Drew Gardner's Poetics Orchestra
performed last night at the legendary Living Theater, featuring poets Katie Degentesh and Sharon Mesmer as well as the Musetry Project with Steve Dalachinsky and Ellen Christi. Christi and Dalachinsky brought back very pleasant memories and smiles for me of Keeley Smith and Louis Prima, a comic jazz duo extant no doubt well before your time, reader. Ellen Christi's jazz riffs worked well with Dalanchinsky's poetic monologues spoken in a cool undertone at the back of the Living Theater stage decked out for a Judith Malina play which is up now. One of Dalichinsky's poetic quips floated by me bringing a strong chuckle: "young and gifted, old and gifted." ( "Is botox a ball team?" he later asked, from the stage, of Sharon Mesmer, referring to a line from her performance: "I thought it was BoSox").You could see that both Christi, and later Degentesh added to their comic presences by working from the sunken bathtub which was part of the Malina stage set (Malina performs there tonight there in a two-women play at 21 Clinton Street on the Wednesday pay-as-you-wish basis). Katie Degentesh read from her recent book The Anger Scale, in the lightning fast world of blogging already an underground classic, and Sharon Mesmer read mostly from her equally awesome new book Annoying Diabetic Bitch, both from Combo.Mesmer and Degentesh are terrific poets, working in these books in the Flarf manner, who happen also to be superb performing poets as well; i would even go so far as to say they are each fine comic actors who write their own hilariously parodic material that strikes home on many levels of complexity: poetic, personal, social and philosophic. Sharon told me that she has performed before with bands and enjoyed it. I heard her ask Drew to invite her back and I hope he does. The members of the Orchestra were in top form as well, melodically rich, rhythmically diverse and meticulously coordinated both with each other and with the poets, under the able baton of Drew Gardner. Mesmer and Degentesh's voices also blended well together yet each has her own unique and individual peforming style. I hope Drew brings them all together again soon.
Speaking of bitchin' books...
Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books)
Sonnetailia (Roof Books)
Thursday, January 24
Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
113 Ludlow Street
F/J/M/Z trains to Delancey/Essex
Free admission until 10:30
Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello DJ-ing at 10:30
[from Virgin Formica- Sharon Mesmer]
By the way, Nicole Peyrafitte, who was in the audience, will be performing at the Zinc Bar on Sunday, January 17 with Belle Gironda at 6pm. Having lived these many years in Albany, raising two children with poet-blogger-translator-traveler-professor Pierre Joris, she now resides in Brooklyn, where, like so many other poets these days, she unquestionably wants to be.
This Just In from Tom Beckett:
An Ex-Val Interview with Jessica Grim