Experiments & Disorders at Dixon Place heads back to where it all

began -the heart of the restaurant supply district-for a spectacular May reading.

Marianne Shaneen + Keith Waldrop + Rosmarie Waldrop


Monday, May 3

Experiments & Disorders

@ Dixon Place

258 Bowery

(between Houston and Prince)

7:00pm: $5

Marianne Shaneen is a writer and filmmaker living in

Brooklyn. She is currently finishing a long prose

work, “The Peekaboo Theory,” excerpts of which can be

found in Snare, the Beehive Hypertext Literary Journal

online, and Faux/e Press. She has poems forthcoming in

VANITAS and an essay on the architectural poetics of

Arakawa and Gins forthcoming in INTERFACES. Her blog

can be found at http://www.froth.blogspot.com. She is

co-curator at NYC’s Robert Beck Memorial Cinema.

Keith Waldrop’s recent books include The House Seen

from Nowhere (Litmus Press), Haunt (Instance Press),

the trilogy: The Locality Principle, The Silhouette of

the Bridge (America Award, 1997) and Semiramis, If I

Remember (Avec Books), Well Well Reality (with

Rosmarie Waldrop, Post-Apollo Press), and the novel,

Light while There Is Light. (Sun & Moon). He has

translated, among others, Anne-Marie Albiach, Claude

Royet-Journoud, Paol Keineg, Dominique Fourcade,

Pascal Quignard, and Jean Grosjean.  He teaches at

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and is

co-editor of Burning Deck Press.

Rosmarie Waldrop’s most recent books of poetry are

Blindsight (New Directions) and Love, Like Pronouns

(Omnidawn). Her memoir, Lavish Absence: Recalling and

Rereading Edmond Jabès was published by Wesleyan

University Press. Northwestern has reprinted her two

novels, The Hanky of Pippin‚s Daughter and A Form/of

Taking/It All in one paperback (2001). She has also

translated Edmond Jabès, Jacques Roubaud, Emmanuel

Hocquard, and, from the German, Friederike Mayröcker,

Elke Erb, Oskar Pastior, Gerhard Rühm. She lives in

Providence, RI, where she co-edits Burning Deck books

with Keith Waldrop.

Sean Serrell writes in with a weird personal superstition:

“When I lived in Westport, CT, from 8-10 years of age, I (and this seems similar to but less exciting than the Binky finger-rays) would pretend as our bus drove home every day that I was firing cruise missiles that could ‘follow’ the driveways’ contours to the gigantic million-dollar houses that they would inevitably find at the end of each. I would press my thumb to my fist (jeopardy or scholars-bowl style) when I fired–left thumb if the driveway was on the left, right–>right. Later, lasers were added to raze the well-manicured shrubbery. I left CT on Feb. 1, 1988, and have continued to do these things whenever riding in a car–and even–reckless–driving–though now it doesn’t work like weapons–more like I’m ‘conducting’ the driveways and bushes I pass–they are the score I drive through? Ack, approximation.

Also when I lived in Japan I developed this weird habit. When sitting myself on the toilet to pee, I would count to five in Japanese, like this:





go {pee}

I still find myself doing this sometimes.


I would like to know people’s weird personal superstitions. Gary and I are talking about doing a comic book based on such superstitions. I have a lot of them and worry I may be either obsessive-compulsive or ruled by “primitive mind.” Here are five:

When I am deciding which turnstile to walk through at the subway station I look at who is going before me and decide on the basis of “the person in whose footsteps I would most like to follow.”

When I am crossing the street I endeavor to get to the curb before the light turns red. I fear that if it does it bodes ill for my relationship.

I hold my breath in most tunnels, while putting my hand to the car ceiling and making a wish. After emerging from the tunnel, I count to eight before I exhale.

I consider eight my lucky number, mainly because it is infinity sideways. It is also a pictogram of a woman. It turns out that eight is a very important number in oriental dance rhythms.

I say “rabbit rabbit” first thing when I wake up on the first day of a month. If I forget to do this, I can be “absolved” by kissing my crossed fingers and holding them up to the sky for the count of eight.


I do not consider anything having to do with cats unlucky, even if they are black cats that cross my path from left to right.

This is not to deny the overweaning spookiness of a cat, though. They just sit and watch, weird little gargoyles!

Please send me your weird superstitions! If you so indicate, I will post them here.

Thinking just now, doing errands in my unglamourous but startlingly diverse neighborhood of Kensington, Brooklyn, looking around at a thousand cases of not-too-much-privilege-given-the-larger-middle-class-standards-of-the-larger-culture, that maybe identity is not a costume. That it’s wrong to say that.

And then I thought again. Yes, identity is a costume. All the other stuff (the givens) is a curse. That’s the spirit, right?!

I feel blessed not to be a part of any kind of traditional community.

And lost.