Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Paying for Holes

Bad news at work—our funding is being cut, cut, cut. I’d feel better about it (well, not better) if the cutting was related to a failure on our part, but as usual it’s simply a case of random government budget violence, too many hands in too many pots, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and various other metaphor jumbles that add up to this: oh poo. The funding reps targeted AMPA’s reading series as the first thing we could get rid of. This just about broke my heart considering the effort I’ve spent on that reading series lately. I can understand why they want to kill it—it doesn’t offer enough benefit to enough AMPA members—but the problem is that now it never will. I liked having my own reading series to play with, even if thoughts of stinky cheese and ffwd listings did occasionally wake me up at unholy hours of the night.

In more cheerful news, I saw derek beaulieu’s launch of fractal economies on the 15th, and it was really something. derek gave performance responsibilities to four other writers, all of whom really stepped up. Jason Christie and Jordan Scott both did readings of poems they’d written for derek, Jill H. literally framed derek’s “framing the narrative” poem, and Natalie Walschots gave everyone the wiggins by displaying her “ai” body art, an inkless tattoo (read: weeping mass of pinholes) on her back. What interested me the most was the trouble she had getting tattoo artists to participate. I guess having holes punched in your skin and injected with chemical colourants is perfectly acceptable, whereas just having holes punched in your skin is totally pervy. Natalie insisted it didn’t hurt, and I kind of believe her. She’s probably the proud owner of a crusty back scab by now. I hope she takes photos and posts them on her blog—scabs are interesting. So are burn blisters, which I used to get all the time when I worked in the food-cooking industry and was forever setting my wrists alight. Provided you don’t rip them off accidently, burn blisters provide this magic, pain-free bandaid for ruined skin, and then they just disappear when the skin underneath is repaired (by “disappear” I mean “end up in your soup”). Wow, human bodies. Anyway, returning to poetic body art—I think I like it.

I’m thinking of clipping pages from derek’s book and framing them. Apologies to Talonbooks and their print provider, who probably went to considerable effort to get the pages to stay IN derek’s book.

It was a terrific event. I even went out afterwards, which is something I haven’t been doing much lately. Blame the short days and freezing rain—I’m rarely in the mood to bike home in the middle of the night, especially not when I’m tipsy (as much as I enjoy scabs, I’m not nuts about scars). I should go out more often.

What a community this is—I can never get over how much everyone actually likes everyone else.

In my last post, the reference to Michael Green naked, holding a bucket of water had to do with his hilarious absurd One Yellow Rabbit Cabaret character, The Whaler. I wasn’t just being—I dunno—questionably imaginative.


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