Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tuesday's Lex

Adam Seelig's opening "thank you" poem emerged subtly from his response to Angela's introduction, and the rest of his reading kept up this dramatic sensitivity, only perhaps blowing it with the Billy Idol call and response he demanded for one of his pieces, which seemed otherwise to solicit careful attention (it was fun anyway). My reservation about Seelig's work has always stemmed from my feeling that he frequently pushes a good thing a bit too far, and I was happy to notice that this tended to happen more in his older work, from his chapbook Hands Face, which I think sometimes sacrifices clarity and focus to density of wordplay and allusion and the temptation to dazzle with variety (and not self-consciously as far as I can tell). His new poetry, which features repetition with permutation and a felt sense of the absurd, seemed much stronger. More to the point, I think this newer work draws on Seelig's strengths. I'm looking forward to what he comes up with next. He also read dramatic work and, at times, chanted or sang.

David McGimpsey, it will surprise no one, was hilarious. He read a long poem about academic succession, complete with bad couplets about squid. McGimpsey is a crowd pleaser, and his poems are carefully rendered too.

Sharon Harris read from a startling large number of projects. Not having had much exposure to them, I'm not sure I get any completely, so I can't comment on their soundness. What sticks in my mind though is her final poem, which she performed in a tender, almost-singing voice. I hereby nominate Sharon the emotional centre of the Toronto poetry community.

Later: Oh, I forgot about Fun with Pataphysics, which is a charming project that I've had a pretty clear view of. It was interesting to hear how deliberate, or at least self-aware, Harris is with respect to the "targeting" of her work. For instance, she referred to I Love You as her mainstream project.

Open michelle: I was glad to hear Jacob Wren, the man formerly known as Death Waits, whose C essay on truth I enjoyed and blogged about a while ago. Nadia's found poetry (whether discovered in discarded notebooks or in dreams) was great as well.

Other accounts here and here.


Blogger Razovsky said...

I'd say that Sharon Harris and Daniel f.Bradley combined are the emotional centre of the Toronto poetry community.

Two of the most emotionally honest poets I know. And both of 'em awesome people.


9:49 AM  
Blogger I Love You said...

O! thanks you two. you're both so wonderful.

i wondered if anyone would pick up on my use of the word, "mainstream" in regards to I Love You. i do very much intend it to go far and wide -- i think that's really its purpose. it's my way of being an activist and i hope it doesn't sound like my ego is in the way by putting it like that. send the love out into the world! i still think I can change it with three words. heck, they've changed me drastically.

i realize too, now more than ever, all of my work comes from the same place, but i work in different art forms. i've got a scuplture show planned out in my head that i'm excited about ... am trying to figure out how to execute it. i'm not a sculptor! of course it's about love -- i think i'm more about that theme than i am any one art form. that said, i think i'll always be a writer first, because it all comes down to "how can i make that into a book?". i like that books are mostly affordable or freely available at libraries --unlike million dollar paintings hidden away from the world.


10:54 PM  

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