Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Barlow at The Bagel

John Barlow reads at the Bagel

John Barlow is the ... what of the Toronto poetry scene? The Captain Beefheart? The Dennis Kucinich? Help me out here, those of you who know him. He's a fixture, anyway. He regularly puts out eclectic photocopied zines crammed with bits and pieces from unknowns and from established poets. If he's got your e-mail address, you already know about his ability to generate endless streams of text, rambling and frequently indecipherable but studded with gleaming nonsequiturs that stick in your head for days. At a party last week, apropos of not very much, John said, "The philosophy of Hegel is a giant Slinky through time," and I thought: Of course! The 'world-spirit' is a Slinky, time is the staircase! Finally I understand the dialectic!

Here he is, reading at the Bagel on College St. from a selection of his own poems and from some manuscripts written by his father in the 1950s.

The Bagel's been there, on College just west of Spadina, since 1950, and for as long as I've lived in this neighbourhood it's been just what it looks like from the outside: a diner where you can sit on vinyl chairs and get an all-day breakfast till it closes at 5. But recently I started to notice bands listed as playing there, and then John's reading happened there. Turns out the place is under new management, is often open nights now, and is rapidly becoming a hive of indie-rock activity -- it's even a NXNE venue. It's a great location and a nice, intimate space for music and readings, and the beer's cheap. Worth checking out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bobby orr of chosen linelengths
and ze milky way of l'inspiration


9:04 p.m., May 27, 2005  

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