Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Report from the East: Heard, Overheard, Read at AWP and Beyond

 Heard, Overheard, Read at AWP and Beyond (NYC) 2013

Clerk (owner?): “Are you a poet?
Customer: “Yes.”
 “Would I know you? Do you have a name?”
“Mary Jo Salter.”
“Oh, semi-famous.”
At which my wife puts her arm around the poet and says, "Of course you're famous, dear."
                             --at the Grolier Bookstore, March 6

“We would like only for once to get to where we already are.”

              —the  poet, Ewa Chrusciel at Jane Carman’s fabulous Festival of Language 2013, March 6

            . . . He stares out
            through sooty glass
            at Coldwater Road, past
            an expansive parking lot
            littered with LeSabres,
            Impalas, Bonnevilles.
            Wildcats, Corvairs––
            a sea of made-in America
            pride, before Toyota,
            before Volkswagen,
            before those distinctions
            seemingly mattered.
                           --from “Ternstedt Division, 1961” by Larry Dean, who also read at the                                                Festival of Language, and was a cool guy


Jeff Kleinman, super-agent, to me: “Of course you know Freddy Brown?”
“No,” I say, thinking Downtown Freddy Brown, guard for the Seattle Supersonics in a past lifetime.

Then, too late, I realize he is talking about the writer, Fred Leebron.  Whoops.

“I keep taking the same photo over and over
As if to say. Look and Look.”

       ––from “Fixing Antarctica” by old friend, Katie Coles, or, as it says on the book
                (The Earth Is Not Flat) cover “Katherine”

             D’ou venon-vous?
            Que sommes-nous?
            Ou allons-nous?
Where do we come from?  What are we?  Where are we going?  Gauguin wrote this in the upper left corner of the painting which takes its name from these three questions.  His masterwork.  In the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

“Everything is unavailable, everything is unavailable, and now, everything is available.”

                    ––Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia, sharing the stage with Don DeLillo, March 8

“I noticed I had written a sentence with 19 words and 18 of them only had one syllable.  All of them had the letter ‘a.’” 
                        --Don DeLillo, on stage with Dana Spiotta

“I will never not love that sound,” said a museum-goer upon hearing the satisfying thunk of a slide projector working through its tray automatically.

“Abstraction marks the demise of painting as craft and its rebirth as an idea.” Said of Duchamps in the Inventing Abstraction 1915—1925 exhibit at the MOMA.

“Jazz is a woman’s tongue all up in yo mothafuckin mouth.” from Right On!  Danska’s film about spoken word civil rights poetry, from 1970, viewed at MOMA, March 11.  The birth of rap.

“I wept when I saw The Starry Night . . . and then I ordered a tuna fish sandwich.”—yet another museum–goer at the MOMA.