01 March 2011

David Wolach's notes on SPT

David left these notes in the comment stream a few posts back, but they're too good to bury, so I'm exhuming them here for yr. pleasure!

Here's David:

*Driving in the rain with Tanya Hollis and Elizabeth, Tanya deciding in a moment of being slightly lost, to rebel against and shut off the gps and go by instinct. Conversation about labor history and her archival finds, really exciting stuff. We arrive in plenty of time.

*Walking in from the most dreary weather and seeing you, Brazil, Samantha, Lara. Michael's embrace plus the cozy room plus the immediacy of friendship counter-weighs and then erases the night previous: E and I huddled in MOTEL METROPOLIS without heat enacting the Hegelian object-displacement fight: bickering at one another instead of at the faceless company that just took over the place and decided basic necessities like food and worker safety were too costly.

*Buuck arriving out of the darkness. A great sudden hug. A sweater that should be given the props it truly deserves. I turn to tell him this. He's mysteriously disappeared inside.

*Smoking outside with Laura's awesome brother -- who is a geographer, discussing Laura's poetry, its geographical and topographical lyricism, its desire to poke holes in maps a la Katz.

*Nice, cozy and clean bathroom. Small. Good lighting.

*Samantha's gorgeous introduction once the room--miraculously, this wound not happen out my way--fills up and we sit down with, as Lara called it in an email (paraphrase) a quiet intensity and a looseness / lightness that (my thinking) has a lot to do with SPT and Samantha et al's (eg your) approaches to poetry as lived, intensely dialogic, humorous, inclusive, familial, undefinably salubrious.

*Wishing I'd written that intro down. Wishing I could ask her to forward it to us without sounding icky.

*Wondering whether, half way thru the stress position sound composition, I'd fall. Hurting afterwards for the duration of my part of the reading, so blind to what came out of my mouth, or that I was bowing. That back and forth, tho, I am told I do when I read. A student from one of my classes said it reminded him of the incantation prayers from the Tanakh: the silent rhythmic chanting from Lamentations, etc. I am, by birth, Jewish...

*Andrew & Rich's broadsides, beautiful. The story above: resonating with my experiences (goofy/untrained) with the letterpress, my comparative lack of dedication. My comment that book artists are a strange breed. YOUR response that you aren't a book artist!

*Lara's reading. A revelation. Releasing pressure in the room at beginning. Building it back up as she reads over her recorded voice--the economy of clothing/wearing--and my thoughts towards end: is she going to run out of surfaces to stick her poems on?

*The prosody and precision and raging calm of Laura's reading. The room becomes intensely quiet. The room gets smaller. The feeling of being inside someone else's head or body, drawn in, as it's cut over and over.

*Laura, in response to someone's comment (I forget the context), that the ass-hole is often sexy... (I applaud).

*Reading with E, thinking that her voice is beautiful and I wish I had a voice that could register different colors.

*David handing me a TRY magazine. These appear frequently, as if by magic, or hidden assembly line (the former is true). It occurs to me this is one of a few zines I look forward to reading as one looks forward to seeing old friends--what HAVE they been up to?

*Michael talking dry-wall. Commiserating on the excitement and stress of moving. Elizabeth looks at me like: "you see, some people DO fix things up without immediately thinking outsource." I'm imagining a new house (congrats!) that now has walls covered in typography--Centaur in the dining room.

*E: "the swaying branches casting shadows thru the big bay window during Laura's reading."

*Dispersing into the evening refueled.


  1. Thank you Michael. & for yr comments... bravo indeed...thanks John.