Murders in the Welcome Café
This is both a book and a videopoem.
It started out as a poetry chapbook (1977).
Murders in the Welcome Café is a conceptual long poem, divided into thirteen "chapters" in the hardboiled detective spirit and tone. It casts the poet as the private eye and the muse as the mysterious client who presents the gumshoe with a mystery to solve.
It's True Evene if it Won't Happen
...the coffee tasted like the morning after I...
is how it starts.
The reviews were favourable. A brief review in a library journal praised it, comparing it to a John le Carré book, and suddenly every library in Canada and even one in Moscow, Idaho wanted a copy or two. It went through a second edition in less than a year.
I moved on to write and publish other books, but there was something about Murders that remained dear to my heart. Perhaps because it was one of my earliest, but more likely because it was so different from the other books I had written. As I became more involved in the “theatre” of poetry, I thought that it would make a good performance piece. I adapted it for two voices and toured it across Canada. Then it became a video piece — actually, there were two previous versions of it, but I still felt that it - and I - had a journey to complete.
Last year I had a “future-vu.” I rewrote it and added a couple more chapters. Now I'm making it into a “videopoem.” This will be the third video version. The first was a solo, the second was a duet and this one is a three hander. This is a theatrical term denoting how many people perform in the piece. The third person in this one is the cigarette-- you have to see it to understand. This is what is called a teaser. The new book is the video script and revised version of the text. It is the same as, but also different from, the original.
The videopoem and book should be ready by April. Stay tuned here and on my Facebook page for the date of the world premiere/launch and future screenings.
I printed a limited edition of 100 copies of which 1-10 are signed and numbered and 11-21 are signed. Some of those are going to people who contributed to the videopoem project. The others will be available at the launch and bookstores and from me. You can order a copy by sending me an e-mail on my contact page.