Sunday, October 11, 2009

POETRY AT THE ETHICAL

Did another talk/reading at the local Ethical Culture Society meeting hall. It was great fun and very satisfying. I was asked to speak on poetry and the internet, but as usual I didn't prepare, just thought of a few things as I was getting ready to go over there and grabbed a few books and winged it.

I love doing that. It's like the "blowing" (as Frankie Rios—Frank T. Rios on his books, the Brooklyn then Venice original "man in black" street Beat poet still was calling it ala jazz jams when I was back in L.A.)—i.e. spontaneous poetry improvised in the moment. I found a place to begin and had a general idea of where I wanted to end and then just filled in the middle for an hour of going off on related tangents that seemed to get farther away from the topic until I found a way to bring them back around again.

In those situations I rely a lot on what the audience is giving me, what's generating their interest and what's losing them. It is a lot like playing jazz, but more like the audience is the rest of the group you're jamming with. And a delightful audience it was, including a group of kids around pre-teen early teen I'd guess, for which I adjusted some of the poems I was thinking of reading for others not as graphic.

There were some friends and fellow poets there, as well as many strangers. An audience that filled the room nicely and bought a lot of books afterward which always makes me happy, the idea that my poetry and other writing is getting into the hands and heads and hopefully hearts of some more readers. You can see how much fun I was having by this photo one of the audience, Nancy Heinz-Glaser, took of me during it and e mailed to me:

3 comments:

harryn said...

sorry i missed it - but i love the pic - you put a new face on poetry - at least from my experience - i've always seen you 'light up' when you're in love - with words, women, family - just life ...
great!
just a note - had to be at a phil glass concert to benefit the new arts program last nite - and thoroughly enjoyed hearing 9 of his new etudes - not typical, but recognizably glass - and hauntingly beautiful if you get the chance ...

Lally said...

Thanks man. I actually find it a not very flattering photo of me, not even that representative. But I like the photo as a little piece of art. Something about the colors and my almost fading away into white vapor amidst them and that kind of odd glee or glow. I wish it wasn't me in a way, but I do dig it qua photo, as they used to say (they being friends who were into Beckett a little too imitatively..._.

Ed Baker said...

not so easy
being
spontaneous

yuh gotta know a-lot
frum
the inside-out

when

it's not that words/notes fail
the poet/musician

but, rather,

that the poet/musician fails the words/notes!