Another convergence of East and West tonight at 21 Grand. Toni and I were delighted to see our poet friend from New York Chris Stroffolino perform as we hung out with loved and familiar New York poet friends from the Ear Inn/Segue scene (most recently at Bob Holman's Bowery Poetry Club) Laynie Browne, Judith Goldman, and Dan Farrell and new friends Chris Murray(Texas), Catherine Meng, Stephanie Young, Mike Cross, James Meetze and others (Bay Area). Eugene Ostashevsky's smashed philosophy of "DJ Spinoza" threw my mind right through the looking glass of hysterical laughter, zen wit and loony contemplation. Toni and Laynie enjoyed the Russian nuances. I was reminded of Andrei Codrescu. Geoffrey Dyer read sensitive, personal poems, sometimes evoking connections with family and friends in the audience, bringing an aura of warmth and friendship into the room, evocative and sophisticated yet a marked contrast to the richly complex. labyrinthal essay presentation on Friday at Mama Buzz. Chris Stroffolino's tight, hard driving yet melodic rock band Continuous Peasant well deserves the au courant adjectve awesome (we got a moment to briefly chat after his set) and Laynie Browne, Toni and me all agreed that we were sorry to be unable to hear out Eli Drabman's Black Plastics band, whose music seemed to gently follow us up the Berkeley hills. This weekend of New Brutalism poetry and music made me feel welcome and admiring of the poetry and music scene here, and hankering for more. And just you wait Enry Iggins there will be more!
The Brutal Kittens...James Meetze will no doubt disagree and find other things to tell you about how he liked the evening at 21 Grand more and better!