Paul Interviewed by Ethelbert Miller

I was delighted to be interviewed today by legendary poet, literary organizer and radio host E. Ethelbert Miller for his On The Margin show on Washington, DC’s WPFW. You can hear the interview here and I would recommend his program highly because he does his homework and has a plan, but is able to vamp if he feels the urge. And this morning his plan included talking about Charles Olson, Nate Mackey, Wanda Coleman, among others, my interviews and my 2010 book A Time Before Slaughter which is the first chapter of my serial poem reenacting the history of Cascadia. Thank you Ethelbert!

 

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Free Cup of Coffee

Did you know March 21 is World Poetry Day? Yeah, UNESCO, the cultural arm of the United Nations decided that in 1999. Julius Meinl, a European coffee-roasting company upped the ante a few years ago by offering a cup to any customer who goes into a participating café and hands over one of their own poems. Surely there was someone in Seattle doing this, no? The coffee center of the U.S? When I go other places, Eugene, Oregon and Fanny Bay, BC, recently, they hear I am from Seattle and get intimidated to make me coffee. (It usually works out.) So I figured I’d give my local café a try and to my astonishment, they said yes! Yes to offering a cup of coffee to people who bring in a poem they wrote and yes to me being in there ALL DAY drinking coffee, talking about poetry and offering short workshops.

The place is Caffé Umbria, 4918 Rainier Avenue S, in Seattle, part of Tutta Bella. So, I’ll start at 8am and offer the following schedule of poetry talk and workshops:

8am – Short Forms, including American Sentences and Cinquains among other examples.

9am – World Poetry, including selections from Poems for the Millennium and poets such as the Cuban-born neobarroco poet José Kozer.

10am – How to write Postcard Poetry, including the August Poetry Postcard Fest and the recent #IdesofTrump postcard protest.

11am – Seriality in poetry (& painting), with mentions of Robert Duncan, Daphne Marlatt, Michael McClure, Claude Monet, Jasper Johns and his own A Time Before Slaughter.

12N – In Search of Color Everywhere and other African-American poetry: Nate Mackey, Colleen McElroy and Wanda Coleman. Some audio snippets from interviews may be played.

1pm – Exquisite Corpses and other collaborations.

2pm – Paul will end with selections from Pig War & Other Songs of Cascadia and discuss his 20 year Cascadia bioregional cultural investigation.

Poets of all levels of experience are invited to come in, deliver an original poem in exchange for a drip coffee and enjoy Paul’s hourly presentations, each of which will start at the top of each hour and go for 10-30 minutes.

Please come in Tuesday and say hello.

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RIP Darius Brusaferro

Darius Brusaferro August 6, 2016, at home in Vancouver, BC

I was fortunate enough to meet Darius Brusaferro, a long-time Subud member, at one of the first Subud Menucha gatherings I attended, perhaps 2009 or 2010. I learned today on Facebook that he died in the Palliative Care Unit of Vancouver General Hospital on March 7, 2017. As soon as I met him, we were united by our love of Jazz, our work as artists (him a painter and me a poet) and by the fact that we loved to laugh. Of Northern Italian heritage, born in London, England, opened in Subud in Montreal (1960) and a longtime Vancouver resident, I visited him about 4 or 5 times at his apartment to look at the work he was creating, listen to Jazz on CBC and talk about Jazz or art.

He loved that one of his paintings, displayed in Mexico, shocked the sensibilities of the overly religious. It was a painting of Jesus Christ holding an Oscar. What a sense of humor. And I was lucky enough to decide to interview him at his home on August 7, 2016, get photos of some of his last works and a legacy of his life in his own voice.

In the first segment he talked about being opened in Montreal in 1960, about how he found out about Subud through the yoga community and his heritage and journey to North America. He mentioned that he served in the British Navy. Listen to Part 1 – 8:36.

In segment two he talked about how doing a painting of a Peruvian yogi got him interested in yoga. He also talked about his early experiences with the Latihan, how the Montreal Subud community was a strong one that had TWO latihan times, one for noisy members and one for members with a quieter Latihan. He said that doing Latihan was the strongest of all the spiritual practices that he investigated. He also talked about how he relocated his family from Montreal to Vancouver in a school bus. Listen to Part 2 – 7:08.

In the 3rd segment he discussed his own painting practice. He sold one of his first paintings to a woman who was the daughter of the Polish Ambassador to Canada. He also talked about his “Jesus Holding an Oscar” painting and the criticism he received. He talked about feeling closer to Christ in recent years and how Bapak predicted that many Subud members would go back to their original religions. Listen to Part 3 – 8:31.

In the 4th segment he discussed his love of Jazz, and mentioned Django Reinhardt, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and others. He also talked about he felt he was “halfway toward the next world” and discussed his mortality. Listen to Part 4 – 11:38.

Vaya con Dios dear Darius.

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