February 28, 2011. Shanna Compton (far left), founder of Bloof Books (as in BLOOF!, the comic book noise), opens the reading with poems from a manuscript in progress, “exploring cliché and melodrama”. One of the challenges she proposes: ending a poem with “I love you.” She reveals a recurring fascination with imaginary hotels (metaphor for imagination? poetry as a place away from “home”?), offers love poems to her husband, a disgusted rebuff to the ugly crush of the news. Stand-out snippets: “DIY bleeding,”, “sunset stripes,” “My husband is the best wife in the world.”
Peter Davis reads from his new book of poetry, Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! It first struck me as a brave project, as many of the poems are in the voice of some kind of “po biz” (excuse the term) id, one which may strike uncomfortably close to home for some. The insecure, secretly attention-seeking, competitive, tenure-craving, publication-cataloguing little imp who turns people who write against each other, and is not entirely alien to anyone who’s gone any step beyond taking his poems out of the drawer. But Peter's laughing with, poetry people, and it’s good to exorcise it. He’s damn funny, too. Out of a deadpan start, he breaks into this voice, who is not beyond courting & flattering any potential receptive reader, which includes babies, metalheads, & people who might find themselves reading the poem underwater.
Jennifer L. Knox surprises with a departure from her playful, whipsmart, smart-ass, right-now mode. Her reading centers on a longer series from her new book, The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (isn't that a swell cover!). Jennifer wrote the series, she relates, in response to a dare from friend and poet Ada Limón to write down every car crash she has been in. Autobiography via car crash, car crash as rebellion, car crash as search, car crash as youth – music, drugs, near death escapes. A melancholy undercurrent, a portrait of a father surfaces. He’s present, in some way, in all of the crashes – driving instructor, witness, ER parent. Car crash as masculine presence, driving as ritual...
Join us this coming Monday for readings by Erika Meitner and Jeanne Marie Beaumont. To see the complete Spring 2011 series, click here.