21 April 2005

book launch frivolity and thoughts on being audience to private (and Other peoples') things.

we of course had a glorious time at Coach House's book launch last night, determining (ok, i determined) that hereafter it would be more appropriate to frequent these events as the "Brick Posse", with the staid and silent Yohannes heading up (staid and silently) puffing on his cigarette, and the rest of us following up behind with trenchcoats flowing in a wind (manufactured by hidden fans), and holding weighty tomes of literary greatness and looking tough, as poets stop reading and bohemians everywhere step back in awe and let us pass through to get first dibs on the shrimp sauce and deep fried wontons.

of course for the sake of modernity and all sense of equality and protocol, we would have to switch up the staid front-man smoker role, 'xcept the rest of us are only occasional smokers or trying to quit.

anyhow. these readings are interesting. i guess i do use the word "interesting" in it's questionable context. although by NO means do i mean this in a derrogatory sense (NONE. i am a TRUE supporter of the humble reading. TRUE TRUE TRUE.) and tonight's was actually particularly gratifying 'coz there were SO many people there. much much support.

readings in general.
books must be the utmost difficult thing to market on earth. it demands making a public event out of an inherently private habit. every passage i heard sounded fantastic, but i confess that it only harboured a desire for me to read the book so i could see it on paper. so in that sense, of course, it was an immense success! and yet... i don't know. the thing about silent slam a few weeks back that really struck me was this accomodation of art with the inherent social aspect of the event. people were allowed to talk, drink, interact, or read poetry as it was being written.
it's probably just me, but i find it hard to be audience to such a .... quiet act as reading, and still be completely caught up in it, despite white noise and distraction. and always this separation. audience/performer. and yet there must be boundaries, i think, if the intention of any work is to be clear.
i don't know.
Tonight the fine people of the Hot Docs documentary festival (welcome to my next sundry job in the world of cultural subsistence) reminded us that although there are some bigwig sponsors involved, they aren't just cutting a cheque, they want to be involved. either by attending the documentary forums, the parties, seeing the films. one could question the definition of "involvement" in this sense, and yet this is more involvement than many Canada Council members can claim once they write their grant cheque. it's a good point.
This same topic of conversation the other night talking about fundraising events, in the hopes of making them more interactive between artists and patrons, instead of just rich people standing around and watching us dance. Events where the patrons themselves dress up, get involved, get crazy in a place that has been made safe for them to get crazy in. (i'm not talking crazy in a soused mother-fucker causing trouble kind of way...YAWN to that shit...i mean in the sense of being other than who they usually find themselves forced to be due to their life choices)
all this seemed very important to me, this need to understand other peoples' need to be Involved. in whatever capacity they are capable of.

we can't all be writers.
we can't all be readers.
in an ideal world (well, in ideal world) we would all be able to do both ad infinitum.
but, of course, as someone said long ago in a poetry class i sat in on, "what would poetry be like if weall could make a living at it?"
play well with all the other children, that's really what this life is all about.

No comments: