Odd Words: Hangover Coda Edition September 15, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in 504, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
“What is the good of these notebooks? No one tells the truth, not even the one who writes it down.”
– Jules Renard quoted on HTML Giant
Crafty bastards, those Frenchmen. I bought a biography last night (as a present) and had it signed by the charming author, with whom I was having drinks in the Afterwords Bar in Washington, D.C. We talked for quite a while but never touched on the relationship of truth, memory and memoir, talking a good bit more about the writing life, particularly the life of the poet; the particular charms of Oxford, MS; and, comparing notes on various beers we were drinking. As Sandar Beasley’s Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl is a matter-of-life-and-death subject (living with a wide specturm of deadly food allergies), I would assume that she leanrs toward the exceptionally careful, although the creative amplification of a cautionary anecdote would be quickly forgiven.
Odd Words will be delayed due to the jazz jam session at HR 57 on H Street N.E. in Washington, D.C. I read this with the band, and the drummer offered to get me back to the hotel in time for my 8 a.m. meeting if I would stay and read some more, an offer I kindly declined and I really need to get some sleep.
I may have to abandon some clothes after my trip to Kramer Books & Afterwords, where I had the pleasure of a couple of beers with the marvelous poet and excellent drinking companion Sandra Beasley, who recommended HR 57 (thank you).
& Tonight 17 Poets! at the Goldmine Saloon features Louisiana’s new Poet Laurette Julie Kane. Jazz Funeral (Story Line Press, 2009), which won the Donald Justice Poetry Prize; Rhythm & Booze (University of Illinois Press, 2003), Maxine Kumin’s selection for the National Poetry Series and a finalist for the Poets’ Prize; and Body and Soul (Pirogue, 1987).
She is also the co-editor, with Grace Bauer, of Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox (Xavier Review Press, 2006), which was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Prize; and the associate editor for 20th-century poetry of Voices of the American South, the Longman anthology of Southern literature (2005). With Kiem Do, she co-authored the nonfiction Vietnam memoir Counterpart: A South Vietnamese Naval Officer’s War (Naval Institute Press, 1998), which became a History Book Club Featured Alternate Selection. She is currently Professor of English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. a feat of geographcial courage that should be remembered among the notable polar explorers. Thursday, Sept. 15 at 17 Poets! at the Goldmine Saloon, 7:30 p.m.
& Just because you should be as least as conflicted as I am, trapped in Virginia far away from all this, I will point out that 17 Poets is scheduled up against Ogden After Hours, which tonight featurers. Ogden After Hours – John Sinclair, John Sinclair author, poet and activist John Sinclair (born October 2, 1941, in Flint, Michigan) mutated from small-town rock’n’roll fanatic and teenage disc jockey to cultural revolutionary, pioneer of marijuana activism, radical leader and political prisoner by the end of the 1960s. Known locally in New orleans for his spoken word, Sinclair comes home for a set at the O. It does start at 6 p.m. and readings don’t usually start at 17 Poets! until 8, so you really should go for a two-point conversion here.
&Also tonight, if you’re addicted to Game of Thrones, have devoured every volume of that series, Maple Street Bookstore’s Maple Street location invites you to meet the author C.S. Friedman who presents the third in her Magister Trilogy, Legacy of Kings, on Thursday, September 15, 2011, 6:00 P.M. Sped through A Dance with Dragons? Try this trilogy on for size. It already feels weird typing “at their Maple Leaf location.”
& Friday at Octavia books Tiff Holland discusses and signs her collection of stories, BETTY SUPERMAN. “The stories in…are true, except when they’re not. They’re based on Holland’s relationship with her mother, a story arc all its own, only Betty isn’t her mother and Holland’s not the narrator, not completely. Over the course of the chapbook, both Betty and the narrator suffer from serious illnesses. One of them is recovering; one of them is not. Consequently, they’ve ended up spending more time together. They have “adventures,” as Betty calls them. They inexplicably find themselves in Betty’s red PT Cruiser driving around to Walgreen’s and Cracker Barrel, selling gold for cash, and pumping gas. In unsentimental and percussive prose, Holland examines Betty as character, dragon lady, and mother. ” I will be a few minutes past closing the cabin door at Richmond International Airport at 6 p.m. but this sounds irresistably interesting. Friday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m., Octavia Books.
& Also on Friday Vincent Cellucci will read from his new book of poetry about a journey through New Orleans, An Easy Place to Die on Friday, September 16, 2011, 6:00 P.M. Cellucci has the first “book trailer” I’ve seen for a New Orleans poet.
& Tuesday at Octavia meet David Gessner: environmental advocate, provocateur, and author of My Green Manifesto. Beyond the oil-soaked pelican, beyond the burning oil rig, beyond mainstream coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there lies a deeper story. At the height of this record-setting catastrophe, Gessner——came to the Gulf in search of that story, and what he found was heartbreaking: the region’s once thriving ecosystem had been devastated, but the cause was much larger and more complex than one isolated accident. Part absurdist travelogue, part manifesto, THE TARBALL CHRONICLES is more than anything a love letter to the Gulf. I think this will end up on the essential Louisiana shelf alongside Mike Tidwell’s Bayou Farewell.
& Mark your calendars for September 25, 5:30 to 7:30 pm when The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society will lift glasses in honor of our namesake, William Faulkner on his birthday. Remember Faulkner House requests an RSVP for their events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
& I guess it’s safe to post this now that I have my tickets, but the New Orleans Museum of Art is bringing back its Bestoff Sculture Garden performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in October. And, this being in New Orleans, the weather will likely cooperate. This sold out quickly last time (I missed it) so you had best get over the Eventbrite and get your tickets before they are all gone again.
Until I can finish Odd Words for this week go to your bookshelf and select a book you love. Let it fall open to the page the book chooses and read what is revealed aloud to the Moon and Venus which are gorgeous in the midnight sky tonight. That will be this week’s feature literary event.
On second thought, go back and read that last struck out paragraph and take immediate action, before the moment splips away