Thanks to Blogger, I lost a longish post last night. In it, I talked about my participation in a reading at Emily Evans's, Krista Franklin's and Toni Asante Lightfoot's Second Sun Salon this past Sunday at Naïeveté Studios on Chicago's Northside. (I also see that yet again, Blogger is posting a "Scheduled outage at 2PM PDT" at the head of the posting page--is this a sign of a trend now that Google has snapped them up?) A. Tacuma Roeback, Erin Teegarden (who's one of the lights behind the Rec Room readings in Chicago), and Maria Eliza Hamilton Abegunde, an incredibly luminous poet and fiction writer, were on the bill, as was I. It was exciting to read with them, especially since this was the first opportunity I'd had to present more than a few pieces from Seismosis since it was published. Toni (pictured above, at right, after the event) joined me in an improvised reading of "Analysis II," one of the poems that, in dialogue with the drawings that precede and face it, as well as with several other pieces with a similar name, attempts to embody textual simultaneity. I'd never read this piece before, but Toni gamely agreed to try it with me, and the experience was thrilling (and led to really engaging conversations afterwards, including one with one of Chicago's most talented younger playwrights, Idris Goodwin). I was reminded of a performance by two of my former students, Tai Little and Eileen Korte, several years ago, at Northwestern's Senior Writing Major end-of-the-year readings; they read a section of parallel texts from Tai's brilliant honors novella, and the effect was electric. I had a similar initial impression (at least) of the reading by John Ashbery and Ann Lauterbach I saw this past summer of Ashbery's "Litany," though the senior poet's phlegmatic manner and flat tone somewhat dimmed the effect after a little while. The experience got me to thinking what it would be like to hear Samuel Delany, Thomas Glave, Chris Mazza, Deborah Richards, Mark Danielewski, John Cayley, or the late John Cage, to name a few of the people who immediately came to mind, reading some of the parallel texts in their works simultaneously. The aural experience is quite different from the nearly impossible visual one, especially with each of these authors' denser prose texts.
I'll try to post more later, but I always want to note that Seismosis received what I believe is its first online review, by poet Zack Barocas. It's a brief but perspicacious piece that drives right to the core of what Chris and I were trying to do--and did. Thanks, Zack!