Dan Farrell, Nicole Markotić, Renee Rodin: Projector Verse

Sunday, July 23 4:00-5:30 PM
Presented by Kootenay School of Writing at UNIT/PITT Projects, 236 East Pender St.

Three poets respond to three texts projected on the wall

Dan Farrell projects Thomas Cranmer
Nicole Markotić projects Michael Davidson
Renee Rodin projects Jim Wong-Chu

[Dan Farrell:]

A letter from Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury to King Henry VIII, 1533

Please it your highness, that where your grace’s great cause of matrimony is, as it is thought, through all Christianity divulgated, and in the mouths of the rude and ignorant common people of this your grace’s realm so talked of, that few of them do fear to report and say, that thereof is likelihood hereafter to ensue great inconvenience, danger, and peril to this your grace’s realm, and much uncertainty of succession; by which things the said ignorant people be not a little offended: and forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, and your grace of your abundant goodness to me shewed, to call me, albeit a poor wretch and much unworthy, unto this high and chargeable office of primate and archbishop in this your grace’s realm, wherein I beseech Almighty God to grant me his grace so to use and demean myself, as may be standing with his pleasure, and the discharge of my conscience, and to the weal of this your grace’s said realm: and considering also the obloquy and bruit, which daily doth spring and increase, of the clergy of this realm, and specially of the heads and presidents of the same, because they in this behalf do not foresee and provide convenient remedies, as might expel and put out of doubt all such inconveniences, perils and dangers, as the said rude and ignorant people do speak and talk to be imminent: I, your most humble orator and beadman, am, in consideration of the premises, urgently constrained at this time most humbly to beseech your most noble grace, that where my office and duty is, by your and your predecessors sufferance and grants, to direct and order causes spiritual in this your grace’s realm, according to the laws of God and holy church, and for relief of all manner griefs and infirmities of the people, God’s subjects and yours, happening in the said spiritual causes, to provide such remedy as shall be thought most convenient for their help and relief in that behalf; and because I would be right loth, and also it shall not become me, forasmuch as your grace is my prince and sovereign, to enterprise any part of my office in the said weighty cause without your grace’s favour obtained, and pleasure therein first known: it may please the same to ascertain me of your grace’s pleasure in the premises, to the intent that, the same known, I may proceed, for my discharge afore God, to the execution of my said office and duty, according to his calling and yours: beseeching your highness most humbly upon my knees, to pardon me of these my bold and rude letters, and the same to accept and take in good sense and part. From my manor at Lambith, the llth day of April,  in the first year of my consecration,

Your highness’ most humble beadsman and chaplain,

Thomas Cantuar

From Miscellaneous Writings and Letters of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556 / edited for the Parker Society by the Rev. Edmund Cox, (Cambridge : The University Press, 1846) p. 238-9.

[Nicole Markotić:]

Michael Davidson


It’s almost true
I’m in this mirrored room
sorting out the infinite excess of me
down that series of overtones, each
expanding the terms of this aperture
that is both blind and overcome with vision,
cancel my order,
you are there in a way
watching me attempt to climb around my image
so that I can see backstage, the ungainly props
and even the logo on the back
of your teeshirt, vrbo,
the unpronounceable action of capital in the infinitive
form that allows so many actors, and in two rooms
we sort out our dreaded parting
like a couple of molecules
that have decided to live in opposite bodies,
you take the subway home,
and I’ll fly back to Normal Heights, the mirror
of solitude becomes the window of care
through which the tonic proffers endlessly
its hand, you can always return.

(from Bleed Through: New and Selected Poems,
Coffee House Press 2013)

[Renee Rodin:]

Jim Wong-Chu


your eyes plead approval
of each uttered word

and even my warmest smile
cannot dispel the shamed muscles
from your face

let me be honest
with you

to tell the truth
I feel very much at home
in your embarrassment

don’t be afraid

like you
I too was mired in another language
and I gladly surrendered it
for english

you too
in time
will lose your mother’s tongue

and speak
at least as fluently
as me

now tell me

how do you feel?

(from Many-Mouthed Birds, eds. Lee and Wong-Chu,
Douglas & McIntyre 1991)