Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Case You Missed It: A Reading Report from John Sakkis

A full house, a fundraiser, questionable wine, minimal ventilation and 2.5 hours of inter-media work. Thus was the Poets Theater 09 Inter-Media night. Typically my favorite SPT night of the season.

Karla Milosevich:"My Past Life" and "29 Palms"
I think what they said was "I was a horse" and then there were two women, one of them Karla, standing next to each other off of I-5 looking at the sky maybe, or making big Tai Chi circles with their arms, I think the other women, Paula Pereira, was miming Carla's movements but I could be wrong, and I kept waiting for Karla to turn into Steve Martin and pipe "What the hell is that?" and for the other woman to morph into Bill Murray and say "I don't know, what the hell is that?"

and then Karla: Hey, you kids! Get away from there!
Paula: I would not mess with that thing..
Karla: Don't put your lips on it!
Paula: [ ever curious ] What the hell is this?
Karla: Well.. get a photo of me with it, anyway!

But none of that last part happened...but it looked like it might have.

Dillon Westbrook:"pan(Oa)ic(k)land"
This one featured Westbrook on drums and Woodcock on bass. I think they were both wearing Oakland A's jersey's...but then Westbrook put on a jacket, so I could be wrong...and then a video by Nao Nakazawa driving around Oakland (quick zooms, slow pans, landscapes, architecture, people, signs, OAKLAND, mirrors) with live jazzy musical accompaniment by Westbrook and Woodcock. David Harrison Horton's dubbed voiceover reciting poetry things but I forget what and I couldn't take notes even though I brought a notebook because it was pitch black in the theater...and then suddenly it wasn't Horton's voice anymore (Westbrook's?) and it reminded me of Jim Morrison's post-humus spoken word album An American Prayer esp. that track where he says something like "Did you have a good world when you died? enough to base a movie on...?"

Heriberto Yepez:"Voice Exchange Rates"
Probably my favorite of the night, anti-fill-in-the-blank iconography a la Hot Topic and the AK Press Catalog (at a slant) (I think...)) as moderated by a 4bit robot-voiced human skull...super funny and charming. The part where the robot-voiced human skull repeated glitchy variations of the phrase "Americans rule the world" made me laugh and then feel ashamed of laughing in the same way that Nate Fisher's (Six Feet Under) first AVM (arteriovenous malformation) seizure in the Chubby's drive-thru where he ordered his food all "I'd like a chubb-chu-ch-ch-ch-cubbbbb-FUCK!!!-chchchchch-Chubby's Burger" made me laugh and then feel ashamed. And then something about Gertrude Stein and Nazi's and a big black dildo.

Bill Luoma:"The Concept of Ass"
A blooper reel! A baseball blooper reel! A baseball blooper reel Benshi Particle Physics cut-up delivered by a baseball-cup-wearing-baseball-shorts-sporting Bill Luoma. Bill "Homer" Luoma. Everyone laughed. A Dragon Fly on a pitcher's cap. Bill and David Hadbawnik used to show up to Poet's softball in SF in full uniform. David's uniform really annoyed me, Bill's didn't. Success!

Claudia Rankie & John Lucas:"Provenance"
Zinedine Zadane headbutts Marco Materazzi in slow motion with a Terminator 2 Brad Fiedel like sound design. Compelling. Materazzi got "owned" but so did Zinedine. I love Claudia. I love soccer. There was a rumor going around Naropa in 06 that I loved Claudia. Which was true but besides the point. Naropa's only sports team is a soccer team. I was in Claudia's workshop during the 06 World Cup.

Paolo Javier:"FYEO"performed by Dennis Somera
I have never met Paolo (or seen a photo), and I had never met Dennis (or seen a photo). And I didn't read my program closely enough, so the whole time I thought that Paolo was the one on stage performing his piece, not so, it was Dennis. A slide show, lot's of Filipino puns, drawings, comic book erasures, poetry, quotes, mis-ques and National Anthems.

Intermission:Henry Hills's "Money" (1982)"feat.
John Zorn, Abigail Child, Bruce Andrews, Sally Silvers, Charles Bernstein, Arlo Lindsey and dozens more..."like, a young Jack Collom!!! and then LRS remarks "poets seemed a lot less inhibited back then..." and then says "I think my wine is bad..." and then buries his face in his contributor's copy of Mrs. Maybe handed to him earlier by Lauren Levin. Hills's "Money" was the best piece of the night that nobody saw. We were either smoking, or eating cookies, or drinking 2-buck Chuck, unfortunate. Have you ever seen that rare 1979 Graf documentary Stations of the Elevated? "Money" is like the "innovative poetry" version of that.

Amanda Davidson & Cassie Riger:"A-Verbal"
This was a super cute piece (by "cute" I mean "fun" and by "fun" I mean "not bad"). And pseudo-interactive! I kept thinking "where do I know Amanda Davidson from?"...I still don't know. Great choreography and interaction between their video piece and their stage performance. I don't know, this piece just sort of "worked" really well. A refreshing way to start the second half of the night. They looked like they were having fun (a relief), and they took the "inter-media" theme to heart incorporating audience, video and set design, bully to you guys! And then those scenes that were shot in an SFSU classroom (burgundy chairs!) reminded me of having one of those dreams where you flunk your 9th grade pre-Algebra quiz and then you wake up and realize that you're 29 years old and never have to take a math class again...

Linh Dinh:"A Smooth Life"
I think Linh was a no show. I thought Ariana's piece was Linh's piece the whole time I was sitting through it. It wasn't. I think Lindsey Boldt told me Linh was a no show. Is that correct? Boldt is also the one who told me that Dennis Somera was in fact NOT Paolo Javier. Egads.

Ariana Reines:"Father"
Lot's of adorable Emo boys on stage reading a huge text in synch over an intermittent sound-scapey Macbook Pro score. Hmmm...Father talking to progeny about Mother on Father porn. About Mother's vagina, I think. I thought this was Linh Dinh. And it kind of made sense. But it seemed a little conceptual (or something) for Linh. I don't know, I was confused. I think I tried closing my eyes to concentrate better. But then Buuck (I think) turned on the air which suddenly ventilated the entire theater (ahhhh, sweet air...) which kind of distracted me which for some reason made me check my phone where I learned that it was 10:07pm which made me panic a little because I realized that I was already 15 minutes late for a date at Mission Hill Saloon down the street with 2 more pieces still to go after Reines's piece which was just now winding down. So after the boys left the stage I grabbed LRS and bee-lined to the bar, where my date showed up 15 minutes later than I did.

So, I missed Konrad Steiner's "Suite for Face" and the raffle drawing. Sorry Konrad! Sorry Raffle!

Addendum: Formally Sadies, Mission Hill Saloon is steadily becoming the new Gino & Carlo's. They love poets there. Not sure if Gino & Carlo's ever "loved" or just tolerated poets, but anyway, Mission Hill loves poets, just ask for Cesar!

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