Report from Yes/No 18th May

Troy's The Butcher of Belleville:
Troy's art was on show at Eglise Reformé de Belleville. Most of it on the theme of the Persecution of the Menonites. Troy, the church's janitor, a position he was headhunted for, says he is now sick of making art. Another painting of his in the post below, but I liked this sketch, The Butcher of Belleville.
Aude's debut at SpokenWord:

Ichi: for those who missed his extremely funny and strange concert, check out the track Hinatabito for a taste of it It's difficult to describe the concert itself - he arrived on stilts, hit things, made things go pop, had balloons playing kazoos, hit his homemade weirdly humming organ just about everywhere.


Alberto, lookin' tough:

Pauline read Jay Frankston's Poet! Words tied in knots! Loud, raw, naked! Shouting me! Tim blew in from New York, then slumped like the Mets. Everything exists for a reason. And for no reason. Rufo had sticky fists and silver eyes, green-veined with moisture. Spoke of Vienna - of course, it was a lie, though beautiful. Pui lives near the harbour in NYC, under the expressway. Where neighbours smile dim as a waning street lamp and we can retract nothing. She said she liked SpokenWord, and set fire to her hat to prove it.
Alberto was all eau naturel. Who knows why humans kiss? he asked. I did 2 poems by Will Staples and Hello/Goodbye by The Beatles - all in the clip below. Xander told Mikey's tale; the advice he got from Dad; how he shakes off the crying coming up heavy - the one promise kept. Leemore sang a song by Ed Harcourt - Til Tomorrow Then. Michele knows a clown has power; sucked the pussy of a rocking horse. Ellen Adams at her final SpokenWord dreamt last night of getting drunk with van Gogh. One of the highlights of the night for me was her powerful piece, Reading the miranda. Then, as certain as the girl with the beer glass shards in her hand, she said Yes to France. Come back soon, Ellen!
Erica & Romain, in the very source of cold, will make a space for warmth. Erica is not who she was a day ago. The Hand sang my Marusha, dear, Get your oilskins on, cast out your net for the golden fish... Ichi played some strange Japanese thing. Erika pondered how it is that to be a 'Yes man' is an insult, while Yes We Can is hope and determination.
Eithne told of schoolage love: he had given her that first scratch'n'sniff sticker when he asked her to be his girlfriend. He had asked, and she said yes! Deleter said beaucoup de mes ouis, ils pensent non. Peter remembered postmodernism, before the fall. Aude made her debut at SpokenWord with Gamines de Paris. Therese asked We? Or non. Dedicated La nuit to Pauline. Ellen said farewell. Distance makes the heart pound louder. Leemore sang Jersey Girl for her and Rufo wrapped up the night. His slightest movement set the iron bed shaking. I know less than I used to.

Cheers, all.
See you tomorrow?

More photos from 18.5.09

The Hand & Ichi:


Troy & his painting:

Ellen Adams, come back soon:

Audience photo:

Clip - me, David Barnes! reading poems by Will Staple and a mysterious other poet

Will Staple's poems Fate and Much More Trouble from his book The One That Got Away

Clip - The Hand 18.5.09

More here:

Photos + poem from Fear, 04.05.09

Xander as Masked Featured Reader... his story, Another Thing Coming, is currently being considered by a magazine so isn't yet available. But other pieces of his are accessible through his blog

Fear of Bird Flu
by Trudie Shannon

I used to be a twitcher.
Spent hours and days, weeks and years
Of my life
Watching ..... listening,
Observing, marvelling
At flight patterns, building techniques,
Parenting, community,
Apparent fragility, sheer power,
Utter beauty.
Attentive to morning symphonies,
Evening cacophoney,
Arias to the sun's majesty
Ballads to the rising moon
And love songs that made my heart burn.
I was dedicated, love struck,
In a constant state of awe,
In the garden, at the roadside,
Beside the sea, within the woods,
Aloft the mountain tops.
But now we have bird flu
So, with body protection
Mask, gloves, boots and overalls
And a pellet gun
I am become a forensic bird stalker
An incipient killer
And my penchant
Wrens and skylarks which
I kill to save the world.
In the near vicinity of my home
The woods are silent,
On the foreshore no curlews call
And my garden is littered with redundant feeders
But, I rest easy in my bed
And listen to recordings of the dawn chorus.
Trudie (c) 2005

Cartoon by Inès

The Guardian newspaper describes Culture Rapide & mentions us!

Culture Rapide
Poetry slamming, where poets compete against each other by reading original works for judgement, originated in Chicago, but is now taking Paris by storm. Culture Rapide offers slam poetry nights in French every Tuesday, and English every other Monday, with artists from the French-speaking world including Quebec, Senegal, Congo, Lebanon, and Morocco. Belleville has retained much of its working-class identity with concert halls, theatres and bars. Add immigrants from Africa, Vietnam and China, along with young French bohemian types, and it's a funky vibe.

Complete Guardian article about literary events & places in Paris, and the upcoming Paris literary festival, here - The Write Bank:

Télérama review of Culture Rapide

Click on the photo to make the text larger.
Les lettres sont trop petits? Cliquez sur le photo.

Télérama review of SpokenWord

Click on the photo to make the text larger.
Les lettres sont trop petits? Cliquez sur le photo.

Clip - Rufo - Invisible Hand Job

from Touch 20.4.09

Report from Touch 20.4.09

A most strange night. Lorris and Anastasia (don't they look pleased with themselves?) demonstrated their Instant Translation Device. One of its translations came out as 'Lorris likes sex with hamsters.' John McNulty asked 'Who'll drink?' I was wounded by tenderness. Rufo (see video clip) was a clot of thought who spanked the wicked. Erotic Moonbeams Always forced Xander to read an erotic French text through a kid's police hailer device, to Dana and Erica's music. 'She's already made a date with a man she'll hate,' sang McNulty. Dana - who has since defeated 3 bands in single combat at the Bellevilloise - launched into her French Kickboxing Song. John Kirby Abraham, the voice of Radio France International, read his own Cypres poem from the 60s. Xander offered the idea that he might not disintegrate. Gave Cadeaux
Peter obsessed about gorgeous Fanny. Erica found Our most fragile things. A few poems later a Norwegian Bible Study group arrived. No, really. Stranger things, Horatio. Susanna read a Finnish poem and asked if you've stared at someone so close you can see your own reflection. Meghen was a beautiful paradox. Shane's going-blind eyes lit-up the night. Mariko took a bet that she would see the sunrise. Hopes she's the main actor in the movie about her life. Gabrielle, did you forget my face already? And there was a lot of praising and precious little profanity.
Dana came back with her Stupid Song. Kevin's cookies jumped up and down. All in all, a weird night. Moments of greatness, and strangeness, and praising of the Lord. Finally Troy showed up late, improvising on the theme. Hold yourself ready, he advised. You never know when a moment'll arise that you'll be called on to jump onto the undercarriage of a low-flying helicopter...