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Saturday, April 10, 1969

Intermedia-Day 3:
Oh, groovy – but where did the poetry go?


Intermedia Reading at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.:

Everybody sits around on cushions and folding chairs; the "poet" sits behind two bricks and a chunk of wood ruffling his papers. Right.

The poet doesn't read, he wails, groans, mumbles, laughs and cries a little. Groovy. When the poet is finally reduced to total incoherence, he is dragged off and another is installed.

This new poet wails, groans, mumbles, laughs and cries a little. Far out. Finally he has nothing more to read, so everyone just sits around and "grooves", i.e. does nothing, stairs at ceilings and such.

Another poet is finally discovered somewhere in the ranks; he has apparently forgotten he was to read. Not quite so far out. This poet pulls out a bunch of old letters, scraps of pages from a rhyming dictionary, old movie summaries and the odd line of his very own. He reads them all.

Something else, this. These poets really know where its at.

Kneeling in front of the bricks, a newsman desperately pokes his mike through the poet's mustache, trying to catch a word or two for his tape recorder. No way. communication has nothing to do with what's going on here.

Finally, there's nothing to read. A final poet shuffles up. He proposes a chant, spelling out the word daffodil, misspells the word, but nobody seems to notice.

Half an hour later he's still spelling out daffodil, wondering where the audience went. I'm with a group of audience pushing my way toward the door, wondering where poetry went.

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