Saturday, April 24, 2010
Act so that there is no use in a centre. A wide action is not a width. A preparation is given to the ones preparing. They do not eat who mention silver and sweet. There was an occupation.
A whole centre and a border make hanging a way of dressing. This which is not why there is a voice is the remains of an offering. There was no rental.
The first two stanzas of my allusive referential reduction of Stein's "Rooms":
Perform without a spotlight.
A mix for the masters.
Starve the saccharine smiths.
Attired for the execution.
A speaking sacrifice.
I've called the whole reduction-translation Stanzas, and it will be out soon as a chapbook from Bookthug.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
While my earliest recollection of understanding Icarus as a poetic figure comes from Alden Nowlan's evocative "I, Icarus" (and okay, I'll be honest, Iron Maiden's "Flight of Icarus"), my favourite representation of Icarus comes from the above 1558 painting by Pieter Brueghel. As is probably common for contemporary poets, I first sought out this image after reading William Carlos Williams's Pictures from Brueghel, but the painting has had a more lasting effect on my poetry than the Williams poem. While I certainly admire Williams, and count him as an influence, his ekphrasic take on this painting has always seemed more descriptive than allegorical.
Beyond providing me with an analogy for the adventurous poet in contemporary society, this painting was influential in the composition of Torontology. While I was quite invested with the investigation of Greek and Roman myth in that book, I was attempting to do so from a contemporary perspective and Brueghel's painting spoke to me about the place of the mythological within the quotidian, about society's neglect of the marvellous (in Andre Breton's sense), and about the importance of the unexpected in art--that even when you believe that you've grasped the dominant meaning of a given poem, your reading can always be problematized by something small happening in the lower right corner.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
RUST BELT BOOKS
Date and Time: 7:30pm, Tuesday April 20th
Gregory Betts is a poet and scholar in
Stephen Cain is the author of three poetry collections—American Standard/
Holly (a second-year PhD candidate affiliated with the Buffalo Poetics Program) Melgard (DOB: 10/13/83, Sex: F, Eyes: Br, Ht: 5’3, Wt: 145 lbs, Organ donor) is an English Composition (101, 201, and 102) instructor (section C-1, Park 148, 10-10:50 M,W,F). A profile of her most recent work has just been published online by Craigslist, Wikipedia, and MScape. Other poems have been published in print by
Justin Parks is a third-year PhD student, a fellow-traveler of the poetics program, and a student of American modernist literature and culture. With Minna Miemi, he’s co-authored an essay on Claude McKay and James Joyce that will be appearing in a collection titled Phenomenology, Modernism, and Beyond later this year.
The day after, Greg and I will back across the border, in Niagara Falls, to participate in the Hearthside Reading Series:
brought to you by grey borders
the hearthside hearings present:
an evening with authors Gregory Betts and Stephen Cain
Wed. April 21st 2010 8:00pm EST In Niagara Falls Ontario
seats are very limited so please contact us
to RSVP before April 16, 2010
Admittance is free but donations will be accepted graciously at the door
if you cannot attend in person join us LIVE on ustream
Wednesday April 21, 2010 at 8:00pm EST