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.


Kevin Killian said...

Hi Max, it was great to see you perform with Rodrigo at the Positions Colloquium and great also to see you here blogging about it.

I must correct one thing, you ask why didn't Michael Turner appear at the conference? You must have missed his appearance Wednesday afternoon in the "Clifford Irving Show" devised by me and Dodie Bellamy, for in it Turner played very brilliantly a talkative, l'homme moyen sensuel of a customs agent interrogating the UK-based artist Tariq Alvi from entering the USA at SFO. He's great and so are you.

Maxwell said...


Errors abound on the post-Max RHT site! Yes, I now remember Turner's wonderful performance, though I must have missed hearing his name in my post-red-eye-flight stupor (!) and missed the connection.

[Michael Turner's "Kingsway" (which I happily stumbled upon) is available from Arsenal Pulp Press. The author photo, though, I had to google research myself, and does not appear in the book.]

Well, the truth will out. Thanks to my team of web readers for correcting me!