Monday, December 05, 2005

What a wild Sunday. Lisa and I went to the Pedal to the Metal craft fair and caught Gun Street Action Team, a pretty amazing band of high-school students who played covers (e.g., the Velvet Underground's "I'm Sticking With You") and original material. Lisa got their contact info in hopes of getting them to play at the library.

Then we headed over to This Ain't and listened to bill bissett talk about Lunaria, which was, well, excellent. Seriously though, what struck me about bissett's talk was that it seemed for him writing truly is coterminous with life and, perhaps, reality. I certainly am aware of the fact that language conditions my experience through and through, I figure that any experience is potentially going to figure into my writing, and I think of my writing as the primary way in which I understand the world, but to a great degree, and likely out of necessity, I keep my artistic practice separate from my paying work and stuff like cleaning the house. It was interesting, on the other hand, to gather the impression of a kind of total immersion on bissett's part, at least during the period of his work on Lunaria. He talked about a routine in which he got up in the morning, swam, ate, and spent the rest of the day on his book. He also spoke of watching September 11 on television and how it changed the colours in certain copies. bissett claims to be from the planet Lunaria, and he only occasionally gives signs (a smirk here and there) that he's joking. After his talk, I'm inclined to believe him. (By the way, hearing bissett meant missing the Youth Scream, but luckily Angela writes about it here.)

After bissett's talk, we went home and ate soup before heading back to This Ain't for the first installment of the Fictitious Reading Series. It had been a while since I'd heard fiction read, and I don't think I'd ever heard it in as non-commercial an atmosphere. I was impressed by the rendering of Heather Birrell's teenaged characters in the second story she read from (I'd heard the first before), and Harold Johnson's work was startling in its violence. I was curious, though, to see how it would feel at a fiction reading, conditioned as I am to poetry events. I'm not sure I noticed anything striking. For one thing, there was no heckling (nor any possibility of it, as far as I could see), and I suppose there may have been a greater and more respectful distance between reader and audience. That's it though, I think. It will be interesting to see if a core group of regulars forms.

Believe it or not, I'm stil working on an account of Shift & Switch and its launch. For a number of reasons (not least among them the fact that I find it difficult to write about events I read at), I've been hesitating. Maybe tomorrow. I also have to respond to some e-mail and some comments.


Blogger MackJohnny said...

How about activating your RSS feed, Mark, so my newsreader will tell me when you've updated?

3:41 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks. I didn't know what it's for. Done.

1:02 PM  
Blogger MackJohnny said...

Thank you. It's so "they" can keep an eye on you. Hope you're not paranoid.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Paranoia is my middle name. Thanks a lot.

Just kidding. I have a different middle name.

6:31 PM  

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