16 May 2008

It's 4:48. Do you know where your psychosis is?

Nice getting to know Edmonton a little better. Check into my sleazy little hotel room yesterday afternoon after the kwik trip from Vancouver. Felt pretty disoriented downtown, so just started walking. Wound up at Audrey's for 7:30, where I was doing a reading, having piggybacked on onetime Edmontonian Betty Jane Hegerat's book launch. Audrey's is a fantastic indie bookstore, and they set up nice for the reading.

The downstairs space was packed, mainly with Betty Jane's relatives, but a few people showed up for me too. But all those relatives - presumably most of them hadn't been to readings before, except maybe for Betty Jane. So I think my poetry took them by surprise, but I got a very good reception. It was great to read for the first time from Dead Cars In Managua. Mainly delved into "Hospitality Suite," the long poem about hospitals.

Near the end of my reading, Mark McCawley showed up, and after the event he took me on a walking tour, from downtown, across the terrifying and seemingly endless High Level Bridge. The wind was really strong, and I didn't handle the acrophobia-inducing walk all that well. But we made it. And wandered up and down Whyte Avenue, stopping for a drink at the Strathcona Hotel.

Mark and I exchanged packages, and I got a heap of chapbooks and magazines, some of which will probably freak me out. Talk frequently returned to Daniel Jones, who Mark published many years ago. Mark's interest is in very edgy, dangerous writing. So we also talked about Juan Butler, Tom Walmsley, Evie Christie.

This morning I met my dear cousin Fern for a tea near the hotel, and then headed to Whyte Avenue, where Wayne Arthurson and I had lunch at Mosaics, one of the greatest veggie restaurants I've ever been to. Wayne's an amazing guy who works really hard. And he wrote a nice article about me for the Edmonton Journal that got published earlier this week.

Now, biding my time till this evening, when I hit some small theatre to see the excellent Clarice Eckford, poet and actor, perform in Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis. It promises to be incredibly heavy, Kane's last play before she killed herself in 1999 at age 28. The script apparently doesn't distinguish between characters, or even inventory the characters. Lance La Rocque told me the play was staged in Wolfville a couple years back with a cast of six. This Edmonton production has a cast of three.

Toronto is only 48 hours away now. It feels so long since I've been there. I want to go home and do nothing but read and write.

Over and out.


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