Monday, March 31, 2008

I Too Want to Believe

i know this is pretty lame, like wearing a concert t-shirt to prove i was at the show, but i couldn't resist. pictures were not allowed and meri managed to snap this surrpetitiously. just as she did so, a guard reprimanded us.

but to the point: I Want to Believe is an amazing show. projections of explosions over time's square, tigers shot obscenely full of arrows, wolves flying together in an arc that ends with them smashing into a glass wall, gunpowder portraits, huge domes of sheet set to explode in sequences that make them look like a ufo taking off...this is an amazing display of art as procees, product, event, politcial and spiritual statement.

All encompassing in a way that i have not experienced in recent memory, the show aims to (and succeeds at) showing that--indeed, (re)affirming the belief that--the creation and experience of great art is an absolutely necessary part of life as a thinking, feeling human being.

that said, the show also kind of had the effect of making me feel like a total failure. if only i could get a fraction of what Cai Guo-Qiang gets into his art into my poems. i left with the disctinct feeling that poetry may simply not cut it any more. in fact, for art to have power, i felt, it had to be multi-media. some of this, i think, had to do with the fact that i'd just seen an amazing reading/performance of a multi-vocalic by Rodrigo Toscano at the bowery poetry club that left me feeling that if a poetry is to be relevant or new or have any real future, it must be, if not multi-media to some degree, then at least poly-generic.

but then again, what is belief but pressing on despite your own worst fears and doubts?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Death of an Anthology: A Postmortem of the Outside Voices NYC "Launch" Reading

let me say straight out, the reading was good. a bit low key, perhaps, but not awkward, or at least i didn't sense it to be so. and given that it was a reading for an anthology that was two years in the making and had been killed the day before the reading, it certainly could have been a very awkward event.

the main point, though, is that the readers were all interesting. i was especially moved by the work of j.s. makkos. he read/performed a poem that was a dialogue between a man and woman that very much had the feel of something out of the French new wave cinema, and also made fascinating use of the idea of the audience as eavesdroppers and the poet as translator and narrator of multiple voices.

jessica hinted that she was negotiating with a few other presses that were interested in putting out the anthology and that it may not be totally dead. her main point, though, was that the anthology as a project, the ghost of a material object, served a good purpose in that it brought young poets together.

so, basically, the reading was chill, pretty anti-climatic given its context.