THis is my pal Arthur Lipsett _ he's dead. 1986. Film-maker. I was a poet, he hired me to write some words for his movie, and he paid me $100 for ten words, more like letters. I remember he came over for supper , as we used to call it in them days, not dinner! supper, I was living with Gail we had about 10 or 12 cats or so, this was 1977. Arthur was a great artist, film-maker, he freaked everyone out at the National Film Board.
It's weird how life is. I think Arthur, like Ryan (Larkin) was nominated for an Academy award. No, now that I come to think of it, I doubt it. Too spooky, lhe was, like Beefheart. Big Eyed Beans from Venus don't let anything get in between us. Like I mean how can you be weirder than that, and win the big old academy award. Gosh, good old Arthur __ I made a song for him in 1987 in my second book and later with David and my poetry ensemble Nietzsche's Daughter we did a great version of it. A song to be sprachsong as they say. Sort of like something between speech and song. I was howling jumping up and down on stage at Les FouFounes Electrique _ that measn Hot ASs in English. On St. Catherine. Not far from where my mother grew up when it was the red light district the hot wild district in the 30's. Zoot suiters. Men in pin stripes moustaches baggy pants. Women in clothe so tight it gave you a ...
[Singing' cockles and mussels alialilo]
Ah, yes, Arthur, it's been a long time since we spoke, you been dead, since 1986, and they say you killed yourself. I know, I was at the funeral. There was only six of us there. Not many. Buried way down in the East end of the City, not far from the river, not many like you buried on down there .
Among those people you didn't know, who cared not a bit for what you would have been doing. Those weird amazing movies, jerky as a jagged girl walking down the street to make my love. Very Nice Very Nice _ yea I remember seeing that one.
and the others.
Arthur Arthur you never read Antioedipus, I was 4 years sober when you died, not even, it was 3 and a half _. Arthur like the name of another great poet. Arthur they say you hung yourself .
Arthur Harold Lipsett
Born: May 13, 1936
Died: April, 1986
You died the same month as Jean Genet. He died in a Paris hotel, I wonder what time you died, and if you stepped into
the other world, across the river, at around the same moment. Would have been cool , wouldn't it?
You and Jean Genet steppin over the river aT the same Second!
that would have been somethin'! Now.
Kool. Kool. Dig Daddio . Like writing this Poetr
drinkin tea at midnight candle burnin'
And that would be cool to have you
drop over now
And this cool photo of you by Lois Siegal _ yeah, its'
copyrighted. It deserves to be it's so good. Like you
were and are and arrrreeeiing and I know where
you're coming from Arthur with your becomings
not dead but alive alive not dead
not that I want to cross the river
the way you did but when its time,
ta go Ill go gladly with a grace given
by the becoming s s s of it whatever
what ever its it
Ole Papa Deleuze went out the windoo
Too bad ya never read the Anti
Zinging the plac
those are yer notes.
'All ya ever do is blabber N' smoke
Why dont you quit actin' like you Know...'
Its what I got on . the machine. Some machine.
Diaal down jeans and my baby got no home
they bash us with gramaphones
Yea, thas a cool pic of Arthur's Note.
Up there floating around in this blog page.
and some cool phot of you by Lois Siegal
and two more taken by Judith Sandiforth .
Filmography:1961: Very Nice, Very Nice 1963: 21-87 1964: Free Fall 1965: A Trip Down Memory Lane 1968: Fluxes 1970: N-Zone 1977: Strange Codes.
Then there's the ones you didnt finish, the last one after the last. And the works of art you'd made in the moment. Of your hands in my kitchen on Debullion street making hour after hour of tapes for that show I was doing with the Punketariat called No More Fun__ 1978 . The group Punketariat does a show a seven day show installation precorded poetry massive wall sized collage live performance of poems. First public reading of my poem Blue Dog. And the night of
and 1986 at your grave
the coffin lowering down
what a fuck -up.
I put a ticket stub to movie on the coffin
as it ....
Strange . Life is.
Like this, like this typewriter
with its pictures on the world wide web .
Actually Ver Nice Very Nice was nominated for
an Academy award. Imagine that , you and Ryan
both nominated. Strange birds flyin high'
Bodies bodies we , yes,
didnt think anything could go
wrong with them thenn
we thought we were eternal
Guess what ! you know,
its these bodies
the vehicule of the figure
that transforms .
bUt over the 'ruisseau'
the little 'ruiseea'
meeting the oness we couldnt
meet in this body .
You gotta smoke to live, Arthur,
you gotta burn .
Now I find out! some twenty years later!
Man you were famous! back then
when I was a kid!
in the foster homes
Look at this __
Kubrick described Very Nice, Very Nice (1961) as “one of the most imaginative and brilliant uses of the movie screen and soundtrack that I have ever seen.” Kubrick was so enthused with the film he invited Lipsett to create a trailer for Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1965) an offer Lipsett refused. Stanley Kubrick, letter to Arthur Lipsett, Arthur Lipsett Collection, Cinematheque québécoise Archives, Montreal, May 31, 1962. Lucas cites Lipsett's 21–87(1963) as an inspiration for THX-1138 (1971). See Kevin Courrier, “The Incredible Mr. Lipsett”, Globe and Mail, February 25, 1997, p. D1. Brakhage admired Lipsett's ability to transform “documentary file footage” for “his own polemically poetic usage”. See Stan Brakhage, “Space as Menace in Canadian Film and Painting”, in Brakhage, Telling Time: Essays of a Visionary Filmmaker, Documentext, Kingston, 2003, p. 95.
__ I mean , sure , Christopher told me about you, but
what did I know about the early days. An d the fame the glamour
what strange pulses & beats flew over my head.
I heard a rumour about you being
beaten up by agang in Europe _
Christopher told me this __
Yes, you were never the same he said.
Remember Art Dump __ Christopher?
Now that was a cool place
when Bango was hapening
that weird idea of a band
was what made it interesting.
and you taking photos of my hands
in the kitchen on DeBullion street.
Even though, I don't smell much these days,
I remember your smell. and never knew
much you suffered. A programme of
end the suffering.
So we end as always on a high note of
here then your flying high Prospero.
What disjunction flattened yer brain.
Not a prosperous Prospero.
Clad in your white sheets.
List! List! o ghost!
And you know what, who cares if you make mistakes,
it's just a glorified typewriter,
a fancy highfi.
Green bars to clad your ruins .