DuPLESSIS and QUARTERMAIN at the Kootenay School of Writing

Antipoetry Month continues at the Kootenay School of Writing …

rachel blau DuPLESSIS
with meredith QUARTERMAIN

Thursday June 3 (reading + Q&A)
W2 Storyeum
151 W. Cordova St — [NOTE our new address!]
8:00 pm
Admission: 3 – 5$, sliding scale
The long poem Drafts, by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, begun in 1986, is collected in several book-length installments from Wesleyan and Salt Publishing, most recently in Pitch: Drafts 77-95 from Salt Publishing, 2010. Other books are Torques: Drafts 58-76 (2007), Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft unnumbered: Précis (2004), all from Salt Publishing, as well as in Drafts 1-38, Toll  (Wesleyan U.P., 2001). The Collage Poems of Drafts is forthcoming from Salt in 2010. She has written a number of critical books, among them Blue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work (2006), The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice (1990/2006), Genders, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934 (2001).

“You will have,” I was told or said, “to share
the guest room, as a crowd of people
is already there,” and I lay her down to rest with them.
“There are dancers and readers and those who
would not be satisfied, and there you will go to school,
a clandestine girls’ school, and with you are
people you once knew and some are dead.
Attend them through the many tales and songs
that each might offer others or invent.
The room is small, so work it out.
They will wait for you as you for them
with yes and no, with back and forth,
the here and there, the then and now,
their modes of folding and their modes of caring.”

from Draft 98: Canzone


Meredith Quartermain’s most recent book, Nightmarker (NeWest), explores the city as animal behavior, museum and dream of modernity. Nightmarker was a finalist for the 2009 Vancouver Book Award. Another recent book, entitled Matter (BookThug), playfully riffs on Darwin’s Origin of Species and Roget’s Thesaurus. Vancouver Walking won the 2006 BC Book Award for Poetry. Recipes from the Red Planet will be published by BookThug in October 2010.

Matter 19:  receiving form become a substance

become a marsh that’s not an island
a gulf or lake that’s not a plain or weary prairie –
matter divided into out and in,
that proper called in ponds
for mill-race

propel the blood to propagate
species work idea-urge
park, lawn, plat the land,
harbour the water-roads in tanks and sumps
descending with surgery from Specific Fluids

roots radical and plumes flowering
unwind velocity in widths and layers
matter has not returned to tundra

imagine a perceptual mobile
of small rigidities and links
to a common desert,
a common found impossible, a quaggy wild
around Man’s islands of sense
imagine these aisles to eyelets archipelago –
to inlets, friths, mouths, lagoons’ capillary tubes
of ingenuity, magnetic, electric
with liquid, moss and slush.

And shush.  Here’s skin for water beetles
scamper on liquid windsocks minuet, the more it’s stretched
the more it’s mercury news pulling repelling
a kind of laughter, and quicksilver grass.