Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tonight two duos of traveling poets read in the back of what is usually the spacious front of the second floor at Myopic bookstore. That is, I mean the poets & crowd were relocated to the back, by the cooking & gardening sections (incl. "nature" and "essays" and someone was leafing through a belly dancing book that must have gone rogue on these misclassified shelves. And next to 1,000 Cookie Recipes was an owner's manual for manic depression). First duo: Farrah Field & Jared S. White. Second duo: Maxine Chernoff, Paul Hoover. All poets were haloed by two notable "feature" gardening books, displayed on the loping shelves, cover forward. The Plague of Frogs and Purple Thumbs. I admired Field's ability to not wrestle the binder clip off her stack of poems as she turned the page, one handed, with microphone in the one paper-flipping hand. I would have thrown it across the room (the binder clip) had it been me, but it contained her pages nicely. Her poems reflected a person motivated by the interior of a vehicle as a mirror for framing what passes/goes on/goes by outside a vehicle. White had nearly marginless but carefully double-spaced prose. To make, at the sound of it, what did not sound like prose poems. The poems had neither line breaks, stanza breaks nor--as I've said--margins. Squished right to the very "tops" of each side of the paper--.5 inches away from falling right off the paper. Carefully plumbed the depths of particular handling of curious objects. Chernoff's theme poems demonstrated/believed that to remove words from the page, revealing a skeleton outline, provided more depth, more relief. Hoover used writing prompts taken from a famous writing-prompt giving group who I should know, but don't recall knowing and can't recall what was told to me just this evening. Some samples...
n+7: incorporate a noun into a poem, then locate this chosen noun in the dictionary. Follow this with six more nouns that follow your first word in the dictionary, in order.
course description: Hoover prefaced this poem by rhetorically asking the audience "so you all went to college (?)" Write a poem as a course description
haikuization: make a longer poem into a haiku, haiku yourself, or someone else('s poem)
Neither Chernoff nor Hoover mentioned flarf. So I mention it to you. Here it is. Beyond the sentiment here, what I like about this article is the opening bit about our technology crazy! world, what with facebook, twitter, etc. Then, here marches the careful deliberations of two poets challenging and embracing the landscape of electronic everything...Finally, at the very end of the article, the writer's plug to catch him by email or follow him on, yes, twitter.