Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Monday, February 22nd / Tenth Muse 92nd St Y / John Ashbery

If you happen to be around NYC on Monday, February 22nd, 2010:

Tenth Muse Reading
Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y
with Marcella Durand, John Gallaher, and Robert Elstein
Hosted by John Ashbery

I’m attempting to put together my reading right now. I made the mistake of thinking about the venue. I looked at pictures of the space. I thought about the people who have read there. Needless to say, I’m now in the middle of a panic attack. Maybe they’ll let me run around the track a few times before the reading.

Anyway, the very first recording I ever heard of a poet reading was a recording of Robert Lowell at the 92nd St Y.

Just sayin.

To close, here’s a poem from Marcella Durand:

So Rare
To Anselm

so rare to write a poem at work
waiting for the chips to come down
or to calm down with the chips
light burning bright next to me
the computer screen bluer than oxygen
a mixture of chemicals?—what is inside
a computer screen anyhow?—while
people are waiting downstairs talking,
while walking down the street
looking for a mailbox, while wondering
why gerunds are so immensely
interesting, so proliferous.
And to think of interviews one could
conduct. And prone operations, while
laying, raise a hand. Scrutinize eyes,
if one is still open, the foggiest
retina of an idea, a whale passes
distantly thru the iris, an ocean
of gelatin, effervescent, with an
addition of attendance. So I write
you, the computer, and you, the
telephone, and you, the voice mail
hiding yourself away inside boxes
and cable-wires, and across this
distant space of a double-arched
harmonic acoustic freeway, with
walls the consistency of absorption,
you, waiting in the basement, you,
the one with the pen in your hand,
you, typing, thinking of excruciating
existence, the drawers and the penholders,
the whiteout and the shipping lanes,
the trademarks and the mutual funds.
Whether to invest in something the
size of a tropical depression emanating
from a continent filled with roads and
roads for the escapees of weather and
of circumstance. This water well was
planned a long time ago, during a certain
war, between the trusted and the vilified.
And in the quietude of the international
bureau, the peace of a carpeted fluorescent
skyscraper window office, the transactions
take place, in the meditative clicking of
a river without a dam, and the blueprints
of a bridge.


At 2/09/2010 10:20 AM, Blogger translation workshop said...

"panic attack"--yes, yes, yes. I'm trying to stock the audience with people who won't attack me after the reading. Anyway, I join you in your fear, fellow reader. See you at the track (and thanks for posting the poem).

At 2/09/2010 10:34 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Good idea! While you're at it, can you also get assurances that I'll not be attacked in any fashion. Well, maybe not any fashion. I could image a pleasurable attack. I think. Well, perhaps it's better not to take the chance.

Perhaps, just out of overall good will, maybe also make sure no Elstein attacking goes on. Although throwing him to the villagers with pitchforks might allow us the valuable time to escape? All's fair in art and war, as they say.

At 2/09/2010 11:22 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

I'll be there, JG, and promise not to attack anyone, in either the good or bad way. I'm looking forward to the reading.

You folks will likely draw a hipper crowd, but the 92nd St Y audience tends to skew much more towards Mr. Ashbery's age range. That's to say, the villagers are likelier to be wielding canes than pitchforks.

(I'm pretty sure you're not even allowed to possess a pitchfork on the Upper East Side.)

At 2/09/2010 11:25 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

On the other hand, canes can be quite dangerous. I remember a spy movie I saw once where one was made into a blow gun.

At 2/09/2010 11:44 AM, Blogger Eduardo C. Corral said...

i read there in '05. it's a great venue. and matthew is right: the audience skews older. how old? one guy died just after i read.

have a great time! post alot of pics!

At 2/09/2010 11:49 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Just so long as I'm not that guy.

Now my next question: Is it uncooth to bring a book for Ashbery to sign? Or maybe I could just ask him to sign my arm or something. I wonder if he does tattoos?

At 2/09/2010 8:02 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

This is a show I wish I could go to. Knock em dead, JG. Or, no,better not, just knock their socks off.

At 2/10/2010 7:21 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


The image of all those socks flying around is rather plesant.

In other news:

I found out yesterday that the photograph here is not of the venue we'll be reading in. Thankfully. The idea of a concert hall was a little too daunting.

At 2/10/2010 8:11 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

Eduardo, I thought he was only swooning... or just plain fainting, due to your comments about G.W. Bush.

John, the upstairs auditorium is nice too -- a bit less old school ostentatious, that's all. And I think I'm bringing a book for J.A. to sign too, if he's willing...

At 2/10/2010 8:17 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I have this whole list of things to say about GWB! And now they're all hopelessly out of date. I guess I can save them for some time in the future. All things come back around.


Post a Comment

<< Home