Thursday, June 17, 2004


reading Steve Evans' po-blog travelogue at Third Factory,
he quotes Silliman on Waldman: "Anne Waldman makes James Brown seem slothful & Charles Bernstein positively indolent. She’s not only paid her dues, but yours, mine & that of more than a few other people as well."

What I found agreeable in Silliman's Waldman review was that her presence can get in the way of her verse. You bet, Ron.

I have an unwashable Waldman memory: Anne singing erotic poetry on-stage at the Fox Theatre, Boulder, many years ago. The worst singing, horrific conceptions of erotism, and many women erotizing following her in pukey-suit. Like one of those awful almost embarrassing American Idol auditions. The erotic is great...whatever it is...but nothing daring, nor even interesting about singing it. I am sure it was gross when Whitman did it, if he did at all, you know, sing the body electric.

It was bad. But not as bad as Ginsburg getting up on stage to sing "Don't Smoke" with earnest political vigor and then shmoozing the youth.

double yuck. I have a better memory, to be honest. I was introduced to Cole Swensen and Anne at the Cruise Room in Denver a year before I was accepted at University of Denver; Cole left the following year. They were both wonderfully there and not-singing but chatting with genuine interest.

1 comment:

Tony Tost said...

More body electric singing details, please.

I thought I'd never like, or "get", singing at a poetry reading, but was mesmerized by Lee Ann Brown singing the Ballad of Susan Smith recently here. Maybe because it seemed ego-less, more universalizing (or channeling) the emotions that could make someone drown their children?

I've been enjoying your posts lately, and wanting to chime in, but finding I don't have much to add, but that you have my wheels spinning.