I chose my seat carefully, rubbing elbows with Potty Training for
Dummies and a book whose title I misread as Strange Cancer Treatments (I was only one letter off).
Found out first thing that I missed Jackson MacLow two weeks ago in Central Square. Bummed. He's a (maybe insane) anarchist poet who is a big inspiration for a lot of the computer-driven writing projects that I am starting work on.
I didn't know and still don't really know Bouchard. His reading was definitely enjoyable, though I think that his occasional stumblings while reading aloud were indicative of the fact that he gets a little carried away with the alliteration and consonance at times. That's a shallow criticism, just a first impression. But he had some interesting collage forms and some great lines.
Silliman was great, one of these days I really will get around to reading The New Sentence. I don't believe he stumbled once; his lines are full of a bizarre, constant energy that doesn't allow for things like pausing. Poetry readings are a real exercise in listening---I only really managed to hang on to a few fun fragments (who knows how they look on the page, this is just what I heard):
"elegance, mixed with boy"
"old boy's network, now on cable"
"Texas, should it exist?"
"the butterfly defect"
Now that I have contributed to mocking both Scientology and Texas, I will probably be dead by the time you read this.
Follow the cut for Ron Silliman's "set list".
He read (these are approximations):
"You" (from "The Alphabet", a long poem he's been working on since 1979 that is, um, almost finished)
A few poems from "VOG" (VOG in scripts now often stands for "voice over guy", but it used to stand for "voice of God"):
"Seven Forests" (maybe it was "Seven Secret Forests"?)
"For Larry Eigner: Silent"
And, from a separate project: