You know, there isn’t enough poetry about arts administration

First, dig this:

Live Were Around Me is an intimate, guided tour for an audience of three, a site-specific, roving theatre work that explores the notions of history and evidence in the context of the historic centre of Vancouver. Live Were Around Me is David’s toast to this city, a libation of place and experience, utilizing the Coroner’s City Examination Room, performances by Adrienne Wong, Paul Ternes, Aleister Murphy, and the city itself.

Your drink is provided.

The David mentioned in the above is David McIntosh, a playwright/performer who, along with Lee Su-Feh, founded the Vancouver company Battery Opera. Lives Were Around Me is his new piece, it premiers January 6 at the Alibi Room. How great does this sound? A “site-specific, roving theatre work” for an audience of three? Yes, please.

Mr. McIntosh also writes poetry, a fact I discovered whilst perusing his personal web site: David’s Battery Opera Blog. On this blog he has published the following poem, which filled me with such glee that I’m left with no choice but to reprint it here:

Now I am an administrator

Over here at the office, there have been a few changes. I have
moved myself from one column to another
and Now I am an administrator.

I used to think there were not enough arts administrators
then I thought there were far too many,
“There is far too much management in the arts – seriously”, I said,
but now that I am an administrator,
my very own personal Sherrie Johnson clone,
I fear I may be too much for myself.

Will I be two times as desperate for validation from an uncaring world?
Will I hate myself for making difficult to explain, hard to sell art?
Things that my mother hates?

Will I start talking about legacies so that I can justify ‘what I do’ with
tawdry half-assed structures instead of working under the loathed
corpse of the artist who is supposed to be inhabiting my imagined
future with Outstanding Extraordinary Excellence?
Let him fuck himself! He is obviously unworthy of my supportive
efforts so let’s forget the art and turn our attentions to legacies and
the community. Community. You know? The clique. Then I think,
“fuck that shit, creativity is it’s own legacy!”.

If I fired the artist, I’d be out of a sector
and a job. If the sector vanished, that little fucker artist would still keep making shit.

Now I am an administrator
It’s hard to sleep with myself.

On the street outside the office a group of architects were looking at
the architectural panel screens that are being erected on the exterior
of the new Woodwards high rise. They are rust red metal and have
identical lacy, organic-ish, designs. Like scabs.
I said, “It looks like your building has a sexually transmitted disease.”

It must have picked it up at the olympic corporate cluster fuck.

Hey Everybody! Invite me to your arts administrator/managers meetings!

I’m a barrel of laughs.

I’m changing the office motto to “Do What You Want To Do” .

It may seem less worldly than “BE PATIENT,THE WORLD IS STUPID”
(motto#1), or “TAKE RISKS,THE WORLD IS CHANGING” (motto#2)-
but it feels right for me, for now.

Like I’m not seeing this guy’s new work.


  1. Methinks Ms Foy is encumbered
    By poetry regulation
    Leaving precious little chance
    For inspired instigation

    Embracing literal convention
    Denies space to poetic invention
    Wedded to iambic pentameter
    One defines narrow diameter


  2. A delightful versified retort from M L’Ours.

    Flexible iambic pentameter at 20 paces sir, or do you prefer the straitened conventions of the jingly tetrameter?

    My seconds await.

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