Sunday, February 13, 2005

Noli illegitimi carborundum

Welcome back, Laura. I haven't followed the Foetry business for months and I don't intend to start again now. But it made me sad and angry to think that they were driving good, creative people from the scene. I'm glad they haven't succeeded. Instead of saying any more about the subject, I refer you to the thoughts of Chris Murray and the cartoons of Jim Berhle.

We at Soon had a fabulous weekend hosting Jennifer Michael Hecht, her clever husband John, and their sweet baby Max. Jennifer and partner-in-poetry Theo Hummer gave a kickass reading at the State of the Art Gallery Saturday night. Jennifer's a funny and committed reader, Brooklyn all the way—watch out for her new book, Funny, which entertainingly deconstructs some very old jokes. (A sample: Man says to woman, "Tell me, am I your first lover?" She replies, "Could be—your face looks familiar.") You can read some poems from her first book here—she read "History" last night and it was very moving. As for Theo, she regaled us with poems from a series she calls "Tales of the Naked Wandering Dead Lady"—gothic, funny stuff—and pulled off what is becoming one of her trademarks, a long poem many of whose sections were read by members of the audience. Aside from the basic value of putting the poem in front of the reader, which I think makes a reading feel friendlier (that's also one reason why we—well, Aaron—do broadsides for all of our authors), it's a delicious and slightly spooky aural effect to not know where the next piece of a poem is going to come from. The audience (a record turn-out—we'll put photos on the Soon site soon) went home happy. This morning, Emily and I had everyone over for brunch, where we played an excellent game John introduced called, I think, One Two Three. Two people count to three and each say a word; for example, this morning it was "flower" and "nectarine." Then two more people each say a word that they think somehow combines those two (we got "hybrid" and "sex"). The game continues until two people each say the same word. Simple, brilliant, loads of fun. I recommend it for your next poets' brunch.

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