Friday, July 25, 2008

Upcoming Events: Mark Your Calendars!

Three Rooms Press and Son of a Pony Reading Series
with host Kathi Georges
Friday, August 1, 6 p.m.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th & Bleecker)

which you can participate in (sign ups start at 5:45 p.m.)

Greg Moglia is a veteran of 27 years as Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Education at N.Y.U. and 37 years as a high school teacher of Physics and Psychology. His poems have been accepted in over 100 journals in the U.S., Canada and England as well as five anthologies. He is four times a winner of an Allan Ginsberg Poetry Award sponsored by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. His poem ‘Why Do Lovers Whisper?’ has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2005. He has been nominated by the College of William and Mary for the University of Virginia anthology BEST NEW POETS OF 2006. He lives in Huntington, N.Y.

That's the serious side. He's also a very funny poet, with warm, unique insight on the trick to being a sensitive guy in the modern word!


Three Rooms Press and Son of a Pony Reading Series
with host Kathi Georges
Friday, August 15, 6 p.m.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St. (btwn W. 4th & Bleecker)

which you can participate in (sign ups start at 5:45 p.m.)

Doug Collura

Doug Collura is a Manhattan-based writer who has recited at the open mikes around town for the last twenty-seven years. He's been both a Third Prize winner and a finalist in the 1998 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, and a Second Prize winner in the 1999 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, along with being an Editor's Choice selection for the Paterson Literary Review. He is the author of a spoken word CD The Dare of the Quick World and the book Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into, published by Jane Street Press, which was a finalist for the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. His work can be read and heard at his Web site, In addition to numerous publications in the Paterson Literary Review, he has been published in Lips Magazine, The Cynic and other periodicals, Web sites and webzines.

Here's a sample poem from the incredible book Things I Can Fit My Whole Head Into

Announcement at the Dinner Table

Kids, shut up. Daddy has an announcemnet.
Sally, stop screaming.
Sidney, stop stabbing Sally.
I don't care if it's only a butter knife,
she's bleeding all over the flank steak.
Janet, you're the mommy.
If you can't control these psychopaths,
at leaset stop stuffing your mouth and smiling as if nothing's wrong.
I'm sick of coming home from a day of sneak attacks at the office
to endless frontal assaults on the home front.
I'm giving you all ten minutes to run away from home.
That's right, Sidney, when the big hand lands on the twelve.
After that, I'll be firing this gun
at any living thing in this house that's not me.
Including the dog, so take that piss-happy idiot with you.
And years from now, kids, don't come back looking for your roots.
This root will have changed his name.
Now flee. Flee as far as fear will carry you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday, July 18: Punk Poetess AURAL Heather at Cornelia St. Cafe

Be sure to catch the incredible Canadian spoken word artists AURAL Heather (featuring Heather Haley and Roderick Shoolbraid). This will definitely be one of those one of a kind nights that we'll be talking about for years to come!

What: Son of a Pony Reading Series
Featured Poet: AURAL Heather
Host: Kathi Georges
Where Cornelia St. Cafe (29 Cornelia St. between W. 4th & Bleecker); (212) 989-9319
When: Doors open 5:45; open reading starts at 6 (show up early to get your spot)

AURAL Heather is Heather Haley, Roderick Shoolbraid and "a unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word." Shoolbraid is a dazzling guitarist, composer, sound designer and DJ. Old School and proud of it, Haley is a maverick poet, singer, author and media artist often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard.

"A Canadian national treasure," Haley started writing verse in high school influenced by poets like bp Nichol, ee cummings and Susan Musgrave. Her life as a bona fide artist began on the stage of the infamous Smilin’ Buddha fronting the all-girl punk band the Zellots. She was a member of The 45s with Randy Rampage and Brad Kent of the big-time punk bands DOA and the Avengers. Later she formed HHZ-Heather Haley & the Zellots--praised by LA Weekly music critic Craig Lee as one of the city’s "Ten Great Bands."

"Supple and unusual," her work asks all the questions a nice girl’s not supposed to ask. Haley is a gutsy and compelling performer who enjoyed a stint as an official BC Transit busker and has appeared at the Burning Word Festival, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Crush Champagne Lounge, the Lamplighter Pub, Rime, Thundering Word Heard, the Art Bar in Toronto, Words & Music in Montreal, the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Red Sky Poetry Theatre in Seattle, Shakespeare & Sons in Prague, the Roar Lit Crawl with Edmonton’s Raving Poets band and on CBC and Book Television. Catch a sneak preview at

Don't miss this rare catch to catch AURAL Heather in NYC. See you there!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Review: Die Soldaten at Park Ave. Amory

Reviews of Die Soldaten, the mid-20th Century opera by Bernd Alois Zimmerman at Park Ave. Amory, have been generally positive. The reviewers comment on the amazing technical feat achieved by director David Pountney of having the audience on a moving platform that traverses the length of a 10-foot 9-inch stage. They never fail to dwell upon the technical nature of the music, led by conductor Steven Sloane, which is based on a 20th century Germanic invention of the 12-tone scale, and performed by a 110-piece orchestra, a percussion ensemble, a jazz combo, along with the 40-member cast. Reviewers also generally comment on the astounding vocal skills of these singers. And they give a brief run down of the plot of the misadventures of a sweet girl, Marie (the incredible Claudia Barainsky), who loses everything, including her dignity, virginity, money and father in the quest for love. The New York Times even called it "a miraculous realization of an opera once deemed unperformable."

It is so much more. More than opera, more than drama. Pure art. Resonating. Reverberating. Opening windows to parts of your soul you haven't looked at for a long time. For me, it was total immersion.

The first scene: A 110-piece orchestra strikes a chord of total tension. Soldiers march down a narrow ramp, carrying a bed that could be a coffin. Marie and her sister follow, wearing brown shirts, come skipping down the narrow stage, alternating with a goose step they laugh at. The audience moves with them, leaving the outside world behind, drawn--slowly, slowly--into their world. A bed, a love letter, a dreamy boy who's fallen in love with the girl next door. A mother who wants him only to work. Marie's sister, telling her not to believe in love. That the end of happiness is always pain. Acting that shifts from expressionistic movements to naturalism.

As we move into this scene, tears stream down my face. This "total theater" which the author Zimmerman sought, has been achieved in its entirety. It's so beautiful to be allowed to abandon the self. Like a rock 'n' roll show, but so much deeper. More than spectacle. My heart is being twisted in and out of knots.

Back out. The exterior world. Soldiers in a bathhouse, chastisizng the chaplain.

Back out. A bar scene, with the playground mentality in full swing. In this mix: an amateur Nietzschean philosopher that the others laugh at, while demonstrating that they act exactly as he describes. Overtones of World War II. And I. And the one before that. And the one after that. And before that. And after that.

And so on. Scene after scene, you move through a study of the ideas that have guided the acts of the human race for the last 2,500 years. And all lead to this incredible sensation that the only beautiful thing left to us is not love, but art. And that art has been turned into a whore no one respects anymore. That's just what the boys of the playground called her. And in some ways, that's what the critics call Die Soldaten: focusing so much on the technical aspects of the show, the 12-tone music, the plot--as if it all was just some good blow job, well worth the $50-$250 ticket price.

But Marie was never a whore. And she's not just some chick that falls for three guys in a kind of speed dating routine and ends up getting raped--in a scene so shatteringly staged that I shudder from it still. The tears came again as we moved into this horrific scene, which was staged like a film. Marie transformed into three Marie's, all being simultaneously, visciously raped by Santa Claus-like figures, and men in tuxedos wearing terrifying pig masks (the rich at play; overtones of Eyes Wide Shut).

No, Marie is art. Real art. Pure art. The kind that doesn't whore itself out for financial gain or love. In the final scene, after she sees her father and he fails to recognize her, the father (god?) walks away up the stage toward the corpses of the men Marie loved once. Marie--or, what's left of art--walks toward the audience moving in time to fading music. Moving toward us, but never past us. For we are moving backwards--in thought, in mindset, and in our ability to recognize art for what is: all that we have left of love.