Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Unbearables PEN Award Winners read at Tribes - Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011

The Unbearables PEN Award Winners read at A Gathering of the 
Sunday, December 18, 2011
As always, to see a picture full sized, click on it, or all of them.
Right or Ctrl- or Cmd-Click to open in a new tab. 

There was a good crowd at A Gathering of the Tribes on East Third Street to hear Steve Dalachinsky and John Farris. They are both deserving of their audience. There is something so damn New York about them, a New York that persists despite the invasion of Home Depot,Target, The Gap, Best Buy and their national retail allies, that survives long past the long lamented death of the Fourth Avenue Booksellers – what’s left of that? The Strand and the more recently arrived Alabaster? Well, at least the Strand is carrying The Unbearables Big Book of Sex, but so does the St. Marks Bookshop and Posman's, and soon to be available on The Unbearables newly relaunched website.

Susan Scutti
Somebody should take a grease pencil and scrawl the word “writer” across Steve’s and John’s foreheads so that all those newcomers, gawking at the celebrities, might stop to gawk at these two who shuffle unnoticed along Broadway, when people should be stopping them to get their autograph and maybe some words of wisdom. No wonder things become unbearable, no wonder that they are two of the Unbearables. 

Two excellent and truly lovely people, as Unbearable as the readers themselves, Susan Scutti and Tsaurah Litzky, introduced the readers.

Listen to them reading.
Steve Dalachinsky
Steve Dalachinsky read from The Final Nite & Other Poems (Ugly Duckling Press, 2006) with a rocking, staccato rhythm. It’s not machine gun rhythm, more the chug . . . chug . . . chug of an old hand-fed letter press, putting 2000 lbs. pressure behind the lead slug of type, permanently changing the structure of the page. He’s on that page, yet he’s with the audience, pushing the lines out, chanting and incanting. He hears himself, or maybe he loses himself. There’s a kind of madness that emerges, not dangerous, not harmless. He’s compelling, intruding, forceful, you listen despite yourself, but if you didn’t want to hear him, then why are you there? 

John Farris
 John Farris (The Asses Tale (Unbearable Books/Autonomedia 2101)) reads with deliberation, shaping the words into phrases, the phrases into sentences, leaving images dangling in mid-ear. He shambles through the East Village of the mind, his rhythm is complex, an adagio against the presto grain of the neighborhood, of the city. You expect a gunshot, you get a whisper. You hear the words scream, but he whispers and cajoles, bemused and amusing. When he finishes, you wait, absorbing the truth, wondering why he stopped. If you made it all the way down here, thanks for looking. 

 I got lazy about putting captions in every photo. Most are of Steve or John, there's one of the artist who illuminated some of Steve's poems, with Steve, and some audience shots that include Ron Kolm, Carl Watson, Tsaurah Litzky and others. You know who you are.


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