05 August 2006

David McFadden & Killer Kane

Spent the morning reading David McFadden's A Knight in Dried Plums, published by M&S in 1975. As I gradually construct this volume of Selected Poems Of, I realize that in a country that actually valued its writers, there would be calls for a Collected Poems Of. David's poetry is miraculous. It's appalling that he has never won the Governor General's Award for Poetry. He should be the next Canadian Poet Laureate. Let's get the ball rolling on that.

I am struck by how brave and adventurous David's poetry is. In person, he often says things that makes your jaw drop. The way South Park can make your jaw drop. As an artist, he does the same thing. He makes his readers laugh, but he also doesn't hesitate to make his readers uncomfortable. Just as so many of his poems end in gorgeously serene epiphanies, so many others end in some shocking statement, some out-of-left-field twist.

So I'm putting little stickies on the poems I want to include in the Selected. But it's tough not to put stickies on 90% of the pages in McFadden's books. I'm thinking perhaps this volume should go only until the mid-'80s. Or even the mid-'70s. A Selected for each decade of his career would be the way to go. There was a time in Canadian publishing when that would have happened.

Thing is, too, I get so excited about writing while I read his work. I'm dying to get to my own poetry again.

* * *

Last night Dana and I watched New York Doll, an amazing documentary about Arthur "Killer" Kane, the New York Dolls' bass player. My most excellent friend Joe Grengs, who has introduced me to so much great stuff in the realm of music (the Ass Ponys! the Jayhawks! Brenda Kahn! Joe Henry!), urged me to watch this. It is a truly brilliant, humanist, artful film. It, too, made me want to get back to my own writing again. And back to my friends. It also made me cry.

I've had a real feeling of aging in recent times, or a feeling that I've aged, man I've aged. But it was exhilirating watching all these aging punks still full of passion and craggy charisma.

* * *

A quick note of thanks to Kate for explaining to me why I couldn't format or create links here in Blogger. Now I can.

Over and out.


At August 05, 2006 12:54 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"aging punks"...now there's an oxymoron. somehow pogoing on a beer soaked cement dance floor at the smiling buddha (hastings street, vancouver) in my 50s doesn't appeal. could never sustain that much teenage angst. perhaps i lost touch with "the scene" when i brought some of the music home and actually listened. it gave my goldfish a heartattack, my plants started smoking, and my dog began playing with razor blades. (although in my books, sid's "my way" ranks up there with frank's "that's life.")

At August 07, 2006 4:03 am , Blogger Amanda Earl said...

Isn't it wonderful how reading others can inspire one's own writing? Aging, ah yes. Having to listen to 80s music again. Some things are too painful to encounter twice.

At August 07, 2006 8:17 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched New York Doll a few weeks ago and it made me think of how friends can become enemies over stupid shit and how stupid shit gets magnified by time and it made me think of calling you and saying hey lets us talk again before someone organizes a reunion tour.

Killer Kane became such a sad (but sweet) little man hanuted by his past, which gives the film such an interesting edge.

At August 09, 2006 8:50 am , Blogger dana_plato said...

I thought "aging punks" was redundant.


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