poems by Rudolf Kurt Penner

Muriel Marjorie is Dying

Muriel Marjorie is dying
She was the poet
who first started saying Meg-witch*
at the beginning or end of her poetry presentations
and interrupting people’s polite way of thinking
Muriel is dying?
Whey don’t X, Y and other jerks I know
– start dying –
but Muriel?

When a friend of mine
started emailing me this message
I ignored it
because I thot it must be a mistake – fake newspoet Muriel standing by fireplace gensturing up
a prank, some bad humour
Or even a dark poem
written by the poet her self
that would make us think of death

She is not the sort of poet you think will ever die
And now, drinking out of the first
of my two white cup and saucers
for the second time,
I see the point – she is not meant to be believed
when she says she is dying
She was a light here in the Downtown Eastside,
but we later found out:
that is not the only place she lived:
She went up north to see her people there
She went east, to see and live with people there
She lived in the forest
She came back
You never knew where she was
And now, drinking my second cup of tea this evening,
out of the second cup of Chinese china
I wonder what the world will come to
without the suggestion
of the wandering soul
the window of her realization
the commotion of symptoms and “truths” not my own

*megwitch: an Ojibwe/Algonquin First Nations word meaning “thank-you”

©2019 Rudolf Penner

January 20, 2020 Posted by | about artists/poets, Not Fade Away | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jamie Reid

Jamie Reid asked the question,

  lost in Gastown – which

    way do I turn

– to get home

Way over on Main Street,

    he starts some PRIMAL Shit

      dishing out the art

      – with the mentally challenged

         and brain-damaged

I saw him in a university once,

    that used to be a college

      on Purcell Way

      – tryin’ to teach some tish

    Jamie Reid indeed!

The moment was lost on them,

    no primer

      they sat wide-eyed

      – listening to an old man

A lot of people remember

    Jamie Reid in December

      by my watch

      it’s time to glow

reading, retired

    to the in-crowd

    of Canada’s poets

    Time’s up!

  Jamie Reid indeed!

I wonder what would have happened

if Jamie Reid’d been born a rapper

    listening to the youth of yesterday –

    the giraffe came out and ate up

  the long grasses

but he met 4 men

    and they kept going

the basement of Woodwards

    came with jazz &

           island poet Kim Goldberg

black walls and dreaming guests

    listen to the wisdoms speak

      Read and learn, young poets

      by my watch, its time to glow

  Jamie Reid indeed!

You meet him – then you

      don’t meet him

      and you hear all kinda

      political shit about him

black walls, social conditions

    other semi-famous poets

      dying around him

         Al Purdy, Milton Acorn, Malcolm Lowry

don’t take it with you

    when you’re at a loss for words –

      a stone drops

and you are born

   Jamie Reid

©2015 Rudolf Kurt Penner

(written Aug. 9, 2015 12:15 a.m.)

notes to references in the poem:

PRIMAL was an art gallery on Main St., perhaps in the early 1990s, in Vancouver, serving persons with brain injuries and others. There were open mics and shows to which anyone could come

tish was a literary movement Reid started with several other literary figures in Vancouver. tish at Google books

tish is shit backwards as Jamie Reid often explained…

Gastown – in the summer of 2014 Jamie attended a show at Vancouver’s International Jazz Festival. After the experimental session at Ironworks Studio he got lost. I had heard he’d had some health problems at the time and realized it had probably affected his memory. I directed him to Hastings St. but he turned and went back into Ironworks. I was a bit worried about him getting home, but he was in good hands, as he met acquaintances of his at the studio.

Kim Goldberg, Nanaimo, BC is a fascinating poet

August 12, 2015 Posted by | about artists/poets | , , | Leave a comment