Monday, January 02, 2006

What happened at MLA/New Years/Where have I been?

MLA Poetry and Politics Panel notes:

MLA Out O'Towners group reading notes:
  • Joel Bettridge: “these days, all of us is tired” Pre-Socratic blues. Healthy
  • Louis Cabri: “foams form” “old man former”
  • Joshua Clover: Wore a T-shirt that said, “Who the fuck is Mick Jagger” “Let’s talk about space.” Lyric…thru…the…capital. In the tradition of Frank O Hara, Jack Spicer.
  • Michael Cross: “Cede.” Suit. Stripped shirt. No tie. Pin. No glasses. More language-y, some lines w/excellent ear: “each trope to cite and cite to see in keys” “I’m peopled and I’m trod”
  • Brent Cunningham: Orations. First the Greeks with Joel B and now the Romans. “Over and over the sentence is published until it has the quality of truth…vigilant comrades, how crazy I was.” Sentences. Address. Persona.
  • Richard Deming: read from Some Elsewhere. Poems are lyric, quiet, images of the decomposing dead.
  • Jeff Derkson: goes right into it. Lots of architecture: “cellular modernist housing blocks,” still some Kevin Davies, “therefore, world bank head.” At first more lyric sentency than when I heard him at DCAC, “each coffee bean is a failed form of cosmopolitanism” [I’m getting tired, first yawn of the night, but not because of the poems]
  • Patrick Durgin: “To my imitators” a poem I enjoyed but didn’t write any notes on so I don’t know why I did. [Jessica and I compare address books, which are the same]
  • William R. Howe: reads from his Emily Dickinson translations, which I always like. Bill is project oriented. “Mermadon”
  • Nancy Khul: read a poem written in response to an installation by Allison M---- (not in my note). Eyelashes. Poem reads like a lab report. Interesting.
  • Aaron Kunin: maybe my favorite reading of the night. I love poems that are aware of their own weirdness and then amp up their weirdness even more. He read from The Sore Throat. “So invent a machine for disinventing”
  • Nicole Markotic “so much for the prophetic beatess poet” I think this is a quote from her reading but it’s not in quotations in my notes. “Share each other” a lyric cadence to her reading. Feminine.
  • Camille Martin: “whether the withering weather,” “the hard cages of the township metaphorically take over,” “Seduction. Birdness. Tussle,” “what’s mine belongs to eerie bridges,” “displaced from a frost-free past.” I clearly liked her work, since I wrote down so many quotes. Why? Connecting self to architecture and land/geography/weather isn’t exactly new, but I liked what she was doing. “No point in the flood”
  • Laura Moriarty: I liked her reading style—direct, energetic. I liked her discussion of tonalism but I was too unfocused and tired to take useful notes. I am not a tonalist. “An idea of a rock concentrates.” [I space out to look at Jessica’s pink flower satin tire red skirt. It is kind of shimmery]
  • AL Nielsen: I did recognize him. Read some Lorenzo Thomas and “the ear of the behearer”
  • Bob Perelman: I liked this reading; I liked his last reading at DCAC. There are people and bodies in his poems. Even the objects seem embodied, “only one of us is Henry James,” “people began to realize they were thinking because touching, “ “I remain alone…sticking out,” “isn’t it a bit late to be hating the four quartets. They don’t hate you, they only hate themselves,” “drink this, it’s on the house. It’s our house now.”
  • Joan Retallack: Former DCer! Hooray! “You can be the proud owner of this formidable machine.”
  • Linda Russo: “they called me a critic and meant I was a rat…” this poem escalated and got more and more appalling, which I like, and ended with “because there hides the essence of love.” Would like to read more of her work
  • Jennifer Scappetone: At this point, I fixated for a while on Mark’s ticking watch. I’ve been on a rant about academic moaning re: the failure of deconstruction and the usefulness or not of Derrida’s ethics, so between that and the ticking watch, I think I was not as receptive to “Derrida is dead, too.” I tend to not like poems that are overly determined by theory, any theory. I’d rather have the language move into theory than out of it. Some of it worked ok, “I put Barbara S. on your mix CD.”
  • Susan Schultz: I’m interested in the way her recent work examines alternative ways of thinking about a maternal body.
  • Rodrigo Toscano: “Economy is the new sex since about 1450.Counterculture is disappointing.” Rodrigo’s become a good performer. The revolution is in interpersonal relations, process, although I’d write it as “sex is the economy since forever,” but it’s close. Rodrigo’s poems seem to know that the politics needs poetry.
  • Shanxing Wang: A new poet to me. Some fabulous moments: “What is is…is is not SI…it is not TI titanium. It is not TI Texas Instruments.” “Me or my head. That is my body.” Would like to read/hear/see more
  • Tyrone Williams: “rise rise rise rise rise rise…with oil and vinegar”


tmorange said...

great reading notes, klg! my responses...
clover: one might say the same of nealon
cross: sonic density, very impressive
cunningham: how perfectly the sentence you noted fits with our current political dilemma
deming: ashberyan long line rhetoric, quiet darkness
derksen: yes more lyrical than i've heard him be
kunin: insistent neurosis
markotic: body politics
moriarty: i need to read that piece on the page
nielsen: ear of the behearer is a dewey redman album
perelman: one-shots, epigrammatic; compare to rod's snips and baraka's un poco loco
russo: needs a book sooner than later
scappetone: we need to get at this recent rant of yours
wang: brand new futurepoem book out

Jessica Smith said...

yes, my pink satin skirt is mesmerizing. we have the same address book. tom's poem (on his blog) culled from readings is better than any of the readings were individually except perhaps linda's. i'm trying to get linda to publish a book, but she's not into self-publishing and she gets neurotic (i say this with all love, linda) about her MS because she's too self-critical. bruce andrews needs a dash of that. i guess i will have to start the press by myself, because i have no shame about such things. Joel Bettridge is the picture of California health.

tmorange said...

linda's reading at DCAC a while back made me wish i ran a chapbook press solely for the purpose of scooping up those poems and putting them out ASAP...

bill said...

sounds wonderful. i especially wish i could have been there for camille's reading.