28 February 2011
Lauren Levin's Keenan
I've only heard Lauren Levin read once before, which, if I remember correctly, was with Susan Gevirtz at an apartment in West Oakland occupied (at the time) by Erin Morrill, Ted Rees, and Evan Kennedy (with a great fire pit out back!). Her reading Saturday night at the Condensery (with an "e" now I guess) reminded me of how interestingly frentic her lines sound in person: fast and clear and percussive as they fold in on themselves looping through strategically placed quilting points:
These lines visually capture the intensity of aural movement as the language cleaves and slips and tectonically grinds the sound out of each word. I remember being really curious to see what her poems looked like on the page the first time I heard them, and it totally makes sense that the lines here pull away from the left-hand margin as if in direct response to the percussive quality and frantic lilt in her voice:
"Keenan" is chalk full of lines I'm pretty jealous of and life on the level of the word that you can't fake! This one will be at the top of the stack for awhile, no doubt. Just published by Lame House and I'm sure these chaps don't last long, so get yrs here.