The Coatpuller


Fifth Estate # 5, March 6-20, 1966

Photo portrait of John Sinclair and column title for The Coatpuller: a column by John SinclairOn the 24th of February, John Sinclair was sentenced by Judge Groat of the Recorders Court to six months in the Detroit House of Correction and three years probation for possession of marijuana. He’ll have to go before Judge Krause on Thursday, March 3, to be sentenced for violation of probation. This is why he is not writing the column today. Hopefully he will be able to continue writing for the Fifth Estate when (if) he goes to the “House” as they call it. I will help him out as well as I can with the local news items that he should tell you about.

The programs at the Artists’ Workshop will continue as usual every Sunday at 7:00 p.m. There is no admission charge, so everybody who is interested can come down and listen to some of the best musicians and poets in the country. On February 27 the Lyman Woodard Ensemble gave a fantastic performance which should have been recorded and preserved for the future. The reading was by Robin Eichele.

On Sunday, March 6, the Detroit Contemporary 5 will play and Ron Caplan, (a young poet from Pittsburgh who has come to Detroit to live & work in the Artists’ Workshop Community) will give a reading.

The following Sunday will feature the Lyman Woodard Ensemble again and local poet J.D. Whitney.

The magazines WORK and CHANGE will continue to be published. John worked day and night just before they took him away on getting WORK/3 and his second book of poems, FIREMUSIC, a record ready for publication. They are available from the Artists Workshop Press (4825-27 John Lodge, Detroit 48201) now, at $1.00 each. (A subscription to four issues of WORK costs $3). CHANGE/2 is still in preparation.

Also available now is FREE POEMS AMONG FRIENDS Vol. I, a collection of all the FREE POEMS distributed on the Wayne Campus during the fall 1965 quarter. The WSU Artists’ Society, responsible for the FREE POEMS AMONG FRIENDS movement in Detroit, had hoped to get some student activities funds to cover the cost of paper and printing, but was not successful in getting any assistance from the University. For this reason a donation of 50 cents per copy is requested. Next quarter we hope FREE POEMS will be free in every respect.

Burton Greene’s concert, originally planned for March 4, was postponed. The Joseph Jarman Quintet which is to Chicago what the Detroit Contemporary 5 is to Detroit, will be giving a concert in the Lower DeRoy Auditorium on March 18. They will also play at the Artists’ Workshop on Sunday, March 20, and in Ann Arbor on the 29th as part of the Creative Arts Festival there.

We went to the Court Theatre in the Art institute the other day. The play was ENDGAME by Becket plus some Eliot poems. ENDGAME was played well but is actually a very boring play. The actors have to be congratulated for trying to do something in this culture-deprived Detroit, but I am rather pessimistic about them being able to do it. The very place itself, the Kresge lunch room of the Art Institute, with usherettes in black gowns, and David Brubeck records over the loudspeaker during the intermission, smells of decadence. The audience is a long shot from being ready for a play by Leroi Jones and Jones is still the only writer in America today who does not write plays which could just as well have been written 20 or 50 years ago. They still have trouble with Eliot. And Prufrock was written in 1923, I believe:

The Spike-Drivers played on the campus for a dance sponsored by the WSU Artists’ Society two weeks ago. It was such a success that they’ll return soon. Watch out for announcements in the Collegian and the Fifth Estate.

Support WORKing artists. They shouldn’t have to do all the work and carry the financial burden too.