A week ago Wed., attended the Catenary + Convulsive off-site reading at Outpost 186 in Inman Square. A hailstorm kept me in the car a few moments. Yoga students stood on a porch with their mats. Just enough time for a slice of pizza / to work on a few pages of Afton Wilky’s ms. Just hours before, at the MFA with my family. Massive sculptures of Bad Baby. Poet Margaret Ross started the reading and impressed me most. Read as if wearing braces and held my attention absolutely. Bought her chapbook Decay Constant. Read, from “Of Late,”
…Walls bare between the hooks
from which starched whitecoats plunge like so
many ruined candles in a row that once could
light one’s passage in toward
innermost enclosures. Labmice there glow
green and beautiful, infected shades expressing
Sat with Jennifer Moxley, author of There Are Things We Live Among, from Flood Editions. We talked about George Oppen for a second.
Next night I read from Color Plates. Haven’t read from CP in ages. I like the story a lot, but I dropped a simile and cut the phrase “God’s hands”—an improvement. Everyone who read, without exception, proved to be excellent readers; a fair number were good writers, too. Harold Abramowitz read from a Not Blessed-esque work in progress. Liat Berdugo read from The Everyday Maths. I bought a copy. She inscribed it, “to Adam, the first book I’ve ever signed.” Cole Swenson wrote, “this is a book truly like no other”; in fact, it reminds me of a book I loved as a boy: Science Made Stupid by Tom Weller. Read that book over and over. A diagram illustrating tides accompanied by the caption, “To observer water level appears to rise; actually, land has sunk.” I still find this hilarious.
Fri., sloshed through Harvard Sq. to the Advocate reading with Song Cave, Fence, etc. Jacob Wren, in spite of his performance, convinced me his book Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed was worth reading. Rebecca Wolff tried to keep me from buying a copy, but I persevered. I insisted on telling Wren how good his book is. He aggressively did not care and inscribed my copy, “I hate you, Adam” No matter. In a few years I’ll believe I inscribed the book myself and all will be forgiven. I haven’t finished Wren’s book yet, but thus far, aside from some minor tics, it’s brilliant. Wren’s technique is complex and satisfying.
Already wrote about Sat. reading at the Burren. I didn’t buy a book there, but Sarah Suzor generously gave me a copy of Highway 101’s latest chapbook. Afterwards, an excellent conversation about the borderlands between fiction and non.
Wed. night at Real Art Ways heard Sueyeun Juliette Lee and Natalie Lyalin. Lee's reading was fun, Lyalin's wasn’t, quite, but her poetry is good; bought Try A Little Time Travel. Instead of page numbers, left-facing pages are “past,” right-facing “future.” Read from my collaboration with Anna Eyre and Kaethe Schwehn’s contribution to Ghosts. I shared a table with a tall, slender woman. She said I am an eccentric. Watched her walk to her car. Once inside and safely buckled, she burst into a brilliant white flame.