Excerpts from a Timetable of Noteable Arrivals in Rome

Categories:  How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome, writing
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1786 – Goethe rushes to arrive in Rome in time for All Saint’s Day. He anticipates conspicuous general feasting, but finds none. Wherever he walks he comes upon familiar objects in an unfamiliar world. Everything is just as he imagined it would be; yet everything is new.

2002 – I fly into Fiumicino two-hundred-and-twenty years to the day after Goethe rode through the Porta del Popolo. It’s raining. All Saint’s Day is a holiday. Most shops are closed. But the Supermarcato stays open. I have rented an apartment. I have a kitchen. A heavy brass key unlocks a massive green door. I walk out into Rome.

“The bronze statues by the city gates show their right hands worn thin by the touch of travellers who have greeted them in passing.”
LUCRETIUS, The Nature of the Universe – Book I

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Let’s Pretend We Met last Week

Categories:  How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome, poetry, reading, writing
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Last week we launched Nathaniel G. Moore’s new book of poetry – Let’s Pretend We Never Met – at the Casa del Popolo, “we” being Nathaniel G. himself, Angela Hibbs, Mary Williamson, me, J. R. Carpenter, and some of our closest friends. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to write about this event before it happened, for PR purposes, but things didn’t work out that way. It was a lovely evening thanks to the many sweet friends who showed up minimal prompting.

The first person to thank is Nathaniel, for writing a new book – a new book is always such a good excuse for a reading and a reading is always such a good excuse for hanging out with friends and drinking. A far as I know Nathaniel and I have never pretended that we never met. We’re both Rome junkies. Let’s Pretend We Never Met riffs on the poems and life of Catullus, a Roman poet of the first century BC. Catullus was the first to write about his personal life in the tawdry way we all do nowadays. Nathaniel drags the lusty lovelorn mourning Catullus kicking and screaming, leering and heavy petting into the twenty-first century – or at least into the nineteen-eighties – into a grimly-lit rec-room reality-TV sort of post-pubescent angst. Which sounds awful, but it totally works. Let’s Pretend is a weirdly compelling book – or maybe it’s a concept album? Anyway, pound-for-pound it’s a page-turner.

Another person to thank is Angela Hibbs. Her book is smaller and redder and there’s a girl on the front instead of a guy. Passport is a collection “escape from Newfoundland poems.” I don’t think Ms Hibbs would mind them characterized in this way. They’ve got enough perspective in them to indicate to the reader that the author did indeed escape, but at the same time enough razor-burn rawness to them to indicate that it was a narrow escape, an all-around close call. I would also like to thank Angela for wearing short-shorts, thigh-high stockings and high-heeled cowboy boots.

Third up was Mary Williamson who read a story not presently in a book but bound to be one day. I’d only just met Angela and Mary three nights previous. On that occasion Angela was wearing a blond wig and a gold lame gown and Mary was wearing a redhead wig and a baby blue ball gown and then a red brocaded and fringed flapper number which she kept hiking up to dance flapper-type dances. Given the flapper theme it was all one could do to refrain from yelling: Nice gams! At the reading Mary was reading a story from a boy’s point of view so she was wearing a boy’s cap, undershirt, and jeans found in the garbage. Nathaniel was wearing pants found in the garbage too. Or maybe his were from a yard sale. Mine were.

I was wearing a pair of super skinny jeans bought up the street at a yard sale for three bucks. It’s hard not to buy three-dollar jeans. It’s also hard to sit down in them, these ones anyway. These are my standing up jeans, I kept saying to reading attendees lest they think me pacing nervously. I read some Rome related stuff: Notes On Arrival, a short prose poem culled from the How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome web project; A Timeline of Notable Arrivals in Rome, a new piece written especially for this reading, and Roads Out of Rome, another piece that began as part of Broken Things and was then expanded and adapted and eventually made its way into Geist last winter.

Highlights of the evening included – in no particular order: when, in my reading of A Timeline of Notable Arrivals in Rome, I skipped ahead 1200 years and paused and said – I’m skipping ahead here – and everybody laughed (phew); when friends showed up even though it was summer and Tuesday and a poetry reading no less, and when the afore-mentioned Angela Hibbs showed up in short-shorts.

Nathaniel G. Moore, Let’s Pretend We Never Met
Angela Hibbs, Passport
J. R. Carpenter, How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome
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Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards

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Finally! Drunken Boat # 8 is now online!

This fat new issue features winners and finalists of the inaugural Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards, including my web art project How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome – a finalist in the Web Art Category.
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Broken Things Closing Party

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Come on out to MOCCA tonight for the closing party of the 19th Annual Images Festival. With DJ Kola. Performance by Tammy Forsythe. Outdoor projections by John Oswald. And me, and How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome.


9-12 pm, MoCCA (952 Queen Street W), FREE
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Public Reception Today at MOCCA

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HOW I LOVED THE BROKEN THINGS OF ROME

a a hypertext/ poetry/ video/ installation J. R. Carpenter

Public Reception Today: Saturday April 15, 2 – 6PM

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street W.,Toronto, ON, CANADA

Presented in Association With the 19th Annual imagesFestival

If you can’t join us at MOCCA today, you can also visit How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome online any time at: http://luckysoap.com/brokenthings

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Broken Things Now Showing at MOCCA

Categories:  exhibition, festival, How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome, mini-books
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The broken things of Rome are still broken, but my web/ poetry/ video/ installation How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is now installed at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the show is now showing. Come by, buy a mini-book, browse the site on site, and say hi to me, J.R. Carpenter.

How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is at MOCCA April 13 – 23, 2006
The Gallery Hours Are: Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 6
I will be at the Public Reception: Saturday April 15, 2 – 6PM
And at the Closing Party: Saturday April 22, 9:30PM

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street W.,Toronto, ON, CANADA

http://luckysoap.com/brokenthings
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Broken Things in Transposing geographies

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Transposing geographies: mapping on the internet is NOW ONLINE!
Curated by Christina Battle & Sara MacLean
http://www.imagesfestival.com/2006/transgeo/

Extending beyond traditional modes of mapping, artists featured in this year’s online exhibit utilize the Internet to reconsider their interactions with place. Pulling from personal memories, travels and interactions within cities, contributing artists present opportunities for viewers to move beyond the physical boundaries set by geography. Highlighting the Internet’s ability to navigate users through space, Toronto-based twig design has developed an exhibition interface allowing visitors to map their journey from one site to the next.

Works include: “All About My Ho Chung” (Tsang Tsui Shan); “Folk Songs For the Five Points” (Alastair Dant, Tom Favis, Victor Gama & David Gunndate); “How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome” (J.R. Carpenter); “In The Weather” (Melinda Fries and Bonnie Fortune); “New York City Map” (Marketa Bankova); “Radical Cartography: Exploring Nice, Mapping Nice” (Kayte Young & Bill Rankin); “Shadows From Another Place” (Paula Levine).

“How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome” is also on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA).
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Building Broken Things

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The fabulous folks at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art have put up with countless email and even a few phone calls from me over the past few months, regarding the now very imminent exhibition of How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome. Thank you Dave. Thank you Camilla, and Gina and Chloé. And Mark and José, who I actually got to talk to in person one day in February. Last night I boarded a fast train from Montréal to Toronto. Now, finally, at long last, the last leg of this great adventure is under way.

MOCCA’s putting me up in the Gladstone Hotel. The Gladstone is very glam, very post-Victorian. As many of you many know, but I didn’t until MOCCA put me up here, an actual real life artist has designed each of the rooms. I’m in the Biker Room, designed by Toronto-based artist and curator Andrew Harwood. The bedside lamps are made of motorcycle helmets and there are three portraits of Peter Fonda from the film “Easy Rider”. The portraits have sequins and glitter on them. The windows open out onto the Price Choppers parking lot – quite a popular hang out from the sounds of things.

This morning, over at MOCCA, I got to unpack a flat-screen monitor that had never been unpacked before. Then my new best friend Hri got out the measuring tape and the masking tape and after a while put some orange paint on the wall. Tomorrow – we tackle shelves and plinths. I learned the word plinth from Mark back in February and now I just love saying and writing it. I can’t wait to actually build one! Actually, Hri is going to build my plinth. Or maybe Marks, who isn’t the same as Mark. Either way, a plinth it will be. And a big one too. Until then, sweet easy rider dreams.
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How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome

Categories:  electronic literature, exhibition, festival, How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome, web art
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How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome
a hypertext/ poetry/ video/ installation by

J. R. Carpenter

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street W.,Toronto, ON, CANADA
http://www.mocca.toronto.on.ca

Exhibition: April 13 – 23, 2006
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 6
Public Reception: Saturday April 15, 2 – 6PM
imagesFestival Closing Party: Saturday April 22, 9PM

The artist will be in attendance at these events.

Presented in Association With the 19th Annual imagesFestival
http://imagesfestival.com

How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is a Web Art Finalist in the Drunken Boat PanLiterary Awards 2006. http://luckysoap.com/brokenthings
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Broken Things on Drunken Boat

Categories:  How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome, publication, web art
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How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome has been named a finalist in the Drunken Boat PanLiterary Awards – Web Art Section. The final results of the competition will be announced later this fall. Broken Things will appear in the next issue regardless. DrunkenBoat.com is an international online journal for the arts featuring poetry, prose, photography, video, web art, and sound.

How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome was created between 2002 and 2005 in Rome and Montréal with the generous financial support of the Oboro New Media Lab artist in residency programme and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Milli gazie again to Barbara Catalini in Rome and Stéphane Vermette in Montréal.
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