Swallows MillAr Berrigan Creeks Rivers Bridge

And Justin, Justin Bieber, and Lindsay, Linday Lohan and Lindsay Ontario and south. Swallows our deed and Swallow wall bookstore above the former Bagel where I read with David Fujino on sax years ago. I’ve trying to spot The Bagel biking by there and searching for this “Swallows Bookstore” all this time, and all combined to one when I called Nicky Drumbolis from outside Grossman’s and in an irate high pitched voice say weere the hell is the bookstore? The whole bank of phone booths was in use on a busy Spadina Ave so he thought it a crank call. (I was still fired up from an incident in the day where I was stopped at a green light waiting to turn left on my bike, and a police car was to my right waiting on the red and staring at me like he had some problem. I have the old heavenly harmonium for three to seven seconds in such circumstances and patience was brewing up. As my green turned red so I could cross (ie turn left on my bike) I hear a car come barrelling along and heave itself through the red. I look at the cop and he’s rubbing his eyes, but he should have rather abundantly heard the roar of the engines like 16 billion dollar planes. And I wished I’d had out my camera. Nicky explains it’s not on Spadina it’s on College beside the Sushi place. I biked up and went right on Spadina then the cars were like pop guns in a duck gallery as I tried to work my way back, which put me on the north side of the street searching for the Sushi place. Corner of the eye I saw Nicky waving his arms out front of the apparently closed Bagel, above which is Swallows, just like a cliff face. And we went in.

Both Jay MillAr and Anselm Berrigan are vibrant human beings, full of life and thought, so I really wondered about their restrained contained reading styles. Quiet, head often down, and really I would say a bit monotone. My first theory was the theme of ground travel. After all, Berrigan is up here from the States and probably didn’t fly, and Jay does the southern 401 probably more than I do. There’s just a way that things level and become the same after a time of repeating these processes.

But partly it is a feature poetry’s own long path to this present. There were those whom after World War II said there should be no more poetry. Then came the struggle for relevance. In Canada, Buffy Ste Marie in fact was our foremost poet for these decades, to the awareness of only the rare few. At least as talented, but more specific than Leonard Cohen. And in the States it went to movies. But the Ted Berrigan’s and Diane DiPrima’s came through and poetry remained real again. At the end of the night, having secured permission for a photo, I reminded Anselm of what I thought the most telling moment of the night’s readings. He was reading a long poem in a quiet monotone with his head down, despairing away as it were, rendering complex line after complex line in a just audible voice and with a behaviour that seemed to doubt the interest in the room. But would one instead visit a city and be like the circus? It’s daunting reading one’s poems in a foreign city. The moment was when he interrupted himself to say that the preceding line was a remote analytic depiction of two eleven month olds trying to hug one another, but a bit too clumsy to figure out how to. Sam Kaufman and Nicky and I were discussing out front of the building afterward and Sam happily laughed and said “It is okay to write it, (put it in the poem itself)” so as we were leaving I said you could write a poem about two eleven month olds trying to hug.

Everyone seems to feel their poems have to be hyper-intellectual, they’re under actual pressure to make it so. A fraudulent, unuseful, pressure. Like the fake crises of right wing governments, but in a way sadder, for being unnecessary, (whereas fake right wing governments need crises and catastrophe to keep up  the ruse for business interests.) What do writers need it for? Afterwards we strolled the streets looking for Nirvana. Same thing all over again! Little booths keeping everyone in a given spot. Outdoors is so much better. We just have to get rid of government and party outdoors at will! The unpopular ideas found in poetry: everything must be popular or it is very bad; well to heck with it, and to heck with FAKE controversies.

the black truck cometh

I’m super glad I went out.

It was great to see everyone

and it was fun having my

patience challenged

by the readers

and the cars

it reminded me

of the fires

that swept part of Detroit

a week or two ago

completely unreported

in the hypermedia


is like a Hermaphroditic Hereditary

Hermeneutics, which most of us have,

everyone from one on

is taught to be


it’s how they

reel us in

The idiot nub

at the core

of Western Civilization

which through its own

hubris never progresses

as travel writers

stole the sun

words returned

to their meanings

for fun

John Barlow, Oversion


1 Comment »

  1. I really try to learn everything I can and
    try to write it perfect so that general populace out there
    actually knows those things are the case. In a lot of ways
    the rightwingization of canada is like some early teen
    primitive social grouping – left wing versus right wing
    is compassion versus noncompassion on a basic grid.
    I am on the First Nations’ side by such a wide margin for injustice sake
    and feel great hope because of the capacity to contemplate the power
    and real relationship with the land and water, which capitalism seems so unable to do

    I’ll keep in mind that Siddon is not a hard dry gourd.

    Comment by oversion — September 19, 2010 @ 7:02 am

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