Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Chicago Poets at Moe's Lat NIght

At Moe's last night, Patrick Durgin, Dolores Dorantes, Jesse Seldes, and Jen Hofer performed for and charmed a pretty big audience for a sultry autumn night. I really like this crew. I guess they are the Kenning Editions crew.

They started off with a Hannah Weiner poem called "Romeo and Juliet" with walkie-talkies. They all read parts of it together, and it somehow managed to be eerie, funny, and sexy at the same time.

Patrick F. Durgin only read one poem from his chapbook, Imitation Poems, but it was a good one.
Dolores Dorantes read with her translator, Jen Hofer. I liked Jen Hofer's translations a lot more than the originals. I speak a little Spanish like everyone else who grew up in Los Angeles, and I've been to Juarez, and Dolores Dorantes just seemed kind of bored with her own work. And it's some pretty deep shit. Hofer read her translations as if they were her own words, as if they were more sacred than the so-called original text. I like Jen Hofer.
Jesse Seldess also gave it his all. I couldn't believe how moving his poetry was. It's a kind of poetry that is difficult to describe, would you forgive me if I said it was jarringly melodic? If I used the word haunting? Anyway it was intense. He did this thing where he held up pages of text that weren't the ones he was reading, and , , , you had to be there, I guess.

Altogether, it was a fantastic freaking reading. People who normally rush in and out of Moe's, abrupt and loud, were stopping, sitting on the stairs to see what was going on. These were not the cliquey poetry peeps one is used to in the Bay. They make me want to catch the next train to Chicago just to see what else is going down over there.

Also, I guess the elevators at Moe's couldn't hold the posters I designed for long. They were drawn upon. I think that's funny. Obscene things.
I read Jen Hofer's book this morning. It is held together by a rivet and a postcard. It's from Dusie. It was written in Argentina. I like it. It's called Going Going.
Tonight there is some kind of poetry reading happening at a co-op called Afro House. I am going to check it out. I hope it's good.

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