Sunday, December 05, 2010

Gritty Poetry

Having a boyfriend is not good for blogging. But a blog cannot hug you at night.

Last night, Bob Heman's 12th Big Clwn Wr Event took place in the Community Room of the Westbeth housing for artists, in the far west of the Village. A number of Pink Pony regulars or ex-regulars read, but also a couple of exciting discoveries.

Adriana Scorpino had a strong long poem about the Williamsburg Bridge that spiritualizes it far more convincingly than Hart Crane did with the Brooklyn one. Liza Wolsky read a terrific poem about her father trying to revive a drowned man. George Spencer read sexy poems sauced with learned references. Thomas Fucaloro is getting better and better: he read a very funny poem about a TV nature show that mounted a camera on a lizard. Judy Kamilhor entertained with her short pieces inspired by haiku and senryu. I read two poems from Equal to the Earth, a poem by Bob Hart ("From a Winslow Homer Painting"), and a poem from my next book Seven Studies for a Self Portrait.

The discoveries that night were Phyllis Wat whose poems were witty and poised but also full of feeling, and Carolyn Ota, a mesmerizing singer-songwriter from Hawai'i, now training in NYC to use vibration and music for healing. I really enjoyed Lori Rogers's short film "Crush." Who would have thought that kicking and stepping on bottles, boxes and cans in the city could create such gritty poetry? The camera, pointed down the whole time, was dizzying.

The night was long (the event was supposed to start at 7, and it ended at 11), but, thanks to Bob Heman, it brought together a striking ensemble of artistes, a strong representation of downtown art.

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