My job was to focus specifically on Captain Beefheart / Don Van Vliet the poet. I organised a panel discussion with poets Patricia Farrell, Peter Finch and Sarah Crewe, who all selected a Van Vliet poem and shared and discussed this for the audience (you can read some of Van Vliet's poems here: http://www.beefheart.com/category/life-dvv/poems/ ). The discussion moved through whether Beefheart's poems are different from his song lyrics, whether he used cut and pasted methods (no - because the poems rhyme!) and if he made good use of reading mistakes to write things that were more interesting than they first appeared (does 'Big Eyed Beans from Venus' come from 'Bug Eyed Beings from Venus'? - John Peel thought so!).
|Peter Finch on the inner workings of Beefheart's poems...|
Then to the poetry commissions. The poets behaved as I'd expect in any commissioned scenario but more so with Beefheart involved: they invented, subverted, did the unexpected.
|Me, Doped in Stunned Mirages, introducing the 13 new poems.|
|Alan Holmes, performing with Zoe Skoulding|
And it wouldn't have been completed without the zine, put together by Matthew Smith and Jarg, it includes all of the poems and images form Blue Room. Available from the Bluecoat.
|Click Clack: zine including all of the poetry commissions|