Cyber Monday by Kendra Jones

Oh, uh...


Sorry? That's what I am supposed to say. Right? Sorry. Oh, em, gee am I sorry.

Except that I'm not




I'm busy, ya know? Screens flashing, sales could pass me by busy. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! To get that thing you NEED but really. 

Take the photo, it lasts longer. 

But if you're going to, then Filter that image. Project yourself, not as you are but as you want people to think you are. Virtual reality mistakes itself for actual reality every day. More caught up by what happens on screen than the given scene. We spend so much time capturing the experience, we miss it altogether.

Pump that image, fill it with whatever you like. They'll only know if you tell them. One big fucking vanity project. Selfies in superstore. Seriously. In the cheese aisle. I guess that's glamorous? Who knows what that is. 

I miss people. Not pixelated images on a digital screen, but real, fleshy, messy, people.

It seems we’re people less and less nowadays. 

In this world where everything is a product, even our children become brands, not people.

Images projected sky-high through the eternal fame of 5 seconds on the internet.

Get the image out. Know your brand. Except that you're not...

A brand, I mean. 

C'mon. Reading this to you from my iPhone, must have gadget to make me an individual. Just like everyone else. 

But get the dress. Credit. Plastic. It's not real anyway. We are culturally bankrupt so why not financially bankrupt too? Complete the set.

Just look up. 

Once in awhile. 

Paris looks far more beautiful when not viewed through your phone screen.

Subway Stations of the Cross by Ins Choi

This might well have been the least publicized performance in Winnipeg this year. I learned about Ins Choi's performance of his one-man show in a footnote to an invitation to a lecture I received via the University, and jumped at the chance to see this. While Choi's more commercial piece, Kim's Convenience, plays at MTC Mainstage I'm always far more interested in the work the artist creates to feed their soul.

Inspired by an encounter Choi had with a homeless man in a park in Toronto, he creates a character who is a beggar, and a rich man; insane, but a prophet. Touching on themes of faith, consumerism, and pop culture, Choi weaves a non-traditional piece of theatre through the use of song and poem causing the audience to truly introspect as the words circle around them. Accompanying himself on ukelele, and with the odd foot stomp, we see the character weave in and out of lucidity, at once making much sense and none at all. Echoes came to mind of Nietzche's ubermensch, descended from the mountaintop to share the truth, and yet no one listens or believes - so he must hide, in this case behind the mask of poverty and insanity.

A stunning piece of theatre, and one I strongly recommend seeking out. Choi mentioned in the talkback that he is doing a handful of performances in each city Kim's Convenience tours to, so look it up!

I want to go to France

I have been reading quite heavily about French politics and art, particularly in the time between the wars, and after world war 2. This is solidifying my desire to visit France. I have wanted to go since I was a small child, but the desire waned slightly in my older years, after visiting amazing German cities such as Berlin, and falling in love with London. Maybe it is time for another new love.

Some 20th century French poems that are speaking to me in reference to Genet's work:

French surrealist Robert Desnos (1900-1945) - I've dreamed such dreams of you

I've dreamed such dreams of you that you're losing
your reality.
Do I still have time to reach your vital body, to kiss
into life that voice I love so much?
I've dreamed such dreams of you that my arms,
across my chest, might not yield to your body's shape.
Faced with the real presence of what's haunted and
guided me all these days and years, doubtless I'd become
a shadow.
Fine balance of feelings!
I've dreamed such dreams of you that the time for
waking must have come and gone. I'm asleep on my feet,
exposed to every image of life and love, and you, the only
thing which counts forme now, any lips, any forehead
will be easier for me to touch than your forehead, your
I've dreamed such dreams of you, I've walked so
much, talked so much, lain so much with your shadow,
that perhaps now all I can be is a ghost among ghosts, a
hundred times more shadow than the moving shadow
cast and lightly cast again across your life measured by
the sun.

Swiss-born French poet Philippe Jaccottet (1925-) - Serenity

The shadow within the light
like light blue smoke

Belgian-born poet Jean Daive (1941-) I rise from the depths

I rise from the depths of my resemblance
at the very edge of enigma

evening after evening
I have vanished I vanish

blinded resemblance
falls back into cold's fabric

All taken from:
Sorrell, Martin. Modern French Poetry. London: Forest Books, 1992. P. 63, 105, 227.

Beautiful Words

In preparation for our Duchess of Malfi presentations for Scene Study, I have spent some time looking at various sources. Some essays or books on the subject of the Play or women in that period, and also historical texts. One I came across was Early Modern Women Poets: An Anthology Edited by Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson. This anthology is fairly new, published in 2001, and I found it particularly helpful as it contains a wide variety of female poets, both aristocratic and working class, chronologically from around 1500 to 1700, and holds some biographical and contextual information.

Some specific ones that stood out (tho I am not sure whether any of this will bleed into my work....)

Anne Kyme nee Askew - 1521-1546 -
The Balade Which Anne Askew made and Sange whan she was in Newgate

Lyke as the armed knyght
Appoynted to the fielde
With thys world wyll I fyght
And fayth shall be my sheilde.
faythe is that weapon stronge
Whych wyll not fayle at nede
My foes therfor amonge
Therewith wyll I procede.
As it is had in strengthe
And force of Christes waye
It wyll prevayle at lengthe
Though all the devyls saye naye.
faythe in the fathers olde
Obtayned ryghtwysnesse
Which make me verye bolde.
To feare no worldes dystresse.
I now rejoyce in hart
And hope byd me do so
For Christ wyll take my part
And ease me of my wo.
Thu sayst lorde, who so knocke
To them wylt thu attende
Undo therfor the locke
And thy stronge power sende.
More enmyes now I have.
Than heeres upon my heed
Lete them not me deprave
But fygght thy in my steed.
On the my care I cast
For all their cruell spyght
I sett not by their hast
For thu art my delyght.
I am not she that lyst
My anker to lete fall
For euerye drysling myst
My shyppe substancyall.
Not oft use I to wryght
In prose nor yet in ryme
Yet wyll I shewe one syght
That I sawe in my tyme.
I sawe a ryall trone
Where Justyce shuld have sytt
But in her stede was one
Of modye cruell wytt.
Absorpt was ryghwysnesse
As of the ragyng floude
Sathan in his excesse.
Sucte up the gyltelesse bloude.
Tan thought I, Jesus lorde
Whan thu shald judge us all
Harde is it to recorde
On these men what wyll fall.
Yet lorde I the desyre
For that they do to me
Lete not them tast the hyre
Of their inyquyte.

Lady Mary Wroth - 1587-1652
Sonnet II

Love like a Jugler comes to play his prize,
And all mindes draw his wonders to admire,
To see how cunningly he (wanting eyes)
Can yet deceive the best sight of desire.

The wanton Childe, how can he faine his fire
So prettily, as none sees his disguise,
How finely doe his trickes; while we fooles hire
The badge, and office of his tyrannies.

For in the ende such jugling he doth make,
As he our hearts instead of eyes doth take;
For men can onely by their flights abuse

The sight with nimble, and delightfull skill,
But if he play, his gaine is our lost will,
Yet Child-like we cannot his sports refuse.

Anne Finch - Countess of Winchilsea - 1661-1720
A letter to Daphnis

Sure of successe, to you I boldly write,
Whilst Love, does every tender line endite.
Love, who is justly President of verse,
Which all his servants write, or else rehearse.
Phoebus, how'ere mistaken Poets dream,
N'er us'd a Verse, 'till Love became his theam,
To his stray'd Son, still as his passion rose
He rais'd his hasty voyce, in clamerous prose,
But when in Daphne, he wou'd Love inspire,
He woo'd in verse, sett to his silver lyre,
In moving Verse, that did her heart assail,
And cou'd on all, but Chastity prevail.
The Trojan Prince, did pow'rfull numbers joyn,
And sleeping Toy, again in flames was drest,
To raise the like, in pittying Dido's breast.
Love, without poetrys refining aid,
s a dull bargain, and but coursly made;
Nor e're cou'd Poeetry, successful prove
Or touotch the soul, but when the sence was Love.
Oh! cou'd they both, in absence now impart
Skill to my hand, but to describe my heart.
Then shou'd you see, impatient of your stay,
Soft hopes contend, with fears of sad delay.
Love, in a thousand pleasing motions, there,
And lively images of you appear.
But since the thoughts, of a poetick mind,
Will n'er be half, to sulables confind,
And whilst to fix, what is conceav'd we try,
The purer parts, evaporate and dye.
You must perform, what they want force to doe,
And think, what your Ardelia thinks of you.