i dig a good review of a review. a few months back, mark truscott had a thought-provoking review of TDR‘s scrub cedar review. and now, natalie simpson’s thankfully taken on poetryreviews.ca‘s new canon review.
Archive for June, 2006
so, gregory and i read at hot-sauced words. nice art gallery space in the back of it’s not a deli, fitting 30 comfortably. (use-able, artsy space, for those looking for new places.) this was the third instalment of “creative james” dewar’s new series, and he’s set it up to run feature-break-4 open mic-break-feature-4 open mic; it made for a long and occasionally tedious night. the typical audience reaction to having an open mic mid-reading was in full effect; many readers left after their stage time.
gregory was adventurous and engaged the audience with panache. kicked off his set with his hamilton chant (accompanied by a rogue hand-drummer who happened to be present). then read Nichol response texts with a (scottish?) accent, which i appreciated as conor and i had been goading geeb into doing his entire set in various accents. then a romp surveying his assorted chapbooks, including If Language and Haikube. a sound poem song vocal art piece, too. lots of laughter and clapter.
then a curious thing happened. creative james had informed us prior to the show that he incorporates an element of feedback for each performer, and encourages the audience to join him. so, when greg finished, he was met with reaction and favourite lines and discussion of his work. i’m used to these styles with youth readings, but it definitely was a surprise in this environment. food for thought.
i had a lot of fun with alixandra as we played origami-scrabble at our table. i consider our masterpiece “O They, um. I, quank.” the second comma rode on the back of a charming turtle. greg was investigating the quotation cradle, so we couldn’t use it.
thanks to those of you who came out. glad the evening warmed up after the awesome awesome thunderstorms. which reminds me: i feel like keeping a weather blog. can anyone point me to a tdot-based weather blog already in existence?
gregory betts and i are reading at Hot-Sauced Words this evening. 8pm @ It’s Not A Deli, 986 Queen St. W. short open mic/helle set, too, if you’re feeling inclined!
i used to stockpile intriguing spam, and was particularly fond of a repetitious series e-mailed to me in 2002. i filed a large number of spam with the eventual intention of breaking, shaping, and finessing into a collection of found poetry, including my then-favourite “daybreak, the dark hood.”
daybreak, the dark
hood, daybreak, the
dark hood, day
break, the dark hood
my spam infatuation dwindled in 2003, as the non-stop onslaught of spam lessened in literary quality and grew in volume. these days, most spam i receive are embedded graphics with little sense of imagination or text ads for meds with far too much superfluous punctuation for my taste.
today, i received an old-school spam and that once-lost love has returned. for your reading pleasure, here’s “Dont tell anyone!” by Dani Cason (whose e-mail address is just so much ear candy: firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
the loss the government same the blood. are selection or act boot else slow. are angry else company weight and bit.
is shirt to price sudden to drop. the receipt are judge milk as sea. ! is present if blue knot are nose.
to shoe must flight shock are driving.
are sharp but plane winter
but surprise. or material must motion chalk
or part. if carriage else polish kind and quick. else
wheel to middle rail the name. to slope are basin skirt the quick.
! to rest is advertisement moon and business. must orange too servant jewel as fly.
to glass as day pin or happy. as balance must
flower clean to field. to cake too black
position too deep. must fork to able feeble
as surprise. must smile must letter loud
to library. too female
are rain elastic is spade. to man and thought army
as fixed. if month too
request pen is burn. and old else sort ant to cry. else
cheap too middle prose to drain.
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bold, italics, and other formatting are my additions. note the line “! is present if blue knot…” i so appreciate when ! is present. also, the “if, then, else” programmer’s logic in the second section is alive and well, which i adore. and of course, the hyperdrumbeat of the final stanza, such urgency, such love of character.
thank you to the following chroniclers who’ve shared summaries, well wishes, photos, obituaries, and poetry!
- alixandra bamford
- gregory betts
- jason christie
- nadia halim
- sharon harris
- mark truscott
- wanda o’connor
hope to see some of you on thursday eve at it’s not a deli for the reading. i hear there’s an open mic; hope a few folks maneouvre to turn it into an open michelle! well, i can dream…
Candida Rifkin just sent me the text of Alison Calder’s poetry reviews in today’s Winnipeg Free Press, which includes Ink Monkey by Diana Hartog, Walking the Sky by Shari Andrews, and the bill bissett tribute/anthology radiant danse uv being, and Wide slumber for lepidopterists!
Since you have to be a subscriber to read the ‘peg F-P, here’s the Wide slumber excerpt:
Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House, 109 pages, $17), Toronto writer Angela Rawlings’ first book, is a gorgeously produced little thing.
The poetry, structured through the dual trajectories of a moth’s life cycle and the stages of sleep, moves in and out of lucidity. The writing has a dreamy, underwater quality that eludes the attempt to form a coherent narrative.
A brief sample shows the transition between sense and nonsense, here using backwards writing: “Place specimen under lamp to increase drying time/ tsniaga tsurht rotcelloc a#tilps#tips nehT/ a moth with barbed spines.”
The poetry, divided into six sections, works through repetition and difference. The language’s gradual move from relative clarity to breakdown and reformulation represents the contrasting motions of the dreaming mind and the moth’s transformation from egg to specimen.
Some of this poem cannot be read: the meaning comes through the patterns on the page. Likewise, the scientific language Rawlings uses estranges and absorbs the reader, functioning like her neologisms.
No page of this collection is typical of the whole, but it’s fascinating to look at. Delicate illustrations by Matt Ceolin grace the pages.
katherine brought me two monarch chrysalides last tuesday. they appear to be around day 7 of pupation. i can’t stop staring at them. a few more days, and they’ll hatch! i’m fascinated by the cremaster (the brown stemlike appendage that’s hooked into the silk pad affixing the chrysalis in a fashion so it may dangle), which shares its name with a muscle found in human genitalia.
this year’s scream literary festival in toronto has my dance card booked solid for a week. what a tremendous line-up of events. if you’re out of town but have the will/resources to get here, this is definitely the year to make the journey. if you’re in tdot, pull out those schedulers and mark the first week of july as engaged.
a.raw’s scream adventure
- tuesday, july 4: scream launch and alumni night. featuring readings by christian bok, dionne brand, karen solie.
- wednesday, july 5: her poetics. featuring readings/discussions by karen mac cormack, sina queyras, rachel zolf.
- thursday, july 6: eye scream, curated by sharon harris.
- friday, july 7: dinner-length reading of the men by lisa robertson. fashion show curated by derek maccormack.
- saturday, july 8: i’m facilitating a youth creative writing workshop. between 12-19 yrs old? sign up to play some writing games, explore editing/performance strategies, and then participate in the open mic at 4pm.
- saturday, july 8: scream gala.
- sunday, july 9: small press dating game. featuring jon paul fiorentino, karen hines, and more!
- monday, july 10: SCREAM IN HIGH PARK MAINSTAGE EVENT. featuring kevin connolly, ‘tino, erin moure, darren o’donnell, and more. and me! i’m reading! woo!!
get thee to a reading. for full disclosure on all scream events (there are more than i listed here; these are just the ones i’m planning to attend) as well as nitty gritty details (time, place), visit their website.
at lex’s finale, maggie helwig and jay millar presented bill and me with copies of Collexiconjury: A Festschrift of Sorts. organized, edited, and designed by lowlife publishing (with intense secrecy, as i understand) and bound, cover design by bookthug, Collexiconjury is printed in an edition of 2, 100 pages long, with a fancy maroon/gold-swirl inlay cover and bookthug’s signature title card (which truly is a thing of beauteous statement).
the book is a collection of poems recently offered by featured lex readers from the last five years. john barlow’s “thanks, tribute and memorial note” follows bill’s fourth poster design, a heartwarming and hilarious entrance to the collection. the subsequent 97 pages are a dervish of eclectic, brilliant, awkward, bittersweet, (insert host of additional descriptions) texts that have my heart full up to my neck.
thank you so much to everyone for this memento. we’ve had such a fantastic influx of feedback on the series’ end, touching e-mails and conversations, and a remarkable and packed cameron house on tuesday night (much to andy’s chagrin, as we spilled into the stairs and became obstacles in his serving route). so it was pretty intense at night’s end to have some many additional lexiconjurors appear in book form to wish the series farewell. y’all have made lex what it is; thank you for gifting and sharing and listening!
here’s Collexiconjury‘s rough table of contents, for the curious and the completist.
- photos by nadia halim and sharon harris
- gary barwin: “etherball” and one visual poem
- derek beaulieu: visual poem
- gregory betts: “plunderverse: burning the bushes (a biblical cento)”
- daccia bloomfield: letterbundle (a pen-and-pencil sketch)
- christian bok: excerpt from “mushroom clouds” in cyborg opera
- allan briesmaster’s remix of “bill kennedy” and “angela rawlings” (which i actually have posted on my wall at home, from when he read it at his iron chef feature in 2003)
- kyle buckley: “jeff derksen is sappho”
- nancy bullis: “detoxicate me”
- stephen cain: “the ubi sunt engine”
- natalee caple: “be a child then and i can kiss it better” and “smash the poem”
- mm cross: three graphics located while googling “lexiconjury” and “stress/relief: a feminist scansion”
- bernie hogan: “listen ~ list stroke”
- margaret christakos: “for angela and bill: a chancy series for a chancy series that worked”
- jason christie: “an imaginary love poem” (thank you, j; you know this is one of my very favourite poems ever)
- jason christie and jon paul fiorentino: “emoticonjury” (!!!!)
- stephen collis: “directions for the futurist”
- mark connery and judy macdonald: a collaborative visual poem
- lise downe: “such ministrations none dare say”
- paul dutton: “thinking”
- maria erskine: medley of bowering, cochrane, rich, and bronwen wallace poems
- saghi ghahraman: “shapouri 1″
- kenneth goldsmith: “a selection of the kenny g. letters”
- sherwin tjia: 6 pedigree girls panels
- sharon harris: 2 visual poems
- jill hartman: excerpt from another word for pirate treasure, or, the booty
- neil hennessy: an e-mail
- maggie helwig: “at the author’s last going into germany”
- sheila heti: “what is experimental; a tribute to the lex”
- frances kruk: “spine” and “hairball” and “dustbunny”
- john lavery: “quickeye” and “in ontario”
- beth learn: “fremont troll code”
- karen mac cormack: “15 minutes (for bill and angela)”
- camille martin: “on one’s person”
- steve mccaffery: “threnodalia (for angela and bill)”
- lynn mcclory: “super fluid baby lions”
- jeremy mcleod: “quest components inc, ontario” and “filter” and “search”
- jay millar: stitch decends a briefcase and “translation from the the”
- peter mcphee: “good luck in the multiple choice section (the connected works of doctored stephen cain)”
- darren o’donnell: excerpt from your secrets sleep with me
- emily pohl-weary: “artist”
- rob read: “poems of the police”
- stan rogal: “all the roary night” and “riddled”
- stuart ross: “no luck club”
- trish salah: “science! silence!” and “clean objects”
- emily schultz: excerpt from anais by anonymous
- adam seelig: “thank you”
- sarah selecky: “madeleine writes about ralph and the chickens”
- lytle shaw: “fractions of the captain” and “torrent’s genres: an inventory of sketches”
- sparrow: “a strange fact” and “proverb” and “world project no. 1″ and “a tribute to lexiconjury”
- hugh thomas: “the man in the bear suit”
- mark truscott: excerpt from thoughts commingling forces
- steve venright: “something from the silken trough”
- jessica westhead: “girls on the GO”
- darryl whetter: “no friend of time”
- jacob wren: “crowds with the object of their adoration incurably absent”
- darren wershler-henry: “apostrophe (a lexiconjurer)”