Friday, September 19, 2008



I went to hear poetry the other night in Vancouver and the Muse slammed her fist in my face.
Instead of warbling or shower stall arias I heard the cold, precise clink of scientific observation. I listened to prose presented as a form of poetry, lines about businesses and dreams that have disappeared from the sidewalk.

Every utterance belongs to the great, complex symphony I can hear the initiated say. What is wrong with prose smacking against the ear with a dull drip drip?

The matter with drip, drip, drip is that the sound may drive the poor reader mad, move him to storm into the bathtub and yank the tap off its hinges…and without the tap how can future generations drink the original waters that feed our imaginations, that help us bathe in brooks that babble, in tickling streams, in the raging sea?

If you are to be in Vancouver on September 25th come to Simon Fraser University’s library at their Burnaby campus, to the 7th Floor where the Special Collections are housed, where my friend Tony Power directs a marvelous selection of American and Canadian poetry from the Beats onwards. At 12.30 p.m. I will read there with the California and Vancouver master George Stanley who just published Vancouver: A Poem.