Not so the poetry of Alaine Cohen. Although she has performed on stage as a jazz vocalist, she said this was her first time reading her poetry in public (& thus, like the other readings, except Havel, strangers to any of the many other readings in town). Her first piece was an exercise in excessive alliteration. Her long piece "The Hickory Horned Devil Larva" was essentially the story of the metamorphosis of the larva into a butterfly, but the writing was over-wrought, with too many abstract, vague modifiers (she even used the word "surreal"). I guess she was included as a "Surrealist" because of her frequent use of incongruent adjectives & adverbs which usually is the first thing we notice about "Surrealistic" writing when we first encounter it.
John Allen also had a silly intro & was described by Tiffany as the "King" of the New Surrealist Institute, ironic considering the "revolutionary" nature of Surrealist politics; I guess there are a few monarchists left. His first piece was a short essay, "The New Surrealist Institute Towards a De-ossification of Thought," a look at his new group through the history of automatic writing & Surrealism & his own personal history vis-a-vis his confrontation with some of the classics pre-cursors of Surrealism. His poem "And the Frenchman Laughs" was about himself, but invoked images from the life of Rimbaud.
Tiffany brought the reading to a close with a paraphrase of her own piece, "What is a Soul-Mate" (whom she touchingly identified as John Allen). She then asked if anyone else wanted to read, although there had been no open mic sign-up, & was greeted by deep silence for a few respectful seconds, & so she brought the evening to a close. At which point a guy who had come in part way through the reading said he wanted to read John Allen's last poem & came up to the mic; barely a minute before Tiffany had asked if anyone wanted to read & he didn't speak up. Moreover, he was wearing a steel gauntlet such as found on a suit of armor & some sort of metal sculpture encasing his neck (mind you it was about 84 degrees outside). I knew I had to get out of there, & did.
Help, help the Surrealists are after me!