A bunch of Trainwreckers ended up at the Unitarian on Thursday. The Unitarian is a cool venue because they put you in a cylindrical room of concrete that should be as cold as the grave but ends up rather cozy.
The itinerant librarian was there. If you haven't been around her, you should look around for her.
David Larsen read his Asiatic Lion piece. The piece was completely cool of course, but that's too broring/easy to write about. The way the guy reads is all about fun first. He makes sure that everyone has a good time, and that is rare. Most readers seem entirely indifferent to the audience's enjoyment. It's annoying. If you don't care about the people in the audience, why bother doing this? David Larsen is fresh. He doesn't make the mistake of taking the avant-garde so seriously that everything has to be some kind of revolution all the freaking time. He doesn't treat it with flippancy either. It feels like his poetry and performance/reading is true to the original intention/purpose/tradition of the avant-garde. And what I mean by that is that he does not seem to be a poser who uses poetry like a latex glove.
The next night, a ton of Trainwreck Union members went to Maude Fife to see Jorie Graham. A lot of people think she's great, but just as many hate her. She's very controversial. So, to stick with the theme of this blog,,, Jorie Graham read in a way that Charles Altieri asked her a crazy question about music. No one beside Jorie Graham seemed to know what he was talking about. But her answers to all questions were entertaining. There is something about someone who is so comfortable up behind a microphone that is simultaneously admirable and contemptible. Like a rockstar.
Jorie Graham is a rockstar. I wanted to ask her how important being a rockstar is to being a successful poet. Everyone, though, especially Jorie Graham, I think, would say, "what is being a successful poet?" And I would say, "ahhh," like she'd just illuminated an age-old question with a new question. So, even at dinner, I didn't ask her. I really wanted to and now regret now doing it. Maybe you all have thoughts on this. I just wonder if the the romantic idea of the recluse-poet is just a myth, and the people we remember, the ones that make it into anthologies for generations to come, are actually rockstars. And we remember them for being rockstars not really for their poetry.
I didn't hear much grumbling from the wreck, so it seems like everyone had a good time at both readings, which is rare and awesome and beautiful, too.
Tonight is New Yipes. David Larsen does the MC-ing at those, and I have never been to a bad one. It's at 21 Grand. 25th and Broadway. Should be right solid. Word.