Grzegorz Wroblewski reading from his book Kopenhaga and Piotr Gwiazda reading his English translations. London. Torriano Reading Series. 9th Feb 2014.
An evening of film, poetry and sad disco.
DJ Dr Kemp
reading the other night for Steven Fowler’s book release of Minimum Security Prison Dentisry at the Horse Hospital in North London. Great evening. Many fine readings !!!
the price of beans of which I am constituted
the dude behind all that rain
time has this shadow
check this dog a bone
every man jack gets to be a wife
somewhere does a sky bend into lassitude
a full court press
into high hips
into a form fitting sheet
new jack sex
in Wood Green
no pev no gup ya
no pa pa
Friday night. A week drawing to a close. Indian stomach rumbles again from the buffet. Settling in with some ginger tea and reading some plays of Kenneth Koch collected in The Gold Standard. Leaning over bed in this small North London room to type on laptop which rests on a foldable chair.
Will return to Koch’s play George Washington Crossing the Delaware very soon. NY School Poetry is taking my writing in new directions.
As we all know it is information overload. So much on the internet. Jacket 2. MFA programme grads. it is nice to hunker down with something like Kenneth Koch’s collected and his plays. Focus attention.
Just ordered Philip Whalen’s collected with parent’s gift certificate for 37th birthday. Be here in a month or less. Whalen’s and Koch and Padgett and Mayer are opening me up.
I am weighed by memories. So many lifetimes, identities, experiences, countries. I am finding writing as a way to let them go. See them as me and not me. That flickering between existing and not existing. In short, I am finding my way back to writing as life and life as a practice and that practice ultimately as spiritually but not spiritual in the sense of separate from the body. An expansive spirituality. All encompassing. More a perspective. A mindfulness.
And so it goes . . .
back to George Washington.
He just chopped down the cherry tree . . .
some interesting essays over at Big Bridge (perhaps actually much more enjoyable than Jacket in many ways):
I just received Joe Brainard’s I Remember in the post today. I am sure many folks have read it. I am late to the game. It is a classic of conceptualism and NY School Poetry. I am sure the French writers have already been influenced by it. It seems NY School Poetry has much more in common with French poetry than anything at all British. British poetry is very isolated. It is stuck in the 19th century with a few early modernists. Agh. Too bad for British poetry.
I just finished the following NY School Poetry books while commuting on the tube/subway. I highly recommend all of them.
Great Ball of Fire (Ron Padgett)
Poetry State Forest (Bernadette Mayer)
How To Be Perfect ( Ron Padgett)
My plans for next week’s tube reading:
Tulsa Kid (Ron Padgett)
I Remember (Joe Brainard)
NY School Poetry is of course a united singular aesthetic. But is seems, without getting into scholarly nit-picky mode, the poets do have some things in common. I especially like how so many of them, Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard especially, use their everyday lives. An attempt to bring art and life closer together. The original avant garde art project.
So here is my everyday life today.
There was a Polish birthday party in Leicester Square, followed by crowd immersion at British museum. Currently, I am experiencing acid reflux.
My friend Joe, just back from living and teaching English in Portugal, brought his own blow up mattress to stay with us in London. Our place is very small. Maybe it can fit a blow up mattress.
I thought about fish and chips tonight but there is no fish and chips tonight. We are trying to eat more healthy.
I also looked at LOOT for place to live with Ewa. If I can keep a job for decent amount of time, it would be nice to have a place, even a small one, but a bit bigger than this small bedroom we share in North London (Wood Green).
And so we tread forward. Nomadic travels await. Ewa has made some green tea.
Tea helps to centre me.