17 March 2007

Rod Squirrelling

I get colds, and then they subside when I have a reading, and then come back.

Read last night for Mark Truscott's Test Reading Series, along with D.C. poet Rod Smith, of whom I knew only a little. Test takes place at Mercer Union gallery; it's nice to do a reading in a gallery. I remember when I was a teenager, Mark Laba and I read in a (commercial) gallery on Yorkville called the Plewes; a woman there said I looked like Tom Jones.

Anyway, I was up first, and as usual had a few different directions available to me. Read a bit of new fiction, some poems from my exchange with Richard Huttel, a couple of recent Razovsky poems. Was going to read a whole bunch of very strange poems I wrote while listening to John Ashbery being read aloud, but while I was up there, I decided that would be pandering to the Test audience, and I read a couple more short stories instead.

Rod Smith was up next, and he has this great way of reading, with these rapid-fire poems that splutter casually from his straight-faced face. Often very funny and very political, always very smart. It was a bit like watching a guy with multiple personalities, too. I picked up his book Music & Honesty (from Roof) and dug in this afternoon. Very different experience from hearing him read, but equally satisfying and mind-fucking.

Rod has a press called Edge and he brought a nice selection of those. I picked up Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge, by Jules Boykoff, the gorgeous Caller and Other Pieces, by Tom Raworth (who has a fast and clever delivery similar to Smith's), and American Whatever, by Tim Davis. Rod and I also swapped publications and I got a copy of his CD fear the sky (Narrow House Recordings), which I look forward to dancing to.

Mad scramble this weekend to deliver final edits/changes for I Cut My Finger to Anvil. Gary Clement has coughed up the back cover, and it really does look coughed-up! It's a beautiful mess, and just what I'd been hoping for.

Another scramble this weekend: preparing for the launch of The Patchy Squirrel, my project with Dani Couture, details of which will be out on Monday.

Over and out.


At March 17, 2007 3:50 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody reads poetry in leather pants and gold chains like you Stu. Look forward to your journey West.


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