Saturday, November 19, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 29.1 (Simon Pettet)

More Winnowed Fragments
Pettet, Simon
More Winnowed Fragments

I think I bought this at one of Simon's readings in Buffalo, but I am not sure.  He may have sent it to me.

Lori and I had a brief, spirited discussion following yesterday's post, about whether or not we had actually first met Simon's Steel Bar Series reading. My recollection was that we had figured this out at some point and had at that time determined that we had met at someone else's reading. Unfortunately, I could not remember who the other poet might have been.

Thankfully, the internet exists so that we might settle these kinds of disputes. I looked on the EPC website and was able to find a list of Wednesdays @ 4 Plus event listings from the Spring of 2001. We met in late March of 2001. Our actual first date was on March 31, but we had met a week earlier at the Steel Bar. The Spring 2001 event listing has Julie Patton performing at Steel Bar on March 24. There is no mention of Simon Pettet as a co-reader.

We met at a reading by Julie Patton. That much is certain. Lori also remembers someone playing a  didgeridoo. We both agreed that Simon was not playing the didgeridoo. Lori said she remembers seeing Simon read at Steel Bar early on in our relationship, so he must have read in the series sometime in '01 or '02.

My recollection is that I saw Simon read in that series on two separate occasions, but I cannot verify this at the moment.

WAIT! This just in:

Jonathan Skinner just emailed me the whole list of Steel Bar events. It does not include exact dates, but it appears that Simon gave the final Steel Bar reading, along with Brenda Coultas, in August of 2002, which would put it about a year and half after Lori and I met. Here's the list he sent me:

Steel Bar Events

Robert Kocik
TimDavis/ Chris Alexander
Miles Champion/ Brian Kim 
Elevator Box Project
Brenda Coultas/ Michael Kelleher
Caroline Bergvall/
Tammy McGovern
Eddie Berrigan/ Dan Machlin
Steve McCaffery/ Fiona Templeton

Julie Patton
“Poetry Across the Frontier”— 10 Poets from Canada,
Tom Raworth/ Nick 
Elevator Postcard Project
Simon Pettet/ Brenda Coultas

Buffalo, NY  (May 2000 – August 2002)

This throws my recollection of seeing Simon read for the first time into question. I am almost sure I saw him read in Buffalo before 2002. He must have read somewhere else before then -- possibly at Rust Belt Books? Hard to be sure. 

Simon's read for Just Buffalo on a couple of occasions, most recently in the Fall of 2009. He also read back in around '05 or '06. I remember he stayed at our house in Black Rock for a week or so. We stayed up late every night gossiping endlessly about the poetry world. 

At the end of the trip, we drove him to Toronto for a reading, where we dropped him off at his brother's apartment (incidentally, I think he may have met his future wife at the reading he gave there). I don't think I have ever met two siblings who were so different from one another! His brother is an avid football (British meaning) fan with an abiding love for/obsession with obscure comedians and all things British.

Simon, well, he's a poet.

from More Winnowed Fragments

Poem ("send the endorphins to the foot please") 

send the endorphins to the foot please
that's where the pain is

negotiating, I stumbled
and I fear I may have bruised something

tho' what is the Latin name for
that mysterious connective tissue

bless you—that we all possess?

1 comment:

Brian Lampkin said...

I saw Simon read at the Central Park Grill sometime before 2001, but when I can't say for sure. I was sitting with a UB professor who, when a late poetics student finally arrived, loudly and sarcastically said, "the great (insert poetics student's name) is finally here. I guess we can get started." And he laughed his mirthless laugh. I liked the reading though.