Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If the Fiction Authors Brawled with the Poets Last Night... the Gargoyle reading, the poets would have won over by numbers alone. Out of ten readers, three were fiction. Despite that (yes, I'm a biased fiction person...I freely admit it) the reading turned out well. Probably 25-30 people there, maybe half the number that came to the last two Gargoyle things I've been to. If you took out the readers and the people they brought along, not many would have been left. But turkey day looms like a big, gobbling holiday giant and probably kept a number of people away.

With a few exceptions, most of the poetry was poetry I liked. While I know in my head what I like, I'm not adept at explicating poetry. Generally I prefer poems with some sort of action or narrative; unless they are short my mind wanders with poems that are entirely descriptions of an object or scene. So I guess I like poems to be like fiction, in a way.

Eugenie Bisuclo, who came down all the way from NY City for the reading, was probably the highlight for me; her "No Assing Rough" in the issue is great, and the three others she read were very tight. Humorous and smart, with a lot of fun wordplay. I may try to seek out some of her other work. Lida Husik's quasi-political rants, as always, were fun. Reginald Harris, with his bouncing, almost bassline-like rhythms and odd little twists, were great as well.

For fiction, RD Selim read part of "Anunciation". The portion he read was a phone conversation between a woman and someone who might either be god or the devil. I look forward to reading that one to find out. James F. Thompson read "Butterfly BBQ Sauce", which I understand is the opening chapter for a novel. A woman has been murdered, and her grisly death scene is told from her point of view in a very descriptive yet eerily humorous kind of way.

The Best Non-Required Reading is not really grabbing me right now; yesterday I read Alex Garland's Coma (more on that in a later post) to escape it. Not sure exactly what it is, if it's the extreme New Yorker/Zoetrope/Atlantic Monthly content in the book or just my mood. But I may be jumping ship over to Gargoyle and come back to it at a later time.



LadyLitBlitzin said...

Wow, for a second I thought the headline said that the fiction authors DID brawl with the poets, ha. I guess I just immediately tuned into the word "brawl," ha. I was gonna say, damn, I did miss out! ;)

That sounds really awesome and I'm really bummed I missed it. I do have to admit a dirty secret though (which I can since I'm anonymous), I have a hard time at readings. Especially poetry. I, like you, am more of a biased fiction fan by far, and I have some sort of strange disorder where it is far easier for me to communicate (or absorb) by written words than speech/hearing. I do have friends and listen to them when they talk, but I have a very hard time when I'm being read to, especially poetry. I tend to space out. In college classes, I always had to take copious notes or nothing would "set." Weird, eh.

This didn't keep me away, of course, just a confession I had to make since this was about readings.

Thanks for posting about it!

Hebdomeros said...

Hi Lady Litblitzin,

I don't think you're alone in that. The editors really pushed all the readers to stay under five minutes, which helped a lot. All but one poet read really short, often very funny pieces. The one long one almost put me to sleep, though.

It's an interesting question, though. Just because its good on the page doesn't mean the person will read it well. I'll have to think about this a bit.