Friday, October 22, 2004

Reading Report- Tony Lopez & Michael Gottlieb 

Thursday was one of those strange poetry nights at the Kelly Writers House. There were only a handful of people in attendance for the Tony Lopez & Michael Gottlieb reading. It was initially disheartening, & I was feeling the tension for the host- having been in that position once or twice. Then the poetry got started, & all that stress went out the arts cafe window.

Bob Perelman reminded me that curating is itself an artform. I haven't seen a better pairing of poets in a long, long time. Lopez gave a versatile reading, surveying a few of his recent books. He delivered six new poems that were less than a day old & three words each. Lopez conjured the spectres of the 19th century & made space for them in his 21st century sonnets, entitled False Memory(Salt Press). These poems chart a personal life attempting to make it through economies, militaries, headlines-the absurd.

Michael Gottlieb read from his latest book, Lost & Found(Roof Books). This is a seminal post-9/11 text composed of three long poems. The most haunting piece is the second- "The Dust". It's a list poem of items (& people) reduced to debris after the attack. The technology, the clothes, the cosmetics, the victims are listed in this powerful piece that goes for about fifteen pages. I have a tender spot for list poems, & "The Dust" is one the best.

I feel sorry for those who slept on this reading. But you can recapture some of the magic by checking out their books. You'll thank me later.

- Frank Sherlock

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?