Bud Osborn was a poet and social justice activist much beloved in the Downtown Eastside. His death in May this year is loss to the community. Osborn was a founding member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), a collective advocating for harm reduction policies in the City.
[Having written it originally for David’s Copy: Selected Poems (Penguin Books, 2005), I reprint my pre-face here in celebration of the republication by City Lights Books of his classic poetics primer, Two Way Mirror, concerning which I wrote more recently: “David Meltzer had set out, when he was very young, to write a long poem called The History of Everything, an ambition that his later poetry brought ever closer to fulfillment. Here, i
In this commentary, I want to contrast two artists’ visual prosody. In previous commentaries I have paired an artist and a poet. In this case, both of the writers are artists and have practically never been called poets. Here I am interested in setting Adrian Piper and Hock-E-Aye-Vi Edgar Heap of Birds side by side, and as an heuristic, specifically, two pieces: Piper’s Concrete Infinity 6” Square (1968) and Heap of Birds’ Vacant (1995). My excuse for pairing these examples is not art- or literary-historical so much as it is guided by the motif of a “derelict void.”