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Saturday, August 16, 2008

URCHIN SERIES celebrating Mina Loy 




We might have coupled
In the bedridden monopoly of a moment
Or broken flesh with one another
At the profane communion table
Where wine is spilled on promiscuous lips

We might have given birth to a butterfly
With the daily news
Printed in blood on its wings

--from "Love Songs to Joannes"




The first URCHIN event was Thursday night! Ah, what an AMAZING time with MINA LOY! It was busy and noisy on the corner of 2nd and Market in Philadelphia, but her beautiful poems came through! It felt RIGHT being on THAT corner with its diverse population of VERY fortunate and unfortunate people coming and going. Someone from NYC had written saying she wanted to come to the event to read from Mina Loy's BOWERY Project. She didn't make it, but I'd like to see that performed one day, or at least given a good reading.

Joey Yearous-Algozin had the fantastic idea that we all read "Love Songs to Joannes" together when I made the comment that I deliberately DIDN'T read from that series because it's her most famous, and was sure someone would want to. NOT THAT I WAS COMPLAINING because everyone was picking fantastic poems as far as I was concerned. But Joey's suggestion was a terrific one, and I liked all the different, very different voices putting themselves into that serial poem.

I opened and closed with the following poem:



SHOW ME A SAINT WHO SUFFERED


Show me a saint who suffered in humility;
I will show you one and again another
who suffered more and in deeper humility
than he.

I who have lived among many of the unfortunate
claim that of the martyr to have been
a satisfactory career, his agony
being well-advertised.

Is not the sacrifice of security to renown
conventional for the heroic?
The common tragedy is to have suffered
without having "appeared."



This poem has always felt important to me for its strong message thrusting toward us on an even stronger wave of music. The reason I said earlier that it felt RIGHT being on THAT corner for the event was because of its economic mix from wealthy restaurant patrons to bums with their spiked paper bags of juice. Loy lived along all borders, and understood them all, and would not look away from any of them when she saw what she saw. She is a poet who REALLY saw Love, with a spiritual penetration through to the physical, but also SAW injustice, poverty, ruin. This poet GOT IT all because she wasn't anything but honest with her senses. She did not betray herself for her poems, or her audience. SO BEWARE bourgeois readers looking for quaint verse for the tea party!

No other poet than Mina Loy could start URCHIN SERIES off with such fierce magic! AND IT POURED DOWN RAIN once we were safely inside SUGAR MOMS drinking PBR's, the torrent outside cleansing the ritual of poetry.

When we left, some of us walked back to where the MINA LOY IS HERE poster was hanging with its comet of silver and blue glitter, and Hailey Higdon had the GREAT IDEA of putting some of the little paper handouts with Loy's picture, poem excerpt and interview excerpt on the poster's corner so passersby could take them, and discover THIS GENIUS for themselves.

SEPTEMBER WE WILL BE READING TED BERRIGAN ON THE STREETS SO STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS ABOUT WHERE AND WHEN!

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP FOR THE MINA LOY EVENT! AND MANY THANKS TO MICHELLE TARANSKY FOR TAKING THE PICTURES ON HER CELL PHONE!

standing, left to right: Nazareth Pantaloni, Jack Krick, Hailey Higdon, Joey Yearous-Algozin
squatting or sitting, left to right: Jeb Haley, Ryan Eckes, CAConrad, Dorothea Lasky, Eric Baus


(posted by CAConrad)

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