QUIET LIGHTNING: beneath market

(Evan Karp)

They went underground, happy to read their poems and stories where no one would hear them but the people who joined them to hear them, them being likeminded authors and not necessarily them—implying only friends and family and acquaintances might attend—but also enthusiasts of the series* might, might attend to hear the likes of them. They went underground because there they could express themselves unadulterated and likeminded people would listen, and maybe… more than just maybe, when they walked back up to the street they would reemerge different than they entered.

Quiet Lightning struck Café Du Nord for the first time with a special full show by The Secret Secretaries on Monday, May 2 2011.

* If the series has enthusiasts—and surely it does—we might wonder out loud just what it is they so enthuse about: is it the democracy of the thing, so seldom offered? that the work is more important than the authors? or is it something more visceral, a one-two punch that one-twos its way into one two sets of unexpected punctuation, offered live and by the audience itself, according to its own temperament and predilections? We cannot say here, forbidden by the cosmos of tradition to utter self-observations in public posting places (for some reason adamant that the self in question is not universal; for some reason forgetting that aggrandizement offers far greater risk than reward).

If we could say here, if we could say: Litseen is the tracking of all Quiet Lightnings on our radar**; if we could say that quiet lightning is an idea and not a reading series—not even a nonprofit, barring seal from the state—then we would tell you this is something we believe in wholeheartedly, still, after all these months with all these readers moving on and off the city’s many stages—neighborhoods temporarily occupied for the sake of community and art, whatever the difference—we would say that Quiet Lightning, at least for now, is something you experience every month because you cannot say what the week is by recounting your Monday, however minute you might be in detail, cannot say i have read this book and [therefore] need no other.

Or are you, dear reader, so experienced that one day is only like other days, is but a day of the week—its elements arbitrary fragments of form and no other—nothing unique or outstanding or not yet resolved? that one Book serves the function of all books?

They went underground, where their histories and mythologies are still being recorded. Perhaps you’d like to see them UNDER CONSTRUCTION:

Kelci M. Kelci

Graham Gremore

Mira Martin-Parker

Josh Mohr

Calder Lorenz

Ian Tuttle

Paul Corman-Roberts

Josey Duncan

Matthew Siegel

Lizzy Acker

Daphne Gottlieb

Chris Cole

Siamak Vossoughi

The Secret Secretaries

** I’m indebted to Nicole McFeely for reminding me of this yesterday. “What shall we say and shall we call it by a name? As well to count the angels dancing on a pin.” —Let It Grow (read the lyrics here, they’re exceptional, and then compare to The Secret Secretaries’ “Behind Closed Doors, here)