Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Railway Club

Had a fun time this evening, first listening to Tony Harrison read his poems at UBC's Green College, then reading my own at the Railway Club downtown. I also dug some fiction read by a fella named Tony Power, who's a librarian at SFU. Pretty funny stuff.

My reading was introduced by host Aubyn Rader, who's Matt Rader's cousin. Unbeknownst to me, Matt had provided Aubyn with an alternative intro for me. It goes something like this:

Zach rhymes with yak, which is a large bovine, related, but not closely, to the water buffalo, another large bovine found in, well, watery spots, which is what a well is, and the plural of well is wells. If you take a well and turn it sideways you have a tunnel and you can crawl through a tunnel or you can send something through it like a ball or your voice, but your voice will echo likely and be distorted as it passes through so that what comes out at the other end is something different but recognizable. The same can be said for the digestive systems of multi-stomached bovines such as the cow or yak. Yak I might add is a perfect rhyme for Zach.

Hung out briefly with a few folks, including Peter Trower, Rob Taylor and Brian Palmu. Had interesting conversations with people who made livings either betting on horses or selling vintage video games, Lego, etc. on eBay. Sometimes I think I've got the wrong idea working on the train.

I made a tape of the readings tonight, which I'm uploading at the moment. Should be up soon.

Tomorrow, I'm heading back out to UBC to take part in a poetry reading workshop with Tony Harrison, which I'm super psyched about. I'll be performing this speech from Harrison's translation of Molière's Le misanthrope:

ALCESTE Disgusting! Every modish socialite
bends backwards to appear polite.
There's nothing I loathe more than empty grins
and cringing grimaces and wagging chins,
politeness mongers, charmers with two faces,
dabblers in nonsensical fine phrases,
outvying one another in their little game
of praise-me-I'll-praise-you. It's all the same
if you're idiot or hero. What's the good
of friendship and respect if it's bestowed
on any nincompoop and simpleton
your praiser-to-the-skies next happens on?
No! No! Not one right-thinking man, not one
'd want such cheap and flimsy honours done.
Esteem's based on a scale, it's not much worse
praising nothing than the universe.
You'll be no friend of mine if you comply
with these false manners of society.
From the bottom of my heart I must reject
that sort of indiscriminate respect.
If someone honours me I want it known
that it's an honour for myself alone.
Flinging love all over's not my line.
The ' buddy ' of Mankind 's no friend of mine.

I just couldn't resist...


YLM said...

There's all kinds of vintage stuff around here you could sell on ebay.

Zachariah Wells said...

Don't think there's much of a market for second-hand parents...

YLM said...

You're gonna get such a smack.