Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, February 26

Kim Rosenfield, Heriberto Yepez and Rodrigo Toscano read to a packed house last night at the Drawing Center. I strongly recommend "Shark #4:The Encyclopedic." I posted a full list of the contributors to that issue on the poetics list the other day. Heriberto Yepez has a piece in there called "An Encyclopedia of Lost Thoughts: (A Short Novel)."
This piece is concerned with the neglect of innovative South American writers like Alfonso Reyes.After the reading we spoke further about this and I could tell that Heriberto is seriously upset about the failure on the part of American publishers to get important books of innovative writing into English. Kim Rosenfield wowed the audience with a new song, her captivating, sonorous voice, and a new satiric work set in the style of a fairy tale. Rodrigo Toscano's new book "Platform" from Atelos was available at the reading. I got one and Rodrigo inscribed it to me in Spanish. I guess he heard that I've been threatening to learn the language to stop Heriberto from complaining further about the neglect of that language on the part of certain innovative American poets. Rodrigo's reading style made Miles Champion and Tom Raworth sound like slo-mo. Herberto's reading tore into the pretentions and unconscious power plays inherent in poetry readings and poetry scenes generally. I was seriously ready for a couple of Bass Ales after this event. And I got them. Heriberto explained to me that Mexican publishers are so not ready for innovative writing that when he rendered "A rose is a rose is a rose" into Spanish, the publisher replied with a curt: "How about 'A rose is a rose?'".The publisher got his way. I wanted to ask Heriberto to translate an aphorism of mine into Spanish: "Publishers are sleepwalkers." But at that point he got into a conversation with Brian Kim Stefans and Bruce Andrews. The mention of publishers at a poetry event is the best conversation killer. Then I started talking with Lytle Shaw about blogging. Rodrigo accused me of being a proselytizer of blogging. But he also commented that he may have seen a few people leave when he read a bitingly satiric piece about blogging which is called podding in his poem. But don't get mad at him. Instead, read his books. Get a copy of "The Disparities" (Green Integer) quick, before they run out.

"Then left, the place. Not a mental life, much less "place."
The east still pushing itself west in a wierd way.
The already-dead ones border building, old clones.
The new element of the Tablelands is Fire."