I FROM THE START RESENTED

Artie Gold

I from the start resented this Véhicule Poets (Press, Gallery etc) seeing it as an affectation since every last soul among our group was 100% English (as opposed to 1 or more % French)

I confess to a convergence sometime during those early 1970’s for there we suddenly were, a bunch of us poets, in the same space at the same time —but who’s to say there was just the one spider in Robert The Bruce’s prison cell? Which is to say we were a “Petrified Forest”, a “Bus-Stop” aggregate — a defaultive assembly — more the dregs who’d no recourse to the facilities of McGill & Sir George Williams (now Concordia) than a ‘first pressing’.


I’ve said that all 25 years ago when asked by Books in Canada for several hundred words on the (then) current Montreal Poetry scene. I’ve since referred to it as my ‘disclaimer’ vis-à-vis there being a Véhicule school—hell, had there been 40 spiders in with Bruce, they eventually might have turned out another Hamlet (-or would, after Archie & Mehitabel, Cockroaches be more apt?) but that would make them neither neo-Elizabethan playwrights or ‘throwbacks’. . . .And Hell again! Though we dregs were banned from Acadème, our own efforts to be more expansive (often alas exhaustive!) did not preclude our inviting those very poets who sought to exclude us to come and read among us. We were not gastronomy but possessors of the common Montreal English language, Soup Kettle and our efforts had too many ingredients in them for any succinct name. ‘Vehicule’? Phooie! This was ‘soup-bone’ school at its basest.