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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

BRRRRRING! "This is not a human voice..." 

Hassen,
glad you liked the new messages on your machine. You and Elizabeth Kirwin, and sometimes Norberto, for some reason are the only ones I do my sound work with. It's fun, BRRRRING! "this is not a human voice, please ignore...." But it's usually JUST before I have to do a reading. Wow, I didn't MEAN to say "before I have to" just now, but the truth is there, because I'm not very comfortable reading. But that's also why I sort of go missing at the microphone, come out in different voices, etc., almost a way of having someone else do it for me I guess. Elizabeth Kirwin just asked me recently to practice reading on her machine again because she doesn't have poetry readings in Asheville she likes much. Or maybe I'm making the last part up, maybe she does go to readings she likes, but they're not the same? Anyway...if there's anyone else that would be interested in me reading on their machines...ask. But probably not, especially because I like to do it in 4 to 5 second spurts, ten in a row, and so far only Hassen and Elizabeth dig it. I'm NERVOUS about this reading coming up for Jenn McCreary's series next Sunday, here's the info for it by the way:

Divya Victor & CAConrad
read their poems
Sunday, January 23rd
2pm
Benna�s Caf�
8th & Wharton
215-334-1502

It's a great space, that new series. The first reading with Ethel & Kevin was perfect, getting to SEE and HEAR some poets without any microphone is nice. But that's my dilemma for reading--and the nervousness--it's so hard to NOT be there on a Sunday afternoon. Well, I'm THERE, it's just a deeply hidden personality. It's also 3 a.m. as I write this, and very cold in my apartment, police sirens everywhere, trying to chase someone, whatever, I should just SHUT the hell up about nervousness! The truth is I'm looking forward to the reading. Especially looking forward--or listening forward--to hearing Divya read, because I've never heard or read her poems.

The BRRRRRRRING! "This is not a human voice" by the way is part of a poem I'm working on with tape recorder, but not sure it will be ready.

The museum. YES, I DO recall that film. It's really great! She's dressed in a very 1980's looking suit, am I right? And she is such a wonderful JOKE, joking at art, and joking at the museum, and all the pretentious bullshit. Someone MUST have pulled that out of the archives for a reason! Especially for a Sunday audience, which is when we were there. Going there on a Sunday alone is a strange experience, because you're left with the awkwardness everywhere, so many awkward people half-smiling all day long. How did art get to this? It's okay, I just want to walk up and say it's okay, but it's also good to see this, and think about HOW we got there.

There's is a new film (but not in the video showcase room, this is in a gallery) called "The Greeting" by Bill Viola. I saw it last Sunday for the first time, when I went to the museum the day after the incredible party, with Matt, Nicole, Edmund and John. Does anyone else have this experience with calling Edmund Edmund? He's such a nice guy, and you feel totally comfortable talking with him (or his brother for that matter) about anything, but when talking about him, he goes from Eddie to Edmund. Mostly I think it's because he's a friend, and I don't want to get into this slot of seeming pretentious, because he's a famous poet. There's a poet in Philadelphia (won't mention his name) who used to refer to Charles Bukowski as Chuck, because he knew him, Chuck, hehehehehe that's sounds funny, I mean Charles, and it did used to make me cringe when he said Chuck. But maybe this poet just decided to go with it, I mean, he did know Bukowski, so, well, why not I guess? I don't know, I can NEVER refer to Edmund as any other name other than Edmund, and that's that, unless I'm talking to someone else who knows him.

It's difficult to stay FOCUSED so early in the morning. Bill Viola, "The Greeting." Yes, saw it last week, and made a point of seeing it this week as well. It's a study in paranoia if ever there was one! It's extraordinary slow motion, taking Mary's 45 second meeting with her sister and stretching it into ten minutes, complete with creepy guards in the distance who shine flashlights in the modern urban setting. I'm excited by the study of body language, and how the three women in the foreground go back and forth in the very desperate moment of asking for help. Help, whispered, is such an intense thing to hear. Help me. Help. Oh boy, this film really socks it to you, seeps into your bones with all the color of the paranoid world, setting the stage for thinking and THINKING about our president and this FUCKING war and everyone dying and dying to stop it, dying to keep it going, keep clear, keep open, god, suicide, bomb, trucks, how, soon, can, it, end? No America, it's not business as usual today, or tomorrow, maybe, just maybe, never again.

How many fronts against the senses can be held at once? How many assaults? How many TIMES can we see troops deployed, see jobs evaporate, health care escalate in cost and demand, forests stripped in the rearview mirror, it's really seeming like a giant twelve-armed Kali come to reap the harvest with her many swords and knives and you just have no idea how you're going to be able to keep an eye on all twelve arms as she's swiping clean to the root everything in front of you.

Enough! Yes, let's go back to the museum! I'm going back to sleep until the sun comes up at least.

CAConrad




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