Michael Nicoloff and Mel Nichols at St. Mark's

Nicoloff started with material from Bruised Dick, a collaboration with Alli Warren. Deliberate and focused titles like "People in Berkeley Need to Get Down with General Spatial Awareness" make me think things such as: "That's true!" A lot of demotic contouring done in a very alert and engaging manner. Refreshingly different from, say, the kind of widespread boilerplate avant poetry where the goal is to demonstrate that the poet is of greater intelligence than and possessed of an ethical superiority to some kind of image of average American consciousness. Phew. No stiff arming here. Nicoloff and Warren are in there. Deal with it. Lyrical, flexible, funny, teasing, and maybe only scratching the surface of what they could do -- and from here there's no telling what they could do.

Nioloff then went into Punks. Available in it's entirety here:

Propositional, focused, and oddly passionate.

Mel Nichols was next. She has one of the richest textures in a reading voice I have ever heard. And she's not afraid of fun, or raw materials, or delicacy. She read from Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon.

already slow December drops its paranormal forest difficulties strewn

& then why shouldn't leaves' red masquerade swarm the frequency of

a room caught faint & duplicated in the fluctuations of clocks

of course believe all those hermits going to the desert

fast and pray of course of course of course I scratched my own eyes out

giving you he riddle of my
taciturn suspended in the dark.

more Nicols here


It's funny, watching the change come over someone's face when they find that something they thought was going to be meaningless is actually the opposite....

Farrah Field on Katie Degentesh.


Nate Chinen on Avram Fefer in the New York Times.


On New York 1 there's an ad for 1-800-LAWYERS, which features a mustachioed lawyer salesman giving a ridiculous "I'm hypnotizing you with intensity" stare into the camera that is indistinguishable from the affect that can be found on 85% of the author photos gracing the poetry and fiction tomes in this country.