June 2, 2009

Yes, a Reading, May 29

The moveable feast series run by academics-to-be at the University at Albany was the first game of an unintentional double-header this Friday night. Now at the Social Justice Center with the demise of the short-lived Townsend Bakery, hosted again by Doug Rothschild & Colie Collen.

Sarah Lariviere was tense, young & seemed to not have much experience reading her work in public. Her poems were fragmented, short, most often untitled. In fact "The You Poems" was a love poem composed of lines that have each not yet grown up into poems. She did show some narrative skill with "At the Conference," like a selection of overheard quotes.

Eric Keenaghan said he hadn't been working on poetry much lately, absorbed with some critical writing. The work he read combined both, including selections from his manuscript "Love Letters to My Husband." In general he was more discursive than Sarah's poems. What saved the reading for me was the explanation of his technique -- if I hadn't had known that the portion of "Disinterment" was an exercise of erasure on his own critical work I wouldn't have known what the fuck I was listening to. Ultimately the most entertaining pieces were the queer sex fictions. The human always wins out over the mechanical/theoretical.

I give these folks a lot of credit for bringing their work down into the "hood" but too bad they didn't stick around this night for the community poets just a few doors down on Central Ave.