Anselm Berrigan and Marianne Shaneen, Bowery Poetry Club, 10.8.05
Funny, information-rich poetry fused with a poetics of film.
She started with a sequence focused on, and wildly riffing off of, dolphins. Specifically the history of American... uh, use of Dolphins in covert operations. It was sloppy in a good way, that is it was Charles Mingus sloppy: with a relaxed open gangliness capable of accommodating a large amount of elements, all of which were allowed to act with a certain independence, while maintaining an upbeat overall forward momentum.
"The CIA was concerned about a looming 'Dolphin gap' with the Soviets."
"Wealth is a form of violence."
The second series was organized around themes of oil / petroleum, ranging over the politics of oil production, inescapable plastic based objects/ commodities, body fat, flensing boots etc.
We also heard about "cans of liquefied ravens and hawks" and "nostalgia for dinner table alienation"
The delivery was sometimes a little stumbling. With poetry this good, I couldn't help but think Marrianne should read through the work once or twice before getting on stage with it.
Language stretched across a historical, filmic membrane.
"Carl Marx stars as the Lone Ranger."
"regurgitation means birdie love"
The lines have a unique consistency and forward momentum. Almost every line has a high tensile strength, and therefore, the feeling of a certain weight, but the overall tempo and pacing moves with the kind effortless momentum that is normal accessed though a much lighter line strength.
"I know the bottled water isn't fooling anyone."
Beautifully interdependent language play and full-on subjective personal responsiveness embracing it's own ambiguities. This is as information-rich as Marrianne's poetry, but in a much differnt way, or using a different take on drama.
"Fear of looking normal but in fact being a wack-job"
Graceful, sinuous riff-switching between perception and declaration.