Wednesday, August 12, 2009

bp Nichol

Eye Weekly, November 15, 2007
"One writer who never conceded defeat to the encroaching conventionality of the 1970s was the late bpNichol." Nichol is a no-brainer here, an absolutely essential poet and for me, one that embodies the ethos of that time (particularly in western Canada). Here he is reading "Love poem for Gertrude Stein", 1971

You can find
A small song that is his and other poems (audio, visual, video) at the online archive for bpNichol.

Several people suggested Nichol, not surprisingly. a.rawlings specifically something from Journal, which is actually a novel, though perhaps not in the conventional sense. The Martyrology is another choice--the long poem is published by Coach House. You can preview books 1-6 here (though technically only 1-4 were written in the 1970s. Lori Emerson and/or Darren Wershler (or Christian Bok) would be the ones to ask. Emerson and Wershler recently edited The Alphabet Reader (Coach House 2007).
This excerpt below is from Book 3

'The road which leads through the brush to the mountains is now open,
The road which leads to the tatter-heap of memories is now closed.'
Trobriand Island Prayer

a voice in a cloud
a face in a storm
distant drawn
steps down from
having been where

wrong moment
wrong song
urgent long breath
half dreaming in the train i saw you
visible death a scream
saint of no-names
free of lies
as in a like an if
nothing ends except pretending
your own existence blessed

ears filled with echoes
tongues with lies
overlay la lu lu
a w & a no
another year of knowing you
another life to go

this is not the moment when the writing comes
only the awareness thru another light
a choice of words moving to be said
pray god do let the consonance lead me

broken rhythm as the mind is
needing peace
to sleep in language years or weeks
white tips of mountains
grey clouds
blue sky

Here he is with "The Four Horsemen"

1 comment:

august said...

hey do you know where i can find some of his recordings?

also, i have been trying to track down the Doc Poetry in Motion and cannot, for the life of me, find it. any tips?

thanks in advance,