Introduction to THE VEHICULE POETS
(maker press, 1979) by Artie Gold
I would not like to see perpetrated in the calling of this collection The Vehicule Poets any mythic understanding that bonds exist between these poets greater than common sympathy arising from the shared perplexities of the Montreal English lifestyle.
I don't somehow feel people will understand the spirit in which seven of us have just upped and borrowed a tag none of us really wants to wear to the bitter end.
So here we are and if we are together and need a name and can't rule one house with seven different signs, well, hell, let it be Vehicule.
I felt it all had to be somehow qualified. I was humoured, allowed this self-conscious soliloquy.
That this collection of essential people (then) is a set or subset that would seem to exhaust with the seven is probably a claim that I should confess, like the title, is a trifle more convenient than true...nevertheless, in these seven writers and their works, a world begins to emerge that might merit a separate look.
Not as one, then, do we present ourselves, but AT ONCE.
So I am writing this intro somewhat in the spirit of clarification
To set aside the already disturbing conviction that people I have talked to seem to hold
A name like The Vehicule Poets suggests to me a principle operating to, on the one hand, enumerate, on the other, exhaust. Told such a collection was desirable I nodded; all collections seem desirable, especially those of poetry.
It is hoped it will be understood that the purpose of putting seven poets into this one collection was not towards some eventual reduction to thesis
It is only to approach the individual that groups should be braved at all
(see) group here (only as an) expedient to presentation
readers in an attempt to either reinforce the number seven or to show perhaps its absurdity and erode through physical, logical process, that number back to one, will end up with definite conclusions as to why what we are doing by going at it in sevens is either, more logical than we had realized (poor stupid us) or stupider than they could have believed possible (poor doomed to fail illogical us in any case. . ) .
This collection, more than an anthology, is a collection, and should perhaps best be seen as a point of convergence for our convenience in the getting of our material, the poems, to readership. No great parity, stylistically cumulative or reductively minimal exists as a high or low denominator in the work of our seven.
- Valentine's Day '79, Montreal