Canada’s largest festival of zines and the independent arts was held at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street West, when a unit of verse of the universe of the imagine nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry trolled the gathering to implement the Papers Please program.
Canzine is organized by Broken Pencil, a zine of indie zines. Over 150 zines from across Canada on display and for sale! The heart of the event, indie publishers both in print and online come from across the country and the continent to show their wares! Be amazed at the creativity, ingenuity, and sheer weirdness.
High Heels Lo Fi (Mandy Wells on bass, Cynthia Gould on guitar, Patricia Humphreys on drums, Paisley Rae on guitar) took a few moments out from their hectic day to display their FREE SPEECH.
One of the rooms was dedicated to the entertainment of the High Heels Lo Fi, a hot-saucy group of girls, a bunch of babes, wanton wits, plucking strings attached in the chord of F U in FUN. It reminded me of the opening stanza of The Shooting of Dan McGrew:
Their music is a cocktail of poetry and blues, with garnishs of glam, rock, cheese, booze, and hilarity - with pink accessories. The audience for their performances grew as the day lengthened, proving that pinko is not just a watered down communist. One of the leading luminaries of High Heels Lo Fi is Cynthia Gould, a performance poet, among other cultural activities. Her poetry has raw intensity married to a brazen honesty highlighted with a sense of humour. The following poem taken from ‘some words spoken’ is a fine example of a ‘fallen’ woman redeeming herself in a poem, a boozed broken heart rising from the debris of stars.
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a rag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.
Don't tell me that you understand me
when you don't know all of the gory details
and the few you have an inkling about make
Don't tell me that you're listening to me
when every word from my mouth is
filtered through your mind's interpretation
of what I meant to say.
Don't tell me that you know where I'm coming from
when even your nightmares
could not resemble
the places I've crawled out of.
Don't tell me that you only want to see me happy
when you could never believe
that the moment I learned how to be happy
I was listening to glass shatter across the street
as the boy who had been my lover my love five minutes before
threw a bottle in rage
the contents of which were
the reason why I was lying on the sidewalk
he stomped away over the icy glass
which, like my heart, was smashed beyond repair
and I lay on that cold pavement
more alone than I had ever been before
in the rich neighbourhood between the skiddy bar
and my apartment
and I cried sobbed screamed
not thinking that someone might call the cops
not thinking of how I could possibly crawl home from there
not thinking that I was a glaring target for any sort of attack
not thinking of anything but my own miserable self
when I finally looked up past the gutter,
past the buildings, dark trees
I saw the stars.
twinkle tiny dancing magic sparkles
put there a zillion years ago
just to brighten my black black night right now
in the midst of my tragic loneliness,
they made me a little bit happier
Don’t tell me that you understand me
When you haven’t seen the stars from the gutter
And realized that it is me and me alone who
Decides whether or not I will be happy.
Canzine is largely a tossed salad of a cultural manifestation in its infancy. This is the place where emerging artists, poets, and other morphs, display their talent for the first time. It’s a place where one can acquire new publishing concepts and techniques, a sort of honing of craft. It’s a place where mediocrity, and there’s plenty there, does not rise above its current level. It is the very few genuinely creative talents that make their entry level display that makes a couple hours of browsing so worthwhile.
Canzine also has a few regulars, some that return to their roots, speak the same genre, such as CAROUSEL which is a unique gallery of page poetry/art that is being displayed in art: CAROUSEL is art itself.
But there is also a grand daddy publication which continues its efforts to be relevant after thirty years of publishing, FUSE, a magazine of “a diverse community of visual and performing artists, educators, community workers, writers, activists, organizers, policy makers, social thinkers, curators and other movers and shakers. Together we produce a quarterly magazine on art, media and politics.” FUSE magazine has enjoyed state financial assistance throughout most of its lifetime. As a recipient of government arts largesse, FUSE continues to be obedient to government standards as set forth and enforced by various human rights commissions throughout the nation. FUSE follows the government line in this regard.