Thursday, March 27, 2014
Last night I attended a poetry reading at Model Projects, formerly Exercise Projects. The evening was hosted by one of the readers, Tiziana La Melia, a visual artist for whom writing is an aspect of her practice. Also on the bill were Kristina Maher, Bunny Rogers, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott.
Walter took the stage first and read a piece he called "Wendy Colour Edits", a list poem culled from sections of his upcoming colouring book.
Two minutes later, Kristina read two short poems from her phone, one of which is the story of a family vacation, where the narrator and her sister (?) play with "bottles from the mini bar," while a "postage stamp-sized swimming pool" waits calmly outside.
Tiziana read a piece called "Thought Column for Joan Dark the Saint" (And if structure is the theme/ I'm not sure what this means/ Chip in my/ Lip-stick) from Night Moves V, a Los Angeles-based newsprint fold-over first brought to my attention by Rachelle, who published work in an earlier issue, and who read two carefully cryptic pieces, one of them about taking her cat to the spa.
In the midst of this was Bunny, who, as my babushka would say, is blestyashchiy, and who read in a flat unmodulated voice a series of confessionals that began with this line (or something like it):
self-indulgence should be a crime punishable by death
Following that, lines like these:
I am scared to think your word is not law
safety hurts in bed where I belong
people use proper spelling when they want to return the hurt
he is allowed to look at me like that because something was established
can you say that thing about audience again?
I wouldn't call it a bag of tricks; I would call it a bag of advantages
you and your earplugs
snowflakes sans snow
I imagine a cat named Ketchup