Joe Rosenblatt reads from Winter of the Luna Moth (Anansi Press, 1968)] and The LSD Leacock (Coach House Press, 1966) and a few poems from unknown sources.

Introducer- Most likely Roy Kiyooka

00:00:00.00

Good evening.  Hello, Mr. Bowering.  [Laughter.]  Well, welcome to the sixth reading of our second series of evenings with Canadian and American poets.  Tonight we have Joe Rosenblatt, Toronto, and John Newlove, formerly of Vancouver, now residing in Nova Scotia.  Joe Rosenblatt will begin the reading, there will be an intermission, and John Newlove will follow.  I'm going to quote largely from the copy in Joe Rosenblatt's book, The LSD Leacock, for I hope servient biographical information.  It goes like this, he was born in Toronto on December the 26th, nineteen hundred and thirty-three.  He says that he has suffocated in Toronto ever since then.  He attended the Central Technical School and dropped out in Grade 10, he has worked as a grave-digger, plumber's helper, civil servant, railway express misanthrope.  He has attended the Provincial Institute of Trades where he acquired a diploma as a welder fitter, his favourite writers are Ambrose Biers, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, and A.M. Klein, and his favourite dream, is Cyclops turning up at a nigh-bank[??]  His previous book of poems, which was probably printed in nineteen hundred and sixty-three, is called Voyage of the Mood.  Joe Rosenblatt.

 

Annotation

00:02:27.68

Applause.

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:02:36.02

Wasn't that [inaudible.]  I'm just going to read, start off with a series of poems I had written about my uncle, who was a fishmonger.  He had a habit of phyxiating the murdering fish, and slicing them, and slicing them, and...well, I'll start.  This is called "Uncle Nathan: Blessed his memory, speaketh in land-locked green."

 

Annotation

00:03:11.01

Reads "Uncle Nathan: Blessed his memory, speaketh in land-locked green."

 

Annotation

00:06:10.90

Applause.

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:06:16.53

"Ichthycide." Another poem about my uncle.  It's funny, really.  [Laughter.]

 

Annotation

00:06:29.20

Reads "Ichthycide"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:08:13.84

This is called "A Shell Game," has to do with my uncle.  [Laughter.]  It's about his funeral.  Joke.

 

Annotation

00:08:27.58

Reads "A Shell Game"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:09:42.23

I wrote all kinds of poems.  I was in Vancouver and I came across the god-awful logic of the zoo.  It kinda scared the hell out of me.  It was a bat.  I've never seen a bat before.  Met people who were bats.  But this was the real McCoy, it was a fruit bat and it was hanging upside-down, you know, that's the way they live and they fornicate that way too, apparently, upside-down.  So I wrote about bats.  I have some more fish poems but I get tired of that after a while, you start hating it.  And we'll begin with "Bats."  While it's true the bat is a mammal, not a bird, there's all types of kinds of mythology based on prejudice about bats and which I've tried to embody in these poems.

 

Annotation

00:10:47.70

Reads "Bats"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:11:32.46

Outside of the bat poem there came a group of sound poetry.  Because I tried to get the feeling of the bat in the air, you know the image of the bat and the way it, and the movements of the bat.  And this is called "The Fruit Bat."  First encounter with a bat.

 

Annotation

00:11:56.05

Reads "The Fruit Bat"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:13:16.16

This is better.  This is “The Bat Cage”.

 

Annotation

00:13:19.43

Reads “The Bat Cage”  [first line "In this martian landscape"]

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:14:39.22

Oh we're like bats to people.  We used to have, I used to, when I was a kid I went to school and we had a music teacher who was a bit of a nut.  She used to rap kids across the knuckles, you know, just to hear them singing.  [Laughter.]  I may have called her Mrs. [inaudible], I can't recall, the trauma was too great.

 

Annotation

00:15:02.85

Reads “The Vampire”.

 

Annotation

00:15:48.04

Laughter and applause follows Rosenblatt's last line, "I bet she's pushing up poison oak."

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:15:55.46

"The Zombie."  Just whistle when you get tired of these bat poems.  Do anything you wanna do.  "The Zombie."  By the way, bats are supposed to be unkosher according to Leviticus.  It says all fowl that creep going upon all fours shall be an abomination unto you.  But in other countries they're great appetizers, the fruit bat especially, and I have a interesting poem, not right now though.  "The Zombie."

 

Annotation

00:16:26.08

Reads "The Zombie."

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:17:59.81

I'll read one more bat poem, it's the sound thing, an experimental thing which I later developed...too many of these bats here.  I wrote a Christmas poem on bats, too.  Maybe I should read it.  Dedicated to somebody.  I'll read the sound poem.  It's more important.  "The Butterfly Bat."  There is a butterfly bat.  Hm, found in the Orient, a very beautiful bat, orange apparently, very beautiful though.

 

Annotation

00:18:43.86

Reads "The Butterfly Bat"

 

Annotation

00:20:02.03

Reads "Orpheus in Stanley Park"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:20:50.85

"Sex and Death."  This poem's for a friend of mine.

 

Annotation

00:20:54.28

Reads "Sex and Death"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:21:48.22

I should read the egg poems, because I don't think many of you have heard them, and I'll do that.  You'd probably like them better than the bats.  More meaningful.  This is called "Egg Sonata."

 

Annotation

00:22:20.39

Reads "Egg Sonata"

 

Annotation

00:23:38.57

Loud laughter and applause follows Rosenblatt's last line, "How fortunate I am, breaking the egg from the outside instead of inside-out."

 

Annotation

00:23:44.95

Reads ["Let the egg live"]

 

Annotation

00:24:56.72

Cut/Edit made in tape--unknown amount of time elapsed; silence on recording for 3 seconds.

 

Annotation

00:24:59.98

Reads "It's in the egg, in the little round egg"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:26:57.41

One more egg poem.  [Laughter and applause.]

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:27:08.69

This is a prose poem.  It's called "The Easter I got for Passover."  [Laughter.]  It has to do with an argument, whether the body of Christ did not go to heaven, the moderator of the United Church of Canada said yesterday, Right Reverend Earnest Marshall Hows told a press conference that he does not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus but does believe in a spiritual resurrection.  That's from the Globe and Mail, 23rd of April, '65.

 

Annotation

00:27:46.78

Reads "The Easter I got for Passover"

 

Annotation

00:30:02.76

Applause concludes this reading.

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:30:10.48

Do you want to read, John?  Where is he?  [Laughter.]  Do you want me to come here?  Yeah okay.  I'm getting down to my dirty poems, what am I going to do?  I wrote a whole bunch of pornographic poetry, right.  I'll read that for the end when the time's up.  I wrote a poem to Che Guevara, if I can find the thing now, because I really muddled everything up here, oh here it is.  It's called "The Beehive: An Elegy to Che Guevara."

 

Annotation

00:30:52.48

Reads "The Beehive: An Elegy to Che Guevarra."

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:31:42.43

A poem about a critic, “Fable”.

 

Annotation

00:31:47.56

Reads “Fable”.

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:32:37.37

I wrote another one about a critic, a friend of mine.  It's called "The Crab Louse."  I'll read it.  [Laughter.]  I think some of you may recognize him.

 

Annotation

00:32:47.77

Reads "The Crab Louse"

 

Annotation

00:33:25.87

Reads "The Fire Bug Poet"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:34:29.39

"How Mice Make Love," how'd this get in here?  "How Mice Make Love."

 

Annotation

00:34:36.61

Reads "How Mice Make Love."

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:35:29.03

"The Electric Rose."

 

Annotation

00:35:34.11

Reads "The Electric Rose."

 

Annotation

00:37:13.93

Applause.

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:37:17.79

Should I read on?  Well this is a poem called "Itch."  It's about that cat who, you know, in the world of the dead.  And as usual I mucked up all the mythology, but it was too late to change the poem.  So I said, what the hell.

 

Annotation

00:37:44.15

Reads "Itch"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:41:51.32

There's a loathesome typographical error in here.  That's what happens.

 

Annotation

00:41:56.81

Continues reading "Itch"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:43:20.31

[inaudible]  [inaudible] a more cheerful poem, if I can find one here.  How about "Cricket Love"?  I'll read one very early poem I wrote, "Better She Dressed in a Black Garment."

 

Annotation

00:43:39.69

Reads "Better She Dressed in a Black Garment"

 

Joe Rosenblatt

00:44:21.31

Thank you.

 

Annotation

00:44:22.30

Sustained applause concludes the reading.

 

Introducer

00:44:35.65

There'll be a fifteen minute inter-[mission.]

 

Annotation

00:44:37.30

RECORDING ENDS.

Joe Rosenblatt at SGWU, 1968 (with John Newlove)

Tape
Catalog numberI006-11-138
NotesSame day as John Newlove's reading
Duration46:38.09
Sound qualityGood
Reading
SpeakersJoe Rosenblatt, Roy Kiyooka (Introduction), George Bowering in the audience
VenueArt Gallery
DateFebruary 9, 1968

Supplemental Material

Timestamps

00:00- Roy Kiyooka introduces Joe Rosenblatt. , previous book of poems Voyage of the Mood (Heinrich Heine Press, 1963).]

02:36- Joe Rosenblatt introduces “Uncle Nathan: Blessed his memory, speaketh in land-locked green”

03:11- Reads “Uncle Nathan: Blessed his memory, speaketh in land-locked green”.

06:16- Introduces “Ichthycide” .

06:29- Reads “Ichthycide”

08:13- Introduces “A Shell Game”

08:27- Reads “A Shell Game”.

09:42- Introduces “Bats”.

10:47- Reads “Bats”.

11:32- Introduces “The Fruit Bat”.

11:56- Reads “The Fruit Bat”.

13:16- Introduces “The Bat Cage”.

13:19- Reads “The Bat Cage”.

14:39- Introduces “The Vampire”.

15:02- Reads “The Vampire”.

15:55- Introduces “The Zombie”.

16:26- Reads “The Zombie”.

17:59- Introduces “The Butterfly Bat”.

18:43- Reads “The Butterfly Bat”.

20:02- Reads “Orpheus in Stanley Park”.

20:50- Introduces “Sex and Death”.

20:54- Reads “Sex and Death”.

21:48- Introduces “Egg Sonata”.

22:20- Reads “Egg Sonata”.

23:44- Reads unknown poem, first line “Let the egg live...”.

24:59- Reads “It’s in the egg, the little round egg”

27:08- Introduces “The Easter I got for Passover”.

27:46- Reads “The Easter I got for Passover”.

30:02- Introduces “The Beehive: An Elegy to Che Guevara”

30:52- Reads “The Beehive: An Elegy to Che Guevara”.

31:42- Introduces “Fable”

31:47- Reads “Fable”.

32:37- Introduces “The Crab Louse”.

32:47- Reads “The Crab Louse”.

33:25- Reads “The Fire Bug Poet”.

34:29- Introduces “How Mice Make Love”.

34:36- Reads “How Mice Make Love”.

35:29- Reads “The Electric Rose”

37:17- Introduces “Itch”.

37:44- Reads “Itch”.

43:20- Introduces “Better She Dressed in a Black Garment”.

43:39- Reads “Better She Dressed in a Black Garment”.

44:35- Introducer (Roy Kiyooka) introduces 15 minute intermission.

44:37- END OF RECORDING.

References

Works Cited

Besner, Neil. "Rosenblatt, Joe (Joseph)". The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Ian Hamilton (ed). Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Concordia University Library, Montreal.  7 December 2009  <http://0-www.oxfordreference.com.mercury.concordia.ca/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t58.e1021>.

Davey, Frank. "Rosenblatt, Joe". The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Eugene Benson and William Toye (eds). Oxford University Press 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Concordia University Library, Montreal. November 11, 2009. <http://0-www.oxfordreference.com.mercury.concordia.ca/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t201.e1274>.

--. “Joe Rosenblatt”. From There to Here: A Guide to English-Canadian Literature Since 1960. Erin, Ontario: Press Porcepic, 1974.

Mandel, Eli (ed). “Joe Rosenblatt”. Poets of Contemporary Canada 1960-1970. Montreal, Quebec: McClelland and Stewart, 1972.

Rosenblatt, Joe. The LSD Leacock. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1966.

---. Winter of the Luna Moth. Toronto: Anansi Press, 1968.

“Joe Rosenblatt: Biography”. Canadian Poetry Online. University of Toronto Libraries, 2000. December 7, 2009. <http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/rosenblatt/index.htm>.

 

Transcription by Rachel Kyne

Print Catalogue, Research, Introduction and Edits by Celyn Harding-Jones


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