Saturday, August 23, 2008
Day Four: We Spell it "Kanada"
10:09 AM - Saturday, 23 August 2008
I'm considering Vancouver poet Michael Turner, whose book I found in this triangular café. Why isn't Mr. Turner here at this conference? His work "think[s] about cities and people" which, like, is the whole point of the conference. Plus look at his author photo.
Yesterday: The poets talk about seizing social space—Laura Elrick's hooded-and-handcuffed walk through in Manhattan, Jules Boykoff and Kaia Sand's political slogans posted on signs along southern roads. In the capitalist North American context, we're accustomed to living in commercial spaces "created for us, not by us," (in malls looking at adverts, on sidewalks looking at adverts) but maybe we can take some of that space back for social/public (non-commercial) use. Juliana Spahr mentions that, at the very least, these actions remind the polis that poets and artists (read: dissenters) are still among us...
Someone says that "shooting at monuments has a very respectable pedigree."
Louis Cabri discusses etiquette as "the right way to avoid another social class."
Last night: After 2 months of Fury-ous work, Toscano and I performed Protagonistic Forces, a fifty-minute video/audio/movement/text poem. I've been nothing but warped nerves and ulcers while worrying over this piece, but during the performance itself (around the time I donned goggles and started beating a bubble machine to bits with my hammer while the speakers blared "my space! my space!) I attained a real "sublimity" (Toscano's word). People were... taken aback... by the piece... and not just because their feet got splashed with soap-water.
Rod Smith writes a damn good love poem, all razor-sharp social commentary aside. Jeff Derksen shifts smoothly between high and low brows... I think his poems have shark skin. I want to stay at poetry camp all year.