I attended some great events. Here is my recap:
I finally made it down to the new Cabinet space by the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn for ‘Untitled New York: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing.’ Vanessa Place, Steven McCaffrey, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Julie Patton all spoke on the panel “Appropriation and Citation.” I took some notes and I’ll share what I jotted down: I need to reread Roland Barthes ‘Death of the Author,’ lookup “Constrained Based Writing,” read Rosalind Krauss’s ‘Sculpture in the Expanded Field’ essay, Gertrude Stein once said: “The making of American Success is the making of American failure,” the idea of the Readymade as a 3-D citation, appropriation vs. collage, etc… Cabinet has a great space, so if you haven’t visited yet, make sure to check out their calendar. They are doing things every week. (btw. Kenny G. was wearing a beautiful purple velour suit with large white flowers all over it. It was the same suit he wore when I saw him speak at DIA Beacon this past Thanksgiving. Amazing.)
Last Tuesday I went to the first of Opium Magazine‘s interview series, held at Happy Ending in the Lower East Side. It was a refreshingly casual event (so casual that halfway through, some guy walked in and delivered a pizza to one of the tables). Two mics were set up near the center of the room and the audience sat in red velvet booths sipping drinks and listening to editor Todd Zuniga interview Ben Greenman, Anthony Tognazzini, and Stephen Elliott. Stephen Elliott spoke about his website, the rumpus, (which is great and you should bookmark it). Each interview was timed at 20 minutes with a bonus round of quick questions at the end. The style was game-show-y and Todd had all of his questions on his iphone. I thought it was interesting that instead of flipping through a pile of papers with notes, he was scrolling his thumb over the phone screen. I haven’t been to any of Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Matches, but I was impressed with the writers who spoke that night and had a great time. I even won a copy of Opium Magazine issue 1 during a name-that-tune competition at the end of the night, thanks to my friend Georgia who guessed the 2 second clip of a Sigur Ros song. An after party at Home Sweet Home followed. From Happy Ending to Home Sweet Home. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Last night I was at The Kitchen for an evening with The Sienese Shredder. The night began with a poem read by Ted Greenwald, whose voice was so thick with a New York smokers accent that I could barely make out the words of the poem. But I loved just listening to the way he spoke. Michael Gizzi followed with a reading of some of his poems, and I am really excited about his work. He was articulate and funny and left me wanting more. Then Jerome Kitzke played music, sang songs, rattled off beats of poetry, and made noises with his voice. He played a wonderful piece on a Schoenhut toy piano, read a great poem about traveling in a car and hitting road kill on the way to Chicago (the author escapes me), followed by a poem by Allen Ginsburg with piano accompaniment. Chris Edgar followed with more poetry and the evening ended with two pieces by Eric Moe. Issue 3 of The Sienese Shredder has just been published, and I purchased a copy of issue 1 last night. I’ll be blogging more about the journal soon.