Friday, 15 April 2011
Poetry Month: Daniel Scott Tysdal - Please Accept My Condo
Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of The Mourner's Book of Albums (Tightrope 2010). His first book of poetry, Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006), received the ReLit Award for Poetry (2007) and the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award (2006). His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and has earned him honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards (2003) and the Matrix Lit Pop Award (2010). He currently teaches creative writing and English literature at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
TTQ - What role do you see poetry playing in an increasingly digital world, and do you feel the e-book will ultimately take the place of the printed page?
Daniel Scott Tysdal - In a more digital world, or, to think bigger, in a world even more technologically mediated than our own, the impetus for great poetry will remain the same. It’s the form that poetry takes that will change beyond recognition. Poetry will continue to be a home for the exiled. But the poet’s acts of expression and exploration, her renderings of the beautiful and the sublime, will be undertaken in practices of creation and will require processes of consumption that we, right now, would deny have anything to do with the creation and consumption of poetry.
With this change in mind, we can say that the e-book is already dead. Or, better, the e-book is the zombie or ghost manifestation of the dead book. Poetry in the future will take the form of pills, pulse-bearing wires, neuro-implants, grafts, virtual realities, and genetic manipulations. Every poet will be half-poet, half something else: half-plastic surgeon, half-programmer, half-pharmacist. In anticipation of this revolution, I recently sent my first book off to Pfizer for translation into bite-sized blue pills.
Please Accept My Condo
Her cell phone cut my deepest sympathies
short. The fault of a patchy connection, she guessed,
when she showed me days later and we laughed off
our faces at my truncated text. I didn’t know her
adequately to ask who she’d lost; we were barely
close enough to suffer a telecommunicational blip.
“Please accept my condo” was all that had not
been swallowed by the gaps the sky works
into an ether between towers, as though solace
were the embrace of a room so new you were
certain no one had died in its thoughtless hold.
Or maybe the defective note was meant for me;
I needed to make real the imperative of that
half-sentence and tell this woman in her grief
to care for my concrete cocoon, while I emerged for her
as a mourning cloak butterfly, of the family nymphalis,
so weightless in those winds I was the drunk
who bobbed without sense on the ocean-filled waterbed
of the earth, no path too straight for me to fail it.
Future phones should be programmed to make new
our tongues. “We must honour the memo”
will be our promise to the bereaved, and to dads
and moms freshly minted we’ll cry: “Congratulations
on the birth of yo.” So novelly mobile,
so strangely celled, we will be as original
as the back-flipping dog who learned to leave
his trick unfinished and dangle, flea-bitten, in the air.