Laura Elrick reading report

Terrific reading yesterday from Laura Elrick. Tracy Grinnell quoted Jill Magi on Laura Elrick in her introduction: “Interlacement is the mode”: I loved this both in reference to video and in reference to lace (see my panel presentation at adfempo): also Tracy’s characterization of Laura’s work as “fiercely personal.”

In Laura’s delivery, the poems moved like miniature fireworks: shooting, exploding, and then flicker-fading. Almost “hysterical” bursts of speed. The core of each poem seemed to be a sentence or list or often colloquial utterance that then splintered (as if almost run through some kind of “splintering engine”) into recombinations to forefront materiality. Deconstructions of the colloquial. Lists, including a grocery list (lemon pops!). Wonderful attention to sonic detail, some almost with the effect of tongue-twisters.

Extraordinary range of sources and modes: each poem a moment of intense focus/meditation/refrain on these: some captured lines:

imaginary girlfriend name of jelly

the blue demon and hop devil are chock full o’ nuts

oh my dresses

yes the breasts whiskers

riding the tilt-a-whirl and the roundup all night

it isn’t very real fake blood

immense transfixed hippopotamuses

affect subcontractor in the tenderloin

why that svelte little pixie is dancing in the hallway

incantation burping these incantresses

a tangled ink of joy it scoots


Themes explored in the Ponge/Stein-like investigations: violence, gender, how names signify, “tech language” (including a super-quick piece that sounded like a proofreader enunciating code symbols)…

A favorite moment: “‘Faster’ say the montagists…” read in almost unbearably slow motion.


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