Transgressive, discursive. Sex, desire, obsession, addiction. Poems, fictions, letters. Dialogues, monologues. Secrets. Dreams. Something old, something new. More than just the usual literary fare. Urban, ironic, sarcastic, sardonic, sometimes caustic. Allegorical. These poets, dream-weavers, memoirists, fictioneers, songwriters, storytellers, seek out new, unique vernacular to tell their particular narratives. Authentic, visceral, subversive, insurgent, real. As with any good story, poem, memoir, song — only through repeated listening does the myriad levels of meaning present themselves. Read more
Tell us about your first experience working at a book store where you worked with Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine?
In late 1969, after avoiding Vietnam by working as a community organizer in Appalachia, I moved to New York City, which I couldn’t afford, and remember, this was the era of hundred dollar a month rents. But I was going broke; nobody would hire me because I had been an activist – I was considered trouble – so I started selling off my library to the Strand bookstore. The Strand is now one of the biggest bookstores in the world; but the world was way smaller back then. The Strand seemed to make a point of hiring artists and musicians, and every time I took a couple of shopping bags full of my precious books by to sell, Fred, the owner would offer me a job. I finally caved and signed on. Patti Smith only worked there a short while; Linda, her sister, stayed much longer.
I really only have two vaguely interesting Patti Smith stories to tell. In the first one, she came up to me one day while I was shelving books and gave me a vinyl LP of James Joyce reading from Finnegan’s Wake. “Here,” she said, “I heard you liked this guy. Someone gave me this at my last reading and said I looked like him. I don’t get it, and I don’t want to. You can have it.” Then she walked away. I still have that Caedmon record in my collection. Read more
Not a Good Sign is a project by AltrOck/Fading Records and some bands’ members of the label. Marcello Marinone, Paolo «Ske» Botta and Francesco Zago, after a successful collaboration in Yugen and Ske, proposed a new blend of their musical attitudes. The result was an ominous, fascinating sound melting vintage keyboards, powerful guitars and voice, supported by a compelling rhythmic drive. In 2011, Botta and Zago began to write the music, and Zago provided the lyrics. Soon, Gabriele G. Colombi and Alessio Calandriello, from La Coscienza di Zeno, also joined the band. The drummer Martino Malacrida completed the line-up in 2012. In the following two tracks — “The Deafening Sound of the Moon” and “Afraid To Ask” — many will recognize the Old Prog School sound from the 70s, albeit in a modern key, with a pinch of hard-rock and psych. Resonant vocal melodies and lyrics complete the band’s melancholy but colourful imagery: Read more
It all begins with some lit fuse, an old jingle for Palisades Amusement Park you’re still able to sing along with ["shows & dancing are free"], or the snap of a finger, the way she used to from the edge of the bed with a smirk, some glance of exposed warm skin holding the aroma of sun tan lotion, the sea lions in Central Park Zoo that remind you of Salinger – & reading Salinger on the 1979 F-Train & meeting Sylvina. I used to be a foot messenger & would pass through the zoo when it was rundown but free & I would talk to the animals between deliveries. [The old zoo serves as the final destination inBEER MYSTIC.] Or maybe its some vintage news report from the 1968 Chicago Riots, or an email from an old flame you came to NYC with from Ann Arbor who is wondering how you’re doing, or a sound – in my case, the sound bites here included, plus a few elusive bars from “Funk #49” by James Gang. Or is it Paloma taking photos of turtles in Central Park because she remembers my touching stories about my turtle “Spotty” when I was 10 & how the neighbors released him & I was heartbroken. “Was that what Spotty looked like?” she kept asking.
Transgression. Pushing boundaries. Territories. At times, obliterating them. Sarah de Leeuw — poet and human geographer — examines and explores the territory of human sexuality in her excerpt from ‘Geographies of a Lover‘ from NeWest Press. Tsaurah Litzky celebrates her own sensual transgressions in her excerpt from the memoir, ‘Flasher’ from Audible Books. Ron Kolm invites various Unbearables to recite poems from his new book of poetry, Divine Comedy, from Fly By Night Press at A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery. Max Blagg recites an except “Mugshot” from his novel, ’101 Nights’, at The Gershwin Hotel.