Monday, October 8, 2007

Weekend Recap

What can you say about SoundEye? Held at Taper Hall on the USC campus, it was intimidating insofar as the gathering of poets had to compete with a Trojan game, so parking was beastly. Enough discussion about hermetic insularity vs. accessibility and transference. The reading, held in a small conference room/library filled with faculty work (T.C. Boyle's titles seemed to predominate along the section of shelving where I sat to get my SoundEye fill), was intense and aloof at the same time. I won't even shy away from saying flatly that some of poetry was breathtaking. Alfred Arteaga, recently out of the hospital, read from a book that came of a sojourn in Ireland in addition to work from Cantos and Fred Moten, author of In the Break: the Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, revealed essences of a poet-philopsher who takes the work of writing seriously.

Equally urbane and riveting, Marisela Norte invited the boys, her male contemporaries in LA artes y letras, to read some of her work while she delivered a piece penned by each of them as an introduction. Sesshu Foster, Rubén Martínez and Michael C. Ford did her justice and the words blistered with innate fire and devotion. I bear witness, even if the residue of the late night before left me a might wee bit on the sedate side. One the three best Chicana poets in the country, Norte stalks the city on Metro buses and reveals the real LA in every line etched neatly along the pages of her notepads and composition books. Coincidentally, La Palabra featured a counterpart from across the cultural divide the following day. Steve Abee, in a vein similar to Norte, mines material from the street forward. His style is perhaps less subtle and distinguised by construction as muscular, run-on, free form prose, but the work converges on the same tender perspective. Ultimately, it is a take that doesn't skew the inherent ironies of life absorbed from a rolling perch ambling along the city's surface like blood cells in a body culled from a rainbow of angels.


ofthesun1 said...

Dang - I missed Pacha Massive! I've been playing their cut on Raul Campos' Loteria Beats Mixtape, along with that slammin' Mas Que Nada remix by Masters At Work. Great blog - I'll definitely stay tuned...

Anonymous said...

i just found your blog so i'm un poco tarde en this, but i am wondering who are the two other chicana poets of these three best. estoy muy curiosa.

i love this blog. i hope you can keep up the pace.