‘waves of ceaseless alphabet’

The August Damned hosted by Lizzie Violet, was our farewell to Q Space, which is sadly closing at the end of the month.

legs akimbo
legs akimbo

First feature Brenda Clews – performed from her LyricalMyrical chapbook, ‘the luminist poems.’ Her first poem invoked a spirit of light that by the end of her set encompassed us all. She is a very physical performer and its hard to tell where language ends and her moment begins in each work to give shape to the verbal images she gathers from ‘waves of ceaseless alphabet.’ Her work is richly emotionally charged with dream logic as images are woven in the air around her. Sometimes abstract at other time deeply human: ‘the sky peeled back like a scroll,’ ‘have I forged a fortress of my insecurities.’

glove - a little run down
glove – a little run down

Second feature Adam Abbas, was visual counter balance to Brenda. After her animated performance he appeared nearly immobile as he gave a fine, ranging set that started with saucy limericks, a dense rhymed work and some polished villanelles.  His rhymed piece was a densely packed work where words sounds bounced one image into the next without stopping to make distinct connections in a dream logical surreal journey we were happy to be taken on. Moments that stayed with me include; ‘who wants to be the first to leave paradise,’ ‘pens running dry/scratch the outline of your dream/as it says good bye.’ His book ‘A State, A Statue, A Statute,’ will be published in September 2013 by the Steel Bananas Arts Collective.

tank tops for trees
tank tops for trees

Final & musical feature Andrea Matchett – has a warm, inviting voice that reminded me of Janis Ian, as did her lyrics ‘isn’t it a shame that the best words in the world are the words left unspoken,’ ‘one day I’ll stop thinking of you every day.’ She accompanied herself with accomplished guitar work that went smoothly from deceptively simple strumming to delicate plucking. It was also a treat have a guitar that wasn’t louder than the performer.

A fine line of open stagers opened each of the sets. It’s always great to see Don Cullen read – when he hits the open stage we are no degree of separation from the Bohemian Embassy days when Margret Atwood hit the open stages of shows he hosted. I did my standard three pieces, including Ghost Kiss.


writing sample
writing sample

one of the other pieces I read:

Blowing Shit Up

kill them   kill them all

bomb the shit out of them

teach them to be good world citizens

stumbling through the shopping mall

of our needs and wants

if they can’t satisfy those needs and wants

bomb their contaminated water supply

their understaffed hospitals

over flowing orphanages

bomb their rubble to rubble

kill them   kill them all

liberate the enslaved of all nations

from the despotic heels of dictators

religious fanatics

bring them into our refined gilded fold

of credit cards smart cars

that’s all we want to do or

we’ll let them die of hiv malnutrition

then bomb the shit out of them

kill them    kill them all

blasphemers who don’t have a seat at the world bank

we have to assimilate them

into the stream of human kindness

if they can’t be assimilated

smash destroy replace repatriate

then we’ll stick around

help rebuild those economies brick by byte

because what is good for them

is even better for our capital gains

so we’ll bomb the shit out of them

till they admit we are right

to kill them   kill them all

bomb their rubble to rubble

because   after all

who doesn’t like to see shit blow up


blowing shit up
blowing shit up

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