Reading at Spoonbill with Lee Ann Brown!!!

Tomorrow night at 7:30pm I’ll be reading with Lee Ann Brown at Spoonbill! Lee Ann just published a collection of poems “In The Laurel’s, Caught” and we’re going to be celebrating it’s new-found existence!!! I’ll be reading from Parasite. Hope to see you!!!

Spoonbill is here: 218 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

Advertisements

Lamar Wilson’s new book of poems “Sacrilegion”

Lee Ann Brown showed me Lamar Wilson’s poems last year when she was the judge for Carolina Wren Press publication contest that Lamar had entered and won!. I remember really liking the poems then, but was entirely smitten last week when I saw the poems had become a book, Sacrilegion, and heard Lamar read at New College. Earlier tonight I was reading this article on the Huffington Post’s website, and afterward felt a jolt to go grab Lamar’s poems from the shelf and listen to Stevie Wonder!

In the opening poem for Sacrilegion Prelude: I Can’t Help It, Lamar writes, “I am a lone dandelion in a field,” which made me want to read to him a passage from my book Parasite, “Give a dandelion to a sage and its buds, leaves and greens will be eaten; the flowers turned to wine and the roots used as a substitute for coffee.” Dandelions are magick!

Lamar invites readers to “Come. Blow me to bits.” And when I saw him singing at his reading, I think I wasn’t alone, and everyone was feeling like taking him up on the offer.

The middle of Lamar’s book folds out into a poem in the shape of a cross wherein Lamar seemingly stretches into everyone and everything somehow gets etched into him. Lamar sang parts when I heard him deliver the poem, but on paper it’s like an entirely new experience. In a way it strikes you dumb as it’s so few words repeated over and over again effectively creating a metaphysical narrative. It seems so simple but it reaches so far.

But don’t let the sunny disposition I’m painting fool you, in Lamar’s poems there are scars that won’t heal juxtaposed with lyrical spiritual revelations, but then you realize his desire for grit and for soul and for a better body and for his deaf nerves to sing and to come to terms with its deafness. Wasn’t it Whitman that taught us to revel in our contradictions? And isn’t good poetry an exploration of our inner worlds?

Earlier this evening, I also began reading a manuscript Shelley Marlow recently sent me to look at, it’s a novel called SWANN IN LOVE AGAIN/ THE LESBIAN ARABIAN NIGHTS: aka the lesbians of arabia, it’s great, it’ll probably eventually be published, the novel opens with a quote that has been on my mind ever since and I feel appropriate considering….

I don’t romanticize the crazy trip any more than Laing and his people do and this is a big misunderstanding. The thing is although it isn’t the perfect solution to anything, it is a way and it’s a way we need to know a lot more about and I’d even hazard the thought that when we have a body of literature descriptive of the “inner journey” comparable to what we have in space and mountain and jungle and underwater exploration that we’ll be a civilization on it’s way to recovering a lost unity of inner and outer. — Jill Johnston, Gullibles Travels, 1974.

Part II of Lamar’s book warns, “Millions didn’t make it but I was one of the ones who did.” Is this why so few ever delve into the “inner journey” of others? In my opinion, this is at the heart of the problem and reason for the continued perpetuation of racism, homophobia, body fascism, etc., and all the other “F-You” sentiments which worship pain seem to reject the inner lives of others.

Lamar writes from a position which suggests much pain has been experienced, yet he defiantly creates worlds within his work as he simultaneously struggles to come to terms with his own body, he also resolves to courageously declare that he’s not afraid anymore to search for one man to share with him in a “santifunked” love that will forever grow darker in the best of ways.

I fucking love idealism.

Lamar shows us the joy of being allowed access to another person’s “inner journey”, and joyfully offers a rare glimpse into the intersections of divine spirit and faggotry.

Here’s the whole reading I saw… loved the work of francine j. harris and Randall Horton as well!

Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology Recording!

This recording was made for the installation telling the story of The Peoples Free Library and the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology shown at the Center for Book Arts (Jan-March 2013), “Brother Can You Spare A Stack?”

www.centerforbookarts.org/

Brother, Can You Spare a Stack presents thirteen art projects that re-imagine the library as a force for social change. Each project constructs a micro library of sorts that serves specific economic or social needs within the community. Each project proposes an alternative politicized realm, which can be imagined and formed to explore the social dimensions of contemporary culture. Small and mobile, these projects resist the limitations of a controlled, highly organized system that governs our society. In contrast to subjective libraries formed by the artists picking and choosing book titles, these projects take a pragmatic and rational approach, using the library model as an interactive field. Selected projects update the principles of relational aesthetics, and shift them towards all-inclusive and useful cultural production. “Brother, Can You Spare a Stack” borrows its title from the lyrics of a popular depression era song, claiming that the artists invent alternative models of questioning, inspiring new perspectives on social transformation. They insert themselves into the most unexpected situations and spaces, in this case libraries, to propose social and cultural improvement.

The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology lives online in its entirety here:

http://peopleslibrary.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/occupy-wall-street-poetry-anthology/

A special thank you to all the poets and to Anna Huckabay, Ben Rosenberg, Lee Ann Brown, Miranda Lee Reality Torn, Tony Torn, and Xena Stanislavovna Semjonova for helping create this recording!

GRRRLS ON FILM!

GRRRLS ON FILM! celebrates the work of women, trans people, and genderqueer filmmakers, writers, performers, and other creators, especially but not exclusively those whose work has been influential to or stems from riot grrrl and queercore movements. the series is held by page 22’s page poetry salon (curated by lee ann brown) in the former home of geraldine page at 435 W. 22nd St. in Manhattan. for ten consecutive weeks, GRRRLS ON FILM! meets Thursday nights, doors at 8pm. the night will begin with the salon and end with the screening. audience space is limited and dependent on rsvp. to do so, please send an email to grrrlsonfilm@gmail.com, and feel free to let us know now which nights you’d like to attend as we have rsvp lists going for the whole series. all events are free and open to those that rsvp first, but for those that are able to do so, a suggested donation of $10 would really help cover all the costs incurred in putting this event together. we will supply some food and/or drinks every week but suggest everyone BYOB and/or bring something to share!

In Memorium of Stacy Doris: The Cake Part

Recently the poetry community lost Stacy Doris. Last night at Lee Ann Brown’s home, a bunch of people gathered to remember Stacy. People read from her work and shared personal stories about the love and grace she brought into the world. It was a stunningly emotional night.

Stacy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She received her AB in literature and society from Brown University and an MFA in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa.

Her books include Knot (University of Georgia Press, 2006), Cheerleader’s Guide to the World: Council Book (Roof Books, 2006), Conference (Potes & Poets, 2001), Une Année à New York avec Chester (P.O.L., 2000), Paramour (Krupskaya, 2000), La vie de Chester Steven Wiener ecrite par sa femme (P.O.L., 1998), Kildare (Segue Foundation, 1994).

A translator from French and Spanish, she has co-edited anthologies of French writing in translation including Twenty One New (to North America) French Writers (1997) and Violence of the White Page (1991). She is also the translator of Dominique Fourcade’s Everything Happens (2000).

Doris has also published two short books written in collaboration with visual artists: Mop Factory Incident (with Melissa Smedley; Women’s Studio Workshop, 1996), and Implements (for Use) (with Anne Slacik).

She taught at several colleges and universities including the University of Iowa and Hunter College.

Stacy Doris died on February 1, 2012.

Before she passed, Stacy Doris sent many of her friends translations of French Pornographic works she uncovered from the French Revolution. She sent the texts to many of her friends with instructions to make a video. This project is called The Cake Part. After people read and shared Stacy Doris’s work at last nights event, a bunch of videos from The Cake Part were screened.

And here they are for your enjoyment:

Continue reading