08 July 2005

George Vancouver

bill bissett and Susan Musgrave opened up the West Coast Poetry Festival last night here in Vancouver, at the Vancouver Public Library. One of the weirdest readings -- both, over the years, have become equal parts stand-up comic and poet. In fact, they indulged in so much schtick that they each only got around to about to perhaps half a dozen poems in their half-hour slots. Good poems, though, and much of the schtick was pretty funny. Been fascinating watching Musgrave weave tales of Stephen Reid into her patter over the past decade: funny references, with mildly exasperated affection.

The big surprise for me was to walk into the room last night and see... Steven Roxborough -- the Ozzy Osbournesque performance poet I met in Kimberley this past spring -- the guy who has edited the homage-to-bissett anthology with Jeff Pew. Rox, as he is commonly known, drove all the way up from some place near Seattle to see bill's reading. We sat right up front and guffawed together. He's a neat guy, all right. Good to see him out of the context of the Kootenays, where I was simply overwhelmed by everything around me.

I've been wondering why I keep a blog, as I'm sure many bloggers do. I'm confused about whether I'm writing to you or to me. I think it's to both. I think it's to keep my thoughts and issues organized. Maybe I can sleep better. I don't really know. It's a neat discipline, though, especially for someone as scattered as I am.

Still mulling over the future of my Hunkamooga column in Word. On further inspection, not only is it going to be published first on the Web, and then in a thrice-yearly compendium later on, but also I'd only be doing three columns a year instead of five or six. That really changes the nature of the column, because it doesn't allow for much continuity, much flow. I'm wondering if there is another home for Word, a physical mag where it could appear more frequently.

Started the other day, I think I mentioned, on what will be a book-length poem. It's really coming along. I've incorporated an old, longish poem into it, a poem that's already appeared in Razovsky At Peace and Hey Crumbling Balcony! I've rejigged it slightly, and may alter it some more, and it's a good exercise in breaking down the sacredness of an already-published piece.

In a couple hours I'm going to meet Dave and Alison at Pulp Fiction on Main, and in the meantime going to do some thift-store snooping for books. Like I need more books. Tonight: more West Coast Poetry Festival. It's nice to be here in Vancouver, and staying at Clint and Julie's home. Maybe if the rain and mist abate, I'll be able to see the mountains. Rumour has it they're around here somewhere.

Over and out.


At July 08, 2005 8:22 pm , Anonymous Lynn said...

stu, your blog is a record of what you're thinking and doing, and thinking about doing. as such it keeps readers there with you when they don't see you. it's nice to be in touch.

At July 08, 2005 10:23 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blog because I can. Besides, the chicks dig it and the money is awesome.

At July 12, 2005 10:37 pm , Anonymous ozzyrox said...

i don't blog because i prefer making cameos in other people's blogs. wow, i can't believe i entered stuart ross' dreamworld...it's always a pleasure to hang with someone who digs bill laswell and robert wyatt. i'm one of the lucky few to have seen/heard soft machine open for jimi hendrix experience way back in 1968 and they blew my mind. been a big fan ever since. pestered my college radio station until they put cuts from 'rock bottom' in rotation...back in the day when threats to a d.j.'s bicycle tires could actually make a difference. until we walk across each others' minds...


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