Here's a poem from Joel Dailey who read yesterday at the Poetry Buffet held every first Saturday of the month at the Latter Library. Joel Dailey publishes the infamous Fell Swoop Journal in old school pseudo-mimeograph style. He has a new chapbook Surprised by French Fries, (Ugly Duckling Presse) that gets a review in the October issue of Entrepot. When Joel is not trying to spread internet viruses in order to shut down social networks, he can be found giving a poetry reading every five years before bursting into flames. As I can't even find a picture of Joel Dailey on the internetz, I'm not really sure he exists. His daughter has been babysitting our 3 kids for about 8 years now, so I forgive him all proclivities.
Joining Mr. Dailey was poet Brett Evans who let me run off with a copy of his Pisa Can 74 (Fell Swoop, #109). Basically, as Evans describes, it's a shucking away of the interior guts of the Pisan Cantos (by Pound, do I need to say that?) as one would a mirliton in order to stuff it with delicious seafoody centers. In this case, the seafood stuffing is a mix of New Orleans history, tragedy, obscure references a la Poundian influence and a bit of raunchy flair as in the opening line:
"symbols and tits/ enormous tragedy of the wild country dream/ punc'd by Milano heels/ heels to the ceiling/ where in history's hide and seek/ will you find it?"
I love the dovetailing of the New Orleans imagery:
"lunch of: po-boy paper spread
on flipped lid
Of the pick-up truck
tailgating with platonic oysters
soldiers taking their clothes off
Quick n Dirty boat building content"
Covers done by the amazing collagist, Tracey McTague. Let's hope this series continues, and I'd like to see the various New Orleans dialects and spoken languages creep in about the edges as well. Evans is also hard at work on a never ending project about how much he loves this American Life.
You can catch both Brett Evans and Tracey McTague reading a new collaboration they wrote this summer at 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series, October 27th along with features Lewis Warsh and Marilyn Kallet.
(Brett reading at 17 Poets, 2004)
Rounding out the Poetry Buffet offering yesterday, Vicksburg poet Murray Shugars reading from his book, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (Dos Madres Press). He will be reading at the Maple Leaf today. Host of the Poetry Buffet, Gina Ferrara is a big fan of Shugars' collection and brought him to New Orleans to share his work with us. Be sure to check out November's Poetry Buffet on the first Saturday, Nov. 5th with special guest host Jonathan Kline.
Gina Ferrara will be over at the Healing Center signing books as part of the annual Ladyfest New Orleans along with poets Lee Meitzen Grue and Valentine Pierce at the new Maple Street Bookstore Branch in the Healing Center 11-2pm.