Distribution Automatique

Sunday, October 3

Charles Bernstein and Carolee Schneeman
turned in exceptionally fine performances
Saturday at *The Bowery Poetry Club.*
Many of the usual BPC suspects were in attendance-
including curators Gary Sullivan and Nada Gordon -
the latter stunned the ample crowd by
comparing the widely admired
and discussed artist Schneeman to Leonardo
Da Vinci- among other things, this galvanized this
audience, jaded and used to fine comparisons; yet
the high bar was easily vaulted by these
two lions, and the audience was wowed by
their works, again and again.Gary
Sullivan introduced Charles by reading a poem on
brain surgery, certainly a Bernstein inspired work
My personal favorite by Carolee was a work,
in some ways comparable
to one of Charles', that dwelled on the various
linguistic uses of the word like, man, "like."
One of Charles' poems repeated a series of similies: love is like
love, water is like water, repetition is like repetition,
etc; since he read first, his "Like" poem preceded
Carolee's and they must have surprised each other.
Charmed by the wit of these two, the audience listened
raptly from the ourset applauding both readers frequently (hard to
believe they didn't arrange this stunning synchronicity
in advance). I wish I had taken more notes re: an
extremely moving new poem by Charles called,
I think, "The Arms of the Bricklayer." The title
reminded me of an earlier work of Bernstein's
called *The Lives of the Toll Takers." Anyway,
you can find it in the latest issue of *Ratapallax.*
Also on hand were copies of the reprint of
Charles' *The Sophist* which he read from
extensively and is now out by Salt Press.
Also in the audience were art notables Mimi
Gross, Kiki Smith, Susan Bee, and Toni Simon,
poet/art critic Connie Robins, art critic
Thomas McEvilley, and Filmaker/poets
Abigail Child and Marianne Shaneen
(who is hosting a benefit
tomorrow for the Critical Art Ensemble horribly and
unjust under attack by the Patriot Act crowd)
and Henry Hills were there,
dancer Sally Silvers, poets Bruce Andrews,
Rodrigo Toscano , Mitch
Highfill and Elizabeth Fodaski were also spotted,
as well as poet-blogger Alex Young,
And I almost forgot to mention witty Bob Perelman,

One more thing before going to sleep:
I have to mention that when I told Rob
Fitterman I had devoted a number of
posts here to his work recently, I instantly
became a lucky owner of his new book
*Metropolis XXX: The Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire*,(Edge).
Does this have anything to do with the year
he and his family (his wife is the poet Kim Rosenfeld)
recently spent in Italy? We'll soon