I arrived at the Four-faced Liar, a darkened bar on 4th St., where a small group of reader-listeners sat in round-table format. I was a half-hour too late to hear Jonathan Mayhew. We had the place to ourselves. Jordan read as teenage skaters gathered outside the open doorway, oblivious of the nearby poetry. They smoked awkwardly and unintentionally added lines to his work:

“let’s go find an ATM machine”
“you have a hole in your pants”
“I don’t have any money for a cab”

These fluid and concise intimations of penury fell not unevocatively into Jordan’s poems, one of which took as its point of departure the character of a put-upon employee of a large financial institution. Name: Ira. The rattling of their skateboards did, however, disrupt things a bit, and between poems our host and bartender, Shafer Hall stood with folded arms at the doorway, and, Lord of The Rings-like, banished the assembly to some unknown quarter of the West Village with a single glance.


“an avalanche of repair gnomes”

“so much of life is practicing gestures”

“a great chain of ability stretching back to chimps”

After I talked cymbals with Jonathan a bit, and caught up by reading from his printout some of the poems I had missed. Caught up with Douglas, who was down from Albany, and we all headed west to meet Katie, walk in the sunlight and gaze upon indoor mountain ranges of salt.

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