Calgary through the eyes of writers
“Stampede coming,” Aritha van Herk writes, “always in the seventh month, the off-centre pivot of the year.” van Herk immerses herself in the city’s signature event. Observer and participant, she writes a poetic primer on the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Infield and midway, princesses and parade, chuckwagons and hangovers. Through her poet’s eyes, Stampede is a prism through which to consider the city, and the westness of west. But first, breakfast. Pancakes served up on a street corner. A kind of Calgary communion.
The breakfast shuffle. A queue of weary clerks and landsmen waiting for
their servings of pancakes and bacon, some fat to fight the nausea, some
carbs to play it forward. A conga file, a column of supplicants salivating for
the hew of dough, the sweet melt of syrup and butter under the tyranny of
a plastic fork and knife, an inadequate napkin, the buckling paper plate.
One sausage for reward.