Where to begin?
An amazing word dizzy weekend.
So many amazing performances.
First, the regrets:
1) Our cat Iris was rushed to the emergency room Sunday morning right before the second day of the festival due to convulsions and muscle spasms from Hartz flea medication. After some muscle relaxers, some more tubes down the throat, fluids, etc. she is finally doing better. I am definitely writing a letter to Hartz. The vets at the emergency clinic said they have seen a lot of severe reactions (and sometimes organ failure) from the use of Hartz products on cats and dogs. DAMN HARTZ!
2) For lack of funds I did not pick up anything translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat or grab anything by Linh Dinh.
3) I did not get a photo of Kasey Mohammad. He's reading was sooooooo amaziiiiiinnnnnngggggg!
I also may have knocked someone's glass of whiskey out of their hands while shaking hands with Kasey. Being in a slow daze, I let Kasey pay for a replacement drink for the stranger.
3) I did not get a picture or book of Mr. Brian Henry
Now for SOME of the amazements:
1) Chris Murray, Standard Schaefer, Kasey Mohammad, Chris Vitiello, Ken Rumble, and Lee Ann Brown performances knocked my socks off (as Ken Rumble would say). I am excited to see Kasey's new book. Man. He can really ignite that flarf!
2) Patrick Heron and Lee Ann Brown sung most of their poems (from reading some of their poems on the page I was not expecting poem turned into song)
3) Joe Donahue. I am not blowing warm wind up anyone's butt, but Joe's reading did everything I always wanted poems to do. I was moved (in an extreme way) intellectually, non-rationally, rationally, emotionally, physically, and musically. In short, enraptured. I have not entered that level of rapture and awe at a poetry reading EVER!
4) Standard Schaefer. So open. So open. Intelligent without rubbing out the edges. Very generous with discounting (sometimes to $0) his book Nova.
5) Mark DuCharme was also intelligent, curious, engaging on many levels. I wish I could have spent more time bending my ear at the bar and continued to talk about Pound.
We had a little discussion about the Wrights. Not the wrights of the airplane but the various poet Wrights. A few people (Kasey, Tony, me) admitted to liking James Wright and surprisingly our avant-garde deodorant did not wear off. In other words we were still "in."
Mark DuCharme's favourite Wright was Jay Wright (which I am going to check out soon).
No one voted for Franz Wright or Charles Wright.
We also talked about lineage. Not to create a simplistic lock step lineage. Yet, Mark said he believed some sense of lineage is important. Knowing what you're coming out/from/of.
I think I agree.
We briefly hit on Mark Wallace's essay on the avant-garde as a conversion experience and broke down some of the problems of a conversion experience (simplistic linear narrative for one).
6) As usual Tony's enthusiasm is amazing. His intellectual curiosity astounds and inspires! I want to tackle Pound, Duncan, Olson, Peter O' Leary, Ronald Johnson, Kent Johnson. If you haven't met him, find him and hang out for a while. You'll know what I mean
7) Did I mention the singing of Lee Ann Brown?
8) I have so many new books, chapbooks. I am moving in a few weeks so I am clearing out a few boxes of books and heading to Raleigh next weekend to exchange them for credit at used bookstores.
My various reading projects are spiraling out of control.
Patrick Heron did such an amazing job. What a festival. AWP (or like conferences) have nothing on the Carrboro Poetry Festival. If possible, do not miss next year's festival. Poetry festivals/readings don't get much better than this.
I want more.