Monday, July 12, 2004

I did promise to write more about last nights show.Thought, I truly look forward to the big monday night affair as it is almost always more fun looking forward

One of my fave local poets, a friend and a real character; john barlow wrote this letter to his mom to describe last evening's events. It really touched my heart, made me miss mom a whole lot and made me smile and laugh aloud. (I may just forward this to my dad too as I am not sure what he would do if he ever received an email like this from me) enjoy.


Hello Mum!
I thought of calling but am so tired out today
perhaps especially so vocally, I decided to come online
and write you instead. Good to have fresh message from you
then. I'm tired because I actually performed last night,
not just a reading, full piano artistry, with the poetry,
and with song, an exceptionally well turned out version
of that one 'My father lives in his head' introduced amusingly
by noting what a good back yard we had, the only one
on the street where chemicals weren't used to
kill everything but grass. Get the naturists on your side
early in the reading, and everything else flows from there.
The whole event went incredibly well. It was arranged
against all seeming plausibility, in a small informal art gallery
almost more of a studio. We had access to a rooftop for fresh air.
The format had two very fine jazz musicians, Tim Posgate
and Lina Allemano, guitar and sax, with the electronic keyboard
there just for me, courtesy Patrick McPhee. We'd been on
the roof ever so relaxedly beforehand and came downstairs
to find now every chair full, and people standing along the back,
such that suddenly, my first run at working with a
musical ensemble - ie i who does not know a note
and plays intuitively without foreplan - would have to
break such ice before 36 people or so, in a tiny room
with very little oxygen, all those people aislelessly
between myself and the exit, should I seek to bolt.
I gasped with terror, lost all breath, and my entire
thinking of my carefully planned performance
as well as breath pattern vanished. The several
facing the direction to witness my fright
I thought, as self-conscious people will "now they think
I'm a freak" - plus - the poems I had in mind
had a summery relaxed meditative quality about them
and were I to succeed in restoring the necessary behaviour,
it would seem horrendously false to those
that knew how horrified I'd been...

But the other performers were great and really rocked
in ways that were so interesting and again, unlikely,
I gradually did restore my functionality almost,
and in the first set I think, I came off as just
stagy, and, subtle. This was encouraging,
so in the second set I played it all up,
and people were wildly favorable to my efforts.
It's all been recorded digitally. Hope I get a copy.
Today it has been drainingly hot, and the amount of energy
I expended last night, I was finding even the downhills
a bit of a strain. It's not just me. I ran into friends
at a patio, and the waitress, who'd declared
she was depressed to the other two,
could not be found for some twenty minutes
for them to pay their bill. Today we rest.
Tomorrow is the Scream In High Park
massive poetry reading, with a thousand
people partying in a park for 4 hours,
followed by several hours more
in a nearby pub, then lift the bike over the
ttc turnstiles and head for home. Tuesday I'm taking as my
Canada Day, during which I will rest and comment
on proceedings. I've bought another disposable camera
for it. Outrageous enjoyment is certain to be had.
The Scream In High Park festival has
displaced George Bush from the polls.
It's all about poetry now, and jazz.
Which is certainly an improvement.
All thanks to this unlikely grassroots and a half
style poetry festival. Postmodernism at last.



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