From Kevin Heslop's Blog:
(Kevin read this poem at the Dec. 4th London Open Mic. 'Gatsby' is London's Gatsby Bar)
sharing their wounds in the glow of gas lamps of ecstasy or drink or cocaine breathing tepid
cigarette steam in the communal stew of a common calamity and want of response
binding their bodies throbbingly in the midnight heat indoors of crumbling and scattered
want of love
bludgeoning the language and absenting eye-contact in lost and swollen adjacent
writhing uncontrollably in the mongrel air, snapped into frenzies like frozen reeds storm
shattered and scattering disintegration to the gods of bastardized lore
contemplating little less than the cigarette burning down while wide-eyed watching the
pretties wiggle indoors for something worthy of their sweet attention
troubled by being troubled, sore of soreness, wishing to have touched a place too far
sheltered in their chests with ribs of complacent, martyred sentimentality
manifesting formulaic odes to the disintegration of originality
offering nullified phrases like scripture to each other, the common cockerel shoving his way
through as the girls pout their freshly ripened sexuality on elevated plains beneath the
warier schizophrenic club-lights
grinding down teeth and protruding bottom jaws high and battered of brain bolstering
meandering around the concave hearts of insubstantial amateur drunks until the D.J.
stopped impossibly, the house lights leaping into the iron reality structure of lights and
insulation above as a dawn breaks a fog, gradually and without remorse or reason,
and the ardent remaining, stunting borrowed lyricism
hearkening addresses and phone numbers in jumbled messes of desperation, depravity
jumping into ears and palms leaping into taxis and strange beds to curb the tragedy of
the inevitable return
Pianist/vocalist Sharon Bee at our Dec. 4th Event
Sharon Bee will sing and play piano at London Open Mic Poetry night on Dec. 4th at the Mykonos Restaurant. The singer-songwriter will be on the stage from 6:30 to 7:00 and again during the intermission at 8:00.
Bee is a classically trained pianist, an award winning composer and a piano teacher. She also teaches music theory and music history. She has performed at many venues and festivals, composed the music & lyrics for three complete musicals (as well as incidental music for several plays), and has developed the music for a series of radio plays being produced out of Halifax, one of which is Old Wounds – the Firefly tribute.
In between these activities, she writes her own music and lyrics - her first CD was released in the summer of 2004 and now her second CD has just been released -a collection of music from the Old Wounds Radio Drama.
Her voice, as inspiring as it is beautiful, has been described as "a voice like an angel" and has been compared to Tori Amos and Kate Bush (among others). Her writing has also been described as reminiscent of Canadian Jane Siberry.
Bee's singing has been described as "ethereal and irresistible", "warm and soothing", “radiates strength and conviction”, "one of the great new and relatively unknown Canadian talents" and "truly unique - and decidedly Canadian".
Sharon Bee is a graduate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario (Classical Piano Performance). She was born and raised in Toronto – Don Mills, and currently resides in London, Ontario.
Listen to samplings from Sharon Bee's two CDs.
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario. The restaurant has a large, covered terrace just behind the main restaurant, which comfortably holds 60 poetry lovers. Mediterranean food and drinks are available. Overflow parking is available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
WHEN: December 4th, the first Wednesday of the month, as with most of our events.
LIVE MUSIC: Sharon Bee will sing and play piano from 6:30 to 7:00, and during the intermission at 8:00. Listen to samplings from Sharon Bee's two CDs.
THE FEATURED POET: M. NourbeSe Philip will begin reading shortly after 7:00, followed by a Q&A. Read our interview with NourbeSe and five of her poems.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, there is about 1.5 hours of open mic, ending about 9:00 pm. Each poet has five minutes (which is about two good pages of poetry, but it should be timed at home). NOTE: WE WILL NOT BE SELECTING NAMES AT RANDOM, BUT, AS IS TRADITIONAL AT MOST POETRY OPEN MICS, POETS WILL WRITE THEIR NAMES IN A SPOT OF THEIR CHOOSING ON A LIST AT THE DOOR. They will also be asked for their email addresses and whether or not we can photograph and videotape them reading.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked. The prizes consist of poetry books donated by Brick Books and The Ontario Poetry Society. Donations are our only source of income. We still haven't paid off our initial debt.
M. NourbeSe Philip is UWO’s 2013 Writer-in-Residence. She is a critically acclaimed and widely anthologized poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and short story writer. Philip’s career has been marked by her formal experimentation and her strong commitment to social justice. In addition to her many literary honours, Philip is a former Guggenheim fellow and a recipient of the City of Toronto Arts Award for poetry in 1995. Recently she has garnered praise for her interactive live performances of her newest book of poetry, Zong!, which focuses on an 18th century legal decision regarding the murder of Africans aboard a slave ship. (Bio by #Poetrylab) See Expanded Biography
A SHORT INTERVIEW
Interviewer is Kevin Heslop
KH: When did you begin writing poetry?
NP: I began some four decades ago. I began as a way of exploring my life -- being female, African descended from the Caribbean but living in a foreign country. I also used it as a way of exploring my history.
KH: What or who have been the biggest influences on your poetry over your life?
NP: My childhood in Tobago has been a tremendous influence on my writing life. In terms of writing the writers who have been seminal -- Audre Lorde, James Baldwin and St. John Perse.
KH: Can you say something about how your poetic style evolved, and what you generally try to accomplish in your work?
NP: When I wrote She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks I became aware that the idea and issue of Language had chosen me and that I would spend the remainder of my writing life exploring this issue in various ways.
KH: From having heard you read, one suspects the speaking of the language, the reading of poetry aloud, adds something to the written word. If this is the case, what, or how, is that something?
NP: I don't know if I can answer that question but perhaps what happens is simply the embodying of the word that exists on the page. I have always considered myself page-bound, since I didn't work in the spoken word genre, so it is in a way as much of a surprise for me to find myself working more intensively in a performative mode.
Most of the poems in M. NourbeSe Philip's selection require a full page to display them properly, not just one column. See them here .
Slide Show of the Nov. 6th Event:
Below is an impression of the event. For captions and all the photos see the full-size slide show on the Gallery Page.
From Frank Davey Blog:
Ron Silliman as Revelator
Revelator by Ron Silliman. Toronto: Bookthug, 2013.
Poet Ron Silliman is probably best known not for his poetry but for theorizing “the new sentence” in 1977 and founding ‘Silliman’s Blog’ of literary commentary and reviews in 2002. To a lesser extent he is known as one of the US “Language” poets and editor of the poetry anthology In the American Tree. His “new sentence” – cogently described in 1993 by fellow Language poet Bob Perelman as a sentence that “gains its effect by being placed next to another sentence to which it has [mostly] tangential relevance” – has become part of the toolkit of avant-garde poetics across North America.
He is also the author of large continuing poems, usually published in small book installments and later collected – Tjanting (1981), The Age of Huts(2007), and The Alphabet (2008). Revelator is described by Silliman as the first part of a 360 part (360 “degree,” that is) poem “Universe” – a book that would take him, his publisher says on the back cover, “three centuries to complete.” Especially with The Alphabet and this new project, Silliman is working in that size-fascinated tradition of American poetry – Whitman and his multitudes, Pound hoping to write a poem that would salvage all essential Western culture, Olson writing in the voice of Maximus. (“My book is bigger than book,” Robert Kroetsch teased the feminist editors of A Mazing Space in 1987– correctly alluding to the phallocentrism of such size matters.) With Universe Silliman appears to have trumped (or perhaps parodied?) his predecessors, even if he has no chance of completing. He does have two more parts of Universe in press for 2014 –Northern Soul from Shearsman in Bristol, and Against Conceptual Poetry from Counterpath in Denver. But most of the parts or degrees of Universe will apparently remain just that – concepts – unless he’s able to write them in a yet unknown part of the cosmos. As the cover blurb says, “We are hopeful.”
From Stan Burfield's Blog:
On even the tiniest adventure ..
In one sense, every life is lived somewhere along a continuum, with at one extreme such careful planning that nothing unexpected is ever encountered, and at the other chaos.
My own life is somewhere on the chaos side. Planning and organizing for the future are definitely not my strong points. I'm at my happiest wandering, roaming, meandering, but also actively pushing through totally unknown situations and territory. It wakens me. And not only on the surface. I guess that over my lifetime I've trained my subconscious to get out there with me and help me see and understand and sort out the unknown. In any case I feel more alive. Whereas when I have to follow a set path or formula or way of living I feel maybe not dead but certainly repressed.
We were visiting in Burlington recently. Midway through I wandered off, and luckily had my camera with me.
So, here's a... small adventure in photos.