26 November 2006

Unflailingly polite

Nice night last night. Went to the IV Lounge for readings by my friend Dani Couture and by Steve McOrmond. Weird thing for me is that I blurbed both of their excellent new books, Dani's Good Meat (from Pedlar) and Steve's Primer on the Hereafter (from Wolsak and Wynn). Now, those are the only two books I blurbed this year; it's not like I'm running around blurbing everything in sight.

Anyway, I'd never met Steve before, and he turned out to be a very nice and friendly fellow. Good reader too, with this sort of Anglican-minister delivery and some excellent between-poem jokes. Dani also read very well, with a more low-key approach. Both very smart writers, and they both also ended off with a couple of new poems, which is always a good thing. Dani kicked off, though, with a poem by her one-time prof and friend the late John Ditsky; I realized I'd perhaps never heard or read a Ditsky poem before: it was great. I want to know more about Ditsky. I know that Emily Schultz and John Barlow also studied with him in Windsor (Ditsky, I think, was an American, living in Detroit).

There was a third reader, and he was one of those people with a first initial, like T. Anders Carson and L. Ron Hubbard and C. Thomas Howell. When his name, which I now can't recall, was announced, I sorta inwardly groaned, because I remembered seeing another first-initial poet at the IV in the past few years and I wondered if this was the first-initial-poet venue of choice. Turned out to be the same guy.

Later, rob mclennan arrived, fresh off the train. Well, not fresh, as he himself announced. Anyhow, I was determined to be friendly and polite and welcoming-to-my-city, because he felt I was a prick to him in Ottawa this past fall (perhaps I was). And he, graciously, seemed willing to give me another chance. Life's easier when you're nice to people.

After the readings, I headed off to InterAccess, where Quebec artists Plan B were opening their show Flock [on]. In the darkened gallery, three fuzzy coloured spheres lay on the floor. Nudge them with your foot, toss them a little, or pick them up and carry them and strange, evocative noises emit from the speakers on the walls while coloured arrows — a little like bill bissett seagulls — dart around you on the floors and walls. Well worth a visit.

Managed to get a piece of writing done in the last couple days, which felt good. When I saw Richard Truhlar at the Mercury launch Thursday, I was flooded with guilt because I didn't come through for him on a fiction anthology he's putting together. He had extended my deadline several times and I finally had to write him and say I just couldn't do it. But Thursday he mentioned that he was waiting "for the last two pieces." So there was more time! I asked him and he said sure, I should go ahead. And I went home that night and pushed myself through some prose for him. So now it's finished, and I have no idea if he'll use it, but I like it, and I'm glad to have produced a piece of short fiction for the first time in ages.

Over and out.


At November 28, 2006 12:54 am , Blogger roxword said...

aww don't go soft on us stu. rage on...


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