I got into Toronto quickly and smoothly Thursday.

Then yesterday I went to see my first poetry reading here. (Toronto, apparently, unlike New York, does not think it is in elementary school and should get summers off.) (UPDATE: I'm told this is not as true as it seemed at first. Oh well.) It was part of The Scream, a week-long festival.

Except I got a little confused. I thought I was going to a reading-cum-art show featuring work by, amongst others, Michael Maranda and derek beaulieu. I arrived at 7, but... well, long story, but it was the art show opening that had no reading; the reading at 9 was unrelated. Since I am completely incompetent at mignling, I ended up meeting only one nice woman who said hi and we chatted about Toronto vs. Portland (the first of many such conversations, no doubt), but I didn't get her name. D'oh!

The art work poetry whatever was great, including Maranda's version of Mallarmé's "Un coup de dès n'abolira pas le hasard", which is basically a reproduction of the original edition but with all the words white-taped out, and a cabinet by beaulieu with what was apparently all the "A"s from a box of Alpha-Bits pinned down and labelled like so many butterfly samples.

The reading was basically: Lots of people died in 1957. People in the audience picked out a text by or about one of those people and read it for two minutes, timed. At the end of the two minutes, a woman in a black veil lightly tapped the reader on the shoulder, indicating that Their Time Had Come. People had fun with the format, a highly ecclectic set of texts were read, etc. (I did not participate.)

It was a nice night. It was at a cute little indie book store, Type Books, which has a "plotless fiction" section (a third of which I have read or owned or were by David Markson so I might as well have read them). It was very strange being at a poetry reading where I didn't know anyone and where I wasn't in charge of anything. Oddly passive. But I could have been more active about it. (I did not participate.)


  1. troylloyd said...

    good fortune awaits you.

    i'm envious you got to see beaulieu's alphabittic work in the flesh -- thatsa great series.

    congrats ontha successful relocation, are you now considered a Canuck?

    in exploring the Torontontology, don't fergit to post innerestin'

    like i bet the bookshops up there are crazygood.

    double fortune happiness to you!  


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