Tonight I write to you from New York City. The 11:00 local news informs us that bed bugs have become a problem for NYC movie theater-goers; the view from Times Square is wet and the temperature is 68; it's common for a man to refer to another man as "boss" in public spaces (personal observation). As for the project! There are some things you should know.
Almost immediately upon arriving we were warmly welcomed into Rachel Zucker's apartment, where we filmed her and talked about what it means to be contemporary, and a poet, and her, in New York. We left all starry and in a delighted glaze, only to find ourselves seated next to a big dog on Rob Fitterman's couch, where he fed me cheese bread and we had another set of recorded conversations on topics that thrilled us bone-deep (after all Rob, like us, is a firm pusher of the imperative inter-media ((formally fringe (challenged) delightedly marginish)) core of poetry as an artistic act(/concept).
Do note that these conversations, plus other wily content, is going to become available in some re-cut and rich way once we've amassed all we can and have the time to sort through it, most likely this fall. We've been telling people who ask, "what's it all about?" that we're currently (and have been now for 4 or so weeks ((if we're counting on tour dates (((maybe it's been a process for as long as the collective's been going ((((since about March 2010, or maybe for as long as we've been honing questions about poetry (((((some years now, or maybe since we've thought about the matter of questions at all ((((((forever)))))) in a gathering phase. Which means, we're collecting media and documents, plus distributing our postcards, in far and unlikely places. The synthesis of all this is still a mystery (to us and to you)! But be assured, poets say excellent things.
More excellent things were uttered later that night (July 28th) at our reading. The venue, the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, is a cozy space with an inviting lineup of events and exhibits that have been rooted in video work to date but, they tell us, are soon to include more poetry sorts of things. With poets, chairs and people in the chairs, the space felt satisfying and occupied. Which only became more true as the readings went on.
Dan Hoy opened with some astute, snappy poems that were quick on the release and extensive in the jive (which really just means he did an excellent job and the folks in attendance ate it up). He was followed by Ariana Reines, who read an engrossing hum of poems that luxuriated as much as they quipped. Rachel Zucker then contributed a powerful slew of new pieces that reveal exceptional vulnerability and strange comedy. Rob Fitterman closed out with hearty (though crucially spare) words on popular pharmaceutical drugs and, perhaps most memorably, an exciting account from an issue of his co-opted project, Collective Task. There was a striking flow to the readers and, since we are allowed to cut out the whole admiring-from-afar posture, we were outright delighted.
Most recently in New York we enjoyed a really electric interview with Dan Hoy, some very unbeatable slices of pizza (fact: all over America, pizza has been the most reliable and consistently edible food for us travellin' lectricians) and, just in case you forgot how this post started, moving clouds, thickish air and scattered showers. More of this in the days to come!