by David A. Kirschenbaum
Whenever I go anywhere I have a pen and a pad. It’s something i specifically date back to when, prior to a big reading later that day in the Axinn Library, Allen Ginsberg spoke to Douglas Brinkley’s Beat Generation and the Counter-Culture class that I peer taught in the Fall of 1989 at Hofstra University. “Never deflect a creative impulse,” he said. And ever since that December day a few weeks before I turned 23, I’ve carried a small memo pad in my left-hand pocket and a Bic 4-color pen, medium point, in my right, still.
So at all events, Boog or otherwise, I jot lines into my pad while taking everything in. When I started the Welcome to Boog City Arts Festival in August of 2007, I began writing these notes next to each performers’ photo in the physical, newsprint issue of Boog City, along with sort times and end times for each performer so i can keep us, about on St. Mark’s time (about 30 minutes late). When we shifted the paper to be an online pdf, I started making one-sheet programs, double-sided with maybe 10 point sill sans condensed type, and scribbled my notes and times more judiciously.
when we did our first zoom fest in December I wasn’t really worried because my tech guru, the lovely Suzanne Mercury, who’d curated for wbc13, is also one of the co-organizers of the boston poetry marathon, which did a multi-day video fest back in august, brilliantly. but i had standard day of show butterflies, even with the standard line i tell folks when they wish me luck before a show, “thanks, if i’ve done my homework right ahead of time, this should go swell.” And it did, so even a month before it was going to happen, when it seemed wbc14 would come off smoothly, i started planning wbc14.5.
the day of the show, i was in front of the late, great Stan Robbins’ former macbook pro, he the blind late father of my sister’s husband jon, and, yes, stan got and used this machine while blind. damn! i had four peanut and chocolate protein bars, two greek yogurt, 3 or 4 mandarin oranges, a sandwich bag full of almonds and another one filled with pistachio nuts, a 1/2 gallon jug of turkey hill diet spring tea, and a quart container filled with extra ice.
i set up the screen off stan’s machine with a zoom box on the right of the live broadcast, my email to get the succeeding hours as we switched from zoom rooms hosted by suzanne to ones hosted by tech maven, stellar musician, boog poetry editor, my former bopo fest co-organizer, and all-around good guy John Mulrooney. and i had the tech rundown open in text edit all the way to the left, the what’s going to happen for every minute of the show file more important to me the day of an event than anything else.
I got into the zoom wait room, a few minutes before we went live, and was getting excited real quickly. The first poet, Prince A. McNally said something I dug, so i typed it right beneath his name in my tech rundown. That’s when it dawned on me that i could take running notes this way on the entire approximately six-hour show. And so I did.
Below this note is my exact tech rundown file from the day of, with a couple of minor correx and one rdg viewed and written own post-show, the great Carling McManus, because I was too busy juggling arts fest director duties after the power outage we suffered during the initial broadcast of the Matt Kohn-projected film segment.
As I said day of, for the first time ever at one of these fests, the poets were all grouped by booker, so for example, I booked Todd Colby as one of my readers, so send all praise and adulation (and stupid complaints) to me, if you got any.
The link for each segment of the fest are listed above the segment, followed by the counter number for the introduction to each performer.
And if you love Boog and love live poetry and music, poets theater and poetry talk talks, films and panels, well, you get the gist, please take the time now to contribute anything you’re able to right now.
$15 in honor of September’s Welcome to Boog City 15 Arts Festival or
$30, in honor of Boog’s upcoming 30th anniversary, Aug. 5, 2021, or
any amount lower or higher that you might be able to.
Donations can be sent via
https://www.paypal.com/us/home to firstname.lastname@example.org or
https://www.venmo.com to David Kirschenbaum
Hope this finds you well.
Mon., Feb. 15, 2021
2:41 / INTRODUCTIONS by dak (david a. kirschenbaum) of Ron Kolm’s poets
3:40 / 12:00 p.m. Prince A. McNally (poetry)-political, great voice, rhythm, cool in black t-shirt and fedora and trim black beard “racism has a most peculiar way of”
14:45 / 12:10 p.m. Larissa Shmailo (poetry)-deliberate reading style, every word matters, nice. great tone.
21:47 / 12:20 p.m. Don Yorty (poetry)-beautiful music on video, him playing guitar. expected him to read, real sweet surprise.
26:16 / INTRODUCTIONS: Bill Considine (like wine)
28:00 / 12:30 p.m. Radvertisements for My Selfie by Ronnie Norpel (poets theater)- has great stage presence, voice. i will never hear the words “the phone rang” the same way ever again. “ashes to ashes bitches” The late Rollie Massimino’s favorite poets theater playwright. Damn!
38:50 / 12:40 p.m. The Quilter Makes Her Grandson Lunch by Dorothy Cantwell (poets theater)-nice stage presence, great intonation. she’s knows all about the deer overpopulation problem.
50:39 / 12:51 p.m. and now some swell poems from Don Yorty to close the set
1:01.22 end set
2:44 / dak
3:45 / INTRODUCTIONS: Wanda Phipps
4:52 / 1:00 p.m. Bonny Finberg (fiction)-any piece that begins with audrey hepburn and susan sarandon is good by me, and it is so damn solid. and the way she pronounced homage was wonderful.
14:29 / 1:10 p.m. Janie Heath (fiction)-august 1976, greenwich village. i was nine, about to move from flatbush to oceanside, l.i. i remember it well. “when people say dope it could be marijuana or heroin. i …” (what was the next part? )
22:42 /1:20 p.m. Michael Rothenberg (fiction) “until then you can talk, you can whisper.” i have to say his intonation scared me just a smidge when he said that, which was pretty awesome. “robot mannequins with perfect smiles fill the screen.”
32:36 / INTRODUCTION: dak for Todd Carlstrom
32:56 / 1:30 p.m. Marianne Pillsbury (music)-she’s been playing boog shows since dubya was in office. so great to hear the real marianne, always. she is “having sex on a regular basis,” or at least the narrator of one of her swell songs is. cool pink and black background. “it’s really hard to do your own backing vocals.” i did not know that she moved to maine. ny’s loss is their gain. a background of pill bottles while she’s singing her song depression from her musical, depression the musical. nice.
1:03.36 end set
1:39 / INTRODUCTIONS: dak of dimitri reyes’ poets and Todd Carlstrom’s musical act
2:00 p.m. José Angel Araguz (poetry)-cdn’t make it, but contacted us ahead of time
3:11 / 2:10 p.m. Ananda Lima (poetry)-mentions she’s reading a pre-pandemic poem. i hadn’t thought of that as a delineation of time with work until she said that. “i don’t cut onions anymore.” i like her style of introducing her poems instead of just delivering them, even though i do understand quincy troupe’s sentiment that he doesn’t do intros ‘because he doesn’t come with the book.” “condenses down into my son’s eyes.”
16:35 / 2:30 p.m. King Dutch (music)-they sing a song about tall guys like abraham lincoln. “i wanna make the coronation” they have what seems like a red light bulb or lights on a dimmer with candles lit for their set on the floor, a really nice accent. maybe they want to remake the police’s wrapped around your finger video? 🙂 nice harmonies.
39:51 / 2:45 p.m. Gretchen Primack (poetry)-persona poems on prisons, not real she stresses. she’s video casting from the backroom of the bookstore where she works during her break. you can’t get more poet than that. nice explanatory intros. “it’s unbelievably hard to be vegan in a prison.” great reader, like a warm storyteller, deliberate emphasis.
53:44 end set
MENTION GO TO BOOG’S FACEBOOK PAGE TO SEE BIOS, URLS,
1:17 / 3:00 p.m. Todd Colby (poetry)-the former drunken boat frontman sang kiss the day goodbye in the zoom wait room. richard hell from the poproj asked him to read for his first proj rag, a monday night. richard hell was best man at daisy’s wedding. “i’m a master collator,” she says. “some girls knit, some girls painted, i collated.”
today’s a shit show. i’m waiting for you in a room.
he’s a fuckin’ renaissance man. former drunken boat frontman, master poet and editor, fucking amazing artist (check out his work in the second-half of boog city issue 139: https://wordpress.boogcity.com/elementor-6039/)
“there’s something about attaching euphoria to a nerve.”
“turn the treble in the room up”
i could hear todd read anything and love it, so you have to almost listen a bit extra to know for sure that the work is killer. It is.
10:50 / 3:10 p.m. Dylan Krieger (poetry) is a pretty damn prolific poet, and arguably the best poet social media follow around.
soft focus slaughterhouse her new 11/11 book forthcoming about her chronic pain syndrome
“i promise we’ll kiss as if it’s painless”
“something about crying over a non-physical malady”
“step right up to the bone show”
“miracle of miracles,
my mouth can still open all the way
like a mint condition human.”
“some days louisiana is my soul mate” opens one of her last poems. it’s a line that makes you want to hear every other word that follows it.
she closes with a poem printed on a pillow for her bf, the drop-off
20:29 / 3:20 p.m. Mary Panza (poetry)
“i’m still a solid hustler for money”
“this new normal is mostly uncomfortable”
boog is 29. my friendship with mary predates that.
once a great reader, always a great reader.
“then realizes she’s in the mood for tacos”
“am i on Facebook to avoid twitter?”
“we should have watched what erica kane was up to that day”
“he was sick of me being sick”
31:42 / 3:30 p.m. Daisy Wake (reading) is a wonderful linoleum-block artist who has contributed work to many boog efforts over the years, including a robert creeley broadside and the cover of an ed sanders chapbook, she used to put out one of my favorite zines in the nineties, the curse; she is a pretty damn wonderful storyteller
“remember gate crashing”
holding up a pic of her and an old bf from years ago instead of showing her own image while beginning rdg. it’s simple, but pretty damn masterful. she then takes it down and continues.
martin cox took that photo.
guy from the gary glitter band kept dodging her.
“and i got to dance with a gatecrasher again.”
she then ended it with a picture of him helping destroy the berlin wall
“the back gardens below” — simple, but epic to me
“did you know there are two airports in venice?”
POWER OUTAGE IN SOMERVILLE, MASS.
FILM SET WILL SCREEN IN ITS ENTIRETY AT THE CONCLUSION OF
THE GO-GO’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAT LIVE PERFORMANCE
41:55 end set
10:50 / dak
12:!7 / INTRODUCTIONS: Katy Bohinc (pronounced Bo-hince)
4:20 p.m. Carling McManus (poetry)
carling, is getting the closest listen of anyone, as i first watched her entire set in its entirety just now, on video, because when it was broadcast live i was working on alerting our 5 o’clock performers that there entire set was being moved to follow the conclusion of the 4 o’clock hour)
watching carling mcmanus won my folks’ 50-inch set on youtube
katy bohinc booked and is introducing carling mcmanus
visual artist activist lives in west Va.
new poem in best new am poetry
went to school with kt in france when they were in high school and she put out a zine that published katy’s first published poem ever in her life
“you might know,” katy gestures with both hands in an aw shucks way, “i’m now a poet.”
(a fellow zinester, nice. boog started with just chapbooks and one anthology from aug. 5, 1991-autumnal equinox 1992, before we debuted ManAlive! or MA!, a 16-page digest-size zine which would feature holograph poems on the cover from well-known poets, among them Ed Sanders, Amiri Baraka, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, and Jim Carroll, and, twice, the poet who appeared on the debut cover with an american sentence I first heard him read at that Hofstra University library reading I referred to earlier, Allen Ginsberg:
“i can still see Neal’s 23-year-old corpse when i come in my hand.”)
katy always has a smile that practically fills her face, but now it looks like it’s grown even bigger.
“i’m so happy and thrilled to share with you, Carling.”
thank you so much, that’s the most touching introduction
reads a poet she says “feels appropriate for all these icy days we’re going through”
my father slips the thin stem of the wine glass between his ring and middle fingers
cradling the clear curve in his palm,
“i understand why you love women,” he said,
raising his eyes from the cup to meet mine,
“i love women, too.”
then he asked me to join him in the basement bar on st. catherine’s
where he’d go with his college buddies
to drink beer and fold dollars into the dancers’ g-strings …
i understood his invitation to be an offering,
a sign of acceptance,
so that i too could sit with my legs wide open,
stalk a room with my eyes,
be counted among the powerful.
a great deliberate reading style, not over pronouncing the words, but making you know that there are no throwaway ones here, not a one
“to eat its to sustain,
but to feast is to succumb to another type of hunger”
22:45 / 4:10 p.m. Janice Lowe (poetry) tender vinyl from tender buttons up next week
it’s mix and master time
has new album on tender vinyl, new label from tender buttons, out later this week.
beautiful video pome set.
“i would sacrifice anything [to be?] for the new voices we need”
“the stand against police brutality with these demonstrations set off by the murders of george floyd, breonna taylor, and ahmaud arbery by civilians.
inner sun power that helps fuel thee collective
when it finishes:
“i’m going to pause for a second, i just want sit with that for a moment”—katy
35:40 / 4:00 p.m. Memorial reading of Cassie Smith’s work by Eiam O’Brien (poetry)
east bay poet who passed away in october.
“full of joy and wonder and excitement”—katy on cassie’s work “sort of like she was a magic fairy”
eiam rdg cassie
“how can one be sure”
“but just this once, could maybe you hold my hand”
wendy writes herself a story out of wonderland
wendy found a reckoning
47:18 / INTRODUCTIONS: Bill Considine
47:33 / 4:30 p.m. The Rapture: A Miracle Play in Four Acts, by James Sherry and Mark Wallace (poets theater)
“in glory in christ jesus”
“there’s no jesus likes jesus”
“i want a piece of that jesus action”
act i, scene 4, the narrator announces:
“corporate leaders sell tulsa to russia”
57:10 / 4:40 p.m. I Am Happy, by Lonely Christopher (poets theater)
velvets riff from venus in furs plays beneath on a constant loop.
“you’re a cocksocker”
“i’m an actor”
“i don’t need love, just a good secretary and ”
“is it lonely at the top?
“not with you here to keep me company”
“survived by her mother burned all her brilliant writings”
1:11.33 / dak
1:13.05 / Boog City poetry editor John Mulrooney
1:13.49 / 5:00 p.m. Mairéad [pronounced Ma-raid] Byrne (poetry)
i’ve known her name forever, never heard her read before, what a beautiful accent, deliberate voice.
visiting my daughter
a poem in conversation and she kinda sort acts out both voices, ever so slightly, but enough to wonderfully differentiate
“kill team sounds much cooler,
but it’s actually the killing team”
“miserable clouds wafting downline a snowflake”
“the proprietor didn’t exactly consider that type of service”
1:24.09 / 5:10 p.m. Sam Cha (poetry)
new book out from pank.
as a distant relative
combined two sources, used rare output of the ai to write some poems
great reader, voice, commanding
“u.s. potus like revolving door”
“u.s. get quietly stoned”
whole piece is real wonderful litany
“u.s selfie in front of u.s. in hiroshima” [missed a couple of words here, damn]
‘u.s. your english is so good”
wow. great piece.
“history is a wonderful sport”
“if hamlet is almost hamnet its possible to confuse the playwright with the ghost”
1:35.49 / 5:20 p.m. Christina Davis (poetry)
referenced lyn hejinian
“there is no house for where you are headed”
leans into the camera to get a slight closeup for emphasis of a line, effective.
“i came and testified with my body
“you came and testified with yr body”
1:47.38 INTRODUCTIONS: dak—why we’re showing a curator’s play
in these 22 fests, i don’t like to have curators book themselves, but bill considine is a killer poets theater curator and a wonderful playwright, and he wd have no opportunities to be in the poets theater otherwise, so this is an exception to my rule that i’m more than happy to make.
here is 5:30 p.m. A Presidents Day Address for 2021 by Bill Considine (poets theater)
from the encyclopedia my parents bought from a door to door salesman
a fool speaks to power
“trump was a troublesome young man already, where he majored in dress, parade, and bully”
“a natural harbor, a home to breathe [live?] free”
1:59.05 / INTRODUCTION: Todd Carlstrom
5:40 p.m. For its 40th anniversary,
The Go-Go’s Beauty and the Beat
2:02.20 Aron Blue and Dennis McNeeley (?)
“this album means a lot to me because it was an all-female band”
Our Lips are Sealed
great background, what’s that needle behind you?
dennis leaning on the wall, damn wonderful.
i always love aron
the sparse arrangement is so wonderful
2:05.08 How Much More
the cute black and white pooch wandering in and out
2:10.22 Jason on Go-Go’s
whole set is just jason and guitar, and his gift of gab
2:14.53 Lust to Love
i had no idea you would tear my world apart
1-800-cars for kids insert is awesome
Todd and Michele Carlstrom talking on Go-Go’s during brief video hiccup
2:24.22 / Fala La
she looks like they did on the album cover. fun fact, they bought the towels at macy’s and returned them after the shoot.
2:27.05 / We Got the Beat
she’s always wonderful, from moxie 20+ yrs ago straight through today.
just her and guitar in a dim
implores us all to sing we got the beat with her, even neater to do from a video.
Todd and Michele
2:29.46 / Fading Fast
michele’s voice so pure
todd’s heavy guitar in this one makes me think of him and his band the clamor, him a whirling dervish of beautiful noise
michele banging sticks, so great. what the hell are those called?
that pause before the final automatic—swoon
You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)
she’s having so much fun, bobbing her head from side to side.
another wonderful pause.
the yellow flower in her hair. that opening riff sounds like george michael faith. thief george michael, thief. if she stood up and played i’d really feel like jane weidlin was up there, right down to the top she’s wearing, which looks like it could be a one piece skirt go-go’s-esque outfit
2:40.00 Skidmarks on My Heart
she likes covering
“the only one belinda carlisle wrote the words for. according to belinda it was about ‘her brother, her cat, and her first car.’”
altering her voice to sound as though she’s straining, but it’s effortless
2:44.06 Can’t Stop the World
i remember arguing with a classmate in 1982 in high school, he said the go-go’s i said the police—dak
2:52 INTRODUCTIONS: Matt Kohn, on the video, yes?
two poetry videos and a short of his own.
2:52.33 / 3:40 p.m. Chasing the Wind (film) dan lieb
atmospheric, aerial shots, synched really well to the unseen reader’s narrative
tech difficulties, power outage by John Mulroney’s in Somerville, Mass., will be rescreened at the end of the fest in toto, and up on the web site
“yesterday i received a moment of perfection”
3:00 / Chasing the Wind (film)
sparse guitar, shots
vibrant colors at times
a suburban sprawl in what looks like fall
3:03.30 / Matt Kohn: In A Beautiful Place
bell being rung by hand in frame, who’s ringing it
matt’s monotone voiceover
beautiful slow, and lush snowscapes
melting icicle close-up
3:06.55 / dak
wbc15 fri. 9/24-sun. 9/26
including for the 30th anniversary of its release, nirvana’s nevermind
boog’s 30th anniversary spectacular on Thurs. August 5
Issue 139, February 2021
David A. Kirschenbaum
printed matter editor
Ian S. Wilder
Much Thanks to
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