Thursday, March 27, 2008

Uh-oh. Waverly Diner sign taken down...

"Oh, boy, " I grumbled aloud when I walked past the long-established Waverly Diner yesterday and saw one of the fantastic neo signs being lowered to the ground! "There goes the neighborhood!" Probably another high-rise condo.

Thankfully, the Waverly is still in action, though. Just had to put up one of those lovely "sidewalk sheds" to work on the building above it. Or could it be they're trying to run the diner out of business by covering up their signage? Nah, that's how rumors get started. Keep it under your hat.

Ah, the Waverly. Their food hasn't changed in years. For better or worse. Yum, yum.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Review of Dada Poetry Salon March 21 at Cornelia St. Cafe

It was beautiful. It was real. It was horrible. It was fun.

How else can you describe one of the more unique events to occur in poetry land in NYC this spring?

Dada Poetry Salon was everything and more than people expected. The highlights included Christ on a Crossword Puzzle, dynamic poetry from a plethora of out-of-towners including the awesome Lisa Grunberger, the sublime Greg Moglia, and in-towners including Jackie Sheeler, Karen Hildebrand plus a phenomenal sound poetry set by the reincarnation of Hugo Ball (as voiced by Gary Glazner) who took Karawane to new places, including a cell phone improvisation that Hugo himself would have been proud of. Not to mention tributes to Mina Loy, including Kathi Georges' end-of-show fireworks, plus every regular doing their most vibrant work to date, inlcuding Jay Chollick, Bob Hart and others...

The most impressive part of the show came with a subversive set by City Scum Shot, who took an audio track of a Hollywood recreation of a rape scene inspired by Pablo Escobar and combined two men on stage, armed with small chains, wandering, exploring circadian rhythms underlying the ultraviolence. I'm just sad that this phenomenal performance was not a) met with a more open-minded view and/or b) videotaped because the documentarians were among the vocal throng that got pissed off by their performance. (or is there a tape floating around that I don't know about? fingers crossed...). The net result was a shout-a-thon of audience members screaming that (in essence) what the boys were doing wasn't art, while the dynamic duo nevertheless continued, without losing control, until finally, their buttons were pushed too far, as an audience member raced to the stage and ("accidentally", and in the "dada" spirit) broke the tape recorder they were using as a soundtrack.

Interesting to observe. Nevertheless, the host, Kathi Georges, later reproved the audience act of stopping a performance as a blatent disregard of the (considered) one-way fourth wall of the stage, which in her experience, should only be broken by performers themselves.

It was a real mamajamma. Wish you were there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dada Poetry Salon coming at ya Friday, March 21st

It's almost here! A very special one-night-only Dada Poetry Salon, hosted by Kathi Georges at the venerable Cornelia Street Cafe in the lovely hamlet of Manhattan on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. $7 gets you in (with a free drink!!!).

In the original years (1914-1920) Dadaism sprung from the belief that the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois capitalist society repeatedly led to war. Dadaists expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality (Marcel Duchamp's "L.H.O.O.Q." (Mona Lisa with a moustache and goatee), or his provocative "Fountain" (a urinal). George Grosz later recalled that his Dadaist art was intended as a protest "against this world of mutual destruction."

What has changed?

Dada--especially Dada poetry--has never made more sense than it does today. War continues, as does the bourgeois capitalist society. However, nowadays, Dada-esque visual art has been embraced by bourgeois capitalist society. The poets remain pure.

Poets are invited to read during a limited open session (signups are at 5:45). Plus featured guest poets will include Dada superstars such as poet/lampmaker Mina Loy, Hugo Ball, and boxer/poet Arthur Cravan, brought back to life for this special event.

Also featured, to help celebrate Good Friday: Peter Carlaftes, as Christ on a Crossword Puzzle. Plus: slide shows, videos and more.

The first 50 people will receive a free copy of the inaugural and only issue of Maintenant 2 (inspired by Arthur Cravan's 1915 Maintenant magazine), which will include modern-day dada poetry, art critiques, and an offline blog. Contributions (in any language, including your own!) must be short and received by Saturday, March 15.

For more information, including photos, please email or call Kathi Georges at

Monday, March 3, 2008

This week at Cornelia St. Cafe: Poet Leanne Averbach

Join the rollicking good fun this Friday as Kathi Georges hosts the Son of A Pony reading--featuring the poetic stylings of master poetress (or is that mistress poeter?) Leanne Averbach. You won't believe your ears and your mind will be on overdrive!

Here's the scoop on Leanne:

Canadian poet Leanne Averbach has performed with musicians across Canada, the US, the UK and Italy. Her first book Fever (Mansfield Press, Toronto) was short-listed for the national Gerald Lampert first poetry book prize in 2006. Her work has been published extensively in journals including Court Green, Washington Square, Descant, Fiddlehead, Dalhousie Review, Event, Canadian Literature, Sub-TERRAIN, Grain and others. She formerly taught at the University of British Columbia. The Georgia Straight (Vancouver's version of the Village Voice) writes, "The poems swing from worldly to wild. 

So come be worldly and wild with us on Friday! 6-8 pm. Signup for the limited open reading (poetry only--no music, no prose) beginning at 5:45. $7 gets you in the door with a free drink. Plus they have delicious food, so count on it for dinner.