Writing postcards, putting on stamps, typing letters (with a weird expression on my face as I try to hold up my glasses with my nose), scribbling addresses, stamping inky stamps… and whatnot in historic kura barn studio in provincial Japan with a shaky camera while listening to John K Sampson (of The Weakerthans from Winnipeg) on vinyl.
That’s it, nothing else happens, come hang out if you want.
Really, That’s it… just me in the kura studio, fiddling around making a mix cassette tape from a USB drive (weird right) with a story about the “Taos hijacking incident” – while also organizing some postcards, addressing some envelopes and that’s it… Really nothing happens but thought you might want to just come hang out.
Rehearsal: Because of a typhoon rolling into our area, I recorded a rehearsal video in my beloved barn studio “just in case” and for my own enjoyment and possibly yours.
Poem: i’ll go into it more than another time if curious, but in brief: the poem is about coming to grips with the onset chronic and complex disease and the conundrum of being in lovely/spectacular places – from Jamaica to Suez – but being plagued by pain, anxiety, ghosts and confusion and misunderstanding of friends who didn’t understand… and just wanting someone to help me sleep after being so frustrated after seeing seemingly every kind of doctor possible (and having to make a big long list of everything for various paperwork) so I laughed to myself, “the only type of doctor I hadn’t seen was alchemists and hypnotists.”
Buy via Azn for only $8 CAD or better, ask you local bookstore (Iron Dog Books for example) to order from Ingram. If you have a fave bookstore who can hook this up, please drop a comment.
Special for you: if you order a book from Muriel’s Journey, let me know and i’ll send you a postcard to say “thanks” and you can use as a bookplate or bookmark (or put on fridge). For expedited service, please use my Postal Club form and mention “Muriel’s Journey” in the notes.
“In the studio barn, anxious on account of an impending medical and other “life admin” project, Dave reads from a variety of slim-sized (mostly) books of poetry, discusses book layout, design and publishing styles and pathways, relates some anecdotes about writers & how the books came to be here. Plus a few musings and projects of his own – while trying to calm a weary head and body.”
(I will add a proper list of books and writers, soonish, not right now, but of course if you just watch you know about the books cause you’ll hear all the poems)
They discuss ways to bring classic houses into modern age while retaining traditional charm, the joys of mixing new technologies and ancient art, and examples of how Alex’s 40+ projects since 1970s have come together as “positive public works“.
As well, they check out a city-block-sized Akiya and quick peeks at two other renovated guest houses, a kura turned restaurant, and another reservation-only country restaurant run by former Chiiori foundation staff.
A conversation about DIY constructing scrapjournals with board game backs, calendar paper fronts, mixed blocks inside, with a side sewing technique. Including: what materials to gather and adding a few treats to start so you “don’t get precious”.
Plus using a Tin Tin calendar as a substrate for a travel scrapbook with a ephemera (coaster, tickets stubs, boarding passes, maps, etc) from Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, Greece, Rome , Istanbul (with space for Suez).
Plus a few comments about the Vatican’s reconciliation *campaign* with Indigenous people of current-day Canada. Lighting incense and sage in hopes of sincerity and action.
All from the “Giggling Piglet studio” in a historic storehouse barn in provincial Japan with *Special hellos* to Kim in Austin, Jason in Gifu, Dan in Mass, Vincent in Victoria, Aki in the islands, the students of a school near Yokota, and others along the way.
* Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society (donate)
The great poet Gary Snyder’s “entire” collection of published – and previously uncollected works – was recently assembled and published by the “Library of America” (realizing here I don’t really know exactly what the Library of America is but certainly recognize their distinctive cover art).
Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems | Myths & Texts | The Back Country | Regarding Wave | Turtle Island | Axe Handles | Left Out in the Rain | from No Nature | Mountains and Rivers Without End | Danger on Peaks | This Present Moment | Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations
Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, there was a video-teleconferencing-event with various collaborators, writers, enthusiasts, naturalists, acquaintances, a noted elected official, and so on providing personal anecdotes about esteemed Mr. Snyder as well as reading a few particular favourites from his extensive canon.
For my own reference (and yours), here are a couple of screenshots from (what was the early morning in Japan) event with Gary and Poet Wang Ping who shared her wonderful story about Axe Handles which includes a real life incident involving *the* axe handle, the real kid (now adult), and the actual Ezra Pound book – whew.
Just hanging out at Giggling Piglet Studios – an historic kura storehouse in provincial Japan – taping and glueing ephemera, snapshots, stamps, postcards etc from a trip to Kyoto for Kominka Summit, plus stops at Gion Post Office and Ginkakuji temple – into an accordion-style scrapbook.
While listening to records by Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Husker Du, JFA… maybe something else.
No narration, banter (witty or otherwise) or “action” beyond, playing with papers, scissors, glue, double sided tape and whatnot.
Anyhow,… 10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 10-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor. And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts…, ergo:
“I know that wasn’t the question, but this is the answer”
The friendship and camaraderie of The Matinée is as evident as the affable gents provide cabin tours and compare Canadian landscapes to Lord of the Rings geography while wondering “what life feels like there” as places whisk past VIA Rail Canadian train’s window.
Beyond the witty banter, they play *so much* that Matt Layzell’s voice is almost tossed into the baggage car with the empty bottles ~ from 3 AM group sing-alongs, to Lightfoot/Dylan-esque poetics in the view car (including Kiana Brassett chiming in on violin), and breaking out songs sounding like summer FM radio in a convertible turned up to 11 as the throngs cheers their beers to slinging Matt Rose & raconteur Geoff Petrie on guitars, Pete Lemon switching between brushes, tables, shakers & sticks, and Mike Young swapping bass for mandolin.
Indeed, The Matinee collectively brought the chops and the charm reminiscent of The Band on the 1970 Festival Express with easy-going sincerity, swagger & style and surprises for everyone – especially for CBC host and singer of The Smugglers, Grant Lawrence who was temporary speechless for the first time in his life.
So continues the Track on Tracks rock ‘n’ roll train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto with 10+ bands, dozens of music enthusiasts, and a documentary crew who were literally climbing the walls to capture it all. Hop on board for part 5 of 10 and see you in the bar car ready to sing-a-long.