Sitting on the floor in a Chinatown hole underlining O Powerful Western Star with lead, Jack Hirschman beside me, Sarah Page smiling a beautiful full moon smile, focaccia on the table for this cultural happening (thanks, Rose Pistola), we-put-the-North-Beach-in-Chinatown wine flowing freely, saxophone flowing freely, chairs rocking, plastic cups of burgundy touching, toasting, i filming…
It is the work of the living artist to create mythologies we can live in, fictions which spring, not from the domineering behavior of Madison Avenue—an imperialism of the mind—but from the truth of the living heart. …
Cara Vida asking that the video be turned off now, “thank you—life goes on beyond Youtube, beyond this room and San Francisco”—an argument for the integrity of a circus made in a box made of mirrors.* Oh, the “Horrid cliches merrily skipping along…”
And of course it is possible, but it requires an effort not only of construction but of deconstruction. Only a mythology can counter a mythology, and it is only from the point of view of a new fiction that the inadequacies of the old fiction can be exposed.
For the first time, poetry was performed at Portuguese Artists Colony and for that distinction Nic Alea won the Live Writing contest. The subtitle of this article comes from Daniel Heath‘s fabulous attempt to synch his cell phone and computer, our pick of the week. Nicole McFeely voted for Nic because she would like to see more poetry at PAC. I voted for Meghan Thornton because, more than the others, I wanted to see her piece developed for the next show. Who did you vote for, and why? [Videos soon. Info on the next show here.]
One may ask whether the movie screen is a window or a mirror. Does it give us insight into people who exist outside of ourselves… or does it reflect certain aspects of ourselves? Is it a window onto the world or a mirror of our own psyches? —Obviously, film is a mixture of these qualities. It is perhaps a window which becomes a mirror.
Up in The Headlands, seven poets got eight minutes apiece to share their experiments. More on the Open House Laboratory.
On Thursday Emma Straub graced The Booksmith with a short story and an essay about New Kids on the Block, and Ben McCoy turned the new shit show into the “best. show. ever.” You knew she would [more on both of these soon]. Thursday also saw the return of the Kaleidoscope Reading Series and Opium Magazine’s Literary Drinkery. Anyone have any good stories or quotables?
Emma, on her first collection of stories, Other People We Married:
I had a very backward-path to publication… As soon as I graduated from college I wrote three novels, which were all terrible and were all rejected everywhere, all over town. And then, once I was in graduate school, people started asking me for things… Flatmancrooked, which is now defunct [but this], asked me if I had a novella, because they wanted to start publishing a series of novellas, and I didn’t. But I said yes. And then I gave them my longest short story [Fly-Over State], which isn’t even that long… and they published it as a standalone… And then, on the strength of that, this other, independent small press contacted me and said Do you have a book of stories; we want to publish your book of short stories—which is something people don’t say very often—and I didn’t! But I said yes. And then I put it together.
Seek recording? (One must absolutely cherish the well-curated submission-based show.)
Saturday! Charles Kruger reports that there was not a dull moment at the Bay Area Poetry Marathon and will have footage up soon. McFeely went to the Tenderloin Reading Series for the final evening of KoKo Cocktails, and (you know this) I went to Chinatown for the release of Out Of Our Volume 11. We couldn’t even make it to The Magic Eight Brew, which featured probably the best group of Bitchez yet (Kathleen Wood and Siamak Vossoughi on the same bill?). This says nothing of Hand to Mouth/WORDS SPOKEN OUT #41 and Condensery w/Brandon Brown + Jocelyn Saidenberg (footage of their last show here).
At the corner of Pacific and Kearny, 10:23pm, lit-up pedestrians carrying their worlds off into the many directions of the night at their various speeds, cars at the stoplight on one side, diners at Comstock Saloon looking past the patterned paper at Chris Cole and me, perhaps, and we at the black wall to the right, Brandy Ho’s’ neon behind us, the symmetry of the streetlight with the intersection in front of us, Cole says: “I owe this moment to film. Seeking out moments like this.” (We had merely stopped at the intersection to talk.) “You know it’s funny, a chicken and egg kind of thing,” he said, and I noticed the breeze and maybe caught the eye of a diner, “how film informs our perception… Or is it the other way?”
Litseen and Cole reconvened on Precita’s south sidewalk, all talking about our different events, Nicole swearing that we all wished we were at the Tenderloin reading series, repeating it emphatically. More on that soon, and now check the Week in Preview.
* For what should be obvious reasons, there is no proof that she said otherwise.