mixing whispered and sung vocals, multiple guitars and drums into an absorbing voyage. Ferrier has released a CD/ book Exploding Head Man (2004) and 2 CDs, What Is This Place? (2007) and To Call Out in the Night (2010). His poems have also been set on the page in anthologies from Montreal presses, such as Conundrum's Impure-Reinventing the Word and Vehicule's Poetry Nation. An active contributor to Montreal's literary community, he is a past president of the Quebec Writers' Federation. (DN)

Letters from the Ice Age

Cities buried             streets forgotten
warehouses ransacked and abandoned for the south.

We love                     we breathe
light footprints of our passing through the snow. 

What would we say?   And how say it?
Who would we talk to?   And how could they answer? 

Buildings break beneath the ice
the bridges fall and there are less of us each year.

Like arctic animals we burrow through the wreckage
of the city underground. 

And high above   where once the escalators climbed into the light    
the tunnels terminate in breathing walls of ice.

Here in the dark
within the stone walls of the ancient hospital
below the copper roofs
and buried by the glaciers on all sides

Here in blood and wailing
anchored in breathing and inflexible resolve
we have sent this letter to the next world.

Archangel of the frozen colony
whose sign is fire   whose feet are locked in ice

We leave you more than this                    than blowing snow
or permafrost a hundred feet below.

This is the breath of the last words spoken
bubbling up 
the frozen evidence of love
like nitrogen in glass         
our histories etched into the worlds
we will not live to know.


Birds © 2012 Calgary Spoken Word Society