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Bob Perelman Feature

Louis Cabri

Poems


INFLATION PLOTS

(After Alain Cavalier’s Le combat dans l’île)


With words, democracy
Betrays what

He can’t put in words, or find – their 
Opposites. But

Everything’s black
Anyway, white

Towering surface reflections.
Plots turn into one another.

Wide, smooth forehead and the pout
All we’re given to know.

This handsome, unsmiling
Joins a paramilitary cell.

She finds a blanketed weapon in the closet.
He shrugs, often goes quiet, then shouts

In public standing over her, do not socialize with men.
He slaps the drunk face before sex.

She leaves him for his double and the theatre.
Assassin Foiled, Candidate Lives 

He kills the pitchman whose words set him up.
Middle-class life-stink like plain sentences!

Taste, that all have it, downs civilisation!
And also, the service is bad!

Plot now his
To avenge the bond

His double betrayed, youthful blood
Brother bond to what

He can’t put in words
Or find – they’re

Opposites.
When instead his body crumples, the face isn’t shown.

No towering surfaces.
It may be France, fifteen years after liberation.


BY THE OTTERS OF LüBECK


By the Otters of Lübeck: Reality

                             However, in sound design, bigger is usually 
                             better and reel does not mean real.
                             —Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro

The shoe in water       wooter in the shoe

The hood in water       wooder in the hood

The star in water         warter in the star

The war in water         worter in the war

The matter in water     watter in the matter


Ran in Spain: Ambience

                             It may be subtle, but if it’s missing, the illusion of 
                             reality is broken and the scene comes across like a play 
                             performed on a make-believe set.
                             —Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro

The vote in water       woter in the vote

The guard in water    wuarder in the guard

The myrrh in water    wyrrhter in the myrrh

The order in water     worder in the order

The uh-uh in water     wuh-uh in the uh-uh

The Fatah in water     watah in the Fatah

The cutter in water     wutter in the cutter

The za’atar in water   wa’atar in the za’atar

The wit in water          witter in the wit


Liquid Modernity: Establishing

                             In fact, it’s quite easy to audibly establish rumbling 
                             thunder, exploding bombs, and crying babies without 
                             ever seeing them.
                             —Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro

The thaw in water       whawter in the thaw

The port in water        worter in the port

The way in water         wayter in the way

The where in water     whereter in the where

The what in water       whater in the what

The mother in water    wudder in the mother

The father in water      wahder in the father


Utter: Mood

                              If the suspense scene that you’re working on 
                             included funny cartoon sound effects, children 
                             laughing outside, birds chirping, and a happy 
                             ukulele tune, it would have an entirely different mood.
                             —Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro

The strut in water        wutter in the strut

The shout in water        wouter in the shout

The woe in water          woeter in the woe

The tired in water         wireter in the tired

The raw in water          wawter in the raw

The wack in water        watter in the wack

The hoard in water       woarder in the hoard

The rot in water            wotter in the rot



A POLL: IN AIR

with Aaron Vidaver

1


t
 h
e
 n
e
w
w
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d
d
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c
l
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s
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2


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                                          s
                                          s


3


                                 e                 
                   n                             w
          e                                              w
    h                                                         i
t                                                                 d
                                                                     d 
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4


           e    
   h                                    e
t                              n                        w     w          i          d    d    l   e    c   l  a ss
                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                            


5


                                                  t                                          
                                                  
                                                  
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6


           
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7


                                                                                                                   s




                                                                                                                   s



                                                                                                                   a

                                                                                                                   l
                                      

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8


                                        l              e     
                        d                                     c
                d                                                  l
            i                                                          a
        w                                                 t       
                                                                           s
       w                                                h

          e                                       e                         s
                              
                             n


*     *     *



There is not much time left before the celebration of Guillaume’s 129th birthday of the 26th so let me note right off that there are five types of banners and I’m sure we’re too late for the Summer Annual City Banner Program, the User Group Program for Annual or Once Only Functions, the Neighbourhood Society Banners and Flag Islands. This leaves the Business Improvement Association (BIA) Banners and as it happens I have a contact with the downtown BIA, their security consultant, who contributed to the Wordsquat book (he was a police constable at the time). The thing is that their decorative banners are planned out two years in advance but they have four other programs that complete their Streetscape Enhancements: the Best Foot Forward Program, Downtown Clean Team, Hanging Flower Baskets and Other Beautification Initiatives. I think if we pitch it the right way we could fit it under the last of these which deals with seasonal decorations. We’ll need an engineer for sure to deal with the technical logistics of where and how to hang the banners so as not to disrupt traffic and pedestrian flow and now that the Chief Engineer for the City has retired (and also a contributor to Wordsquat) I am sure he’ll be willing to help out (he owes me a favour). A more pressing question is financing the fabric and silkscreening and I believe if you pretend that the original text was in French and written in France (perhaps one recto of the banner could be the French "original" and the verso the English "translation" and thus when the sun shines through the material viewers will experience a palimpsest -- another bonus feature that even the non-specialists in verse adore) we could tap into money through The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Translation Grant Program which is administered locally by the French Consulate (and can therefore fast track it) who will not want to be embarrassed by forgetting to mark the birthday of one of their foremost poets. What do you think? I mean we’re going to have to have a digital version, too. I’m sure Boast Mouse Pressed will be able to host it even though they’ve really lost that innovative experimental contemporary avant-gardism. The problem is there are other digital variations out there (http:// www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/ editor_Il_Pleut.html) and you may need to take them into account to make sure the piece has an intertextual feel to it and is part of the commons.


> Re: Link to Shelagh Rodgers’s Interview
>
> You can’t garbage it: stretch it into a book-length work then publish
> a bilingual edition under an assumed name then begin working, instanta,
> on a follow-up volume based on the phrase "the dithering away of the
> state". Totally reasonable critical rejoinder. Ninety-three years ago,
> Louis, ninety-three years! Not that this has been frozen in time but that
> it has taken up historical reenactment with all the cheesy flourishes
> of the Society for Creative Anarchronism in order to avoid the pain
> and boredom of the long neoliberal moment. I think #8 should be an
> oversize fold-out collectible and #7 should be a mass-produced festive
> banner that could be draped from lamp posts during this-or-that
> "international writers’ festival" then auctioned off to raise funds
> to better promote culture in the schools. Now to make this whole thing
> credible you need to run it through some kind of aleatoric procedure
> when it comes to preparing the CD to accompany the book: say you get
> 30 separate voice timbres randomized in a text-to-speech application
> that will run the whole thing, itself randomized, naturally, in loops.
> Because of the complexity of the composition you may even want to
> include a behind-the-scenes DVD that explains to the ordinary citizen
> not just the algorithms deployed but a personal account of how the
> author came through his struggle to arrive at this very type of writing
> which is so misunderstood. As for the polling data I would save that
> for the critical prose to come. You may want to rethink the typeface,
> however.


> > The parodies tend to reproduce the entire
> > apparatus don’t they? I dunno. Sublimated for sure.
> > Tired today.

SOURCES OF THE TAUTOPHONE


I I says
I says I’s
I says so

So I says
I’s is I says
I says I’s’

I says so
So I says
Isis I says

I says Isis’s
I says so
So I says

Hi I says
I says hi’s’
I says so

So I says
Aye I says
I says Ayes’

I says so
So I says
Ice is I says

I says ices’
I says so
So I says

High is I says
I says highs’
I says so

So I says
Size is I says
I says sizes’

I says so
So I says
Sighs I says

I says sighs’
I says so
So I says

Z… z…  is I says
I says z… z… s’
I says so


THE SWIFFER PRINCE


This, a parody of Comfort Living™

will not be undertaken

down a street (imagine, down a street!)

here. But the parody goes like this. 









2

The Swiffer Prince


Problems, not solved, only displaced. Drifting

careening sensations crowding

out dramatic vista.

Don’t be Lenin’s zombie slut, Swifferboy



either.

Either.

Hi there.

Neither.



SONG OF GROCERIES

              Not available everywhere. 
              Some restrictions may apply.

You are in Manila!
You work for Dell.
My name is English.
I have a problem.

      Mark down that price.
      Down that mark Price.
      That price-mark, down.
      Price: down; mark that.

You live near Paris!
You have no papers.
My hair styles French.
I get the problem.

      Mark that down, Price.
      Down that, Pricemark!
      That mark-down price?
      Price that down, mark.

You learn to write!
You have few books.
My product is flexible.
I make out problems.

      Mark Price, down that.
      Down. Price that mark.
      That, down, Pricemark!
      Price that mark-down.

You, you—my eye!
You look so green.
My poor sick mother.
I see a problem.

      Mark down: “price that.”
      Down, Pricemark! That.
      That price down, mark?
      Price-mark that down.

You “exist” here, yes.
We are flexible, punctuated.
My time is mine.
There is no problem.

      Mark that Price down.
      Down, mark. Price that.
      That Mark Price—Down!
      Price, mark down that.

Your name is English.
Your hair styles French.
Your product is flexible.
Your time is mine.

      Mark, price that down.
      “Down” mark, that Price…  
      That, down, mark Price.
      Price down that mark.

You have a problem.
I spy a mark.


Louis Cabri

Louis Cabri

Louis Cabri is author of — that can’t (Nomados) and The Mood Embosser (Coach House). He recently edited and introduced a selected poems by Fred Wah (The False Laws of Narrative, Wilfrid Laurier UP) and with Peter Quartermain a special issue of critical essays on sound and poetry for ESC: English Studies in Canada (accompanying CD edited by Michael S. Hennessey). New poems and an interview by Roger Farr appeared in The Capilano Review, and poems in the recent anthologies Open Text: Canadian Poetry in the 21st Century, Vol. 1 (CUE) and Less Is More: The Poetics of Erasure (Simon Fraser University Gallery). He teaches modern and contemporary poetry, literary theory, and creative writing at the University of Windsor, and is completing a critical book on poetry and the social.

 
 
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