Just got back from reading for the Spare Room series (sample poems by authors on their site), curated by the Spare Room Collective. Many thanks to David Abel, Maryrose Larkin, Sam Lohmann and all the Spare Roomies for the invite, the lovely dinner before the reading, and for the opportunity to commune for a bit. More on Cara Benson's amazing reading for our PRESS Series in another post. Meantime, I had the pleasure of reading with Cara, as well as Jen Coleman, yesterday, and both, employing such different poetic-performative strategies, kicked ass. I love Jen's reading, her poetry--I've read with her three times now, and I can't get used to her work. It's always on the move, yet always careful in its political-playfulness, the hard-hitting almost allegorical poems. Last night she read a new work allegorizing the depressing and outrageously typical/predictable disaster of the deep ocean oil spill & attempted capping of the quote end quote leak. An amazing work that allowed me at once to get some relief from and be viscerally reminded of the depressing, seemingly forever-news coverage of this disaster. As Jen explains, "this is a long poem; it could go on forever." Cara's reading was just as powerful, but very different: her polysemic poems, like organelles of an organismic collection, (made), are given breath on top of breath--some kind of other oxygen--as performed. Playing with sound, using breath and gutteral moans and song one loses oneself in the language, gets pulled into a presence or immediacy with Cara as she inhabits the poetry. Something other happens here, and one is inarticulate immediately after. Or perhaps long after.
So, it was great to read with the two, to meet some of the Spare Roomies and other poets who showed. Great to see Kaia Sand, Allison Cobb, and Rodney Koeneke, and former students who came by. I read a bit from Occultations, which--to shamelessly self-promote for a moment,Eileen Tabios just gave some very kind words to on her blog (she was sent a review copy for Galatea Resurrects and she kindly read the book before listing it). Also read a piece from Prefab Eulogies and another couple from in-progress work--Hopsitalogy poems and a poets theater piece for "2-4 flossing voices." Anyway, a really nice time. Thanks all for yr warm company.