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Shikatani Reading

Gerry
On Thursday Gerry Shikitani read in Ottawa again for the first time in 20 years with the AB Series on Thursday.

Here’s a small clip:

A resonant voice and comfortable stage presence, he’s been performing poetry for a few decades. He shifted it around with different styles, some like this using a recording he interacts with as multiple voices and less linear, more exploratory of sounds and meanings transforming. His words sometimes tumble in a vortex of segments by times as someone looks at the chain of sound goes from…the upturned hibiscus’s cup, up.

Some pieces were more linear and pointed such as one referencing the birth defects born in areas under nuclear wind. Some mixed in pieces of history, such as a quote from the 1400s which pointed out Muslim Moor or Christian, in Spain at the time, everyone could use Arabic as a lingua franca and were conversant with each other’s beliefs.

Some poems mixed register, parts in French, English, Japanese. In a poem on identity there was the phrase ‘the parole of my skin’, a cross-language double entendre of judiciary parole and the French word for word, label.

Interesting stuff. I appreciated the structure opting in for a 2-set performance. Too many long performances in poetry don’t do that and the brain overfills.

“We have only moments to live.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn. That’s the best advice Richard Truhlar heard. Richard Truhlar reads this Thursday as the AB Series’ closing act of season.

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