Tsaurah Litzky has a new book out, her second collection of poems. It’s called Cleaning the Duck, and it’s published by Bowery Books. and I hope it’s available somewhere, but what with the current state of poetry and publishing, and publishing poetry; and the current disarray in publishing in general, good luck. I’ve dug around and here’s a link to the only place online I could find it available. I think, but I'm not sure, that Bowery Books is part of Bowery Arts & Science.
As sensible as that title is to anyone who cooks, or has a pet duck that got into something messy, or who’s helped out in the aftermath of an oil spill, I misread the title in an email I got telling me about the book launch reading and party at the Bowery Poetry Club on Sunday, November 20, 2011. What I saw and misread was ‘Clearing the Duck,” and I thought that’s a clever play on words: not clearing the deck, but dodging and, well, ducking. What is writing about if not about clearing the deck, ducking the slings and arrows that stand between blank paper and finished work.
The reading at the Bowery Poetry Club was mostly Tsaurah, introduced by her editor, Marjorie Tesser, with entertainment by solo bass player, Albey Baloghian, and an appreciation by Steve Dalchinsky. Steve’s a good guy with a talent for telling truths that some people don’t want to hear. Two artist friends of his, Sylvie, and Joanne, defended him. Joanne put it succinctly: everybody’s fucked up.
It’s not just people who are fucked up, it’s the world. But that’s another story. I hope you like the pictures.
Regarding Tsaurah’s poetry: it’s all tinged with sexuality, even when it’s not the topic at the center of the poem. Her reading is also a performance, and I was thinking how would anyone who didn't see and hear her will know what it's all supposed to sound like.
Just go read her stuff, and other poetry too. Listen to the sounds inside your head.
As usual, click on a photo to see a larger version.