reading series

May 21, 2004: Sarah Rosenthal and James Meetze

This was a case of not being able to hear a damn thing because I was hosting the reading, a phenomenon that I've talked with other about before with others. A shame, because by all accounts everyone seemed to enjoy the poets and have an awfully good time. As recounted elsewhere, we did indeed get locked out on the roof and were rescued by the unflappable Kasey Mohammad before somebody tried to do something crazy. My teeth were fully healed so I didn't have to down numerous glasses of whiskey just to endure the evening. I did meet several new poets, including Dana Teen Lomax, who apparently produced a series quite similar to the Moving Target Series I used to co-produce at about the same time many years ago. Hers was called Link, I think.

James went first and the little that was able to filter through my addled brain seemed lyrical and tight, "rhythmically fluid" as Geoff Dyer had said, tender love poems (or so it seemed) from an ongoing and unpublished manuscript called Amplifier. His Brighton endured the reading with a promise of getting to see Shrek 2 if he was good, which he was. Having forgotten to buy tortilla chips for the reading, I ran down to the taqueria downstairs and who should be there but Stepho with James and Geoff and Brighton, decked out just like dad in a denim jacket and looking like a Mini Me.

Sarah read some poems -- I wanted more, but then she read from the last chapter of a novel called Manhattan, which reeled off numerous free-wheeling impressions of that beautiful nightmare of a city. At one point she mentioned running into Timothy "Speed" Levitch from that amazing documentary The Cruise, but not quite having the guts to get his attention as he sped by to gab with an old lady on a bench. Turns out the whole thing was fictitious (it's a novel, duh!), but I recalled having met Speed at a club in SF about a year ago and the account seemed pretty accurate. But it's hard to concentrate on a novel during a reading, at least for me it is, and the room was quite stuffy and full.

Afterwards, I tried to exhort everyone to finish the wine and cheese and beer and cookies, but folks began to filter out soon after the reading -- oh, well, more for next week.

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