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Event:

Dark Matters

The universe is full of stars. Between the endless galaxies including our own Milky Way are Dark Matters. This invisible glue holds the universe together... It's also the arts that hold all us disparate individuals together! When the city, the country and the world splits into fighting fragments, music, poetry, and dance keep us intact. Come celebrate our unity when other factors attempt to drive us apart at the 17th annual Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documents:                press release (Adobe™ PDF)                |                Below:                *review                *poster                *flyer                postcard                banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Artwork by C. D. Johnson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review

 

 

 

 

 

DARK MATTERS / JANUARY 1st, 2011 

By Ellen W. Lytle 

 

After Christmas there is no more scotch tape at the Rite-Aid. Despite the mean streets, I saw a snow plow push a mountain of curbed snow onto a clean street and leave it there, and the down morale of a city department filled w/job cuts before Christmas, The Bowery Poetry Club this afternoon is bulging w/good humour. 

Su Polo's brilliant stage decoration set up a cave where each performer is ensconced in a cosiness of 'dark matter' and stunning snake lights crawling up the walls and lurking at our feet - flying above our heads, white orchids, lending a bizarre touch to an already magical set. Folks start piling in early afternoon and by 3pm the house is crowded. Lots of familiar faces laughing at the bar and waiting so patiently in knots along the side wall to get a seat.

Everyone seems ok; good spirits despite the nasty political climate and the state of most of our finances. There's much to complain about these days but these poets carry flowers, friends and big sticks - too too bad the cafe abandoned the club some months ago but i hear we'll have food for sale very shortly, when a new concession moves into the front room. In the tree-house-cabin along that same wall, Nick videos the entire day for the entire planet;  if they want to see us, a small speck of humanity in a tiny hamlet on a tinnier stage whooping it up for another year. 

Bruce Weber, crusher hat et al., makes some announcements and thanks his staff while Joanne Pagano Weber, joined by Big Mike, sets up a table strewn w/books from the readers and cartons of food for the homeless. After Richard Kostelanetz passes around etchings and drawings which are his poems, U think! Pete Dollack, always a boost; comforting, funny and welcoming, is our first emcee.  

Love the lines I've picked up from the first 6 hours; hope you recognize some and enjoy the contrasts too. 

The first poet reads from his blackberry, second talks about an apple festival jubilee - a man w/what seems like an original tom-tom drum, beats on it furiously, chanting; 'when you feel like you're livin' in a can all day / you want to bang it / bring on the hate' ... then came some elegies along w/drum beats; one for Janine Pommy Vega, who passed on just before Christmas, another for Tuli Kupferberg; ... 'beat the drums till we are Tuli Kupferberg standing naked on the roof, good bye Tuli' ... 'Sharia law (the torture of women)  and the purpose of poetry is to describe life' ... 'rite aid / after Xmas there's no more scotch tape at Rite-Aid' ... 'a prayer needs more than droziness' ... 'anointment is prescribed so happiness won't dry up' ... 'warped toys, deer and windowpanes' ... 'failure and normality' on violin w/text ... 'what gives you hope is passing it around' ... also up Bob Holman, the man who makes all this poetry possible, 'really - / whose idea was it to cut time into slices / the only poet who called death's bluff; Tuli Tuli Tuli' ...

'at the polls I refuse to vote for the fascist swine; I write in Bart Simpson' ... 'poet barbie w/her age-defying skin creme on her plastic night table / dust to dust, plastic to plastic' ... 'honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to know him' ... 'my New Year's Day begins preparing for 'Dark Matters' / there's plenty to go around'...'no matter how hard she tries, she'll never wipe all the jam entirely off her face' ... 'when I'm too old to climb Mount Katahdin, I will still go there / urging victory' ... 'I hate this fuckin' chair / I keep farting up the porno place / I hate this fuckin' chair'...'it was the reason they started to hunt men / but who will weep for the dead?' ... (from childlike Ronald Reagan): 'Mommy, do I have to kill all these people?' ... a marvelously catchy song from Bangladesh ... 'Carlos and Uncle Nathan tried to drive out the pigeons in our alcove' ... 'please turn down my empty glass, rocker chick' ... 'to the field mice trembling underfoot' ... 'who'll imagine a country w/no foreclosures?' ... 'the weary side of flesh that cannot be moved' ... 'little Limoge pink chipped dish / the world grows things to throw away / I'll keep this dish another day.' ...

'I never visited Woody Guthrie in New Jersey / I never died w/Sid Vicious' ... for Christmas: 'this woman loves somebody enough to bring them a Xmas tree on a rush hour subway' ... 'lost child conceived by false lovers / for too long I've waited for the fall of Rome' ... 'there come the pilgrims looking for Jesus Christ in Tompkins Square Park' ... 'I've so many scraps of paper fished out of my pockets; all blank / a race of peaceful bean farmers' ... 'I went for a job at a diner at a bus stop' ... 'a French chick picking her teeth w/flowers / left of the dial' ... 'flock around and peck out their eyes / in an instant we will be more torrents of blood' ... 'be twitter by Santa Claus on new year's eve' ... 'north pole completely under water / I've been living on West 22nd street in Chelsea ever since' ... 'it's so easy to love when there's no prison in view' ... a Swiss poet w/a guitar player: 'quit guilt / lose ambition / think about being alive' ... 'credo - I'm a lover of tight blue jeans / a lover of overalls / blow me, rip my shorts, take my shorts / I'm an eater of bvds' ... 'my favorite word in the whole world? fly' ... 'he never asked for more gelt / never looked in the mirror / hung off him like the skin of a dying dog' ... 'what's wrong w/you? you're so uninspirational / were you born that way? / do you live w/your mother?' ... 'it's a desperate thing to hold onto something you are losing' ... 'in Medellin (Colombia) there was no time to think / all the vice presidents were practicing at their grand pianos' ... 'any story you read in a book has a certain polish on it' ... 'we were the Christians / we kept living as if the only safe place is a cave' ... Chink Floyd: 'in the beginning poetry was Greek for creation' ... 'nature is genius' ... 'when I leave, I keep the key' ... 'more scaffolding to imitate the future' ... 'my country took my life and hurled it at the enemy' ... 'I folded my body neatly and placed it in a drawer' ... 'above cornstalks and willow, my love goes riding' ... 'you can lose 1lbs. by kissing for 5 hours' ... and, 'poetry is the lowest paid art form in the world!'

About that last line, we so know it! Thinking about what most of us read today I've changed my mind - I think we are bothered by the politics and the dirt out there, so let's stay put for the winter and write. It's safer, sometimes...and warm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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