These two collections are absolute bangers. Quincy Lehr’s Guide to NYC and Nemo Hill’s My Mother’s Legs are Weeping are pressed, sharp and ready to order. You can find the PayPal links under the store tab. Huzzah—
In Canada, there’s absolutely no place quite as strange as South O— so naturally that’s where we hail from. This is the land of the KD and hotdog dinner, a land where vegetables have yet to earn a place on the plate, where it’s Christ now or a burn victim eternity. It’s okay to smoke while preggers, because at least she’s not eating oxys like they were wine gums. And, oh yeah, the ubiquitous pig roast, that ever-turning spit. Yeah buddy, let’s drink some pop and get our tarps off and get’er done, eh.
One of the most noticeable features across South O is the signage. It’s like some vast comic conspiracy is being carried out by the municipalities, the townsfolk and the business owners. Some of the shit is just dead wrong – like anti-abortion ads on public transit, and yo, don’t forget to cop a fresh high-crop fade at the Hair Port on your way outta town. lol.
South O also boasts something else. That’s old fashioned good people. There’s this moment when you realise that nothing really matters other than kindness and giving from the heart. If you’re ever having one of those who-gives-a-fuck-we’re-all-just pieces-of shit-fuck-the-world moments, all you gotta do is chill with Grandma Shirley. She’ll break you off with some homemade butter tarts and a glass of milk. And then she’ll smile at you warmly and tell you about Windsor city before the shopping malls and casinos. For real.
Werd up, we been out in MTL for quite awhile now, and we like it, but trips like this one make even the hardest all city chiller long for something a little smaller, and truer, and simpler. Respect to South O, even if they can’t style for shit or keep it p.c. half the time – at least they’re keeping it real, and you can feel that.
In my last year of University I took on a fairly serious course load and wasn’t able to work as much as I had in years prior. My plan was to sublet a room in the hood from my old homie for 200 beans. In late august I put all my superfluous furniture up on Craigslist and began boxing my books and art supplies, shoes— you know, shit that really matters.
On September 1st I showed up with the moving van— Mike opened the door kind of slow, and peered suspiciously at my girlfriend and I. When he gave daps I half expected his hand to be slick with Jergens or some shit. Anyways, whatever. He took me down the hall to the room. It was still packed to the ceiling with shit: bikes, yellow papers, fucking old school laptops, vinyl, and live rats. I mean it, like yo— there were two rats in a squalid aquarium that was stuffed into the far dark corner of the room. We were hit with the scorching scent of rat piss and feces. “What the fuck, dude?” All he had to say was “they’re for the snake.” This motherfucker was keeping feed rats under horrendous conditions, son. He moved their cage into his own room after a thorough cleaning though— everything was cool.
After the initial sketchiness I settled into a pretty chill schedule of study and sleep. Mike became less visible around the house, just staying in his room with the door shut. At night he’d leave his door open a crack so his cat could come and go. I’d see him sleeping on top of his blankets, fully clothed, all the lights on. I figured dude was stressing over a girl or something, you know.
About a month into our arrangement I come through the door super tired, kind of prickly. Yo, dude was standing in the middle of the living room wearing a towel, his pectorals and traps rippling. He starts breathing all deep and shit, staring at me. The dude yells “Michael. Michael the archangel. The thirteenth letter. I feel my wings growing.” At first I felt threatened, then I kind of laughed, you know, like what the fuck are you talking about my G? I said, “If you’re Michael the archangel, what the fuck you doing chain smoking native cigarettes in a squalid apartment on Walkley?”
By mid October shit started getting mad fucked up. The anxiety ratcheted way up in the house and Michael began putting weird posters all over the walls. He was doing other fucked up shit, too. He played this Mike Tyson rant 200 times in a row. Yo, after 20 plays that shit gets kind of disconcerting. Even still, he wasn’t really infecting my lifestyle with his sickness so I didn’t care all that much. I’d see him all spaced out and I’d try and talk to my him about what was going on. He’d refuse to talk and only communicate via notes. Other times, he’d ramble on about the matrix and how now that he was “detoxing” he could see all the symmetries and patterning of existence— everything was a message just for him. It was a palindrome and a anagram, the matrix, the archangelic.
Even Tupac had chosen Michael as his one and only emissary and was speaking through him on the regular. Real talk, some of that shit is true, there are patterns and geometries everywhere, but when Michael accosted me outside my bedroom and accused me of sending him subliminal messages with my box of cereal I fucking lost it, grabbed a hammer and threatened him. “Does this fucking hammer look subliminal to you!?” The next day I came home and dude had installed 500 dollars worth of locks and cameras. He even cut a fucking hole in his bedroom door for the cat. Peep this Swann Professional Security System, you can cop one now for under 500—
That’s not it, though— what I saw next blew my dome piece. The entire bathroom was tinfoiled and sealed with silver and red tape. I mean floor to fucking ceiling. Like whoa, calme toi. On the real that’s when I saw the scope of homie’s delusion. He thinks “they” got technology that can see through brick walls but not through tinfoil?! It was time to cop another living arrangement, quick. That night I slept with a hammer, a carving knife and a hockey stick.
I ended up having to shell out mad cash to move in the middle of a winter month— like fuck. Whatever, you can’t win ’em all. It’s been 3 months now since I seen dude at all. I tried sending him a sup, haaryou? type of text 3 weeks ago. There’s been no reply. Dude is probably haunting the ward right now. Plus, yo, my new crib is super G. I ain’t hating, though, everyone goes through shit sometimes. Ultimately I’m grateful to be out of that scene, na’mean. Keep it real homies, and enjoy these flicks, they’re not my best work— But yo, they tell the story on point. Shit is real hood. Walkley represent, lmao.
After curating screenshots from Snapchat for over a year, we are ready to release our zine, SNAP. It features 25 sick screencaps printed on high quality glossy paper. We have staple and perfect bound editions, both for 10 beans, shipping included. This one is a banger— click the button, get a book.
Here’s a cap post-sequencing, get a taste of some of the spreads…
A couple months have passed since the Former Members reading. So, we’ve had some time to reflect and put together an official archive—
The night before the reading was a banger, we had Marc, Quincy, Hannah and our boy Red over to our place in the hood. No one slept, really, except Han. We all had to be up early to cover the VHS party under the overpass on the eastside, trap and electro first thing is how we do. HH snapped a few flicks as we made our way through the goldenrod along the tracks.
After taking our obligatory photos from backstage and saying what’s up to OMEN, we dipped toward Cabot square, outside the Atwater Library, for a little park drinking. Classic MTL style. We ran into an old friend, Allen, don’t ask— what a gutter jewel. He took a real shine to HH, had to threaten him off the girl with my cast aluminium tripod. Glory.
Around now is when the library should have been open as the first few people began to gather around the front doors. You all know what happened, and we’re not going to defame the Atwater Library crew or whatever. The security guard who mixed up his dates left a message the next day that was so sweetly pathetic that we instantly felt forgiveness in our wizened little hearts. The doors remained locked.
It eventually became apparent that we’d have to run this thing elsewhere. HH had done some recon finding a small, quiet park around back of the library. It seemed perfectly suited for our purposes. We exodused languorously to the second site.
We made six picnic tables into a v shape, set out the books, and let Jesse Chase get to the introductions. This is when the history begins, my friends. The reading started off with HH and I each doing a set. Then our boy Quincy Lehr took the grassy knoll and dropped gems on us as the sun set over the cityscape. The texture of the moment was expressed by this line from Q’s set:
“Yet, here tonight/ it’s slightly more abstract than black and white.”
John Wall Barger came through and hit us with a excerpt from his Book of Festus, and as he read Marc Di Saverio came and shared a cigarette behind the crowd. I remember him remarking that the reading had become something entirely different. How many of you ever leave a reading thinking about how resistance is essential to life? The arch stands by its tendency to fall.
At some point the authorities caught wind of our movements and told us we’d have to vacate as the grounds were considered private property. Dude, we’re DYAD. We can’t trespass, the city’s ours, na’mean. The fuck outta here with that shit! Anyways, I talked them into taking a “walk around the block” and we proceeded to hold court as the streetlights hummed on.
Things were really getting wound up now, here’s Ernest Hilbert’s account and reading:
“In the whirling dusk of the historic and truly mad reading outside of the Atwater Library in Montreal, as the police arrived in force to remove us just as I finished reading “The Gelding” to the gathered and growing crowd, I began frantically handing out copies of my book to people in the dark, since there’s no way a sale was going down in that situation and I was struck with a great streak of generosity and sense of freedom. Some insisted on paying me. One had no money on his person but pressed his card on me, introduced himself as a photographer, and told me he’d be happy to do my portrait before I left the city.”
That photog is Richard Malouf, his work speaks for itself— this flick of Ernie, though…
At the end of the Hilbert set we got evicted. We had to post up live in the street for Marc’s closing set. Who can go after him anyways? At this point your boy was lit up like Christ’s nimbus— my apologies for the shaky video. Marc blazed his set hard, incanting in the dark street, raving to a slipshod crescent of bodies. This climax was epic as fuck.
This reading changed a lot of things for us and despite the obstacles, and more truly, because of them, it has become one of the dopest literary events MTL has ever witnessed. Who’s heard of a reading getting shut down by cops? That’s some mythic type shit right there, homies. DYAD wants to thank every single person who took part in this rite: poets, journalists, photographers, critics, the security guard who shit the bed on us, the cops that took a walk, the city itself. I left that reading going, “What the fuck was that!?”, and that is something very hard to do. We’ll close with a flick that Q Lehr captured on his phone. It expresses it all, peep game—
DYAD Presents FORMER MEMBERS, Saturday August 8th at the Atwater Library. This year’s line-up is without a doubt the best we’ve ever had and features some of the most accomplished poets of our generation. We’ve got Montreal’s own Carmine Starnino and Hannah Hackney on the bill, hard-hitting formalist Ernest Hilbert is representing Philly, Quincy Lehr out of NYC with refined vitriol in iambs— there are more names, but I don’t even need to drop them. If you’re in Montreal this weekend and you’re into poetry you’re slipping hard if you even consider missing this reading.
We’ve come into a ream of letters. The exchange takes place between two brothers, one in prison and one not. The series spans many years and we’ll be posting excepts from time to time. The power of epistolary is that it engenders intimacy: the distances at play are resolved by the impulse to communicate. This brings to mind Lacan’s concept of extimacy.
Here’s a taste:
“Some of the trees are that faded, tired green of late August. The leaves that are pink and yellow-rose are striking against pale gaps of sky between houses— I found a leaf today that was red everywhere except the veins. I pressed it in a book about the Halifax explosion, the biggest bang on earth before the bomb, true fact. I’ve been taking a workshop on short fiction at school, seems I’ve got some kind of talent writing. I’m thinking about doing a suite of short stories centered around the tracks: Wabasso, the crack, smoking. I was thinking that someone would get killed by accident, well, kind of by fluke— that’s a bit like The Outsiders.
There’s a lot to do now with both of us at school and Aryeh, the band, hockey— it’s a wringer of sorts, I suppose that these are we one might call good problems, the kind that come from toeing the line of life— it’s not that everything gets boring, it’s that it gets busy, fast. University is a trip, it’s very funny sometimes, there are always these dumb-ass teenagers asking pseudo-intellectual ass licking questions, when really they should shut the fuck up and listen, you’d laugh at some of these guppies: there’s this one girl in my philosophy class whose got a head like a lop-sided pumpkin, she always tilts to one side when she’s spouting off:
‘Like God is like, light, like you can’t see it but, like you like know it’s there though, right?’ You could see the lines deepen like brackets around the professor’s mouth and he starts rocking on his heels to dissipate the sudden onset of rage—and I wish some kid would go bat shit and stab her in ribs… good class, though.”