Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I arrived late on the scene for this reading (teaching obligations), and the cafe was mostly full, including many familiar faces -- Katherine Beeman (who read in the open set), Robyn Sarah, Anna Fuerstenburg, Ilona Martonfi, and my friend Raphael Bendahan, also featured... in my ten minutes I read After Reading Too Much Shields and Atwood, then Charles Baudelaire's Windows translated by Louise Varese (this transcription, the only one I could find on the net, has a number of ridiculous typos), followed by my own palimpsest of that poem that I wrote here. ("Palimpsest" is Maxianne Berger's term of a borrowing and reworking of key & recognizable elements of a famous earlier work, frequently a take-off set in a contemporary context. At the last League conference she read a marvelous one, a sort of Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock set in 2007.) Susan Dubrofsky and Rana Bose, editors of the webzine Montreal Serai, happened to be in the audience, and the former invited me to send in my take-off of CB for their next issue. I'll definitely do that. This Canada Council-supported site is nicely presented. The poetry is of uneven quality, but I see the archives do include the likes David Solway, Julie Bruck and Carmine Starnino. In any case, it's nice to get stuff out, get "international exposure" while supporting a local zine. Moral of the story: at poetry readings, always be sure to read some unpublished work. You never know who will be in the audience, who might offer to bring it to the light of day in print.