Friday, April 8, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 58 (Anna Moschovakis)

Moschovakis, Anna
I Have Not Been Able To Get Through To Everyone

I think this was sent to me by the publisher. Or possibly by the author. Or possibly from the author via the publisher.

I can't remember when I first met Anna. It may have been when I read at the Zinc bar with Matvei Yankelevich and Ammiel Alcalay in around 2005. God, It's been a long time since I've read in New York. Anna, Matvei and Genya Turovskaya stayed with us in, I think, 2006 or 7, when I brought the three editors of UDP up to Buffalo for a reading.

They read at Big Orbit gallery. It was winter. The heater had to be turned off during the reading because it was so loud you couldn't hear the readers. This made it very cold, so cold you could see the poets' breath as they read. I remember we left a ladder standing open behind the podium, a sort of prop. During Genya's reading, a cat, unseen by the reader, climbed quietly up the ladder, rung by rung, until it reach the top, where it sat, hovering over the proceedings. Everyone giggled.

I seem to run into Anna about once a year somewhere. I saw her at AWP in Denver last year and the year before that she was back in Buffalo for a Small Press conference. I remember sitting next to her during a roundtable during which David Hadbawnik was propounding on Jack Spicer's theory that poetry should stay local. I made a comment about there being a need for an audience and that poetry could be both global and local. I remember seeing Anna out of the corner of my eye nod in agreement.

from I Have Not Been Able To Get Through To Everyone


I can't remember what it is I'm supposed to be doing.
I can't think of anything but lists I've made, lists I've broken
the spirit of. It's always a fine time for breaking
things, like plastic forks and poetic trends.
It's a damn good morning to imitate the world.
But I can't remember what imitation is
or the difference between it and flattery
or an adage and an aphorism.
I'd better go back to school
he said, performing a gesture to alterity.
I can't remember if alterity
has negative connotations
or is just another way of kicking
myself out the door. I'd like to try being
a man for once. I'd like to wear chaps and have it
be obscene instead of pornographi. I can never remember
what I think of pornography when it isn't in my
face. I wish I could be inanimate,
banged-up and appreciated
for all my surface qualities
without ethics getting in the way. I seem to remember
being ethical. I seem to act along some kind of line
albeit a kinky one. I wonder when kinky became
pornographic and whether that aspect is
subtractable. I don't remember my grammar
rules. I don't think English is very good
for a certain kind of inventioning. I gather
some readers don't like being
confronted with the language in every word.
I want to be a word. I would be abstract
with an inscrutable ending.

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