I went to a great talk given by Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Norwich University of the Arts at firstsite in Colchester on Henry Chopin, French poet and performance artist.
Krzysztof Fijalkowski’s delivery was informed and infectious. He firmly placed H.Chopin (let’s call ‘im ‘enri?) enri in the field of players who have made a great contribution, more by their life style and interests than their actual output altho enri’s was not Opuscule! It is quite a significant body of work which spreads over many media. He was breaking ground in several ways. He was taken by the Nazis to Poland like my old friend Ted Walker whose life in the stalag will feature in one of my future books. Enri exscaped and joined the red army, later he was to return in ‘peace-time’ to fraternize with the Eastern bloc artists and poets who were very much into concrete poetry, well it’s obvious they were when you look at all them old concrete buildings and berlin walls they threw up. but seeriarseli folks. (hey, that play wit werds has some wit in it which I dint intend burrit’s gud. I wer mis-spelling seriously and I did seeri then added ass, well French fer smile is rire.. oh ferget it (ferlinghetti, that’s hard to spell innit). Let’s move along now. But what came over from the talk was that here in enri we had a survivor and everything after the war would be a bonus. So he moved to Ingatestone. After the horrors of the war in the East of Europe, Ingatestone must have seemed like Bournemouth. But being there would have given him room to work without interruption. Nobody went to Ingatestone. I like his work. It fits in with typewriter poems done by other more famous folk whose names I don’t remember. I wanted to say at the talk that he followed a French tradition set out by Alfred Jarry, Apollinaire but I didn’t find an in. When I was in france in the early 70’s I saw the way they write, I mean physically, their schools encourage a hand very different to say English and their notebooks are laid out differently and they use a lot of BIG repro machine stuff a bit like Xerox. He used all that too. And his play with words was done on sound recordings and we were shown his magazine called ou, pronounced oo, which was a little nod to dada, prenoonced daa daa de da daa doo. His mag used many poets what he had personal contact with and it included likes of Bryon Gytsin or whateva he’s called, the yanks coming over bringing their take on tings. And there wer this big culture, this big sort of ‘underground’ of writers who weren’t ‘famous’ (yet, some of them) who were tapping into sometimes nihilistic ‘feel’, usually anti-establishment. I liked the idea that some of Burrough’s writing was kind of theoretical. That follows in the style of likes of Henry Miller, Becket and of course Joyce. They were all into mind shifting, shifting mind from the older ‘straight’ way of tinking, subverting, changing understandings. There was a big need to shake off the cobwebs which I saw back in the 70’s and indeed was myself a peripheral part of. By hook or by crook. I did write a lot, and one of Becket’s publishers and he published Henry Miller too, nearly published one of my efforts. But like enri I got overlooked. Sob sob he cried. So I was standing in the foyer at first site and I started playing with werds ‘It could be wails like a wail of sadness or whales like…’and this lady said o we have a poet in our midst and I thort how good is thet? So I gev her my blog address, not one to hide under a bush me am I? I even gev my card to Krzysztof cos I thort he mayt like my play with werds and someone today been in to my blog from away back which I re-read and thort well that’s good, it is a form of apologia too so maybe I shall reblog it? https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/888/
But I won’t go on about enri, I shall let you go see fer yoursen.
By the way Nigel Havers was on breakfast tv this week told a lovely story said when they were discussing changing the name from The Comedy Theatre to The Harold-Pinter Theatre and difficulties had arisen Tom Stoppard said to Harold, ‘It would be better if you could change your name to Comedy’. Funny innit.
ps I shan’t be going to Turn the page at norwich cos fer the 2nd year running they managed to reject us, am not bitter, I don’t drink no more bitter now. Did I say that? But on a more positive note I am looking forward to seeing the new Richard Hamilton exhibition at Tate tomorrow, now he were good. Did buks wit Dieter Rot too.