Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's really official now. Mark Durfee, Citizen poet of Detroit--Published in Canada!

Durn. I meant to photocopy and display the image of Mark C. Durfee's receipt of legal deposit for Library and Archives Canada, now that Mark is officially published, at least in this country.

So I had to go the long way, viz,

LIbrary and Archives Canada Bibliotheque et Archives Canada



Legal deposit number
Numero de depot legal

Quantity received

Prix ..........$15.95

Date received
Date do reception


Durfee, Mark C.,1954
Stink: poetry and prose of Detroit/ Mark C. Durfee
Newmarket, Ont. : Island Grove Press, 2009

Island Grove Press
Ivan Prokopchuk
540 Timothy ST UNIT 304



the walking man said...

Thank you Ivan. As a Citizen of the World I am proud to be know as a Canadian Poet and Author until I win Best of 2010 for a Michigan Author then I will be proud to be known as a proud citizen of Michigan. When the Nobel for literature comes then I will have gotten to the pinnacle of World Citizenship.

I still wear that jacket every day, but who is the guy wearing it in that picture? He must be the prick that pen jacked that particular pen. I loved that pen. Damn him!!

Thank you for everything Ivan I have a couple three projects in the works, the next one is definitely Motor City Burning Press but I hope to finish a fourth chap by the end of the year.

I know you went to a lot of trouble for me and I do appreciate it.

Thank You

mark said...

You know something Mark?

I think I grew up in the wrong Province. Those French Canadians up in Ottawa are infinitely easy to get along with if you're a publisher or writer.
Here in Ontario, I was once awarded $250 on an Ontario Arts Council grant, for my book, Light Over Newmarket...Ottawa is just across the river from Quebec.
I swear that had I applied in Quebec, they would have given me their chemises --and maybe their jackets-- off their backs, because they are that way. Love 'em.
Next time, maybe both of us should apply to Quebec!
O Canada!

Charles Gramlich said...

"Stink!" A collection that does not stink. said...


Wear that jacket in good health.
Jacket of talent.

...Encased in talent like a uniform. said...


Mark's collection is selling like STINK!

As for yourself, congratulations on being in Hint Fiction, an anthology of writers that includes Joyce Carol Oates!

Donnetta Lee said...

Congratulations, Mark! Proud of ya! And who is that dashing man in the picture? Stole your jacket, did he? Good work. D said...

Hi Donnetta,

Looks like you had a brief chance to come up for air from all the godawful family stresses and strains you're going through. Nice to have your come around; it certainly must have taken effort. Your poor Mama.

Yeah, Mark's sumpin'.

I just came back from a night of Slam Poetry in Toronto....I am only now realizing there is this link... connection somehow between Detroit and Toronto... In slam poetry, at least.

The Detroit poets hate Detroit, and the Toronto poets are beginning to hate Toronto. They write stuff like Where in hell did our neighbourhoods and everybody we knew go? What language do we now speak? Who are all these immigrants? And WTF!

It had been suggested (at least night's open mike session) that policians have no idea of the tower of babble that they themselves have created-- and all the time wondering why now there seems to be no vision for the city.

Dusty Miller's Gulag.

Well, Mayor Miller is leaving.
...Behind the towers rising up from the seeming crystal caves of Superman.
While the garbage of Dundas Street West piles up against the towers. And neo-hippies thrive.

What have they done to my beautiful city!

...And I was picked up by Transit police for smoking a cigarette.

Jesus Crist.

(Hm. Slam poetry is catching! :)

eric1313 said...

Success for one is success for us all.

Quite a nice little legacy he is building, whether or not he thinks of it in that light. said...


I really would like to hear you on Open Mike. Bet you're good.

But though there is a psychic connection between cities of Toronto and Detroit, we are geographically separated by four hundred miles...of distance and ethos, I suppose.

Take care.

benjibopper said...

Congrats Mark! On this and all your successes.

Ivan, it was great to meet you - wish I could have chatted more. I'll put a copy of Drive-by Saviours in the mail for you once I get back to Halifax in a couple weeks.

ivan said...


Wonderful evening. I think you had a hundred people out!...Almost unheard of for a first novelist.

I especially enjoyed Kevin Fortnum' slam poetry. Look out Walking Man, you got competition in Toronto. :)...and that lovely "damsel with a dulcimer", Sarah Kenvyn, the folk singer doing her own stuff. I am in love again!

Enjoyed your read of the three passages from your magnum upus, Drive-by Saviours.

I Came back from the launch with somehow a very warm gemutlich feeling.Some of those I talked to outside said the same thing.

Mazel Tov.

the walking man said...

Ivan I don't "do " Slam but I have coached a couple to 10.0 scores and top rankings. I like it well enough in small doses but the tribe seems to feed on each other in slam. said...


Feed on each other indeed.

The other night, I heard this really cool tirade against Toronto, thought it was brilliant, but the poet said at the end, "Did you only catch on just now as to where I got that from?"


eric1313 said...

I somewhat detest slams as well. But that does not mean I would shy away from the stage or the mic.

Speaking of stages... I have moved back to the Detroit area and just joined a band called Detroit Perfect. Acoustic punk rock and protest songs. I play bass (electric) and play it with a strong groove. That was what they were missing: something to get the boodies moving on the floor. said...


Over here, I have been invited as a writer to get up on stage and do my thing...any old thing.
I am seriously considering writing and performing some slam, but after reading your note, I might just be a newbie at this form, and may end up getting the hook or something.

You see, it's an anti-poverty rally, but some of the poor aren't all that hip...They might think Manual Labor is a Mexican... Hm. In my cynicism, I think some of them should try it.
But they can identify with mental illness and alienation and heh, here perhaps, we can find common ground.
I am f*cking crazy, and so am I.

Why so many poor nuts in whitebread Newmarket, a high income town where every second person seems a doctor or health worker with easily a six figure income.
Newmarket is an important health and cancer centre and it sort of dazes me that the major industry of the town seems to be sick people.
....While all around, now in he fall,all the nuts. Poor nuts whom I, sort of a zany writer-- perhaps a nut himself-- have been asked to address.
I am one of you. A nut.
But I have sort of made a career of it, not the nuttiness, but the writing.
...But that might alienate.


I once played bass, had to read some of the music, and it seemed to take forever to catch onto the bass cleft, transposing, from the treble, in my head all the while.

Ah, saying to myself, "Buck up, fuck up!"

I finally caught on that in my case, you could screw up an bass and the audience wouldn't immediately catch onto your mistakes.
But as I got to play more, I realized that bass players, the good ones, do indeed have their own groove. The are capable of doing riffs on equal standing with some lead guitar players.
They too, can get the "boodies moving on the floor."

I never did, but I'm sure you have.

Jesus, I'll bet you're good!

the walking man said...

Ivan "Slam" is a term to denote a competition where scores are given based on the piece, the presentation and the pleasure of the judges.

Slam is not a typical open mic or feature reading. Slam poetry is more about how it is said than what is being said though some of it is very worthy.

Watch some slam poetry on YouTube and notice that 99% of the poetry is in the performance and of that 99%-99.9% use the same metrical structure. That is why I can only take it in smallish doses after the fourth or fifth competitor it all begins to sound the same.

If you have been invited to feature your poetry I doubt you have been invited to a "Slam."

ivan said...


I was last introduced at an anti-poverty rally as an "iconic" writer....Then I cut my own throat in saying, "Iconic? I don't know about that. I once wrote a book called The Black was partially about the holocaust."...This doesn't necessarily put the audience in a good mood... sort of dropping a Frankenstein on the table straight off.
I should have kept it light.

So nowadays I am just introduced as a "local author" and try to keep my material more entertaining than apocalyptic, though with empathis toward the invisible poor amongst us, who dress well, compliments of Sally Ann, but nevertheless hit the food bank every Monday or so...Or hit you or me on the streecorner for spare change.

On slam poetry, yep, I'm definitely new on the scene.

Better cleave to my own stuff until I know what I'm doing.
...I was just so impressed witht he slam guy at his own reading during Chris Benjamins book launch. Seemed to me like Ginzburg reincarnated, right down to the queerness, though the poet said some conventional things that preoccupy even old men like me, things like, "As for getting laid, there is no way in the present--and no hope at all for the future" Heh...Sounds like my case.
The poet said he was in a state of mental illness, and hey, who can not identify these days.

Slam poetry.
I'm glad were having this discussion. Otherwise I may have addressed a hundred people and made a fool of myself...Ha. As if that doesn't ever happen. :)

benjibopper said...

Yeah I think Kevin was doing a Ginsberg thing. Sounded familiar but didn't quite click until the line about maybe I should write something not stolen or something like that. But anyway I really liked his take on TO. Like I said, kind of a love-hate poem. I think he lives out in the burbs now.

It was a fun night indeed, Ivan, and I think we have a mutual acquaintance out in "meatspace". Anyway, wish we could have chatted more, but so it goes. said...


Was that the engineer from Magna?

We had struck up quite a conversation.

And yep, I once ran for Mayor of Newmarket...There's meatspace for ya.

Nowadays, as people see my Adidas sticking out of the dumpster people still yell, "How's it going Your Worship?"

Middle Ditch said...

Oh my god it's the walking man!!

Things seem to be going really great for a certain amount of people in blogland, including you, Ivan.

Congrats!! Read it in Benji's blog! XX said...

Thanks ever so much, Monique.

Odd synchronicity on three of us bloggers suddenly appearing through the ether, though Chris Benjamin comes in loud and strong!
What a launch, what a night! I presume he did well in the rest of his itinerary in Northern Ontario.
The man in the pink shirt. How did you know?
I have visited your Middle Ditch page where Episode 50 is now airing.

I almost lost my comment to you there. Good thing I saved...finally got in.

But here it is anyway:


I certainly agree with "an average patriot."

Yes, funny and by far the most entertaining yet. Svetlana is totally believable and Slavically colourful.


Maybe if she were Chinese, she would say chak, or chop.
The odd asservativeness of newcomers. They're all around me here in Nemarket, Ontario.
Act and not react. Not quite the way of the last couple of generations of immigrants here.
Assertive, right off the boat.
But our Svetlana is so perfectly drawn. I can just see her. Nice work.

And you're really good at plots and subplots. The plot thickens!
I can see this done on TV.

Очень хорошо, Svetlana!

And congratulations to all.