Los Angeles Report

Realized — don’t like so much — sentences — writing sentences — too much to say — for sentences. L.A. was delightful — off plane hey jen, (hofer) let’s go to desert spa, hahah! just watched the player, they go to desert spa, hot tub, whoo, but we went to les figues auction event — whoa — beautiful craftsman style house, shishkabob, a piano, a little reading room — downstairs all the auction stuff set up, fun community — what was everyone’s name? I knew Eileen Myles and Sawako — met Joe Mosconi, Ali (Ali?) the MC and so many others, Sawako’s performance piece of orally extracted questions and vaginally extracted answers, she wore a skirt so we couldn’t tell — really vaginal? but she confirmed it was — cool! eileen impassioned — a reading at kathy acker’s writing desk by — (another jen? I forgot her name, applying to grad programs) — many interesting novelties for auction, like someone who would go through your stuff with you– so oh, tired, menstrual – -flight was long, two thousand six hundred something miles — but then we went to andrew choate’s place — jane sprague was there! and there was fun talk and good music, french pop from the 60s! and a big cute slobbery dog — but now even more tired so back to jen’s house on elm st, magical! Iron circles on windows instead of bars, groovy paraphernalia everywhere, a museum , her new chapbook display, cat pancake a flame point siamese with eyes like anne’s cat ulysses… next day a practice run-through of benchi, heard jen’s, so powerful, scary atomic imagery, and doug kearney’s, trenchant, clever… smell of guava in the house strange but we also ate persimmons — japanese persimmons, my favorite! then quickly to betalevel for interview — my period out of control, but two events to get through, first the interview. alleyway by betalevel — back stairs like a movie, workers taking breaks, prepping food, stairs, smell of elsewhere — then down those stairs into basement, redness, people so nice, attentive — not vipers. such great questions from steph and matt — respectful! smart! — but I am cringeing now because I couldn’t concentrate, too much blood loss, I had to really focus to answer questions but even so couldn’t so well — misquoted rimbaud — how stupid! and even stupider misquoted my own damn line of poetry! — did other things wrong — admitted bad faith, should stop doing that — who cares? I had to run to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so, got more and more out of control. Quick in between Jen whisked me off again to india sweets and spices (where jen and i had a discussion on poetics — were we challenging each other? moving towards definition of each other? another topic altogether) then the museum of jurassic technology — whoa, holy curio cabinet! attraction and repulsion! art on heads of pins! scary taxidermy! trailer park detrititus art — spooky miniaturized gothic place, dark, strange smell of dying lilies. Then back to betalevel for a reading — a young woman whose name i’ve forgotten gave a “word presentation” powerpoint with drawings, unusual words from the dictionary, beautiful connections, she was faux-naive in a lovely charming way, then readings from several including matt timons, harold abramowitz, whose kids were in the audience, ara shirinyan and I’m sure others — good to see rick snyder after a long time, although he didn’t read — and then it was my turn — tried to ignore my lifeforce bleeding out of me and read as entertainingly as I could — then needed beef so hey let’s get pho I said and we got in ara’s car and drove across town looking for pho but everything was closed so we searched and searched drving through this beautiful “mission” area until we came to NOODLE WORLD and it was open, blocks of painted wood on wall as kind of decoration in the most random color sequence imaginable — I liked it — restaurant full of highschoolers it seemed and huge like a highschool cafeteria — the pho was good — ara, jen, joe, rick and I ate noodles and beef and spring rolls and other good stuff and talked about satire and I think poetry but really by this time I had bled through even my heavy duty protection and had to tell ara to check his car seats and I just put my head down on the table although miraculously didn’t pass out. back to jen’s, slept really hard, she let me have her bed — so sweet — and next morning she went to yoga and I wandered around her neighborhood — felt better — worst was over — I saw a chicken walking around (there are photos on flickr of this chicken) and lots of bouganvaillea — and, hey! frangipani! lots of discarded stuff in front of houses — sofas. saw a pink plastic flamingo. it was sunny, beautiful, I soaked it up. Jen back from yoga, we went to pick up Stephanie (Young) who’d just flown in. Burgundy hair, black wrap sweater. Pretty. They talked a lot about yoga. Then we chatted in Jen’s living room about personal things, it was sunny, there were chapbooks everywhere, I almost wanted to cry! Jen made us chinese broccoli sauteed in a brown sauce with onions and also steamed american broccoli and leftover pho and we chatted some more in jen’s fascinating kitchen with the state plates and beautiful fluffy crayon-box-color yarns and it was still sunny. Time to get dressed! Stephanie and I had similar dresses — satin with lantern sleeves, Jen declined to color-coordinate but looked fabulous in a faux?vintage dress of japanese fabric depicting I think locomotives, in mustard, ochre, olive tones. it was fun getting ready but stephanie sprayed some weird brown powder in my hair… then off to redcat for soundcheck, what a grand theatre! in a frank gehry building! art around everywhere, trying hard! and good to see konrad — eileen so inimitably handsome — and roxy’s luminous hair — then we (me jen stephanie and konrad) walked through plazas and across highways — so unnatural for pedestrians — to japantown and had pretty good kaiten-zushi — actually really good, tasted just like tokyo, and that was fun, too, I got to show off speaking japanese. we talked about stalkers and obsessiveness. stephanie and konrad didn’t eat much, I ate a lot, the eel and ume-shiso were REALLY good. Quick cab back to the neo-benshi event — ALL of the performances were AWESOME. I love the form. Really I’m a very severe critic generally, but everything was riveting — Roxy’s perfect James Dean voice, Jen Nellis’ brilliant superimposition of the dada narrative onto the male birthing scene, jen hofer’s barrage list of nuclear tests, stephanie’s similar list but capped off with the most disturbing perfectly synchronized crying, konrad’s elaborately nested paranoiac version of minority report, douglas managing biting post-colonial crit and hilarious clever wit simul-same-timeously, me of course, and finally eileen on the floor doing sound effects to satyricon (which, yeah, is also one of my favorite movies). At least 100 people in the audience, it was totally fucking great. Afterwards lounging around in the lobby free drinks (too bad I don’t drink) taking pictures and basking. Back to Jen’s. Awoke at 6:30 the next morning my head throbbing had to hurry and get on my plane back home. So quick! Like a dream! Almost like it didn’t happen! And surprise, I like L.A.! It’s warm and multi-culti, there are flowers perfuming the air and palm trees and very good people. Love and thanks to my kind hosts!

2 thoughts on “Los Angeles Report

  1. Hi Nada, My blogger interface is in a Chinese I don’t yet understand, but I just wanted to say: it was great to see you! And: have you tried the keeper? It was our very own Jen who introduced me…cheers,Sawako

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