Monday, October 08, 2007

Demolicious reading yesterday, featuring Daniel Bouchard as the local poet and Cathy Hong Park from Brooklyn. DB read 1st, thanking those who chose poetry over Red Sox playoff (and Patriots juggernaut). as he typically does, he read someone else's work 1st: After Apple Picking by Frost. I saw him read WCW once and it was terrifically powerful; he clearly connected with the work. seemed less so with Frost. the highlight was perhaps the 2nd poem he read, "Rackline" from his 1st book. which is (still) in a box around here somewhere. the poem twines memories of a friend's funeral, depiction of his job collecting trash on Cape Cod, and observance of local birds. Silliman has claimed that he feels close to Bouchard's poetics, which I can only guess means the notation of dry, unembellished detail. dry is the word, as Bouchard read without much inflection or speaking to the audience. a more recent and more pointedly political poem also rang well. he read extensively. Cathy Hong Park read from a single book and... here I should mench the work that Jack Kimball does at readings. he takes notes, he asks for copies of poems read and otherwise performs a solid reportage effort. Jack being absent, I can only offer that which sticks in my brain 15 hours later. Hong said that in some mention of her, she was referred to as a South Korean dissident. I guess dissident just naturally attaches to South Korean. anyway, her book is a tour of an imaginary city. I just flashed on St John Perse and the kind of evocation he produced. Hong Park didn't use description so much as soliloquy to render this city, but still, there's a similar homage to the imagination. in style the work recalled Stacy Doris for me. a dashing, lively chatter of voices. her language, that of her characters, was a transformation of English, or pidgin, tho she never used that word. familiar phrases were shifted or punned upon, in a swelter of hilarity and speed. she read extremely well, channeling easily. it was a good reading, and the after-reading as always was fun. next month Tom Beckett and Chris Tonelli, to which I look forward.
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