Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RE: Reading in SF

I was remembering that Super Bowl reading in SF just last Sunday. I was introducing Judy Roitman at a local dive bar reading series in basement. Upstairs the stomping and hoorahing was peaking. KU was wining a b-ball game. We were listening to poetry. Yes indeed. I remember Spencer sort of apologizing for inviting us and we did it anyway. Why not. Were the 49ers in that game?

I just saw a 'call for presentations' for a deal called Poetry of the Eighties being produced at some college back east, maybe Maine. Seemed as though they were asking a lot to participate...a lot of production is what I saw being asked for. Well poetry of the eighties is intresting enough...since we were there...although maybe not where the conference mentioned above is looking. Your right though there were tiers, as always, in SF at the time. Lots going on...slams and open mics all around and then the 'serious' sounding like Langston St. It was a good time indeed and I hope as we put something together in days to come that we can capture a taste.

I've been thinking about some of the publications that spawned out of and in and around that time: i.e. Avec, Witz, Tight, Texture, Smelt Money, Loose Gravel, Mandala, Stiffled Yawn, The Difficulties and others too. Something to be looked at perhaps...something about what came out of Sonoma County and its position as not Berkeley or San Francisco.

Also thinking about David Bromige and Duncan and how you and the rest of us 'entered' into all that. And too my friend and mentor Paul Mariah and his location and his coverage of Jack Spicer with his press Manroot. Which I think is pretty much overlooked. Too.

I re-read the interview you referred to with David. I related to the part where he mentioned having his daughter, Margaret with him when he met with Duncan. I remember her being around at times when with David or his house in Sebastapol. She was a presense for sure.
And is today I would imagine.

Here is a pic from some gathering in Cotati circa 1989??? Maybe???


  1. Ohh My Gosh, Jim! I'm SO glad you posted this one! What a gloriously HAPPY pic! Hey, that would have to be "the night at Jasper O'Farrels," wouldn't it? Remember, you from Lawrence and me from Shortsville, we flew out to CA for "a Reunion" and surprised David at Copperfield's reading in Sebastopol -- that'd be 2002-2003, I'm fairly sure. BIG SURPRISE! Hank (Henry Mancini) and I strolled in and sneakily sat down in front while David was reading, and he half-noticed, then did a double-take as his majestic peripheral vision fully noticed, and he was so happy, and it was SUCH A FABULOUS MOMENT! (Almost) All of us together suddenly for the first time in, must have been 10-15 years, then the next day Cecilia had everybody over for Unreal Delicious LUNCH and then we headed down to Cotati for reading at "old Eeyores" in the Cotati plaza, which the neat woman who had North Lights Books (where I had RRWG readings for a year or thereabouts)in Santa Rosa had bought.

    Help me out, that'd be Cydney, YOU Jim, Monica Peck?, me, Cecilia, DAVID, then in the back is that maybe Carl Macki, then Henry, and then maybe I'm not sure the tall person behind David. Sound fairly close? GREAT picture, Jim! I'm so glad to have this. I "lost" mine and have so few anymore, though I had several rolls of film and "disposable cameras" when I moved back to New York in 1999, but somehow, they disappeared in the shuffle. Thank you, Jim!

    1. yes, to that. tall person in back is my kid, Quincy.

  2. Actually, I thought it was Quincy, and then I wasn't sure, so I thought I best not guess.

    Was about 2003, then? (Obsessed with "dates" because I made 3-4 trips to CA in those years, but they were "crazy" times -- Iraq war, my attempts to "get my money back" in the stock market after taking huge loss in 2001, and general strange, strange times for me -- so I'm determined to figure out "dates" and which visits/trips to CA and visiting David and Cecilia were which, blah blah.) Probably also a "time stamp" on that particular year since Monica Peck had moved out there about then, yes, so maybe she knows the exact year...

  3. Oh, by the way, Jim, actually I got an invite to that 1980s conference a couple of weeks ago (mostly because of this project, in fact), so possibly I will go up there (Orono, National Poetry Foundation, University of Maine) and "represent us," maybe even be asked to give a little talk or something about our group and such... I'm seriously hoping to go. I don't get away much, but I'm going to try to make it.

  4. Actually, if it weren't for Ron Silliman, there'd probably be almost no mention of Paul Mariah (these days), especially as he essentially passed away BEFORE "the Internet" and such that makes even our blog here possible. Silliman's "fairly encyclopedic," as I think David once said about him, though, so like I say, fortunately there's some keen Mariah mention (as well as more David Bromige lore) here, Thanks to Ron: "David Bromige unarmed not poet who"