Monday, June 30, 2003

Another fine reading in Jane Sprague's West End Reading Series took place Saturday night, although the heat and the noise from the necessary fans made the first poet, Edmund Berrigan, a bit hard to hear. They turned off the fans for Karen Weiser's reading, but we were all wilting by the end. A quick break and back inside for Anselm Berrigan who read hilarious and angry things from his books Zero Star Hotel and Integrity & Dramatic Life, as well as some newer work. I'll be reading next time (last Saturday in July, the 26th) along with Fred Muratori and another poet whose name I didn't quite catch (apologies). It should be really hot then—a good "warm up" (sorry) for the many readings I plan on doing once my book comes out at the end of September. One thing I noticed about this reading was how both Karen and Anselm referred at different points to writing "toward" something, as opposed to "about" or "on" a given topic or theme. It made me think about how one could introduce students to a new attitude toward the content/narratives in their writing simply by shifting the preposition. Write toward your childhood, or through another poet's poem, or at your geographical background, or under the history of South Africa, or whatever. Maybe narrative isn't the problem (I am coming around to a belief in the importance reclaiming narrative from those who would render it with a false and metaphysical transparency), just, quite literally, the subject or speaker's (pre)position from which s/he relates to that narrative. Food for thought, or maybe just food for powder, as Falstaff would say.

The apartment's looking better and better. Emily went to New York this weekend and got a massive dose of urban culture: Hairspray, a play called The Last Sunday in June that the boyfriend of her friend Cary wrote, a Leonard Cohen tribute concert featuring Rufus Wainwright and Laurie Anderson, restaurants galore. She brought back a New York state of mind and some really nice hooks and switchplates and things to dress up our new place. We need to spend a little quality time together that doesn't involve decorating, though. Maybe we can take the wine tour around Seneca Lake this weekend. It ain't Napa, but it's a beautiful lake nonetheless.

I dig Kasey's icon for my blog, though I wish the image were large enough to read exactly what kind of <> he's found to represent me. I also really like the icons for Joe Duemer's Reading and Writing (shades of Get Your War On!—there's an interesting interview with the guy behind those comix in the new issue of The Believer), Tim Yu's tympan (is that what one of those looks like?), Eileen Tabios's overheated CorpsePoetics (I'm still calling it WinePoetics in my links out of sheer laziness), the cavorting whatever-it-is that stands for Malcolm Davidson's Eeksy-Peeksy, and of course the classic images (it only takes about two days of continuous prior existence for something to become classic in the blogosphere) accompanying Catherine Meng's Porthole Redux and Ji(s)m Behrle's Monkey. They're all great, though. How do y'all manage to put all those images and animations on your blogs, anyhow? I'm way behind the curve.

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