Them's wild strawberries
Over and out.
A spotty record of a writer.
Four of us convened at Clinton's Tavern (standing in for the Cedar Tavern) today to celebrate the 80th birthday of John Ashbery. We read some of his poems and some of his prose, and we wondered if he chortled while he wrote. I showed off a copy of Issue #1 of Locus Solus.
Had a good time on the radio Tuesday. Fun to read a chunk of my novel-in-progress and play a Ben Walker musical setting of my poem "Hospitality." When Jen offered to give out a free copy I'd brought of Surreal Estate, a whole heap of people phoned in. That was refreshing.
I'm appearing on "In Other Words" tomorrow, July 24, at 2 pm Toronto time. Locally, you can tune in at 88.1 FM. Non-locally, you can listen live at ckln.fm.
Hatred is gettin' me down. I haven't the energy for it.
Yesterday I turned 48. That sounds like an awfully big number. Dana took me Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen on the Danforth for an amazing Thai birthday meal. At the next table, though, some yoga woman was discussing gastrointestinal activity with her friend. Nice dinner talk.
The mainstream media in the U.S. has been so lapdoggy to the White House, and so Americans almost never see images of pain, death, and suffering in Iraq. So the photo accompanying this article on HuffingtonPost.com was sort of startling. It's not particularly graphic, but the look of pain in that man's face, and in the contortions of his body, is so striking. Imagine that — and worse — happening hundreds of times a day across Iraq. Imagine what would happen if Americans got to see such images — the jolly results of their awesome occupation — on front pages and on breakfast TV every day.
Michael Dennis called this morning at an ungodly hour to tell me my new book had been reviewed in the Globe. When a book of poetry comes out, the most likely result is resounding silence, except maybe for when you do readings, or when a friend or other acquaintance comes up and says something to you about it. Other than that, you wait over the course of the next few years for your $500 or so in total royalties to trickle in, usually late, from a publisher who's probably flailing to stay afloat but who means well.
For this trio, vive la différence!
So I'm immersed in a huge edit for ECW Press. Soon I'll be done. I was telling my shrink about it, that it's a book about wrestling, and he got very excited. "I love wrestling!" said Dr. T. "Does he talk about Whipper Billy Watson?!"
Rox writes to tell me that bill bissett has been sampled by the Chemical Brothers. It's from his recording of "Ode to d.a. levy." It's over here. And there's a nice little article from The Guardian aquí mismo. This is pretty cool. Up there with Nelson Ball gettin' the nod from Sonic Youth. Actually, Nelson getting the nod from Sonic Youth is cooler.
SKYIt's from a little book of his called The Big Parade (The Best Cellar Press, 1982). Hamilton died in 2005.
Why didn't you say an inkstand
Why didn't you say all of this was for the blue sky
Why didn't you say a sheet of writing paper was for a cloud
I am bogged down in an editing job that never seems to end. This is not a book I would normally be reading, but I do enjoy immersing myself in a realm I normally wouldn't pay attention to. This one is just so damn goofy.