Monday, May 17, 2004
I'll never forget HEARING Taggart for the first time! 1995? It was at the Temple Cinematec, in Temple University's old center city building. That sunken-in classroom with the big movie screen. Fran Ryan was also there, you Frank, and Chris McCreary, and Matt McGoldrick also, I believe. And Gil Ott had a table set up with his press's books, and old copies of PAPER AIR (wish I had had the money to buy those magazines at the time).
But HEARING Taggart changed everything about understanding his poems. From that point on I knew HOW to read those poems. He was chanting lullaby as reader. I had never heard anyone ever read poems like that, and never have again since. He was extraordinary!
He read like those delicate (full of grace notes) piano pieces by Erik Satie.
I can't help but compare Taggart to music pieces or musicians.
He was someone I was trying to reach in order to gain a recording of his reading to publish on FREQUENCY Audio Journal. As many people as possible need to hear Taggart READ his poems! It's almost ridiculous trying to explain what it's like hearing him, ridiculous because it's IN MY HEAD, but there's no way to convey. And that's why I want to make an extra effort to get a recording of him reading for our 2nd issue of FREQUENCY.
I get the impression that Taggart doesn't get enough press, and that Taggart doesn't push for it either. He's just out there writing his amazing poems (I'm looking forward to reading his new book) and it's poets like us who are filled with the sense of community and enthusiasm to talk him up, spread the word. Glad you sparked some conversation on him!
We need to get him back here to Philly again for another reading dammit! Maybe you can ask him for La Tazza? Or somewhere else if not there. And maybe I can FINALLY find out what that Simone Weil quote was at the top of his one poem. It was a sublime quote, and I remember trying to ask him about it, but was bulldozed by another poet, a bulldozer kind of poet, but I'm not telling names. But I went to talk to Gil instead of listening to the revving of the bulldozer engine.
Hey, wasn't Brett Evans also at that reading?
By the way, Gil Ott is of course another of these poets who made his own way.