Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Change of address

A while back I tried to set up a WordPress blog but gave up because I'm such a loser when it comes to computers. Imperfect Offering's migration prompted me to check WP out again, and it's much more user-friendly now. So, I've moved. (I still plan to set something more sophisticated up, but that will probably have to wait until mid-September or so.) Please visit!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Some videos.
A performance:

We at Said Like Reeds or Things make every effort to remain within the bounds of the socially acceptable and productive (yes, we too see warning flags on both counts, yet we sincerely prefer to play nice). We also try to keep things fresh, so we occasionally introduce new flavours. With this in mind, stay tuned for a possible series of speculative and exploratory posts under the title "What Would the Community Think? (Kill Yr Ideals)."

In the meantime, a blast-from-the-past treat:

P.S. Kill yr ideas, too. You likely already have too many.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Today I said "wrong" when I meant "being logically inconsistent."

Geddy watch

Tonight Geddy had his hair in a ponytail and was wearing a stupid bucket hat.

The paparazzi have nothing on me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

If you get Sportsnet, turn on the Blue Jay game. Geddy Lee is sitting behind the plate.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I don't know, Rob. You might have a point. I think, though, that a titleless poem, especially if it's positioned near the centre of the page, asks the reader to imagine an uninflected space or silence around it (or, as you say, the poem produces "the feeling of nothing happening before you enter"), much as most books ask the reader to shut out extraneous thoughts or noise, at least momentarily. Of course performing this act of shutting out is artificial and likely an ideal that is never actually attained. And we don't have to do what we're asked.

And of course this request on the part of the poem and the conventions on which it is based are fair game for challenge or critique.

But I think it's possible.
Dear Mississauga workshop participants:

Here is a conventional English translation of the Lorca poem. It's by Greg Simon and Steven F. White:


Cut down by the sky.
Between shapes moving toward the serpent
and crystal-craving shapes,
I'll let my hair grow.

With the amputated tree that doesn't sing
and the child with the blank face of an egg.

With the little animals whose skulls are cracked
and the water, dressed in rags, but with dry feet.

With all the bone-tired, deaf-and-dumb things
and a butterfly drowned in the inkwell.

Bumping into my own face, different each day.
Cut down by the sky!

Friday, July 07, 2006

No time to blog lately, which is a shame because there's much to blog about. If you see me, ask me, and we can chat about what might appear here.

More soon. Maybe better-digested stuff than would have come together otherwise.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Interesting to be working on poems without titles. I really like titles and the various spins they can put on a piece, so much so that I feel it's a good idea to jettison them for a while and see how poems move and shake without them.

Tracy Hamon once blogged nicely about titles.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Last Lex

As is fitting, there was little in the way of closure to Lex last night (though I did have to leave early, so I may have missed something that had this effect). It was all a little messy, with young poet Alixandra Bamford (a potential member of the Lex community if there ever was one) taking part in the open michelle for the first and last time, and a number of people who seemed to be there as a stop on the open mic circuit doing their thing, and Lex regulars and irregulars saying goodbye and thanks. I think Lex was a site more than some kind of show or forum for presentation (though it was of course a little of each of those too). I know that's how I experienced it when I, a disillusioned lyric poet, happened upon it in February 2002. Lex was a series where you could show up for the first time, hang out in the background for a few months, find yourself recognized and greeted by the hosts within that period, try a few things out on the open michelle a little later, get to know others around you and strike up friendships, be a featured reader, and then feel like a crusty and entirely comfortable oldtimer, all within a span of four years. Lex was the place where I found a community of writers and readers to teach and challenge me. Lex was as close as anything I've found to a third place writing-wise.

Angela and Bill also had the uncanny ability to know when and how to renew the series. There were monthly featured collaborations, guest curators, and theme nights. They tended the series like a garden, and it grew. They also, I think, knew when the growing season was coming to a close and made a difficult but wise decision to call it quits. I'm not sure what changed, but I noticed that while most of the readers late in the series were great, there was a certain energy missing this past while. Bill and Angela were likely tired, and I suspect that the community Lex nurtured had changed.

There are many cases where I, individual I am, would have made different decisions from Angela and Bill's, and I didn't love everything about Lex, but I loved a hell of a lot of it and I think it's difficult to deny the contribution to the community that it has made. (I think, by the way, that community is a problematic term when used as if it has inherently positive value, but more on that later.) Bill and Angela set up their tent and invited everyone to stop in and stay a while. Some left and went on, some dropped in from time to time on their journeys elsewhere, and some hung around. But it was a good place to be. It could be a kind of home if you wanted. Congrats, guys. And thank you. And thanks to everyone who showed up. You are bright stars.

By the way, ditto on Angela's call for a series for Alixandra and Lisa.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A couple quotes that have been sticking in my mind:

"Aesthetics and ethics are one." (Wittgenstein)

"When the man [writing] is frightened by a word, he may have started." (George Oppen as quoted in Rosmarie Waldrop's Dissonance (if you are interested))

Friday, June 09, 2006

On the paucity of posts lately: I seem to be very much in mull mode these days. Maybe I'll have something to say before long.

How's it going with you?