Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A song to a poem about a bar named for a fool in Newfoundland

"All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #21, Conception Harbour, Conception Bay"
Scott Walden (2006)
Artist retains rights

Like I was saying, Poetry Scores has a live premiere of a new poetry score on Saturday, May 30 at the Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis.

We are scoring "All the Clubs from Hollyrood to Brigus," a twelve-poem sequence of "fictions, ruminations and riddles," according to its subtitle, about the taverns and social clubs that line a 16-mile stretch of one of the oldest highways in Newfoundland.

The poet Mary Dalton - like any self-respecting tavern-goer - relishes the names of pubs and social clubs. Throughout the sequence, she names taverns -- and then renames them for what their real names would be if they truly described what happens to people in there.

In "The Twilick," a prose poem, she savors a few actual tavern names -- and then invents the name of a fictional lounge and imagines a typical scene inside it.


The Twillick
By Mary Dalton

The Blue Moon. The Velvet Hat. The Newfoundland Lounge. They should have a bar called The Twillick. Go in there now and what you’ll see is those fellows—and the women, too—home from Alberta, the SUVs and the monster trucks gleaming in the parking lots, and them huddled over the flash and dash, the blips and beeps of the VLTs, feeding in the dollars they left their place and young ones for, feeding in the big money they got on the planes for. The big money they sold their backs and lungs for, often as not. Or crowded round a pool-table like worshippers at one of those new-fangled centre altars, praying at the shrine of Texas Hold ’Em.


According to The Dictionary of Newfoundland English, a "twillick" is a long-legged sea shore bird -- and a fool.

St. Louis songster Mike Stuvland, who is no fool, set "The Twillick" to a wistful acoustic tune that includes my favorite-ever intonation of the phrase "monster trucks" in a song.

Video of Mary Dalton reading "The Twilick" just for our show.

The series of photographs by Scott Walden, also titled "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus," that inspired Mary Dalton's poem.

The original announcement of the May 30 show with more details.

Mike Stuvland

Mary Dalton

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