From the Archive: Paul Dutton (CAROUSEL 36)

Staff/ December 9, 2020/ Featured Artist, performance, Poet

March 04, 2014 — performing live in Toronto

Paul Dutton is a poet, novelist, essayist & oral sound artist, who, over the course of 5 decades, has uncompromisingly challenged the borders of literature & music. Internationally renowned for his solo sound performances, Dutton’s otherworldly voice works have helped redefine the potential of human utterance.

CAROUSEL is pleased to present the first appearance in print of a selection of works from this innovative explorer of language in the following profile section — which includes 5 accompanying links to exclusive, never-before-released oral soundworks and other voice recordings!

Chair ou Chair

pour Chaim Soutine, l’Orangerie, Paris, 2012

Here is somewhere else is where a chair is there a place to see and hear is somewhere else is wear a chair out sitting here or there to see a tree in wind in oil on a wall where there across a somewhere else a room is anywhere there is a chair to where a room awaits a weary here and there begun before a door or after having entered through a wall a door is in a room a chair awaits a flower on a tabletop and bottom seen at once between a two or three more red than green unsunlit scene where sunlight seen could be a somewhere else that’s here a chair and there a table worn down years ago and then again a brush across a canvas makes a dead bird live again in death that isn’t here but somewhere else a chair is not in what is there before a door upon a wall that has a carcass wrought in oil on a bordered space a trace of which was somewhere else is here within a room a wall is all that flesh will never rot on then and now been got on cloth that oil’s congealed on in a shape a chair’s a thought concealed in wood that’s not got any death in dying somewhere else is where a here is not a there is nowhere else is not to be where there a chair is here not ever anywhere is now is never where a chair is here is nowhere there is ever any now or never death in oil or in a chair that’s nowhere to be seen as even somewhere else a chair is not in wood or oil or thought that’s nowhere near where death is far from being met yet always there is here is somewhere else that death has gone to come to be outside these walls within this room where death is not bought off by toil or oil or bordered canvas circumscribing living things or dead where death can be what’s not before or after anywhere there isn’t time is somewhere else that time and time again is here where time is not a measure being elsewhere isn’t far from being gone outside the room the walls are other than the ones the sun is shining on the wind that’s outside elsewhere time is not the measure of the anywhere that’s nowhere else than ever is whatever time’s the measure of what’s here or somewhere else.

Chair ou Chair (2m42s)


The door avoids me, keeping to itself on the side I avoid what the door is keeping to this side of me beside the door beside myself behind a door avoiding me on the side that’s back before a door closed on a void inside an opening in or shut out door in front of more an opening out or shutting in a side before, behind, below a wall or floor a door is in a version of a room a door’s avoiding what’s behind it, keeping to itself the void that is avoided by a door’s averted opening on a corridor of doors closed upon a multitude of rooms enclosing multitudes of who or what avoids a door I’m on the other side of looking in or out upon a room a door has closed on who I am or was avoiding, closing in upon a void I am enclosing doors avoiding opening doors avoiding closing me into a void I am averse to opening closing doors, avoiding voids inside or out, disclosing nothing doors enclose so much as more than lies upon a floor a body’s pressed to in an attitude of listening or looking through a crack an open door creates in wishing more to be revealed to eyes that lie in wait beside a crack a door is opened by to view a room across a corridor a door across is open to eyes waiting where a room’s a void avoided and the one across the way is where desire awaits fulfillment in a void averted by a crack in time to catch a glimpse of just in time a wish fulfilled by an open door, desiring what or who is lying on the floor or on the bed upon the floor beside the open door desire rests on in an attitude of looking or listening to desire delayed or obviated by a door closing on an open wish fulfilled in rooms that lie open to what lies on the other side of lies on this side of that side is hidden where a hand upon a doorknob’s set to push or pull a door shut or open on a room where secrets lie in waiting for desire to be fulfilled or delayed within a multitude of rooms where multitudes lie, turning their backs on doors closing on secrets lying under layers of desire.

Door (2m41s)

Speech Sequence

1 /
lip-shaped from mind’s mould, eye-lit fold of thought heard over and aside from back before the mouth held what the heart tried muttering through hindsight to what fixed image sets patterns played on cortical kaleidoscope, calliope-inspired gum-press, gaming up past as present when present is past exemplified, near or far.

2 /
tongue-turned by heart’s squeal that lets havoc leak, thought lost, broken songs, empty words, I sing sans atonal rows from years ago, de-compositioned, chartless song upon a sense’s riff, slipping slang, today a mystery tomorrow, tomorrow known today, if only they’d listen.

Antilyric C343 A, B, C

Antilyric C343 A (1m44s)
Antilyric C343 B (2m27s)
Antilyric C343 C (1m15s)
Paul Dutton is a Toronto-based poet, novelist, essayist and oral sound artist. He is the author of numerous books, including Sonosyntactics: Selected and New Poetry of Paul Dutton (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2015), Several Women Dancing (Mercury Press, 2002) and Right Hemisphere, Left Ear (Coach House Books, 1979). He was a founding member of the Four Horsemen sound poetry quartet and is a current member of the free-improvisation band CCMC. Over the years, he has appeared in poetry festivals in Germany, France and Venezuela, and at music festivals in Canada, Holland and Argentina. His work has been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays 1990, In Fine Form: The Book of Canadian Form Poetry and elsewhere. More: here

Paul Dutton Poetry/Sound Portfolio
appeared in CAROUSEL 36 (2016) — buy it here

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