I've been busier than usual, esp as I like to take an extended break after PurdyFests. But Tai & I've been putting the finishing touches on the re-issue of my hippie memoir/haibun, now to be titled EEL PIE ISLAND DHARMA. With luck, it should be out this fall, & Chase & have enjoyed the trips down to the hamlet of Wicklow on Highway #2, the old Kingston Road, to work with Tai.
Energy, time and $pondulak$ allowing, Chase & I may finally make it up to the Wolf Den sooner than later ...
Canuck People's Poetry
There are all kinds of poets writing all kinds of poetry labelled people's poetry. I think the whole People's Poetry label, at least as referring to Milt, started as more of a friendly in-joke & a convenient tag to honour him with, rather than a true attempt to define People's Poetry (or Milt ...). But it is a convenient label, & James Deahl says that currently most poets writing in Canada consider themselves People's Poets.
The first PurdyFest was a continuation of the "Controversies" James Deahl and Terry Barker had been holding on Milt's legacy and the current state of Canuck People's Poetry. At the start of the first PurdyFest, I believe Terry was even predicting the death of the tradition in Canadian poetry. But the very success and ongoing energy produced by six PurdyFests so far proves that People's Poetry, however we may perceive it, is still very much alive & kicking - and evolving by, as you put it, 'moving to the future by looking farther into the past'!
The shamanic* and Canuck People's Poetry
Much People's Poetry documents the day-to-day lives and struggles of Canucks. Milt and Big Al did this of course, & it's part of the charm & strength of their poetry that it became so widely read. Most of us do this with varying degrees of success (or annoyance to our readers & audiences). But I believe one of the major qualities of People's Poetry is that it also attempts to lead the writers and readers to a higher life - be that a higher existence in social/cultural/economic terms, or even (especially) in spiritual terms. And this is where I understand People's Poetry leads to the shamanic.
If all poets just write about themselves, and their immediate circles of friends and activities, well, this would be one big circle jerk (hmmmm, sounds like a university English department). I've heard Terry pose the question a few times of 'the problem of modernity'. The beings on this planet have put ourselves and the existence of our ecosystem into a seeming death spiral. So how do we get ourselves out of this trajectory?
Only new ways of thinking and being will save us and our planet. It was ever thus. The tribal shaman examined auguries - signs - which weren't apparent to the rest of the tribe. and then he/she led them across the mountains, or over a land bridge, or discovered fire, or the double helix!
There are many ways to tap into the shamanic consciousness. My preferred methods are meditating, reminiscing, and daydreaming - combined with reading & writing healthy doses of good poetry. Rituals help (like drinking beer on the shaman shack deck - or holding our annual PurdyFests, which are really excuses to gather and share these experiences and any possible wisdom or knowledge gained which may benefit our much larger modern tribe - the entire population of planet earth.)
So at its highest level People's Poetry grows into the shamanic, and this is very much the direction we've been heading with the PurdyFests. For the past couple of fests you have been the prime exemplar of the shamanic, with your howls and chants and songs at fest #5, and this year with your inspired reading of Milt's "I Shout Love". And of course who/what could be more shamanic than your crazed familiar from another time & dimension, Wilber Walnut! : )
enuff blather for one nite, gotta try & call Terry again about next Acorn launch & poopify Chase at mdnite ...
peace & poetry power!
Chris/cricket ... and Chase ... Wroooooooooooooooooooooooof!
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On 2012-08-28, at 3:05 PM, Jim Larwill wrote:
Hey Chris getting back to another note...
It would be great to see you here in October, it is a beautiful time of year... Just an idea.
I will put together a little notice for Wolf Fest... and get it too you soon.
I am still very interested in McGee etc... and I still think the 3 wise guys (ironic with the recent tempest) should meet and explore some ideas. But it looks like we have three years to do it now.... ;)
You are a better man than I when it comes to this democracy thing... My position is it is all Pearl's fault.
I also think Katherine might be right on the money when it comes to Riel. His poetry maybe not his strongest writings... but his diary visions waiting for the gallows... prophetic in many different ways.
For what it is worth I am beginning to think more and more about Omnigothic Neofuturist writers than "People's Poets".... far as I can tell "People's Poetry" cannot really be linked to Shamanistic writing*... yet the true core of Canadian poetry of the land may be Shamanistic... certainly something to talk about by the fire late into the night...
... and for what it is worth I was actually going to suggest that since you have a book coming out next year that the symposium be on your work.... but at this point that might mean a sex change... well we are all moving towards a weird wrinkled androgyny of some kind... How are things with Canadian Poetry moving to the future??? Maybe the first step is to keep looking farther into the past.....
keep marching comrade
----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Faiers: Today's Vision/3 wise guys of PurdyFest
Beautiful description of a natural 'secret garden' : )
AcornFest was another success for People's Poetry (& neogothnic omnipresent miasmic whateverness!)
Yeah, I finally managed to drag Terry away from his house for a PurdyFest overnighter - in fact, he stayed at the Belle Vista Motel for 3 nights! And he loved it and had a great visit. So I'm sure it won't be a problem to convince him to do this again next year.
Terry mentioned several times on our trek to A-burgh on Monday how much he enjoyed sharing a long chat with you on the shaman shack deck. Wish I'd had the energy to have stayed on to participate. Most definitely the 3 of us should share an extended yak fest, sooner than later.
I'm planning to head into TO this Sunday for my annual visit to the CNE. Maybe I'll hook up with Terry at some point (mis-typed 'pint' - maybe more accurate!).
Don't know if I can lure Terry back out to Marmora before next year's fest, doubt I can lure him all the way up to your place in Quebec for a visit (hard enough to drag myself & Chase up there). But maybe we CAN convince him to come for another visit to Marmora before next year's fest. Are you OK to drive back down here if we can get him out here?
Getting together in TO is no prob. for Terry & me, but don't know if you have a place to crash there, & if the extra couple of hours drive is just too far & too expensive for you to consider? If we can drag you to TO, then the 3+ of us could tour the Necropolis ...
gotta go poopify a patient Chase,
peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase ... Wrfffffffffffffffffffffff! (yeah, get me outta here ...)
p.s. thanks for being a great Kamp Kommandant once again! - you got a nice mention in the EMC newspaper article I sent you a few days ago - can't find it online yet to post on my blog
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On 2012-08-15, at 10:42 AM, Jim Larwill wrote:
A clump of cedars were down in the swamp on the edge of the hydro slash. They have pulled up a clump of earth making a mound that was taller than I was; behind this tipping is a large black pool of muddy muck. It is as if someone had turned on a light in the swamp. New growth in the open area is almost immediate.
The main part of the fallen clump was made up by two massive cedars about 2 ½ to 3 feet diameter at the base: Their roots interwoven. They had been growing towards the open light ever since the hydro lines had been put in; great curved stumps moving out to become straighter trunks, shafts sprouting with emerald crowns that had hung with majesty at a diagonal of 45 degrees to the earth.
Now on the ground they are a massive protective hedge providing a cradle for new growth in the open area of bog land. They will live for many years to come, but their days are numbered.
We didn’t have much chance to talk this year at Acornfest; however, I did finally get a chance to have a good long visit and discussion with Terry.
I think the three of us (Chris Fairs, Jim Larwill, Terry Barker) should get together for a few days of informal chats.
The Raven King
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