Packed house at the Poetry Project for Michael McClure and Ron Silliman, last night.
Katie and I had been at the Richard Foreman / Wallace Shawn theater dialogue at CUNY grad center, where we ran into Cori Copp. We all split before the Q & A and jumped in a cab, getting to St. Mark's just as Larry Fagin was starting his introduction.
McClure, who I had never heard, read first. He went chronologically starting with his first poem published in a magazine (Poetry). Interesting sestina.
(when I hear the door creak of audience members coming in late, I always have to look -- what am I looking for?)
Stories of beat companions and a haiku about the light show at the Fillmore.
Sing song portraits of consciousness.
Read from Fifteen Fleas, which Larry Fagin edited and published as a stapled book for the reading. Startlingly flarfy work. Based to some extent on comic books. Lovely, energized swirls of insignificance.
"An animal is a mind."
"Be in comfort Chet Baker"
Ron Silliman started out by saying he was more interested in poetry than in poems.
Read from Albany
"I used my grant to fix my teeth"
Descriptions of public spaces / observations of homeless people / statements / puns / autobiographical elements pooling together and building as discrete units rather than strung into a story.
"I began to wonder… is Bob Dole… also … a Muppet"
"the essence of dance is fundraising"
I didn't get a chance to talk to Ron after the reading at the Telephone bar, but I found myself coveting his Howard Dean baseball cap.