As planned, Pierre Joris, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and I spent January 1st at the St Mark’s Poetry Project‘s 35th Annual New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. We got there at about 1:30 p.m. to set up my “Crêpes station” in the Parish Hall. I flipped crêpes until I run out of batter at about 6 p.m. That gave me time to catch some poetry. Ron Padgett had kicked off the event at around 2:30 p.m. I left my set up to listen to Pierre, he read two poems from “Turbulence” (Saint Lazaire Press, 1991). Shortly after, Miles accompanied me on “Things Fall Where they Lie” a piece (recorded on La Garbure Transcontinentale/The Bi-Continental Chowder CD) dedicated to the Venus of Lespugue, and written as a companion piece to a series of paintings on the Venus de Lespugue.
Performing with Miles was certainly my highlight of the day, and we made it on to the radio the next day! Lisa Chow, a reporter from WNYC –and excellent French speaker– had stopped by the crêpes station, and interviewed me. You can read the short printed interview here. Although we didn’t hear the broadcast of the snippet of our performance on early Friday morning, it was great to hear from friends who did and for you there is the full live recording (by Pierre Joris) below:
When I finally ran out of batter, I could sit down, listen to and watch some great performances. I’ll just report “en vrac” some of the impressions as my memory runs them:
I laughed at the witty and hilarious Swallow’s family band
I keep thinking of Erica Hunt’s pigs’ knuckles poem
I need to talk to Anne Tardos about her idea of Spinoza
I still feel Sally Silver’s dance on Bruce Andrews’ words in my body
I look up to John Giorno’s elegance and performing style
I thought Patty’s Smith performance was better than last year’s
Avram Fefer’s solo was soulful
Anne Waldman’s performance with Devin Waldman on saxophone electrified and inspired me
I was looking forward to Douglas’ outfit and was not disappointed
Ismael, Sylvie, Lucas watched their parental poets, thinking : we are next!
Stacy Szymaszek, and the Poetry Project crew of volunteers energized me.
& throughout the event everybody was thinking of Susan, Charles, Felix and Emma:
Emma Bernstein’s recent passing permeated the atmosphere, and several readers dedicated their performance to her memory. Emma’s beautiful and soulful funeral service was held on January 31st. She was the daughter of our friends, poet Charles Bernstein & painter Susan Bee & the sister of young singer Felix Bernstein. She was a very accomplished photographer and writer who at her young age leaves a significant body of work (click here for links for Emma). There will be an memorial event on February 17th when Emma had been scheduled to host one of the Belladonna* Celebrates the Elders events. I will announce the details as we get closer to the date.