On Friday, I will make my way to the Earshot Reading for the first time. For some reason, I've never been to a reading here. I think mostly I've just been at some other reading. But I'm also wary of going to places I've never found before since this usually entails 45 minutes of me wandering around the general area, being lost and looking flustered. Fluster is a gross word and I'd rather not look like it. Anyways, the persuasive poetry of Ana B-B draws me to The Lucky Cat tomorrow. Ana is a Bull Who Knows The Ring. That's a compliment, I promise:
Matt Reeck (Brooklyn College)
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling (Hunter College)
Carla Gericke (City College)
Friday, March 23rd, 2007 @ 8 PM
$5 + one free drink
The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street (between Driggs & Roebling)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Nearby Train Stops: L (Bedford Ave), G (Metropolitan/Grand), J/M/Z (Marcy Ave
I've been slowly making my way through the books I hauled back from AWP. University of Califronia Press knows what's up. "What's up, Baby" It says to you. Says it so confidently there is no question mark, just a head nod.
Anyways, I'm enjoying Richard Greenfield's "A Carnage in the Lovetrees" ($16.95).
I've been reading it on the subway and am definitely not even half way finished, but I've already decided I like it. I think it's okay to be hasty to like things because what's the harm in that? If I change my mind later, than I've still had a few moments of pleasure. Often I'm hasty to dislike things, because, obviously, it's safer to keep things at arms length and not let anything new into the fishbowl. I read this ridiculous review on Double Room ( http://www.webdelsol.com/Double_Room/issue_three/contact3.html). I'm pasting the first two paragraphs below. What kind of a review is this?
"You'll most quickly find the heart – the heart external, that is – of Richard Greenfield's debut collection of poems, A Carnage in the Lovetrees, by cribbing vocabulary from Donna Haraway; i.e. by examining 'the situatedness of its system.' Greenfield comes to us with two ready associations: his book shows up on New California Poetry's roster as an implicit term in its ongoing argument for a new poetry, but he also comes with certain claims made on him by the putative movement of New Brutalism. So in terms of critical reception, these two facts will do the early mediating.
To consider first his press, Greenfield is a clever fit for New California's mission statement, which persists in being the flypaper for whatever useful aesthetic debris can be sifted in the wake of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. Meaningfully, they're a continuation of, rather than a corrective to the "Language" innovation. New California, in their own words, seeks "works that help define the emerging generation of poets – books consistent with California's commitment to the Black Mountain tradition and reflective of California literary traditions – cosmopolitan, experimental, open, and broad-ranging in their intellectual makeup." Greenfield certainly shares in the average Language poet's phenomenological bent, positioning himself as the observer whose disinterest is each moment being keened, glad if perplexed to watch "the familiar machinery of language moving by"; but at the same time, he seems invested in mimesis and Romanticism. As an amalgamation – the mongrel pet of critics – he's James Wright mixed with Lyn Hejinian. He makes good sense as a New California poet, shading more to the Haryette Mullen and Fanny Howe end of their spectrum than to the Geoffrey O'Brien and Myung Mi Kim end. But he negotiates each end, and his middle ground proves credible. "
Can I do a review of a review? If I could, it might go like this, "Think about what you're saying...and never say it again."
You can't hear me, but I'm saying it in a sweet voice. Really? Yeah maybe.
These are lines I like:
"Undercover, you are dead behind the couch when they knock."
"The citizens are trembling among the trembling."
This section of a poem:
"Where piety kneeled piety prayed through the soft textured ceiling,
speaking in the night to the king of kings in a heaven so in love
with its own perfection, it was selfish, hovering above the cries,
above the bodies of pain, ignoring all dependencies, too selfish
to take along the neglected. The inconsolable. The sometimes
"After the mug shot profile of the anger bird"
"The lineup. The list of less."
"In the flame tree's system, near my window in fatal reach, a nest of
speckled eggs. What I did I was cruel."
Well, if anyone else has read this, I'd like to talk about it. Maybe? Sometimes Greenfield finds the apple core and extracts it from the apple without bruising the skin, without the apple even realizing it's now hollow. In other poems, he gets too caught up in the larger word systems and the apple is left to bob in the tin pail, being described but not bitten.
Bites are better.
That's all I got for today. See you tomorrow?