If more writers could write like Richard Hell, I'd be a happier man.
Here's what Flying Dog's website said:
I don't know, and I can't say, and yes, words fail me, so I give you these, from Pablo Neruda:
WE ARE WAITING
There are days that haven't arrived yet,
that are being made
To add to the amusement factor, the New York Times has apparently just gotten around to running an expose on the same topic. I guess this is what happens when New York Times journalists run out of new ideas.
The only problem is, I'm not sure anyone's heard a lot of it during this season's first four episodes either. Too many gimmicky performances, too many celebrity guests. Spoken word is a tradition, a discipline, and it takes time and effort to get it right. With the fifth episode, finally, we heard a solid half-hour from some battle-tested veterans of the poetry clubs.
The first performer goes by the name of Poetri. A poet's got to be pretty confident to go around with a name like that, and this one apparently is. His piece was about road rage and the personal politics of driving. It was more rant than poem, but it was an enjoyable bit and I wished we could have heard more from him.
Shariff Simmons delivered a powerful rhyming piece that urged political awareness, touching on John Ashcroft and Enron and bringing home the refrain "fuck what you heard, act like you know".
Most "new" concepts are not really new. They come and go in various incarnations, ever growing in our mass consciousness, until they reach the critical mass known as "everyone is talking about it." Two such concepts are metafiction in literature and its TV/film equivalent, "breaking the fourth wall".
The fourth wall is the space between the audience and the actors on a stage, the first three walls being stage left, the background, and stage right. When an actor in a play addresses the audience directly, this is called "breaking the fourth wall." It is not generally done in traditional plays or movies because it would interrupt the "reality" of the story, but we can all think of exceptions to the rule.
Remember Laurel and Hardy, when Stan Laurel did something exceptionally silly, and Oliver Hardy turned his head slowly toward us and looked directly into the camera, as if to say, "Do you believe this? See what I have to put up with?" Then there was the duet between Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the movie Road to Morocco, when Hope speaks directly to Paramount Studios, beseeching them to keep making more "road movies" so he can keep his job. More recently, a wonderful take-off on Bob and Bing's road songs was featured in an episode of Fox television's animated series, Family Guy, with Brian the Dog and baby Stewie trading song verses and wisecracks. This brings us to the Fox Network and Garry Shandling.
First thought, best thought. Go!
1. Neal Cassady vs. Neil Diamond
2. Chick lit vs. Chiclets
3. Absinthe vs. Heroin
4. Fight Club vs. The Joy Luck Club
5. Jane Austen vs. Jane Eyre
6. Notebooks vs. Loose-leaf paper
7. Scarlett O'Hara vs. The Scarlet Letter
8. Arthur Miller vs. Henry Miller
The celebrated author (whose Cat's Cradle may be coming to a theater near you, oh, sometime), has announced who he'd like to see take one of the prized seats on the United States Supreme Court following the departures of Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist, and it's brilliant. Are you ready?
American Life in Poetry: Column 016
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Nayeli Adorador-Knudsen followed with a fast riff on fashion commercialism, delivered in a Twista-like speed patter that was pleasing to listen to. Spoken word is often about vocal texture, and one of my biggest complaints about this show is that it sometimes slips into a deadening monotony of tone. This piece was a nice departure from that syndrome.
I'm not sure about Michael Cirelli's paean to Kelis, Nas's wife, who he compared to every great female vocalist from Sarah Vaughan on. I know Nas must think a lot of Kelis and I know her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, but it seemed an odd choice for a Def Poetry poem, and it didn't bring me to the yard.
If you're up for a field trip and you love taking tours that revolve around a century old murder, there's something in the works just for you! The residents of Herkimer County, NY are already planning centennial events to mark the county's most famous murder case. The story of Chester Gillette, the murder of Grace Brown and the subsequent trial became the basis for the classic American novel, An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. July 11, 2006 marks the centennial of these events and that gives you plenty of time to plan your next summer vacation.
Why is it, then, that after reading each capsule review I cannot possibly lie to myself and say I want to read any of these poets further? There is something about the format, or perhaps something about the aura of the Book Review itself, that makes the dullness of poetry rise to the surface whenever they touch it.
I recently posted about possible plans in upstate New York for an "American Tragedy" reality tour of sorts, and we've also featured stories about other literary landmarks. Just like other types of "favorite sons" (or daughters, as the case may be), an author's hometown can bring a lot of attention (and tourism dollars) to even the smallest town. Many times, the places where an author lived and worked play a big factor into the style and subject matter of the writing. Author hometowns, literary landmarks and the backdrops to our favorite stories are a source of pride for the residents who share the connection and a source of information and fascination for literature buffs the world over.
Here are two pretty interesting items I ran across this week. They may come in handy if you need to take an impromptu road trip.
Since Levi's been reading Richard Hell and Johnny Temple's letting us all in on his punk indie publishing philosophy over at The Book Standard, it seems like a good time to let you know about another important punk literary event, the opening of CBGBs: A Place that Matters, a collection of statements and photographs of and by musicians. The collection will be on exhibit today through Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at Urban Center Gallery, 457 Madison Avenue at 51st St in NYC. The opening coincides with a reception and book signing for CBGB and OMFUG: Thirty Years from the Home of Underground Rock.
Steve Morse is my guitar idol and he really plays. He studied with Segovia at one time. Played with the likes of McLaughlin and Howe. Over time Morse has pretty much established himself as one of the reigning geniuses with the instrument.
I decided to try and capitalize on my carnal inclinations and answered an ad for a writer at an "adult magazine" based in Philadelphia.
I just read Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier for the second time. I'm convinced this book stands very tall amongst all books recently published, and I would eagerly put money down that it will be considered a true literary classic by future generations.